June 30th, 2008

Paradise Found

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Well, we made it! And we’re all in one piece and very happy to have arrived in Florida.

 

Our drive went pretty smoothly. But we did get to experience many, many oddities of humanity along the way.

We traveled down lots of two-lane highways so we got to see fellow travelers going the other way up close and personal. And I have to say, if I never see another pair of bare feet perched on the dashboard again it will be too soon. I counted 11 pairs of feet in Alabama alone.

The state of Mississippi is beautiful and green and it provided lots of entertainment for us. One of my favorite sights was the yellow fiberglass cow balancing on its front two feet with the words “Jesus Saves” emblazoned on its side. This was in someone’s front yard. Talk about a sacred cow!

And speaking of cows, as soon as we got here I ventured out to the local supermarket to get some basics and prepare for our steak dinner later in the week. I got potatoes and all the fixins, A-1 sauce for the hubby (don’t judge) and Teriyaki sauce for me.

I love ya, Florida, but I’m not buying your supermarket steaks. I’m having the good stuff delivered!

Stay tuned for more adventures so far from home . . .


June 27th, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun

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Today, I embark upon an age-old tradition — the family car trip.

We will attempt to drive 13 hours in the car with two boys under the age of 7 over two days.

Hopefully, at the end, we will reach sand and surf . . . if we all survive.

Traveling with us will be a cooler full of sugar-free drinks, Coke Zero, water and the ever-present insulin vials for my youngest.

Ever given someone a shot in the back of an SUV? I must say I’ve gotten pretty good at it. And my son looks at it as an adventure. Ah, youth . . .

Yes, we might be crazy, but if we’re headed for the funny farm we’re all going together.

Here’s a self portrait of what I anticipate I will look like in two days’ time.

As you can see, the proverbial walls are closing in on me. Plus, it looks like I may need some Propecia or other hair-loss product . . .

But a shining ray of light for me is that I thought far enough ahead to order some amazing steaks to be delivered to us during our week-long stay in paradise. This I know:  the food will be good.

Why? Because I will be preparing those steaks just the way I like them.

And we’ll be making some memories, too.

Catch you next week when I’m hangin’ ten, dudes!

(That is, if “hangin’ ten” means sitting under an umbrella reading back issues of “Real Simple” and “Oprah” magazines while my sons inadvertently flick sand in my drink.)


June 26th, 2008

I’ve Gratin Used to Your Smile

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Ever wonder what the heck “gratin” is anyway? I did. I’m intimately familiar with potatoes au gratin, but I knew gratin had other connotations also. I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what.

So, once again, I turned to my trusty Wikipedia. Here’s what it says . . .

Gratin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
Gratin adapted from French cuisine is a type of casserole dish that is covered with Béchamel sauce or Mornay sauce, topped with buttered breadcrumbs or grated cheese and either baked or broiled, then served in its baking dish with a golden crust. Cooking au gratin is a technique rather than exclusively a preparation of potatoes (which is specifically a gratin dauphinois): anything that can be sliced thin, layered with a cream sauce and baked is material for a gratin: fennel, leeks, crabmeat, celeriac, aubergines.

So, the Ribeye Gratin dish I tried called for spinach and cheese to create the gratin (along with lots of other yummy ingredients.)

I’m thinking of a new ad slogan for it now:  Gratin:  It’s not just for potatoes anymore.

Okay, so it never really WAS just for potatoes. My slogan is still in the working phase, people.

Anyhoo, THIS gratin recipe started off with some tender, thick ribeyes.

Then, we made the gratin (just look at that gorgeous spinach!).

And here is the final finished meal. This cheesy, spinachy gratin really created some wonderful texture and flavor and complemented the steaks really well.

Try it for yourself! 

Ribeye Gratin

4 10 oz. Ribeye
2 Cups Spinach, chopped
½ Cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. Dry White Wine
1 Tbsp. Shallot, minced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced

Saute the spinach in the white wine until wilted.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook 1 more minute, remove from heat and toss in the cheese. Grill steaks to desired doneness (about six minutes per side for medium, rotating a quarter turn every three minutes to create the cross hatch grill marks.)  Top each steak evenly with the spinach mixture and place under a broiler until the cheese turns golden brown, about 30 seconds.  If you don’t have a broiler, you can melt the cheese in the oven but ensure you undercook your steaks before placing them in the oven to avoid over doneness.


