October 31st, 2008

Have a Steaky Halloween!

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If I had really been thinking, I totally would have been this for Halloween . . .

But alas, I’ll have to settle for next year. Maybe then my husband can walk next to me and dress up as a bottle of Teriyaki sauce. Yum!

Have a great Halloween!

Photo courtesy of amazon.com.

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October 30th, 2008

Spooky Sloppy Joes

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One more day until Halloween! Are your li’l punkins ready?

Here’s another great meal idea for this fun holiday from the Texas Beef Council. Be sure to read the Suggestions section for cute sandwich topper ideas like a black olive spider, cheese curl devil horns and green onion broomsticks.

What fun!

SPOOKY SLOPPY JOES

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 Kaiser rolls, split

Instructions

Brown ground beef with onion and bell pepper in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Stir in tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook an additional 3 minutes or until heated through; stirring occasionally.

Spoon equal amounts of beef mixture on bottom half of each roll. Decorate beef mixture or roll tops with vegetable decorations, as desired (see below). Close with top half of each roll.

Suggestions

To make one spider: Cut pitted black olive in half lengthwise and place each half slightly overlapping in center of ground beef mixture or on center of roll top. Slice orange bell pepper into eight 1/4-inch thick strips. Place strips in spoke fashion around olive to make legs. Cut two small pepper pieces to make antennas. Place above olive slices.

To make jack-o-lantern face: Cut out pumpkin shape from Cheddar cheese slice with cookie cutter. Using small thin-bladed knife, cut out mouth, nose and eyes from pumpkin shape. Place cheese cutouts on top of ground meat mixture or on roll top.

To make cheese curl devil horns: Insert two cheese curl snacks vertically into roll top.

To make green onion broomsticks: Cut off the root end of green onion with small thin-bladed knife. Carefully cut thin slits 1/2-inch deep lengthwise into the white part of the onion. Soak sliced part of onion in cold water so ends curl up. Place on plate with Spooky Sloppy Joe.

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October 29th, 2008

Are You Ready for Halloween?

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Steak Bites With Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce

So . . . THIS FRIDAY is Halloween. Are you as ready as I am?

That’s a joke. I’m never ready.

But, at least my kids’ costumes are ready to go and I have purchased the obligatory candy to hand out.

What else do I need?

Well, some Halloween spirit for starters. So here’s something fun to try. It’s alternately creepy and tasty at the same time. Invite some friends over for this treat full of protein before you head out to scour the neighborhood for candy.

Enjoy!

STEAK BITES WITH BLOODY MARY DIPPING SAUCE

Ingredients

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup vodka
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 1 rounded tablespoon prepared horseradish
• Salt and pepper
• 1 1/3 pounds beef sirloin cut into large bite-sized pieces, 1 by 2 inches
• Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper
• 6 to 8 inch bamboo skewers

Directions

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and saute 5 minutes. Add vodka and reduce by 1/2. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and horseradish. Stir to combine the dipping sauce and return the sauce to a bubble. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.

Heat nonstick skillet over high heat. Coat meat bites lightly in oil. Season with steak seasoning blend or salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the meat until caramelized all over, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer dipping sauce to a small dish and place at the center of a serving platter. Surround the dip with meat bites and set several bamboo “stakes” or skewers along side meat.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray and foodnetwork.com.

Photo courtesy of foodnetwork.com.

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October 24th, 2008

Béarnaise, Anyone?

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One of Sandy’s suggestions for a lovely accompaniment to the elegant Chateaubriand is a savory béarnaise sauce.

It’s a traditional sauce for any kind of steak or beef, but it’s especially appreciated on a beautiful cut of beef like Chateaubriand.

Here’s what she said . . .

A quick béarnaise recipe adapted from Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cook Book: (the tarragon reduction is exactly what I remember from making this sauce in much larger quantities in cooking school).

