October 30th, 2009

Spooky Steak Pizza With Pear and Arugula


This one is filed under “Eerie Entrees” over at MyRecipes.com. But, really, there’s nothing scary about this scrumptious grilled steak on a homemade pizza — except for the fact that if you cook this for your Halloween dinner and little ghosts and goblins come to your door and smell it, they will never leave your house.

Now THAT’S scary.


Grilled Pizza With Steak, Pear and Arugula

Prep: 10 min., Grill: 30 min., Stand: 10 min.

Yield: Makes 4 servings


Vegetable cooking spray

1/2  pound  flank steak

Salt and pepper

1  tablespoon  olive oil

1 1/2  teaspoons  white balsamic vinegar

1  (12-inch) prebaked pizza crust

1  red Bartlett pear, peeled and sliced

1 1/2  cups  fresh arugula, divided

1/4  cup  crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Freshly cracked pepper


1. Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° (medium heat).

2. Season flank steak with salt and pepper.

3. Grill steak, covered with grill lid, at 350° (medium heat) 8 to 10 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together oil and vinegar in a small bowl.

5. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin strips. Cut strips into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup).

6. Place pizza crust directly on hot cooking grate. Brush top of crust with oil mixture; layer with pear slices, 1 cup arugula, cheese, and beef strips.

7. Grill, covered with grill lid, 4 minutes. Rotate pizza one-quarter turn; grill, covered with grill lid, 5 to 6 more minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove pizza from grill, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup arugula and freshly cracked pepper.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used 1/2 (16-oz.) package Mama Mary’s Thin & Crispy Pizza Crusts.

Oven-Baked Pizza With Steak, Pear, and Arugula: Assemble pizza as directed, and bake according to package directions for pizza crust.

Southern Living, OCTOBER 2007

Photo and recipe courtesy of MyRecipes.com.

October 29th, 2009

That Steaky Spirit


Wanna get in the spirit of the season?

It’s Halloween time, people! Time to dress up like your favorite beef product!

Every year it amazes me the costumes people come up with. And this year is no different.

Case in point . . .


I’m thinking they’re missing some decimal points on the prices. But if not, no worries! Wouldn’t YOU pay 2 grand to look like a Porterhouse?

These guys are hilarious and they’re making me hungry. I like the kid and the dog who are being scared into a full-on sprint by the smiling steak. It’s priceless.

Just some FOOD FOR THOUGHT for ya. (You knew I had to do that.)

If you dress up like something beefy this Halloween puhleeeeeeease send me photos!!

Photo courtesy of facemakersincorporated.com.

October 28th, 2009

All Hallow’s Steak



It’s Halloween time!

So how do I celebrate?

Why, with a steak, of course. A Halloween steak.

It’s been a particularly challenging week here at the Steak Enthusiast casa, so it was time to stop, give ourselves a break and enjoy something we know always brings our spirits up.

This Kansas City strip was absolutely divine. And enjoying it on a Tuesday night was awesome. No special occasion — we just needed it.

The kids are looking forward to Saturday night when they will run around the neighborhood in their costumes, giggling and spilling candy with us trotting after them, lamenting how we’re too old for this.

You know, Halloween traditions.

Having this steak got us ready to take it all on.

So, really, what makes this a “Halloween steak?”

I put it on a plate next to a plastic pumpkin.

Any other questions?

October 23rd, 2009

Beautiful Steak & Boursin Wrapped Bells



Oh. My. Gosh.

Aren’t these gorgeous?

You know, presentation means so much when it comes to a wonderful meal.

I’ve found that to be true with my kids. If I turn the carrots into a smiley face they get eaten up with much more vigor than if I just slapped them onto a plate.

We adults are a bit more sophisticated, so we don’t really want our food to smile at us. But we do want it to be pleasing to the eye. It makes the whole experience more, well, pleasing.

That’s why these colorful Steak & Boursin Wrapped Bells are perfect for a dinner party — or just when you want to please someone special.

Steak & Boursin Wrapped Bells

EatingWell Test Kitchen

For an even quicker preparation, try deli roast beef.

