March 31st, 2009

Steak Break in Fargo

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I’ve got some wonderful friends in Fargo who have been working their tails off to fight back flood waters.

If you’ve been watching the news the last week, you’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of people volunteering their time to make sandbags and pile them up.

My friends have been among them.  And they are tired.

They own a restaurant in Moorhead, MN, and they live in Fargo, ND — two of the scariest places to be right now. We’ve been thinking about them a lot.

In my last phone call with them, my buddy told me he was dog tired from bending down and throwing. They finally drove out to where they took refuge (about 20 minutes away from town) after all of the preparations and plugging up of holes and hoping and praying were done.

All they could do then was wait.

So I asked him what they did as they waited to see what Mother Nature had in store for them.

Wanna know what he said?

They grilled steaks.

Steaks.

He said they were the best he’d ever had in his life.

I don’t know if there is anyone more deserving of a big, juicy steak than a guy who has spent the last week of his life out in sub-zero weather protecting the houses and livelihoods of people he doesn’t even know. 

And I was beginning to think that ALL the news these days was doom and gloom.

Nice work, people of Fargo. Nice work.

What? Doesn’t everything have SOMETHING to do with steak? It seems to in my world.


March 27th, 2009

Like You Didn’t Already Know – Steak is a #1 Seed

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Over at SoGoodBlog.com, Jon Eick has created a Meat Madness bracket to determine a winner in all that is good and meaty.

The #1 seed in the “Red” Meat Region?

You guessed it . . . Steak.

This guy is hilarious, and might I say, brilliant.

It’s good to know there are others out there spending their precious time talking, writing and thinking about steak. 

Jon’s got a very involved bracket that requires readers’ input to determine regional winners and ultimately a champion.

It’s kind of like the NCAA Tournament and American Idol all rolled into one. Only meatier. And no one sings.

Or plays basketball.  

Head on over there and put your two cents in.

Your favorite meat will thank you. Well, you know what I mean.

Click here to join in the “madness.”


March 25th, 2009

Steak Recipe: Beef Wellington

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Ready to have some guests over and get all “fancy-pants” on them?

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make your own Beef Wellington. Using the ever-popular, to-die-for Filet Mignon, no one will ever invite you over for dinner again . . . they’ll all be coming to YOUR house from now on!

Individual Beef Wellington

(Serves Four)

4 oz. Filet Mignon

2 Tbsp. English Mustard

8 oz. Mushrooms (any sort)

1 Shallot, minced

¼ tsp. Chopped Thyme

8 slices Proscuitto or other thinly sliced ham

4 six inch square pieces of puff pastry

1 Egg

3 Tbsp. Water

Salt and Pepper

 

Season the filet with salt and pepper and sear in a heavy bottomed pan over high heat until nicely browned on all sides, about three minutes total.  Combine the thyme, shallot and mushrooms in a blender and process until finely minced.  Cook the mushrooms in a dry pan until all of the moisture has been released.  Lay two pieces of proscuitto overlapping on a piece of plastic wrap.  Spread one quarter of the mushroom mixture over the ham. 

Brush one of the cooked filets with the mustard and place in the center of the ham.  Fold the ham and mushrooms over the filet ensure it is completely covered and wrap tightly with the plastic wrap refrigerate for twenty minutes.  Repeat this step with all three filets.  Gently beat the egg with the water and set aside.  Lay the pastry out flat and remove the filet from the plastic wrap and place in the center of the pastry.  Brush the edges of the pasty with the egg wash and seal completely.  Stretch the puff pastry a little if you need to, to completely cover the filet.  Refrigerate another twenty minutes.  Brush the outside of the pastry with egg wash and bake in a 350 degree oven until the pastry is nicely puffed and browned.


March 24th, 2009

Steak Salt — Shaken, Not Stirred

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At BLT Steak in NY, I was taken aback by the ginormous salt shakers on each table. This place not only allows you to salt your steak — they encourage it!

Check it out . . .
saltshaker

That’s a drinking glass behind it. This thing is huge.

I like it when a chef is confident enough to allow the diner to decide how much seasoning should go on their steak. It’s very unsnooty.

I’m not offended at my house by this, so why should they be?