2 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons chopped shallot or onion

1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a small saucepan, bring the ingredients above to a boil and cook until almost all of the liquid disappears.  This will only take a few minutes, and will be very strong smelling (i.e. don’t put your nose directly over it).  This is the typical flavoring agent of béarnaise and can be added to 1 cup of your favorite hollandaise, or use the following to create that:

Place 3 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a blender container.  Combine by pulsing the motor on and off until combined and frothy.  Never let acid (lemon juice) or salt sit on raw egg yolks without mixing them in – it will “cook” the egg yolks and give you unwanted lumps in your sauce. 

Add one stick unsalted real butter to the herb mixture sauce pan and heat to bubbling, not browning.  Remove from heat.

Turn the blender back on and blend the egg yolk mixture until frothy and lighter colored, then with the blender running carefully add the hot herb/butter mixture to the yolks and blend on high speed for 4 seconds. 

Remove to clean thermos container unless you are ready to serve immediately.

This sauce cannot be reheated, or it will break (separate).

Very traditionally, this sauce would be served alongside the Chateaubriand in the (cooked and warmed) heart of an artichoke for each person. 

I love how Sandy always walks me through the landmines I might encounter — like putting my nose directly over the bubbling sauce. I would have totally done that.

And the storing of the sauce in a thermos until the meal is ready to be served is pure genius. I would not/could not have come up with that sauce-saving technique.

Try this graceful sauce served in lovely artichoke hearts with your next beef-featured meal and let me know how it turns out for you!

Photo courtesy of uktv.co.uk

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October 22nd, 2008

Chateaubriand with Duxelles

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Today I bring you another installment from my Jedi master of cooking, Sandy. Check out this post to get the whole story on our journey through Chateaubriand-land.

In this episode, Sandy sends me advice on how to prepare my Chateaubriand stuffed with duxelles.

She didn’t send it by way of Jedi mind tricks — just good ‘ol e-mail.

-Chateaubriand may be split and stuffed with duxelles (a mushroom and herb mixture) before cooking.  Finely dice about 1/2 pound of mushrooms, either white or shiitakes or a combination of your favorites.  Use a food processor if you want, little pieces are good, just not paste.  Finely mince 1 shallot, saute in 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet until translucent.  Add mushroom mixture, 1/2  teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook over medium high until the mushrooms give off their liquid and the liquid cooks off and they look dry again.  Remove from heat.  Add 1-2 chopped herbs, such as Italian parsley if desired.  Let cool to room temp.   Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut a 1 inch slit down the length of the meat.  Add the cooled mushroom mixture and roll back into roast shape, tying as necessary. 

-Then roast at a high temperature (450) to medium doneness (or less).  I would only use olive oil, salt and pepper to season.  You may tie rosemary in the trussing string which would give it a little herbal taste.   Rare is 125-130.  Medium is 140.  Use an instant read thermometer or better yet, an electronic (ie the Polder) with the probe stuck in the middle the whole time.  After about the first ten minutes, baste the roast with addl olive oil or pan juices if it looks dry.  Toss the shallots (if you chose to create a bed of them on the bottom of the pan) to promote even browning.  A 2.5 pound roast should take about 30-40 minutes to reach rare doneness. 

A duxelles will give your Chateaubriand more texture, interest and flavor. And, man, will your guests be impressed. For more on duxelles, including alternate recipes and uses, check out its Wikipedia description here.

Bon Appetit!

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October 20th, 2008

My Own Personal Yoda

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I’m a pretty basic cook.

I can cook some great meals, but I don’t stray too far from what I know. I’m not usually very adventurous because I’ve failed a few times at new things. See the Salisbury Steak debacle.

However . . . I have a sister-in-law, Sandy, who is an accomplished cook with an Associate of Arts degree in the Culinary Arts from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. She’s worked at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, among other schmancy places, preparing filet mignon and other delights for hundreds of people at a time. She also has an MBA and she’s married to my brother, but that’s another story.

Our family taps into Sandy’s expertise every chance we can get. You can imagine who takes the lead in the kitchen at family gatherings. And every time I cook something with her I learn something new.

So it was time for me to branch out and I wanted to try Chateaubriand. I knew I could do it but I needed some guidance. And some step-by-step instructions.

I cried out, Help me, Obi-Wan! And the result was some e-mails from the master that are like gold to me.

Here’s a little preview . . .

