May 30th, 2008

Tips, Tips and More Tips

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It’s getting warmer and warmer outside these days. How’s your grilling going?

If you’re having issues, maybe you just need a refresher course on BBQ 101.

Here’s a pretty comprehensive “cheat sheet” from Gomestic.com. It’s called “Tips to Make Your Summer BBQ a Success.”

And who doesn’t want that?

Check out the article here:

http://www.gomestic.com/Cooking/Tips-to-Make-Your-Summer-BBQ-a-Success.93851

And let me know how it goes this weekend!


May 29th, 2008

Leftover Land

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We cooked so much this weekend we are swimming in leftovers.

Steakburgers. Bratwurst. More steakburgers. Hot dogs.

When will it all end?

My husband LOVES leftovers so he’s in heaven. But me? Eh, I really like it best when it’s first cooked. I’m elitist that way.

Right now, I can hear my parents’ voices echoing in my ears . . . “There are children starving in China or is it Ethiopia or wait, no, it’s Myanmar where the government won’t hand out the food we are sending . . .

Anyway, I should be so lucky to have an abundance of food. So I will smile and eat a leftover steakburger for the FOURTH time this week.

But THAT’S IT. Then I’m moving on to a fresh T-bone, dangit!


May 28th, 2008

Perception is Everything

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So, a couple of weeks ago my son’s kindergarten class was studying “mothers.” It was around the time of Mother’s Day and they did a few projects on the topic.

I was presented with some of these projects that will forever be in my keepsake box. They brought tears to my eyes. But others were just haphazardly sent home in his folder last week.

I went through them and came across one — a stapled project entitled “My Mom.”

Page 3 of “My Mom” was very, very telling.

That’s me. And apparently, I eat “stake” a lot. In one piece. With no utensils. And no hands.

My husband so lovingly yelled, “Look at your pie-hole! It’s huge!”

(This was out of earshot of my son, mind you.)

The kid pays attention. I have to give him that. And that rendering of a steak is pretty good for a 5-year-old boy. I was actually quite proud when I stopped thinking about how it made me look like a great big pig.

The drawing looks surprisingly like one of my favorite pieces I studied in art class by artist Edvard Munch. It’s called “The Scream.”

I’m just sayin’. . . the kid’s perceptive AND a talented artist.


May 27th, 2008

Cheebugah! Cheebugah! Cheebugah!

By

An old Saturday Night Live reference. Perhaps I’m showing my age.

We broke in the new grill over the weekend. Buying it was an emergency — we had to replace the deceased Weber before Memorial Day weekend a.k.a. the Holy Grail of Grilling Times.

We decided on some steakburgers to break that baby in and she didn’t disappoint.

After the meat was almost finished grilling we threw on some good ole American cheese to gently melt and voila!

Cheebugahs!

Yum!

I don’t like to mess mine all up with a bun. I’m a purist.

But my husband likes his buns toasted. (Insert your own “toasty buns” joke here.

With food like this and amazingly original wit and humor flying (see above) how could we NOT have a great holiday weekend?


May 26th, 2008

Meat and Memorial Day — an American Tradition

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HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY, EVERYONE!

This was the scene in my parents’ front yard and all around our area. It’s been a very patriotic weekend — just the way it should be.

We’ve celebrated so far by eating LOTS and LOTS of meat.

Yesterday, we gathered my family, my parents and my brother, his wife, his mother-in-law and my niece and nephew for ribs and brisket.

Around these parts, we call it brisket. In some areas of the country it’s called tri-tip and others the same cut of beef is used to make corned beef.

Whatever you call it, we smoked them both in the smoker for a long time and it was all really tender and flavorful.

You can see in the photo no one would keep their mitts off the plate long enough for me to take a picture. That meat was decimated by the time we were done. No leftovers around here.

We’ve done lots of swimming — although it’s not nearly as warm as I’d like it. But that NEVER stops the kids. They don’t mind swimming with goose bumps.

I hope you’re having a great weekend, too!


May 23rd, 2008

Meet Our New Baby Grill!