June 25th, 2008

Sage Advice

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I was reading an article called “Picking Perfect Steaks:  How to Make the Most of the Beef You Cook at Home” and I stopped in my tracks when I came to one particular part. 

It wasn’t so much the advice that gave me pause as the way it was worded. Here it is . . .

· Pick out your steak like you pick out your clothes. Would you grab just any old pair of pants off the rack? Of course not. Same with a steak. Look at each one carefully. If you want it to be juicy and tender for cooking on the grill, you want lots of little white flecks of fat in the meaty part (it’s called marbling). The flecks melt away during cooking, adding to the meat’s flavor. You also want it to be an even thickness (if it’s thinner in some parts, it will cook unevenly). If you’re buying more than one steak, try to find cuts that are all close in size so they finish cooking at about the same time.

Now that’s good advice as far as I’m concerned, but I can’t get past picking out my steak like I pick out my clothes.

I imagine myself in a dressing room with a three-way mirror and when I look up I see a T-bone hanging on the hook behind me. There’s a bacon-wrapped filet sitting on the bench waiting to be tried on. A KC strip peers at me on a shelf next to a flouncy skirt I’m about to slip on.

I take my things up to the register and the woman says, “Did you find everything you needed today?”

“Yes,” I say. “I’ll take the skirt, the beaded belt and the ribeye.”


June 24th, 2008

Beans, Beans, Beans

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It’s summer and we’re all spending lots of time outside making some great meat. But if you’re looking for ways to change up the same old grilling dishes why not try some different sides?

Bush’s Beans has come out with their new Grillin’ Beans. It’s 4 flavors of beans — each with an intended purpose. The Steakhouse Recipe flavor is supposed to complement a yummy ribeye or beef tenderloin or any other steak you like.

They even have recipes that go with each flavor on their site that you can try. Of course they do! They want you to buy their beans!

Check it out anyway if you are looking to freshen up your already perfect meat dishes. If nothing, you can at least look at photos of that cute Golden Retriever they always have on their commercials — Duke. I love that guy!

Here’s the link:

http://www.bushbeans.com/products/grillinbeans/


June 23rd, 2008

Rejected Steakhouse Slogans

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The following are some very terrible slogans that were rejected as good advertising tools for steakhouses.

Enjoy their utter mediocrity. . .

It’s Cardio-riffic!

You Stab ‘Em, We’ll Slab ‘Em!

It’s Meat-licious!

Steak me up, before you go-go.

Get your rump in here!

You can see the full list of rejects here. Warning: some are not for those under the age of 18 (or those over the age of 18 who have scruples.)

June 20th, 2008

Meat — It Does a Body Good

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Apparently there is a battle going on between Jessica Simpson on the left and Carrie Underwood on the right.

They’ve romanced the same guy so I guess that means they’re territorial about everything now.

This time, Jessica’s taking a swipe at Carrie Underwood’s vegetarianism.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever sided with Jessica Simpson.

On anything. Ever.

Photo courtesy ABCNews.com.


June 19th, 2008

Filet With a Kick

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Do you like a real punch with your meat? Do you like it when you take a bite and you involuntarily scream, “OOOHHH  WEEEEEEE!”?

Well this recipe is right up your alley. Think Cajun. And have a cold beverage ready. Check this out from our friends at Steakology.com . . .

Spicy Filet Mignon

“I adapted this recipe from a seasoning I saw for blackened catfish. Because these steaks have a lot of kick, I make a more mellow side dish, like buttered potatoes or grilled fresh vegetables.”–Vera Kobiako, Jupiter, Florida

Ingredients

2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 (6 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks (1 1/2 inches thick)

Directions

Combine the seasonings; rub over steaks.

Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 9-11 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees F; medium, 160 degrees F; well-done, 170 degrees F).

