April 30th, 2009

Steak All Year ‘Round

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If you love steak, and especially if you’re a guy, you might like this little number.

It’s a wall calendar with, pardon the pun, beefcake/cheesecake photos of steak — if you like that kind of thing.

Confused?

Here’s April, for example:

11steak_april

Is that too risque? Nah. It’s steak, for goodness sake!

Just a little helpful hint for Father’s Day, graduations, whatever.

Who wouldn’t want photos of steak in various poses?

Get your calendars here.

You’re welcome.

Photo courtesy of tinyrevolutionarypress.com.

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April 29th, 2009

Do You Have a Burger Personality?

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quiz_burger

Sutter Home (you know, the wine folks) has created a “What’s Your Burger Personality?” Quiz.

How fun!

Now you can find out what kind of burger you are.  Apparently, I am a “Type-A Burger” and I am encouraged to “embrace my inner burger.”

Yeah, I think I can do that. Slurp.

Perhaps YOU are a Hipster-Burger or Nurture-Burger.

You’ll never know until you take the quiz.

Can you sleep at night not knowing?

I didn’t think so.  So here’s the link.

I want to know what you are!  And is it dead-on???

Photo courtesy of sutterhome.com.

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April 25th, 2009

Steak Recipe: Beef Carpaccio

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I love recipes that could either be appetizers or serve as a meal. In my life, everything — including food — needs to be flexible and go with the flow.

This recipe uses tender filet mignon and lots of yummy flavors. 

See for yourself!!

Beef Carpaccio

2 6 oz. Filet Mignon (Frozen)

Good Quality Sea Salt

Fresh Cracked Pepper

Truffle Oil

1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 Cup Arugula

Using a slicer shave the filet as thinly as possible, placing the frozen slices right onto the serving plate.  Have an idea of the plating arrangement before you start, once the meat thaws, you won’t be able to move it.  Season with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the truffle oil.  Toss the arugula with the lemon juice and some salt, pepper and truffle oil and mound in the center of the carpaccio.  Serve with toast or crackers.

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April 24th, 2009

Steaky Mother’s Day

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I love my mom.

She’s what a mom was meant to be. She’s always been there for me . . . and she’s still there for me now.

flowers002

I’m something-seven years old and I still call my mom when I need help. I’m not ashamed to admit that.

I hope my boys are still calling me for help when they have families of their own.

So, Mother’s Day is coming up. And what better way is there to show my mom I love and appreciate her than to cook her a meal and let HER sit down and just be a guest?

How many times is Mom the one doing all the work?

So I’m going to invite her over on Mother’s Day, cook her a delicious filet mignon and raise a glass to her. She deserves it.

I might even send her home with some extra steaks.

She’s THAT great. :)

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April 21st, 2009

Steak + Love + Annoying Lady = :(

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Our anniversary dinner date to a local steakhouse started out in a most delightful way. We were stuck on a major highway for an hour as it was completely shut down while the CSI dudes investigated a motorcycle accident that had just occurred.

Didn’t they know it was our anniversary?  Sheesh.

People stuck on the road with us were spinning out their tires and cutting across medians and milling about outside their cars. We opted to just enjoy the exhaust fumes and sing ’80s power ballads at the top of our lungs.

Soon, though, we started to become delirious. We looked around for some Goldfish crackers or fruit snacks or something. But, noooo, this was my husband’s car, not the MamaMobile I drive that is fully stocked 24/7 with all manner of snack items.

We called the restaurant to let them know we’d be fashionably late and they said they’d save our table for us. Thank God. We were hungry. And perhaps a bit testy.

Once we inched our way there we felt we needed a celebratory drink immediately — just for making it there.

We were seated in a small room with five or six other tables and nice, soothing music pumped in over a sound system.

Ahhh, we thought. Now we can relax and reflect upon our 11 years together — how we’ve changed, how we’ve grown, our children . . .