I’m thinking of getting shakers like this for my table at home. But I’m afraid my kids would play with them and I’d be cleaning up salt from all over the house.

And where the heck would I store it? I’m low on storage space as it is.

For now, we’ll have to live on the memory of these shakers . . . and make do with our teeny, normal-sized shakers at home.

Oh, the humanity!!!!!!!


March 21st, 2009

Steak Recipe: Grilled Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Flan

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A filet mignon is typically what people consider the most tender cut of steak. And I agree.

Here’s a wonderful recipe to dress up that silky smooth filet with amazingly decadent blue cheese flan.

Magnifico! 

Grilled Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Flan

(Serves four)

4 6oz. Filet Mignon

1 Cup Heavy Cream

4 oz. Blue Cheese

1 Egg + 2 yolks

Salt and Pepper

 

Bring the cream to a boil and pour into a blender on top of the blue cheese.  With the blender running, add the egg and yolks and mix until smooth.  Season to taste.  Pour the mixture evenly into four 4 oz. oven safe ramekins that have been oil or sprayed with pan spray on the inside and bake in a water bath at 350 degrees for twenty minutes or until set.  Remove from oven and water bath, the flan can either be served warm or cold, they can also be cooked ahead of time and reheated.  To plate, run a paring knife between the flan and the ramekin and turn out onto a plate.  If it sticks, tap the edge of the ramekin on the plate gently until it releases.

Season the Filet on both sides with salt and pepper and grill to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium.


March 20th, 2009

Popovers With Your Steak?

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Yes, please.

At BLT Steak in NY (and at many other yummy restaurants) they bring you delicious, soft, warm popovers before your meal.

That’s definitely something I can get onboard with.

Check these out. (That one in front kind of looks like an elephant.)

popovers

And since they include the recipe for you with the basket, I thought I’d share it here with you.

Try these with your next steak dinner. Invite people over and wow them with your graciousness. It goes a long way!

Popovers From BLT Steak

(Makes 12 popovers)

Ingredients

4 cups milk, warmed

8 eggs

4 cups flour

1 1/2 heaping tbsp salt

2 1/4 cups grated gruyere cheese

Popover pan

Preparation

Place the popover pan in the oven. Heat the oven and pan to 350 degrees F. Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside. Whisk the eggs until frothy and slowly whisk in the milk (so as not to cook the eggs). Set the mixture aside.

Sift the flour with the salt. Slowly add this dry mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth.

Once combined, remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. While the batter is still slightly warm or room temperature (definitely not cool), fill each popover cup 3/4 full. Top each popover with approximately 2 1/2 tbsp of the grated gruyere.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 15 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven, remove from the pan and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of BLT Steak.


March 19th, 2009

The Steak Escape

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Oh New York, you little minx you.

You lure me in with your amazing food, your Broadway shows, your action-packed lifestyle.

Then you hit me over the head with your walking — THE. CONSTANT. WALKING. — your curiously angry cab drivers, your incredibly massive crowds and your sky-high prices.

But, oh, I love you so.

I can’t help it.

The hubby and I are still reminiscing about our time in the big city. And if I concentrate really hard I can still taste the decadent food we were fortunate enough to sample.

First, I told you we’d be going to BLT Steak on the advice of reader Joe who sang its praises.

Well Joe was so, so right.

Check out the amazing strip steak that was presented to us . . .

stripsteak

I love the iron skillet each steak is served in. It keeps the meal really warm. Plus, it’s really cute.

We devoured our steaks in no time flat and the ambiance was lovely. Now, the bill was high and this is what always keeps me coming back to my own steaks at home.

I KNOW I can make just as good a meal at home. And I think I’ve discovered one of the most overlooked secrets to a great, juicy steak that ALL the good steakhouses know.

Steak butter.

Yes.  Steak butter.

You knew it was on there. Just look at that photo. It’s prominently placed right there on top.

They’re not trying to trick us by melting it first and calling it a “secret seasoning.” It’s just steak butter.

It flavors it and keeps the beef moist.

Brilliant.

So, my next steak dinner at home will include these:

butters_lrg

I will be buying flavored steak butters to try at home.

It’s pure genius.