Prep Time: 5 Min
Cook Time: 20 Min
Ready In: 25 Min
Yield: 6 servings


June 18th, 2008

Buffalo — It’s For the Birds

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My husband and I went to an upscale restaurant here in the city we live in. We thought we’d be chic and try it out. (Can you ever really be chic if your house is filled to the brim with plastic Star Wars toys?)

We sat down and took in the atmosphere. Very nice. Beautiful decor.

Then we looked at the menu.

There was absolutely NOTHING for me to eat.

We caught eyes and telepathically sent this message to each other, “Are we THAT pathetic that we can’t find something — anything — we like on this menu?”

Had our palates been so tainted over the years by chicken nuggets, hot dogs and so much ketchup you could sink a warship that we were no longer interested in new and exciting foods?

Then I saw it. A buffalo ribeye.

That was it. I was ordering the buffalo ribeye.

I initially looked past the fact that it said “buffalo” and I focused on the “ribeye” part. How could I go wrong? It was ribeye for Pete’s sake!

Then our plates came. They were beautifully presented. And my ribeye looked somewhat familiar. I felt safe. I felt happy.

But all that changed after my first bite.

There was a hint of gaminess — you know, like my uncle Earl had shot it earlier in the day and hauled it home in the back of his 1978 pickup.

And it was a little tough. It was then that the idea completely took over every cell in my brain . . . I WAS EATING BUFFALO.

How is this any different than eating, say, cow, you ask?

I don’t know. But I couldn’t get the image out of my head.

I kept seeing log cabins with no electricity and Conestoga wagons and Native Americans being kicked off their land. It was horrible!

I put my fork down and tried not to ruin my husband’s meal of some strange sea creature.

I was through with buffalo.

I don’t know why we insist on going out to restaurants and subjecting ourselves to someone else’s idea of what a good steak is.

It’s never quite right.

We know good steak. And we never mess it up.

Maybe that’s the lesson here.

I know one thing. I will never ignore the word “buffalo” on a menu again. If I ever see it I will keep scanning until I find the chicken nuggets or hot dogs.


June 17th, 2008

Dock Yourself in This Port

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What’s today? Tuesday?

Sounds like a good day for a steak.

Okay, any day sounds like a good day for a steak. So here’s a fun recipe that features port wine. You can’t go wrong there!

Port Glazed Ribeye
(Serves 4)

4 10 oz. Ribeye
2 Cups Beef Stock
2 Cups Port Wine
1 Shallot, minced
1 sprig, Thyme
2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Butter
Salt and Pepper

In a small sauce pan, sweat the shallot in 1 tsp. butter, add thyme and beef stock and reduce to ¼ Cup.  Add port wine and reduce to 1/3 Cup and remove from heat.  Whisk in the remaining butter, ½ Tbsp. at a time. Grill steaks to desired doneness (about six minutes per side for medium, rotating a quarter turn every three minutes to create the cross hatch grill marks.)  Using a pastry or basting brush, coat each ribeye evenly with the glaze and serve.


June 16th, 2008

This Stuff Rocks!

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Wanna see a new way to cook your steaks?

Check out the post below from KitchenContraptions.com.  These Kitchen Rocks are a cool way (pardon the pun) to heat up your steaks. Take a look . . .  

Cook Your Steak On Hot Stone Kitchen Rocks

The Hot Rock is a very unique dining concept. Each diner cooks their own meat on a volcanic stone! The idea of cooking on rocks has been used for centuries by all different cultures, and the evolution of this cooking process has been captured by Hot Rock. No oil or fat is required to be used. It is ideal for meat and vegetarian dishes. Hot Rock meals are quick, entertaining, healthy and delicious if you know how to cook your meat.

At Kitchen Rocks

Read More in: Kitchen Gadgets

 


June 13th, 2008

Don’t Try This at Home (Seriously. Please.)

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I like to read slightly off-center humor. Not dirty. Demented. There’s a difference.

So, I came across this post on a blog called “stupidramblings.”

Ah, yes, “stupidramblings.” He’s right up there with Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and that chick who wrote “Sex and the City.”

The blog’s title alone piqued my interest.

Stupidramblings produced this beauty of a post called “Steak You Can Cut with Plastic Utensils.”

Intrigued? I was. So here it goes . . .