Then, SHE began her antics that would haunt us all evening.

SHE was a loud-mouthed diner two tables away who insisted upon letting us ALL know about her cat’s sleeping habits, food idiosyncracies and which paw he preferred to lick ALL NIGHT.

It’s the left one, by the way.

Her table was perhaps not as interested in her tall tales as she would have liked so she felt she needed to SCREAM her comments so that everyone could enjoy them.

We tried to mind our own business and decide on an appetizer but we couldn’t hear each other across our very small table. We could hear HER though.

And as the night wore on, we began to look around the room to see if it was just us. Were we the only ones bothered by the loud talker?

Apparently not. We locked eyes with the guy at the next table. He made a face and gestured toward us.

“I just told my children she reminds me of a Saturday Night Live skit,” the man said.

Pretty soon the other tables around us wanted in on the gossip action.

“I don’t care what she had for breakfast!” came from a back table.

“The other people at her table don’t even want to listen to her!” a dude at the table behind us said.

Even the wait staff got in on it with secret eye rolls and shoulder shrugs in our direction.

And then . . . they left!

The entire room literally applauded.

By that time, we were done with our steaks and we were ready to go too.

We had made some good friends, though, and we even met a couple who were celebrating their 11th anniversary also.

I always enjoy being with my husband, but we could have experienced ALL of that evening at home.

My kids could manage to hold me hostage for over an hour, not letting me eat and choking me with noxious fumes of some sort.

And all I have to do if I want some inane conversation I didn’t ask for is invite over some ladies I’ve stood in line behind at the grocery store.

And the steak? It was good, but nothing beats my own. Still.

So the quest continues . . .

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April 18th, 2009

Dude Eats 70-oz. Steak in Under an Hour

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You’ve heard of these contests before.

If you can eat this mammoth-sized steak in a certain time period it’s free.

And you get the adulation of a crowd full of gawkers and sometimes you get your picture in the paper.

Well, that’s what happened to Jodie Dumouchel, a Canadian bodybuilder. That’s him on the right below.

bodybuildersteak

He scarfed that rare, 70-ounce steak in 39 minutes and 52 seconds.

Awesome! Or really gross. Take your pick.

Jodie, you’re a bigger man than me.

Well, that’s not hard since I’m not a man. And, um, you’re a bodybuilder. But you know what I mean.

Apparently, there was an also-ran (seen in photo on the left) who wimped out with 10 minutes left to go. God bless him.

Ya gotta give him props for trying — but he didn’t stand a chance.

Photo courtesy of Shannon Quesnel/Elliot Lake Standard.

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April 17th, 2009

Steak in the Fast Lane

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Have you ever tried eating steak in the car?

Probably not.

What about painting steak ON your car?

Check out this photo by ChuckM. You might wish this guy lived in YOUR neighborhood.

Or not.

steak-car

Yes, that’s an octopus eating a steak. Imaginative. Yet creepy.

But since I’m all about the steak — no matter what form it takes — I give this a thumbs up.

Can you imagine this guy’s conversation with a valet?

“Uh, yeah, it’s the silver one with the octopus eating a steak on it.”

“Pardon me?”

“My car. Octopus. Steak. What don’t you understand?”

“Sir, can I call you a cab? Or dial 911 for you?”

“Beat it. This guy knows what I’m talking about. He’s been eyeing it all night.”

“I’m on it!” says valet #2 as he sprints toward the COOLEST CAR . . . EVER.

##And scene.## 

Photo courtesy of ChuckM on Flickr.

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April 14th, 2009

Celebrate with Steak!

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Are you ready for tax day?

Is anyone really ever ready for tax day? Let’s be real.

But it’s all a part of living in the U. S. of A. So I’m happy to do it when I know some of those taxes go to our men and women in the armed forces and other really good things.

The rest I just ignore — or voice opinions about to my congressman, er, congresswoman.

