August 28th, 2009

Face-Testing Your Steak

We’ve talked about ways to test the doneness of your steak here before. Most of the time, that involves the old “eyeing it” method . . . or a meat thermometer.

Below, Lynn Kessel of the South Shore News & Tribune describes an unusual method — the face-testing method. Oh, and by the way, Lynn, tough life gal. You get to talk about steak and test out recipes BEACHSIDE IN FLORIDA!

Here’s what she says . . .

Some experienced cooks punch the meat with their fingers to check the temperature and know when it’s ready.

Here’s how you learn the various levels of doneness:

With a poker face — no smiling or you’ll be eating beef jerky — touch your cheek. That’s how rare meat feels. Offering no resistance when pressed, it has a red center but should be warm all the way through.

Touch your chin. This is the feel of medium rare. The color should be bright pink to red when cut.
Now, touch the end of your nose. This will coincide with the texture of medium doneness. It has a pink center.

The area just above the bridge of your nose on your forehead is the tactile equivalent of medium-well. It has a thin line of pink remaining in the center. The bottom of your shoe is well done.
I spoke with Winn-Dixie Executive Chef Robert Tulko. He prefers gauging doneness using touch also, but with his fist.

First, make a relaxed fist, he said. The web of your hand between the thumb and forefinger on top feels like rare meat. If you slightly clench your fist, that same v-section of your hand is now medium. Clench your fist tightly, and the area will now feel like well done — hard, and in my opinion, inedible.
Tulko explained that as meats cook, the juices are drawn to the upper surface. That’s why when you cut into a steak, the juices rush out.

He said you should let the steak rest for five to 10 minutes before serving and cutting. The juices will have time to settle back to the center.

Tulko has been testing the doneness of meats, pork and chicken this way for years, and he prefers the clenched-fist method to the face testing.

Surprisingly, this method really works. I tried it the other evening when I was grilling a top sirloin for one of my favorite salad recipes.

Personally, I like my steak between the nose and chin. Get it?

Excerpt courtesy of

August 27th, 2009

London Broil: The Lean Steak


Feeling like a steak, but want to feel really, really good about eating it?

Try a London Broil. It’s lean, it’s flavorful, and paired with lots of yummy, summery vegetables it’s just about totally guilt-free!

Grilled London Broil with Summer Vegetables

Makes 4, 10 oz. servings Prep Time: 15 minutes + marinating time

Cook Time: 10 minutes

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T. Giant olive or Giant canola oil
1 T. Giant fresh thyme or oregano
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Giant ground pepper
1 lb Giant beef top round steak (London Broil)
1 cup Giant cherry tomatoes
2 medium Giant zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 medium Giant yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise
1 tsp. Giant olive oil
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

For marinade, combine vinegar, oil, thyme or oregano, garlic and pepper in a food-safe plastic bag. Add steak to bag and turn to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.

Toss tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash with oil. Make an aluminum foil boat to contain tomatoes. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Pre-heat your grill and place steak over medium direct heat. Arrange vegetables around steak. Grill steak, uncovered, 8 to 9 minutes for medium doneness, turning occasionally. Grill vegetables 6 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning occasionally.

Remove vegetables to a serving platter and sprinkle with cheese. Carve steak into thin slices against the grain.

Nutrition information per serving: 270 calories, 15 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Photo courtesy of

Recipe courtesy of

August 25th, 2009

Rose’s Steak Hero

You can take the headline of this post to mean a few things:  Rose has a hero who is a steak, Rose’s recipe for a steak hero sandwich or, well, that’s all I got.

We’ll go with number 2.


Check out this magnificent way to present some scrumptious beef steak . . .

Rose’s Steak Hero

Caramelized Onions:
5 oz. butter
3 lbs. onions, sliced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar

Creole Mustard Aioli (Yield: 3 cups):
2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup creole-style mustard
2 tTbsps. garlic, minced
7 1/2 lbs. beef flank steak
1-2 tsps. salt
1-2 tsps. pepepr
24 individual ciabatta breads, split
1 1/2 lbs. blue cheese, crumbled
6 oz. spinach leaves

  1. TO MAKE CARAMELIZED ONIONS: In rondo over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and sautè until caramelized, stirring often. Add garlic and sautè 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Cool and cover. (Yield: about 1 lb., 8 oz.)
  2. FOR CREOLE MUSTARD AIOLI: In bowl, mix mayonnaise, Creole-style mustard and garlic. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. FOR EACH SERVING, TO ORDER: Grill 1 steak to medium. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Slice 4 oz. steak thinly at an angle across the grain. Cover and reserve the remaining steak.
  4. Spread 1 Tbsp. Creole mustard aioli on each cut side of bread. Top bottom bread half with 1 oz. blue cheese, the warm steak slices, 1 oz. caramelized onions, 1/4 oz. spinach leaves and other bread half. Plate and serve.

Recipe and photo above courtesy the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef.

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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.

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