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We have a new member of the family!

So, it’s not a puppy and it’s not a child, but she’s just as cute!

I’m almost as excited about her as I was about my two boys. And THIS delivery was much easier, let me tell you. (Thanks to Ron and the guys over at Home Depot.)

Here she is — our new baby grill . . .

We’re looking forward to working her hard. She’s got to earn her keep around here. No one gets a free ride. Why, I had to walk 5 miles to school every day with no shoes, in the snow, uphill . . .

We’ll miss our little Weber friend. But, gosh, this one is much cuter. And isn’t that what REALLY matters in life?

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. We’ll be grilling and enjoying time with our family. I hope you do, too!


May 22nd, 2008

Survey Says!

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I took a survey of my neighbors (as we were standing around the yard yakking) and I asked, “What are you cooking this Memorial Day?”

I got lots of different answers. Some surprising, some quite traditional.

But there was one theme that carried throughout:  family.

Whether extended family will be getting together or it’s just the immediate family staying home, everyone was looking forward to being with their loved ones . . . and eating.

Most of our kids are out of school on Friday and Monday, some just Monday, and that usually requires some planning of activities and meals to cut down on the whining and restlessness.

So here’s a sampling of their answers . . .

Burgers and hot dogs in the back yard.”

This is the go-to meal for April and Bobby*. Good choice, good choice.

“We’re just going to sleep in and rummage around the house for food. Maybe order a pizza,” said Vicki.

(Boo, I thought, we do that every other weekend. This is MEMORIAL DAY, man!)

Elizabeth and Ron said, “We’ve got some steaks and we’re going to make some potato salad and invite our folks over on Monday.”

Now we’re talking. “What kind of steaks?” I asked.

“Some sirloin and strips.”

My mind wandered off and I pictured myself running through a meadow in a white lace dress with my husband carrying a plate of freshly grilled sirloin and strip steaks . . .

. . . but I came back to reality when I realized someone had asked me what we were having.

Barbecue ribs,” I said.

I am looking forward to that. We’re inviting my whole side of the family over. My parents and my brother and his family.

We let the kids run around together and we all pretend they aren’t acting like animals. Denial. It’s a gift.

And if there’s whining, I’ll send them all over to rummage around at Vicki’s house.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent — or guilty, whatever the case may be. 


May 21st, 2008

Steak Made Easy

By

I like any recipe with the word “easy” in it.

Here’s a slightly different twist on the old standby casserole. I’d suggest using the boneless ribeyes with this one.

Let me know what you think when you try it!

EASY STEAK CASSEROLE  
1 can French onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup (do not dilute)
6 rib-eye steaks
1 sm. can mushrooms or fresh mushrooms, optional
Mix soups together in 9×13 pan. Place steaks either cut into strips or left whole into pan. Cover with mushrooms. Cover pan with foil. Bake in slow oven, 200-250 degrees, 4-5 hours or bake at 350 degrees approximately 2-3 hours. Serve over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

Recipe courtesy Cooks.com.


May 20th, 2008

Fido Knows His Steak, Too

By

You KNOW you want your dog to look like this.

Just admit it.

His shirt says, “I’m a Steak Guru!” And doesn’t that really just say, “CLASSY?”

Ladies, if you read the post yesterday, you’ll remember that statistics are now showing that single women should embrace their inner steakmaster and relax. Men will appreciate you for it.

Well, here’s an extra layer to add to your arsenal of dating techniques. Get Fido in on it.

Prepare some T-bones, or a couple of ribeyes, put Fido in his “Steak Guru” shirt and invite that special someone over.

He’ll be like putty in your hands.

Or not.

What are you asking me for? I haven’t dated in, like, 12 years. We didn’t even have text messaging back then.

But for more *great* ideas like this one, just head on over to thesteakguru.com. You can buy this shirt and even his and hers shirts there.

Or . . . steer clear of the shirt idea altogether and just look for somebody at church. It’s really your call.

Dating results not guaranteed.
Photo courtesy of thesteakguru.com.