And I’m getting them here. It’s the only place I know that carries them. I’m sure there are others.

So thank you, New York. Thank you for your stomach-churning cab rides, your overpriced sodas, your incredible pizza pies and your non-stop energy.

But mostly, thanks for your inspiration and the steak butter idea. You’re the best.

I’ll be back.

Steak butter photo courtesy of Kansas City Steak Company.


March 13th, 2009

In Search of: STEAK

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I’m off today in search of a steak in NY that measures up to my own creations at home.

I don’t know if it’s doable, but I’m open to the possibility.

Is this because I am such a fabulous, amazing cook and nothing could possibly come close to the succulent, just-right taste of everything I make?

If you answered yes, this must be your first time reading this blog. Welcome!

The answer is absolutely NO. I am riddled with flaws and I have many, many burned, overseasoned T-bones under my belt to prove it.

But what I have learned about myself is this:

a) I know where to get a good cut of meat. See here.

b) Most of the heavy lifting in creating an unforgettable steak comes from buying quality meat.

c) I have nothing to do with that — except knowing where to get it of course.

So, you see, I really can’t take much credit for the awesome steaks we make at home.

But I do like playing with seasonings, different cuts of meat, styles of cooking, accompaniments and wine pairings.

Oh yeah, and good company counts too.

All that adds up to making the perfect steak experience.

So in that department the steakhouse in NY has something going for it — my hubby is joining me!

Let’s just hope the steak measures up.

See you on the flip side!


March 12th, 2009

Plans to Eat a Big, Juicy Steak

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blt_steak1

Joe joined in the conversation about where I can find a great steak in NYC and he suggested his fave — BLT Steak on 57th.

So, Joe, that’s where I’m going! I will take your word for it and I’ll report back here next week.

It’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.

If the photo here is any indication of what it’ll really be like all I can say is, “Thanks, Joe!”

I’m already salivating . . .

Photo courtesy of BLTSteak.com.


March 9th, 2009

Where Can I Find a Steak in NY?

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steak20dinner-cartoon

So, it’s Monday . . . and this Friday my hunk-o-beef of a husband and I are traveling to NYC for a long weekend.

We need it.

Guess what we’re frantically searching for before we get there.

The best steak in town.

I know, it’s hard to believe.

Since we know we won’t be able to grill up our own T-bones in the hotel room, a steakhouse will have to do.

But where to go?

We’ve done Sparks. Check out our experience here.

And Peter Luger’s only had a 3:45 or 9:45 reservation time available.

Neither sounds like “dinnertime” to me.

So, we’re up a creek. In Manhattan. And that’s hard to do.

It should be an interesting journey trolling the streets of Midtown in search of a steak without reservations. But we’re crazy like that.

You know that thing called a “recession” we’re supposedly in? The steakhouses in the tri-borough area apparently never got that memo. They’re booked solid.

Score one for the beef industry.

Now, if I could just score a steak . . .

Illustration courtesy of iabeef.org.


March 6th, 2009

Healthy Steak and Kidney Pie Recipe

By

steakkidneypie

 

Looking for something to work into your diet? Here’s a steak recipe idea packed with protein from our British friend Kerry over at GroupRecipes.com.

 

Take note that the measurements are geared toward her homeland (and some of her spelling, too —  i.e. “flavour”).

 

Enjoy, love!

 

Healthy Steak and Kidney Pie Recipe

 

452 calories per serving. This recipe is light, aromatic and utterly wonderful. I promise that it won’t clobber you over the head with the flavour of the kidneys, so you will want to eat it all year round. This is what you might call a ‘blonde’ take on a masculine old classic. …

 

Ingredients

90g ready-rolled puff pastry (preferably a brand made with butter)

A little milk, to brush over the pastry

4 free-range lamb’s kidneys, trimmed by the butcher

1 tablespoon buckwheat flour (you could use plain)

1kg good-quality lean free-range braising steak, cut into chunks

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

800g shallots, peeled and quartered

1 star anise

1 stick of cinnamon

1 bay leaf

150ml vermouth

700ml good-quality beef stock

 

Directions

Preheat a conventional oven to 200ºC or a fan-assisted one to 180ºC.