Servings: 16 pieces
Total Time: 10 minutes
Ease of Preparation: Easy
Health: Low Sodium, Diabetes Appropriate, Heart Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Sat Fat, Low Carb, Low Calorie???

Ingredients: Steak-&-Boursin-Wrapped Bells
16 thin slices grilled steak, such as filet mignon (about 8 ounces)
1 cup light Boursin cheese, divided
4 ounces thinly sliced bell pepper ???


1. Spread each steak slice with 1 teaspoon Boursin cheese and top with bell pepper slices.

2. Roll the steak around the bell pepper slices.

Nutrition: (Per piece)

Calories – 37

Carbohydrates – 1

Fat – 2

Saturated Fat – 1

Monounsaturated Fat – 0

Protein – 5

Cholesterol – 13

Dietary Fiber – 0

Potassium – 66

Sodium – 34

Nutrition Bonus – Protein, vitamin C, potassium, zinc.

Photo and recipe courtesy of arcamax.com.

October 22nd, 2009

Steak, Moonstruck and Other Good Stuff



I LOVE movies — don’t you? You can lose yourself in a movie, expand your mind, or just laugh for a moment.

Super Chef Sister-in-Law Sandy is here today with her experience with the movie Moonstruck.

It involves steak, mad love and iron intake.

Intrigued? Read on . . .

One of my favorite movies is Moonstruck, with Nicolas Cage and Cher starring as a couple of Italians living in Little Italy in New York City who fall in love, despite some obstacles.  It is kind of a foodie movie, in that much of the dialogue/action revolves around the dinner table.  The two of them begin as pretty violent adversaries, and then she cooks him a steak so that they can have a civilized discussion about a family rift.

There are several interesting things about the scene that really resonate with me — the first of course being that a meal is a way to bring people together.  I am definitely a food equates to love kind of girl — a meal together is really one of the most joyous ways to get together.  I enjoy having a meal together with family or friends, and I think that preparing food together is such an intimate way to get to know people.  It just feels comfortable working together.  Think of all those awkward dates in college when you were waiting for the waiter or waiting for the food to come.  Nothing to do, nervous… yuck!  Making something from your kitchen is really a way to show people that you like them.

Another thing that I find really funny about the scene is that Cher does what she thinks is best for his character, despite what he wants.  “I’m not hungry,” he says and she replies that she is cooking him a steak.  “I like it well done,” he says.  And she says, “You’ll eat it bloody to feed your blood.”  When the food is prepared, he grunts, “It’s good.”  They eat together and work out their issues.

When I watched this again the other day, I wondered about the line “You’ll eat it bloody to feed your blood.”  From my college nutrition class, I remembered a few things about iron absorption, but not anything specifically about doneness related to iron levels.  So after a bit of research on the Internet, I came up with a controlled study done by the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, New Zealand.  Their conclusion was that cooking beef indeed did change some of the soluble form of iron in beef to insoluble, and a greater doneness meant that more of the iron was converted to an insoluble (therefore unusable) form for human consumption.  They did conclude, though, that despite these changes with cooking, beef remains a good source of iron and a useful source of the potentially bioactive compounds taurine, carnosine, coenzyme Q10 and creatine.

If you want to maximize the amount of usable iron you get from any meal, it is important to limit tannins (found in tea, red wine and other sources) taken at the same meal, and instead enjoy your steak with some vitamin C.  How about a nice glass of lemonade or water with a splash of lime?  Also, if you eat other foods like beans, which are a good source of iron also, the steak will help you absorb iron from the other foods.

When my son was a toddler, his pediatrician diagnosed a mild iron deficiency in him.  After my first taste of the supplement recommended to me for him I knew I’d have to find a way to get his iron intake up from food sources — iron supplements taste awful, worse than any other medicine I have ever taken myself.