Yeah, I did that. But I needed some help. So here’s what Sandy told me to do (in bold):

First thoughts on Chateaubriand-

-It is the center of the tenderloin of beef, the most delicate part

-In a restaurant, it is usually served as a portion for two people

-It is usually fairly uniform in size but may be tied to ensure even cooking.  You can get kitchen twine at the supermarket in the kitchen stuff aisle.  To tie, tuck in any narrow end and tie a square knot to start.  Go down about an inch on the meat, hold the string in place on the top of the meat, go around the bottom and loop or tie again.  It does not matter if you use proper technique or pretty knots, but if the meat is a uniform thickness it will cook evenly.

Note:  I did not do the twine because I actually felt like cooking it unevenly would be a good thing in my house. I like meat a bit more well done than my husband so I liked having both medium and medium well meat slices. For a dinner party, I’d definitely use the twine.

-Let the meat sit out for 1/2 hour before cooking in order to help even cooking throughout.  Preheat oven during this time to get it good and hot.  Season just before the meat goes into the oven.

-Use a roasting pan or heavy ovenproof skillet to cook the meat.  You may want to make a bed of shallots (member of the onion family) to the pan first if you want to make a pan sauce.  Shallots are much milder in flavor than onions and are a traditional accompaniment to delicate flavors like Chateaubriand. Peel the brown papery skin from about a pound of shallots (available next to the onions in most grocery stores).  Toss with a little olive oil in the roasting pan, until glistening (about 1 Tablespoon) and sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt and some grinds of fresh black pepper.  Rub Chateaubriand with olive oil, season with salt and pepper too.

Shallots ready to be peeled in the front, fresh rosemary in back. Oh, the aroma!!

Shallots ready to be peeled in the front, fresh rosemary in back. Oh, the aroma!!

 -Traditionally it will be roasted at a high temperature (450) to medium doneness (or less).  I would only use olive oil, salt and pepper to season.  You may tie rosemary in the trussing string which would give it a little herbal taste.   Rare is 125-130.  Medium is 140.  Use an instant read thermometer or better yet, an electronic (ie the Polder) with the probe stuck in the middle the whole time.  After about the first ten minutes, baste the roast with addl olive oil or pan juices if it looks dry.  Toss the shallots to promote even browning.  A 2.5 pound roast should take about 30-40 minutes to reach rare doneness. 

Ready to be tented in foil. I cooked mine to 145 degrees - I like it a bit more well done.

Ready to be tented in foil. I cooked mine to 145 degrees - I like it a bit more well done.

-When the roast reaches doneness, use tongs to remove from the oven to platter and tent with foil to let the meat juices redistribute within the meat.  Reserve shallots to serving dish.  Add 1/2 cup of a good dry red wine and 1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock to roasting pan and place over high heat to deglaze (remove brown bits from the roast and shallots which are stuck to the pan).  Stir constantly with a heatproof spoon or spatula until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened.  Remove pan from heat.  At this point you may want to Monte’ au beurre the sauce, which simply means to whisk in a few teaspoons of very cold butter, about 1 teaspoon at a time, to the pan sauce which will thicken and give a richness to the sauce.  Strain into a warm, not hot, sauce dish (you can just put a microwave proof dish on the microwave for 30 seconds or so).

Traditionally served with a potato side, often a Gratin or Dauphinoise. 

I served mine with parsley potatoes -- just boiled, skinned potatoes pan sauteed in butter, chopped onions, kosher salt, ground pepper and chopped parsley. Magnificent!

I served mine with parsley potatoes -- just boiled, skinned potatoes pan sauteed in butter, chopped onions, kosher salt, ground pepper and chopped parsley. Magnificent!

So, dear friends, the moral of this story is that it is completely possible for us civilians to create an amazing meal if we have the right instructions.

And when my husband walked in our door to the smell of roasting shallots, beef drizzled in olive oil and fresh rosemary, he said he thought he had stepped back into the 1950s.

He then asked me to fetch his slippers, pipe and scotch on the rocks.

I told him to take a hike.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed such a good meal that he begged me to make it again. And I will. Only next time I will invite some people over to show them I really can make something great.