May 19th, 2008

Steak = Confidence, Ladies

By

A recent NY Times article extolled the virtues of being a steak lover in today’s dating scene. And if you’re a female steak lover? Huge bonus points.

Here’s a little excerpt from that article by Allen Salkin:

Be Yourselves, Girls, Order the Rib-Eye

MARTHA FLACH mentioned meat twice in her Match.com profile: “I love architecture, The New Yorker, dogs … steak for two and the Sunday puzzle.”

She was seeking, she added, “a smart, funny, kind man who owns a suit (but isn’t one) … and loves red wine and a big steak.”

Her ad worked. She met a guy and a year later they got married.

They served steak at their wedding reception.

The article went on to say this . . .

Red meat sent a message that she was “unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic,” she said, “that I’m not obsessed with my weight even though I’m thin, and I don’t have any food issues.”

Well, rock on, Martha. Eating steak on dates apparently says you are comfortable with yourself and you know what you like.

Skimpy salad-eaters, listen up! It’s time to stop the madness. We all know you go home and eat a burger after you pick at the bowl of greens you had on your date with Tad.

Just keep it real and have the steak. Better yet, cook your own steaks with Tad. Can you imagine how bowled over he would be seeing you flip those babies on the grill? ‘Cause, seriously, if you did somehow marry the guy he would eventually find out you don’t subsist on leaves alone.

Isn’t it better to start out with honesty?

Just break free! Cut into that steak! You know you want to.

Check out the entire article here.

And then get you and Tad some steaks here.


May 16th, 2008

Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!

By

Remember those old commercials for doggie treats that were shaped like bacon, tasted like bacon (I assume) but weren’t ACTUALLY bacon?

Beggin Strips. Yes, I remember the name.

The dog would come darting through the house when he knew his owner was getting out the box and the little voice on the commercial would scream, “BACON! BACON! BACON!”

That’s how I feel about bacon.

Is that wrong?

I know it’s not very ladylike. But everyone in my family knows if we’re having bacon, do not try to snake my share. If you do, your hand will be amputated regardless of age, gender or political affiliation.

Back off.

That is why I love bacon-wrapped filet mignons. They are the melding of two of my absolute favorite things:  buttery soft beef and, mmm hmmm, BACON.

Just look at that! I’m sorry, that is a work of art.

I will be thinking about this piece of perfection until I have it again.

Until then, I’ll see you in my dreams you silky, grilled flavor explosion you. 


May 16th, 2008

Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!

Remember those old commercials for doggie treats that were shaped like bacon, tasted like bacon (I assume) but weren’t ACTUALLY bacon?

Beggin Strips. Yes, I remember the name.

The dog would come darting through the house when he knew his owner was getting out the box and the little voice on the commercial would scream, “BACON! BACON! BACON!”

That’s how I feel about bacon.

Is that wrong?

I know it’s not very ladylike. But everyone in my family knows if we’re having bacon, do not try to snake my share. If you do, your hand will be amputated regardless of age, gender or political affiliation.

Back off.

That is why I love bacon-wrapped filet mignons. They are the melding of two of my absolute favorite things: buttery soft beef and, mmm hmmm, BACON.

Just look at that! I’m sorry, that is a work of art.

I will be thinking about this piece of perfection until I have it again.

Until then, I’ll see you in my dreams you silky, grilled flavor explosion you.


May 15th, 2008

Grill Steaks in an Outdoor Paradise?

By

Do you have an “outdoor kitchen?” You know, an area in your backyard where’s there’s a built-in grill maybe in some stonework, a refrigerator, some seating, perhaps a sink or a smoker.

Something like this.

I don’t. But I sure wish I did. Being grilling — especially steak — enthusiasts, we dream of an outdoor kitchen where we could hang out and really be one with the outdoors while we cook.

Well, HGTV.com has a guide for creating that outdoor oasis. It’s got ideas, budgets, suggestions, etc. If nothing, I can at least dream of grilling my steaks in style, right?

And I can look at all the purty pictures.

Check out the article here.