And since tomorrow I will breathe a huge sigh of relief that this year’s festival of paperwork is over I’m going to celebrate.

And, oh yeah, it’s really close to my wedding anniversary too. So I’ll be celebrating that as well.

We’re going to serve up some juicy ribeyes and toast another year under our belts.

We just won’t mention how both of our belts had to be let out a couple of notches.

I’ll post some photos so you can drool too, okay?

Happy Tax Day/Anniversary/Fill-in-the-Blank Day to you! I think we all could use a little dose of steaky goodness right about now!

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April 9th, 2009

Prime Rib Leftovers = French Dip!

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So, Easter’s over and you’ve got all this Prime Rib left over.

What to do with it?

Never fear. Sandy’s here with some ideas to keep the love flowing from your kitchen.

Check it out . . .  

frenchdip

Fabulous Roast Beef (French Dip) Sandwiches

If you happen to have any of your fabulous Prime Rib or beef roast left over, one of the best ways to enjoy it the next day is to heat it, on the stovetop, in the beef juices left over from your initial cooking.  If you do not have leftover juices, (or if you made it all into gravy) heat a good quality beef consommé to a simmer. 

Use a sharp knife and a sanitary cutting board.  Slice the cold beef as thinly as possible, trimming it to your personal taste.  Prepare your French rolls and any side dishes.  Whether you toast the rolls or not is personal preference.  Butter or garlic butter may be delicious too. You may even want to grill onions and melt some provolone cheese on the roll (kind of a Philly cheese steak kind of thing, not a French Dip in my book). 

I think a nice German potato salad or some good quality potato chips would go great with this sandwich.  Get everything else ready.  Make drinks, set the table.  Finally, one portion at a time, heat the sliced beef in the consommé or beef jus. Pile the beef on the waiting roll, serve a little of the consommé on the side for dipping, and VOILA!

An alternate sandwich would of course be a hot roast beef sandwich, traditionally served open faced.  Good quality white bread, piled high with roast beef heated in gravy.  Also yum!

Photo courtesy of bakingbites.com.

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April 8th, 2009

Beef Recipe: Prime Rib Roast and Yorkshire Pudding

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Fabulous Sister-in-Law Chef Sandy is back!

She’s got a great recipe for a Prime Rib Roast (which we devoured at Christmastime — see photos) and Yorkshire Pudding.

primerib

This is a great idea for a wonderful Easter dinner. Seriously, it’s coming up. Follow her tips to the letter and you won’t go wrong!

That’s how I do it anyway.

Enjoy!

Prime Rib Roast and Yorkshire Pudding

Although traditionally thought of as a Christmas holiday time dish, I see no reason why not to make Yorkshire Pudding with a Prime Rib Roast for Easter.  It is a good way to use up some eggs that we are going to decorate, because my kids don’t like hard boiled eggs.  Here is my plan for the eggs:

Take the raw eggs required for the recipe and blow out the insides into a clean bowl. 

  1. Carefully punch a hole in each end of the egg with a sharp knife, and work the hole in the bottom to be about a ¼ inch in diameter.
  2. Blow hard into the smaller hole to force the egg out into your clean bowl from the larger hole.
  3. Rinse the eggs under running water, and then carefully bathe them in a bowl with about ¼ cup white vinegar and a few cups of water.
  4. Take the egg shells out of the water, let them dry on paper towels and shake any water out of the inside.
  5. To make sure they are really dry, let them sit out for a few hours before decorating with markers, stickers or whatever your imagination leads you to.  Glitter would be amazing. 
  6. To hang the eggs, there are two options:
    1. Use a fine ribbon threaded onto a tapestry needle and feed the ribbon straight thru the egg to the other side and tie a knot on the far side of the egg (usually the larger end of the egg looks better on the bottom.)  You can also put a large bead on the ribbon to use as a stop-knot.
    2. Wrap a fine thread around half of a toothpick or wooden match.  Feed the small piece of wood thru the small hole at the top of the egg and then shake it a little so that it sits perpendicular to the opening and will support the egg.
  7. Hang from pretty any branches or window locks to enjoy.
  8. These eggs, carefully treated, will last forever.  Keep the clean egg carton to put your finished creations in.