I think what made all the difference here (besides starting off with really high quality beef) were Sandy’s exact instructions. You’ll notice she told me where specifically to find the shallots in the supermarket and her cooking time and meat thermometer estimates were right on.  

Also, I’m pretty pleased that I can now Monte’ au beurre something. Just don’t tell anyone it’s really only whipping cold butter into the sauce.

And, since everyone doesn’t have a sister-in-law like Sandy, I’m willing to share mine. I’ll be posting lots more of our discussions in the future for your benefit, too.

Next time, I’ll share with you some other ways Sandy told me I could prepare my Chateaubriand (I got mine here), along with a bernaise sauce that might be right up your alley.

Update:  I have been informed that only half-wits refer to the sauce as “bernaise.” It’s béarnaise. Wikipedia told me so. My apologies to one and all.

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October 18th, 2008

Steak: The Final Frontier

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The following are excerpts from a recent forum conversation regarding space and steak.

You’ll just have to read it. Go on. I dare ya.

First, a guy named “smellymotor” says this:

Date Posted: 10/16 11:47pm

Subject: NASA: Outer space ‘smells like fried steak’

“The far reaches of outer space are not only dark and mysterious but apparently smell great.

NASA scientists have revealed the aroma of fried steak wafts through the cosmos, the UK’s Telegraph reports.

And while that’s enough to make your mouth water, experts say it also smells of hot metal and the welding of a motorbike.

NASA has commissioned the head of a fragrance manufacturing company, Steven Pearce, to recreate the smells in a laboratory in a bid to help astronauts prepare for their missions. ”

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=648760

Then, “Dx2x” says:

I wish all of Earth smelled like steak

To which “Voodoo-Dahl” replies:

Aliens must be barbecuing… something.

Moe_Nox then retorts:

If the universe does indeed smell like steak, I would consider that as evidence of God. A manly God with exquisite taste.

Moe_Nox included this mouth-watering photo of juicy, tender steak.

I now have a little www-crush on Moe_Nox.

You can read the entire thread here, but Moe_Nox is mine, people. Don’t go cyber stalking him.

Moe_Nox’s photo courtesy of photobucket.com.

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October 17th, 2008

Stress-Free Party Time

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I love having people over to share good food.

And, honestly, we like to serve something that involves beef — steak, burgers, ribs, etc., etc.

So it’s always nice to learn new ways to get the meal on the table with the least amount of stress. And I like to minimize the cold/soggy sides syndrome that seems to happen when I can’t keep everything hot enough to be served at the same time.

The following awesome tips come to us courtesy of TheDinnerPartyPlanningSite.com.

Now, go plan that next par-tay and check your stress at the door.

The Secret of Serving a Steak Dinner – Stress-Free

Steak Dinner

Wouldn’t you love to serve a steak dinner to your guests? Imagine setting your table with steak knives for the main course. Imagine yourself proudly serving up a sizzling sirloin, or a luscious prime rib or a filet mignon to die for.

Whatever steak cut you choose, people love a sizzling steak dinner. So how can you add a steak dinner into your repertoire of dinner party recipes?

What is the secret of a steak recipe you could make and still stay stress-free?

The Dinner Party Planning philosophy is all about keeping you, the host or hostess, stress-free, letting you enjoy your own dinner party.

What kind of steak recipe would fit into the Dinner party planning philosophy? After all, those sizzling steaks we’re talking about have to be made at the last minute, don’t they?

Yes, it’s true that these steaks are almost always cooked at the last minute. You can’t throw them in a slow cooker or bake them in the oven. (Well, you could, but you wouldn’t come out with that sizzling steak we’re talking about.)

So how can you cook a steak dinner without disappearing to the kitchen and staying there the minute your guests arrive?

Here’s the secret – and it’s a simple one. You do it by making the steak the only item you need to cope with at the last minute. That way you can choose almost any steak recipe you like for your stress-free dinner party.

You can choose sirloin steak, prime rib steak, filet mignon, just as long as you choose steak that is tender enough to grill. If in doubt, ask at your butcher or supermarket.