And don’t forget to invite me over when yours is built. I like ribeyes. And T-bones.

And bacon-wrapped filets.

 

Photo courtesy HGTV.com


May 14th, 2008

Sir Loin, the Knight Who Never Was

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Snopes.com is a Web site dedicated to debunking myths and affirming truths. It cites sources better than I ever did in any of my college papers.

For instance, if you happen to hear an urban myth about your dishwasher detergent causing a highly contagious form of chicken pox that begins with purple and orange welts on your body and ends with you reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” in Gaelic you go to Snopes.com to see if it’s really true. Could it really happen?

Most of the time the answer is “No.”

Here’s a great one I found about the origin of the word “sirloin.” Check it out:

Claim:   A choice cut of beef taken from the upper hindquarter (i.e., the loin) of a cow is called “sirloin” because an English king was once so delighted with his meal that he knighted the meat, dubbing it “Sir Loin.”

Status:   False.

Origins:   If we needed proof that inventing silly stories to explain the origins of words with non-obvious etymologies is both an old and long-lived practice, here it is: Across nearly four centuries, various writers have chronicled the tale that an English king especially fond of fine dining (any one of a succession from Henry VIII to Charles II) coined the word “sirloin” by knighting a choice piece of meat, thereby introducing “Sir Loin” to the world. Even the venerable Samuel Johnson included the anecdote in his Dictionary of the English Language (1755), noting under the definition of the word “sir” that it was “A title given to the loin of beef, which one of our kings knighted in a fit of good humour.”

While it is certainly possible that one or more kings of England has repeated this pun, the joke cannot be the source of the word “sirloin,” which appeared in English as far back as the mid-sixteenth century, antedating the ascension of any of the named kings (save Henry VIII) to the throne. More importantly, though, it was not until the eighteenth century that the word “sirloin” came to be commonly spelled with an “i” — until then it was generally written as “surloin,” indicating that it came from the Middle French surlonge (sur meaning “over” and longe meaning “loin”), just as the word “surname” came from the same French root (sur), indicating a family name that was used “over” (i.e., in addition to) one’s Christian name.

That’s fun stuff. You can click here for the entire Snopes story.

I wish I had thought of “Sir Loin.” I could have made a fortune writing children’s books with the valiant knight as its main character. The costume might be a little tricky, though. What on earth would he wear?

 


May 13th, 2008

The “Eat Steak” Song

By

Here’s a little ditty by the Rev. Horton Heat. The tune is not too imaginative, but with these lyrics, who needs a melody?                                   

Reverend Horton Heat “Eat Steak” Lyrics
Songwriters: N/A

Eat steak, eat steak eat a big ol’ steer
Eat steak, eat steak do we have one dear?
Eat beef, eat beef it’s a mighty good food
It’s a grade A meal when I’m in the mood.

Cowpokes’ll come from a near and far
When you throw a few rib-eyes on the fire
Roberto Duran ate two before a fight
‘Cause it gave a lot of mighty men a lot of mighty might

Eat steak, eat steak eat a big ol’ steer
Eat steak, eat steak do we have one dear?
Eat beef, eat beef it’s a mighty good food
It’s a grade A meal when I’m in the mood.

Eat meat, eat meat, filet mignon
Eat meat, eat meat, eat it all day long
Eat a few T-bones till you get your fill
Eat a new york cut, hot off the grill

Eat steak, eat steak eat a big ol’ steer
Eat steak, eat steak do we have one dear?
Eat beef, eat beef it’s a mighty good food
It’s a grade A meal when I’m in the mood.

 

Listen to the entire song (with additional lyrics) here:

http://www.last.fm/music/Reverend+Horton+Heat/_/Eat+Steak

Guaranteed, this song will run through your head for weeks. :)

 


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About Me

Hi! My name is Dena P., and I love steak. In fact, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect steak for a few years now.

I love experimenting with food and I like to get my family, friends and neighbors involved. They add a lot to my cooking experience by helping me perfect techniques and sharing recipes.

Read More About Me »

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