Of course Yorkshire Pudding is not really pudding, in the American sense.  More like a puffy bit of soufflé/bread made with beef drippings.  This is a very traditional accompaniment to a Rib Roast, probably due to the amount of drippings which do make themselves available with this dish.  Prepare the batter for the puddings using the recipe below. 

The tricky thing about these puddings (or any soufflé type item) is the timing.  They are beautiful and showy when they are served immediately upon removal from the oven, but you don’t have a lot of wiggle room.  They will deflate and will be a disappointment if you have to hold them.  Have your other last minute things done and only put these in the oven when the roast is out of the oven and resting.  While the puddings bake, ice your glasses and pour your beverages.  Have the appetizer courses started and plan to have everyone at the table ready to enjoy their Prime Rib Roast and Yorkshire Puddings the moment they get out of the oven.  For a rare roast, count on serving about two hours after you start the roast.  For medium or more done, adjust your timing accordingly.

The Prime Rib Roast 101 with Yorkshire Pudding recipe below is courtesy of The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, First Edition.

For the pudding:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 large eggs

2 ½ cups milk

Sift together flour and salt.  Place in a large bowl; make a well and place the eggs in the center. Slowly whisk the eggs into the flour mixture until a smooth paste forms.  Gradually whisk in ½ cup milk and then the remaining 2 cups of milk.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the roast:

3# prime-rib roast, first cut, trimmed and tied, at room temperature (set out 2 hours before cooking)

2 tbsp kosher salt

1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

3 short ribs, tied

1 ½ cups dry red wine

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, with oven rack on the lowest level.  Rub the roast all over with the salt and pepper, trying to get an even coating.  Transfer to a heavy 13 x 16 metal roasting pan, arranging the meat fat side up, on top of the short ribs.  The ribs will act as a roasting pan and will flavor the drippings.

primeribroasts1

Cook 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 and continue cooking until an instant read thermometer reads 115 for rare.  The temperature of the roast will increase 10-15 degrees after removing from the oven, so keep this in mind if you want a different doneness.   For rare, this will take about 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Use a probe thermometer or check every 10 minutes after this point to insure you do not over cook.

Let the roast rest uncovered for 30 minutes in a warm spot.  Tenting the roast will cause the crust to get soggy. Return oven temperature to 425.

Pour fat and drippings into a fat separator or glass measuring cup, set aside to let fat separate from meat juices.  Put roasting pan over medium high heat and add red wine to deglaze the pan.  Cook about 6 minutes, until reduced by half.  Place a fine sieve over a medium bowl and strain the sauce into the bowl.  Do not clean the pan. 

Making the Yorkshire Pudding:

Place ¼ cup of reserved fat from the roast into the roasting pan, and place it in the hot oven until very hot, about 5 minutes.  Remove the batter from the refrigerator and whisk well; quickly and carefully pour the batter into the hot pan and cook until the Yorkshire Pudding is crisp and golden, about 25 minutes.  Make sure it is nicely browned before removing it; it will deflate more quickly if it is not thoroughly cooked.  Cut each person a wedge of warm pudding with the crispy edge, which will help it hold its shape.  Transfer the red wine sauce to a gravy boat and serve with the Prime Rib Roast and Yorkshire Pudding.

Stay tuned tomorrow to find out what to do with those Prime Rib Roast leftovers. Your family will love you for it! – Dena

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April 7th, 2009

Barbecue Steak Sauce – Yee Haw!

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Want to put some zip in your steak?

Are you a bbq lover at heart?

Check out this awesome recipe for steak sauce – barbecue-style. It’s got Tabasco, cayenne and butter in it.

Need I say more?