Just make sure that all the other items in your dinner party menu are make-ahead or ready to the point where you just need to turn the microwave on.

A stress-free steak dinner menu for 6 people

Here’s a menu with items that are all fuss-free or make-ahead except for the steak itself.
• Shrimp ring (30 pieces or more) with lemon garnish
• Store bought pate (a piece about the size of a deck of cards) with melba toast
• Baby carrots with parsley garnish (See directions below)
• Make ahead Duchess potatoes (see recipe below)
• 6 to 8 filet mignons about 1” thick and about ¼ pound each. The 2 extra filets are to slice and serve small seconds if you wish, otherwise just buy 6. (See recipe below)
• 12 dinner rolls
• Store bought dessert such as a cheesecake to round off this elegant meal

Recipe directions for make-ahead Duchess potatoes

Ingredients
• 6 to 8 medium potatoes, cooked
• 3 beaten egg yolks and 1 whole egg (you’ll need the whole egg when you’re ready to cook the servings)
• 1/3 cup of cream
• ¼ cup of butter, melted
• dash of salt and pepper

Prepare and freeze Mix all the ingredients together EXCEPT the whole egg. Beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Spoon individual serving-size mounds or pipe them (piping looks so fancy!) onto a baking sheet.

Make ahead to this point and freeze until the mounds are solid. Then transfer them into freezer bags or containers and store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

Cook Mix a beaten egg with about a tablespoon of water. Put the mounds onto a lightly greased baking sheet and brush them with the beaten egg and water mixture. Cook in an oven about 425°F for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned.

You can take them out of the oven and then pop them back in after you have finished broiling the filet mignon. Just make sure you have turned the oven OFF. The leftover heat in the oven will keep your potatoes nice and hot until you are ready to put them on the table.

Recipe directions for baby carrots
Any time on the day of your dinner, just wash them and place them in a microwavable dish with a couple of tablespoons of water, and cover with saran wrap. When you’re ready, microwave for about 6 minutes. To serve, dab with butter and garnish with parsley.

Recipe directions for broiling your filet mignon
To broil filets, place steak about 3 or 4 inches from the heat. Broil about 5-6 minutes per side for medium rare, a couple of minutes longer for medium.

If you aren’t used to cooking filet, a meat thermometer will help you keep from overcooking. Just insert into the piece you plan to serve yourself if you’re worried about piercing the meat.

The meat thermometer should read about 120°F for rare, 135° for medium rare and 130°F for medium.

Take the filets out of the broiler and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Steak knives start people anticipating something delicious

Don’t forget to set your table with your steak knives. You probably don’t need steak knives with filet, it is so tender. But it sets the atmosphere. When your guests look at your dining table and see steak knives, they know they can expect something special. Give them the pleasure of anticipating your delicious steak dinner.

Enjoy serving a steak dinner without stress!

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October 14th, 2008

Steak — Italian-Style

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I had heard of braciole (pronounced bra’zhul) before but never really knew how to make it. Truth be told, I’m a huge fan of Everybody Loves Raymond and The Sopranos and there are endless Italian dishes on both of those shows that make me both hungry and curious.

 

Braciole is one of them. It’s been featured on both of those shows and I could never figure out exactly what it was.

 

It’s thin, stuffed steak that is rolled. At least, that’s the American version of this Italian treat.

 

 

Braciole is actually the plural form of braciola. See, you don’t just eat one of them. So why not just always use the plural form??? (See the braciole Wikipedia entry here.)

 

I did eventually ask my Italian-cuisine-expert-neighbor Eddie about it one day. And when his mother came to visit they made some and brought it over. It was to-die-for.

 

It’s good to have good neighbors.

Here’s a great recipe for it so you can try it on your own. Let me know what you think!!!

Braciole (Rolled stuffed steak) – from Chef Carmen Mazzola of A Mediterranean Cooking Experience at Relais Oasi Olimpia.  

Ingredients

  • 2 thin slices of steak
  • approx. ½ parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • approx. ½ pine-nuts
  • approx. ½ raisins
  • a teaspoon of grated parmesan
  • 1 can puréed tomato
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup of white wine
  • salt & pepper

Preparation

Roll or pound the steak until thin.