Roll out the sheet of puff pastry and divide into six triangles of roughly the same size (or cut out fun shapes of whatever you fancy – for the show, we used a cow-shaped pastry cutter and some stars!).

Brush the tops with a little milk and set onto a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Set aside for later.

If you haven’t already got the butcher to do this for you, slice the kidneys widthways with a sharp knife.

With the help of a small pair of scissors, carefully snip around the lighter centre core and discard. Then chop the livers into cubes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, the steak, the kidneys and white pepper until evenly coated.

In a really large saucepan, fry half the meat in half the olive oil until it is well-browned, then set aside. Repeat the process for the other half until all the meat is well-coloured.

Replace the meat into the pan, along with the shallots, star anise, cinnamon, the vermouth and stock.

Bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and place a lid over the top. Simmer super-duper gently for two hours before removing the lid and tasting.

The meat may not need the last half an hour or it may want slightly more (it all depends on the steak that you are using, the size of the chunks and the pan). What you are looking for is meat that has surrendered most of its tension without shredding into a mess.

Season well and top with a crisp of golden puff pastry on the top of each serving.

 

Photo and excerpt courtesy of GroupRecipes.com.


March 5th, 2009

A Derivative of “Steak”

By

steakclip

Today, class, we will be discussing a form of the word “steak” that does not get its fair share of airtime out here in the real world.

Apparently, “steaky” is actually a word that has meaning to people other than obsessive bloggers who spend hours pontificating about steak.

I, myself, have used the word “steaky” to describe something that is totally awesome. (See aforementioned obsessive blogger reference.) But I did not know the word was making the rounds in society outside of the steak community.

“Steaky” now has its own entry in the Urban Dictionary. And I am so proud I have tears welling up in my eyes.

Here’s what it says:

Steaky 

 Adjective.

1. Steak-like. In reference to steak.

2. Generally a positive comment of approval or recognition.

Steaky is derived from the word steak. Steak being a tasty piece of meat of high quality. Things that are steaky thus possess steak-like qualities without actually having any implied reference to the meat.

A: I just aced the test!

B: Steaky! 

 

A: A love this band, their music is so steaky.

B: Their steakiness is unmatched.

cool awesome alright right-on neat

by Famous James Splinter

Notice the words I have highlighted in red above. Those are synonyms for “steaky.” And by the looks of them, “steaky” has been around since the ’70s. I don’t think I’ve used “right-on” or “neat” for decades.

So there you have it. Steak’s impact has moved BEYOND the world of food and has infiltrated the American lexicon.

Well done, steak. Well done.

Definition excerpt courtesy of UrbanDictionary.com.


March 4th, 2009

What? Steak Smoked In Tea? You Bet.

By

I love, love finding new ways to cook a steak.

This one is quite ingenious.

Like tea? Ever thought of using it to flavor your steak?

Ms. Mabel Menard gives us her recipe for a SMOKIN’ steak. Check it out!

Tea-Smoked Steak Recipe

This was borne out of experimentation and improvisation. I wanted to make tea-smoked duck but didn’t have all the ingredients, so I improvised with what I could find in my pantry. It worked so well I decided to try smoking steak instead. You’ll need a heavy pan that can accommodate a steamer rack.

Ingredients

4 flat iron steaks (about 6 ounces each)

seasoned salt or Vulcan’s fire salt

1/3 cup loose dark tea leaves

1/3 cup raw rice

3 tablespoons raw sugar

1 tablespoon five spice powder

OR 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice

Serves / Yields

4

Preparation Instructions

Liberally sprinkle salt on both sides of the steaks. In the meantime, line a heavy pan with heavy duty foil. Cover the bottom of the foil with a thin layer of tea leaves, followed by rice, sugar, and spice. Cover and heat until very hot. Pat the steaks dry and place in a steamer rack. Put the steamer rack on the pan. Cover tightly. Heat on high for at least 1/2 hour, depending on desired doneness. Remove and let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing thinly.

Helpful Hints

It’s great as part of an appetizer platter. You can also use it with salads.

Credit

This recipe was provided by Mabel Menard from Chicago.

Recipe courtesy of TheSpiceHouse.com.


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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 »

Steak Widget