Special Steak Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup water
2 teaspoons A-l sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Few grains cayenne
2 teaspoons flour

How to make Special Steak Barbecue Sauce

Melt butter, add the water and other liquids.
Combine dry ingredients and stir well into the liquid.
Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, or until mixture thickens slightly.

Recipe courtesy of ifood.tv.

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April 6th, 2009

Steak Recipe: Grilled Filet with Shellfish Butter

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Okay, this recipe mixes two flavors many people crave — the ultimate in tender beef (the filet mignon) with tasty, distinctive shellfish (your choice of lobster, crab or shrimp).

It’s a little twist on the old “Surf and Turf” theme, combining the “surf” part right into the butter that will flavor the steak itself.

Utter genious.

And, it’s a simple recipe for steak butter you can try at home! I’m thrilled!

Give it a try!  

Grilled Filet with Shellfish Butter

(Serves four)

4 6oz. Filet Mignon

8 oz. Shells (Lobster, crab or shrimp)

8 oz. Butter

¼ Cup chopped Carrot

¼ Cup chopped Celery

½ Cup chopped Onion

1 clove Garlic, chopped

1 tsp. Tomato Paste

2 Tbsp. Brandy (optional)

2 sprigs Tarragon (optional)

Salt and Pepper

In a medium saucepan, sweat the onion, carrot and celery until soft, in 1 tsp. of the butter.  Add the garlic, tarragon and tomato paste and shells and cook for several minutes, stirring regularly.  If using shrimp shells, they should turn pink, since crab and lobster are already cooked, just break up the shells with a spoon or meat tenderizer if they are too thick.  Add brandy to deglaze and cook until almost dry.  Add the remaining butter. 

Cook over low heat for twenty minutes, stirring regularly.  Strain through a fine meshed strainer into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.  Once the butter has nearly set, spoon onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, tying the ends tightly and return to the refrigerator.

Season the filet on both sides with salt and pepper and grill to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium.  Slice the butter into thick slices and place on top of the filet while it is resting.  The heat from the filet should start melting to butter, if it doesn’t place it under a broiler for around fifteen seconds.

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April 3rd, 2009

Beef for Easter??

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Do you celebrate Easter?

Do you have a big Easter dinner every year?

We like to have family over but we have yet to establish a true tradition as far as what we serve.

Sometimes it’s ham. Sometimes it’s a prime rib (if we’re feeling fancy). And sometimes it’s a brisket.

Yeah, it’s not very Easter-y, but who cares?

What are you having?

And can I come over?

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April 2nd, 2009

Luscious Beef Ravioli

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So when we were in NYC we took a jaunt down to Little Italy. We bounced around on the subway, got off at our stop, walked through Chinatown, turned a corner and — behold!

The sights and smells of Little Italy are almost overwhelming. You KNOW you’ve arrived. There is no question.

Our only “problem” was which place to venture into for the evening.

We checked out all the menus and decided on a great little place named Paesano’s. Perfect, right?

THIS is my husband’s beef ravioli. Fresh, handmade ravioli with tender beef tucked inside, topped with homemade sauce. Unbelievable.

beefravioli

It was so good they had to roll us out of there onto the street.

So I’ve had this discussion with many people and we can’t quite figure it out. What IS IT about the food in NYC that makes it so good?

Some people say it’s the water. There’s something in the water.

Others say it’s the cheeses and fresh, fresh food New Yorkers have access to that in many parts of the country we don’t have access to.

Some people just laugh like they know the answer but they’re not telling.

Whatever it is, the things they can do with beef are out of this world.

Next time I’d like to rent a place with a kitchen and try out some of my standards there to see if there is any difference.

Would my meatloaf suddenly taste like Wolfgang Puck made it?

Alas, I am not Donald Trump and judging by what they charge for a shoebox-size hotel room, that idea may be nothing but a pipe dream.

But it’s an interesting theory I just may put to the test.

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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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