Finely chop the parsley and garlic, pine-nuts and raisins, and mix with the grated parmesan, salt and pepper.

Spread on the steak, then roll the steak and fix in place with some toothpicks or butcher’s string.

Brown the rolled meat in a saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil and a chopped onion. Then add white wine and after 5 minutes the tomato purée. Cook over a very low heat for about an hour.

If you prefer, you can omit the raisins and pine-nuts.

Recipe and photo courtesy of theinternationalkitchen.com.

 

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October 10th, 2008

Salt Crust Prime Rib

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Doesn’t that name just SOUND intriguing?

And delectable.

My mouth is watering just thinking of the flavor of a juicy prime rib with a salt crust. Hoo boy!

Try this one this weekend and let me know how it tastes! (As if I can’t already imagine it. . . flavorful, tender, yummy . . . )

Salt Crust Prime Rib
(serves six to eight)
1 5 lb. Prime Rib Roast
6 Cups Kosher Salt
3 Egg Whites
1 Cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, thyme etc.)
Fresh Ground Pepper

Mix the Salt and egg whites in a large bowl to create a stiff, snow-like consistency. Cover the roast with pepper and the herbs. Place one third of the salt in a pan and place the roast on top. Pack the rest of the salt around the roast until it is completely covered and encased tightly. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes per pound of roast or until a thermometer reads 130 degrees. Remove from the oven and let stand 30 minutes before slicing. Remove the salt crust at the table with a hammer for a dramatic flair.

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October 9th, 2008

3 Ways to Cook a Great Steak

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It’s always fun to see other people’s ideas of what makes a great steak. There are so many possibilities and there really are no WRONG answers.

I wish school had been that easy.

So here are some thoughts from Kathy Maister’s StartCooking.com.

3 Ways to Cook a Great Steak

Dry. Raw. Charred. Chewy. Why does cooking a decent steak give us the willies? For one, there are a number of different ways to cook steak. You can grill, broil or fry it, depending on your preference.

Kick things off with a steak that is at least 1-inch thick (strip steak, t-bone, porterhouse, etc.) — anything thinner will likely dry out, and anything thicker makes it difficult to gauge doneness. No matter which cooking style you choose, start by sprinkling the meat with a good dose of salt and pepper. I also like to take a crushed garlic clove and rub it all over the beef. If you’d like, try marinating the steak, but this isn’t necessary for any of the techniques below.

Now, let’s review our cooking options:

1. Fry: Simply put, you’re tossing a hunk of beef into a frying pan. Fire up a pan on medium heat, and warm up a teaspoon of oil for a minute, and then lay your steak in the pan. (Make sure you turn on your stovetop fan and keep your pan covered because this tends to be a smoky job.) A 1-inch thick steak should cook for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like it cooked.

2. Oven Roasting: Restaurants often use this method of cooking steak, but it requires two steps:

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F and grab a heavy frying pan that’s oven-safe (like one of those black cast iron skillets your mom used to use).
Turn the burner or element on high heat, and warm up that skillet until it’s piping hot.
Drop a teaspoon of oil in the pan and let it heat up
Using tongs, gently put the steak in the pan and sear it for about 90 seconds on each side. This locks in the juices.
Now, place the pan in the oven to finish cooking. Roast the meat for 6-9 minutes, depending on how you like it cooked.
If you don’t have an iron skillet, all hope is not lost. Use a regular frying pan to sear the steak, and then transfer it and all the juices to an oven-safe pan to finish the roasting process.

3. Grill: This tends to be the method of choice for meat-lovers. Make sure your barbecue is piping hot (at least 450 degrees F). Pour a little olive oil on a paper towel or a small brush and rub the grill slats before you lay the steak down. Once it’s on the grill, reduce the heat to medium and keep the lid down (and quit peeking!) After 4-5 minutes, it’s time to turn the steak over and let it go another 4-5 minutes on the other side.