171. Steak You Can Cut with Plastic Utensils.
Marinate 5-6 steaks in:

the juice of two limes (with pulp)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (now with extra virgins!)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tsp salt
crushed red pepper to taste (use a little more than you think you’ll need–it gets cooked off)
a palmful of tarragon
two drops of orange extract
black pepper to taste (use a little more than you think you’ll need–it gets cooked off)
1 tbsp brown sugar
a pinch of crushed dill weed
a pinch of crushed coriander
3-4 grains of anise seed
and a pinch of cumin

Mix marinade well and pour over the steaks. Marinate overnight.

Cook (BBQ preferably) on very high heat until the inside is slightly pink.

Invite your neighbors over and throw the steaks at them…

It was that last part that had me scratching my head. Throw them at your neighbors? Huh?

But the recipe looks amazing. And people actually commented that they tried it and thought it was perfecto.

Can you really cut the steak with plastic utensils? You be the judge.

Just don’t throw them at your neighbors.

Want to see the whole post? Click here.


June 12th, 2008

Me Loves Miso

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It’s always interesting to create a dish with ingredients you don’t use on an everyday basis. It really kicks things up a notch.

We tried a recipe for Miso Ginger Ribeye that was absolutely to die for!

Miso is a really flavorful Japanese food you can use to make sauce. There are a number of varieties of miso and we chose red miso this time. It works great with steak.

Normally, miso can only be found in specialty food stores. So if you can’t find miso you can substitute hoisin, which is usually easier to find.

If you want to expand your mind, click here for Wikipedia’s full description of miso.

For our recipe, we started with some gorgeous ribeyes.

 

Then we added the miso ginger sauce mixture.

And after some masterful grilling, here’s what it looks like when it was ready to serve.

Is that gorgeous or what?

Here’s the recipe. Let me know YOUR thoughts when you make it!

Miso Ginger Ribeye
(Serves 4)

4 10 oz. Ribeye Steaks
2 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
3 Tbsp. Red Miso
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Chile Sesame Oil

Combine ginger, miso, soy, honey, sesame oil and garlic in a bowl and stir until a smooth paste is formed. Spread mixture evenly on both sides of Ribeyes and let sit 4 hours or overnight. Grill steaks to desired doneness (about six minutes per side for medium, rotating a quarter turn every three minutes to create the cross hatch grill marks.)

 

 


June 11th, 2008

Napoleon Rocks

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So, I love the movie Napoleon Dynamite. It’s silly, clean and entirely quotable.

And my beloved steak plays a major role in this movie. It seems like the main characters are eating it in almost every scene.

This scene, in particular, makes me giggle like I’m 13 and at a slumber party. Check it out.

Napoleon Dynamite on Google Video

***In no way do I advocate hurling steak at anyone on a bike . . . wearing glasses . . . with a dork riding on the back.

 


June 10th, 2008

Steak . . . and Pizza. Ahhhhh

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I’m serious when I say that pizza just rocks. And when I make mine, it HAS to have meat on it.
So, what genius came up the idea to PUT STEAK ON PIZZA? Whoever it is, I want to shake his hand.
And here is a really cool way to combine the amazing flavors of sirloin steak and scrumptious pizza.
1 pound cooked boneless beef top sirloin steak
   
1 tablespoon roasted garlic oil or olive oil
   
¼ cup sliced green onions
   
1 thin, prebaked (12-inch) pizza crust
   
3 tablespoons Thai peanut sauce
   
1 ½ cups reduced-fat or regular shredded pizza cheese blend (divided use)
   
½ cup shredded carrots
   
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut steak into 3-by- ½ -by- ¼ -inch pieces; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high until hot. Stir-fry onions 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add beef and stir-fry just until warm. Remove beef mixture from skillet with slotted spoon.

Place pizza crust on an ungreased large baking sheet. Spread with peanut sauce; sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese. Top with beef mixture; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with carrots and cilantro. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Makes 8 wedges.

PER WEDGE: Calories 273 (36% fat) Fat 11 g (4 g sat) Cholesterol 40 mg Sodium 388 mg Fiber 1 g Carbohydrates 17 g Protein 26 g

Get the whole story and more recipes like this one from DallasNews.com here.


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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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