5 Tips for Cooking a Great Steak:
Decide before you start cooking on how you want the steak done. A few people like “blue” (near raw!) but most tend to prefer their steaks from medium rare to well-done. If you decide in advance, you’re more likely to pay attention to it and remove the meat in time.
Try to avoid turning the meat too many times. Ideally, you should have one flip — two at most. Resist the temptation to touch the meat too much.
Use a set of tongs to turn the steak. Poking it with a fork puts holes in it and allows the juice to seep out — and then you’re just asking for dry beef.
Don’t mash on the steak with your tongs. That’s just as bad as poking it with a fork, and presses out all the juices. If you’re testing for doneness, just gently press with the flat part of your tongs. The harder the meat is, the drier it will be.
Don’t just gobble up the steak the moment you stop cooking it. Put it on a plate and let it rest for a few minutes. You’ll notice that a lovely juice oozes out as it settles.

Quote and photo courtesy of StartCooking.com.

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October 7th, 2008

Steak-Flavored Foods . . .

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. . . they’re not just for dogs anymore.

Check these out:

Uh, yeah. Bubbled chips. T-bone steak flavor. Yee-haw!

If I’m not mistaken, this snack is English. So, basically, this is how our friends in the U.K. view us.

Let’s think about that for a moment.

Horrifying.

Here’s a quote from one reviewer of this delicious snack food . . .

Odd smell, smells kind of like steak sauce. But something else is weird in there too.

Mmmm. Yummy. Where can I buy these? I must have them.

As a steak lover, I am a bit insulted. Cause, honestly, nothing can replicate the taste, the juiciness, the entire experience of a well-cooked steak.

Not even bubbled chips. Whatever those are.

Check out more of the review here. And don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

Quote and photo courtesy of taquitos.net.

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October 3rd, 2008

Perfect Steak System?

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You be the judge.

Okay, you know if there’s a product out there called the “Perfect Steak System” we’re going to have to talk about it here. That’s just a fact.

I mean, really? It makes them perfect?

See for yourself. . .

The package includes a steak pan with integrated temperature gauge and something called a Digital Steak Pod Measuring Stick.

A quote:

Perfect Steak is the complete system that takes all the guess work out of cooking the perfect steak. Giving you control over the three T’s to perfect grilling; Temperature, Time, and Thickness. . .

With just a press of a button you’ll control when your steak is rare, medium, or well done, grilled perfectly every time.

Well, I’d certainly like to just press a button and have my steak come out perfectly. Totally.

But I’d miss those charred ribeyes we sometimes end up with when we forget about the steaks for 5 extra minutes.

If YOU’VE tried the Perfect Steak System, let me know what you thought!

Have a steaky weekend!!!!

Photo and quote courtesy of bestdirect.tv.

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October 1st, 2008

Steaky Casserole Pie

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How in the heck did it get to be October? What is the deal with that?

So, now that we’re officially in fall, the weather will start to get a little crisper. I watched a bit of the White Sox game in Chicago last night and all the fans were wearing jackets.

Cold weather is upon us, people. We might as well accept it.

But some really great things come along with that cool weather. For instance, I love bulky sweaters that keep me toasty and I love hearty foods that keep my insides warm.

So in honor of nippy nights and brisk days, I give you this recipe for Steaky Casserole Pie. It’s sure to keep you and yours warm through the night!

Steaky Casserole Pie

Ingredients

1 large onion, sliced
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1-1/2 pounds boneless round steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups boiling water
1-1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
Pie pastry (9 to 10 inches)

Directions
In a Dutch oven, lightly brown onion in shortening. Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, pepper, ginger and allspice in a plastic bag.
Place meat cubes in the bag, a few pieces at a time, and shake well to coat. Remove onion and set aside. Brown beef on all sides. Add water; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add potatoes, carrots and reserved onions; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in peas and continue cooking until all vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Spoon meat mixture into a 9-in. square baking pan.
Roll pastry out to a 10-in. square; place over meat mixture and seal edges to pan. Cut several small steam vents in crust.
Bake at 450° for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is browned.

Recipe and photo courtesy of grouprecipes.com.

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You are currently browsing the Steak-Enthusiast.com weblog archives for October, 2008.

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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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