At the time I did lots of research into what I could to increase his iron absorption from food.  One of the simplest ways that you can increase the amount of iron in your diet is to use cast iron to cook with.  Believe it or not, a bit of the iron from the cooking vessel actually imparts itself into whatever you cook in it.  Another easy way to get iron in him was in the hot cereals aisle.  Check out some of the iron levels in those cereals.  I even used some of the boxed cereals to make muffins and baked goods — you can hide a lot of goodness in a banana chocolate chip muffin.  Now he is the biggest steak eater in the family, so not so much a problem anymore.

If you have questions about the iron levels in your blood or in your diet, please consult your health professional.  I just think it’s interesting to know the little things that we can do to increase the nutritional benefits from the food that we eat. Enjoy your steak – it’s health food!

Nutrition Facts

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron in healthy adults is 10 milligrams per day for men and 15 milligrams per day for premenopausal women. Premenopausal women’s needs are higher than men’s needs because women lose iron during menstruation.

It is generally easier for men to get enough iron than it is for women. Because they are usually bigger, men have higher calorie needs and will most likely eat enough food to meet their iron requirements. Women, on the other hand, tend to eat less. This makes it more difficult for them to meet their iron needs. It is, therefore, particularly important for premenopausal women to eat foods high in iron.

Pregnant women will need as much as 30 milligrams of iron per day. The main reason is because the unborn baby needs iron for development. As a result, it will draw from the mother’s iron stores. This can quickly deplete a woman of iron if she is not eating enough iron rich foods.

In general, meat, fish, and poultry are excellent sources. Other sources of iron include beans, dried fruits, whole grains, fortified cereals, and enriched breads.

Iron is a mineral essential for life. Found in red blood cells, iron’s primary role is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Without oxygen, the body’s cells cannot function normally.

If the body’s iron stores become too low, an iron-deficiency anemia can occur. This is characterized by weakness, lethargy, muscle fatigue, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, a person’s skin may become pale due to a lack of red blood cells in the body.

Source: http://www.calories-nutrition.buddyslim.com/beef-steak/

Photo courtesy of SmackAMack.wordpress.com.

October 20th, 2009

Pa’s Steak and Stew Delight


Oh, it’s getting cold outside. And that means it’s time for stew.

You know, the kind you take your time with and let simmer until you’re ready for dinner — the old-fashioned way.

Here, “Pa” gives us his secrets for making absolutely perfect steak stew.

P.S. Do you like other stuff (like peas in the photo below)? Add them to personalize your own stew!


1 lb. cube steak (cut into pieces)

4 lbs. stew meat

1 pkg. chricio (2) sticks

1 1/2 bottle Holland House red wine (for cooking)

1 lg. onion

3 green peppers

1 tbsp. hot crushed peppers

2 1/2 tbsp. paprika

3 cans Hunts tomato sauce

2 c. water

2 1/2 lbs. potatoes

In large pot heat 4 tablespoons of cooking oil. Cut up onion and 1 pepper (dice). Cook until about 1/2 done. Add paprika. Add crushed pepper; simmer 10 minutes on low. Add wine and put all meat in; cook for 2 hours on low heat. Add the rest of the peppers and potatoes (diced) 45 minutes before the meat is done.

Recipe courtesy of Cooks.com.

Photo courtesy of Janni402 at Recipezaar.com.

October 16th, 2009

Twitterin’ About Steak


Have you joined the Twitter revolution yet?


Or are you confused about its relevance?

Well, I’m a convert. There’s a world out there filled with funny people, smart people, not-so-smart people, interesting people, kind people . . . and really hungry people. And they’re all on Twitter.

The ones I’m drawn are the hungry ones.

We like to talk about steak, swap recipes, joke about food/life and wonder out loud when it’s going to be mealtime again.

I follow “steakforall” whose bio reads: we believe in steak for all and the common carnivore’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of a really great steak.

Uh, right on! I am so with you!

Another fave is UKSteakWeek. You can guess what that’s about. They recently tweeted this: We’re four days in (12-18 October) and basically you eat, think about and revel in all things steaky for a whole week. Enjoy it

On Twitter you only have 140 characters to get your point across. So, punctuation is spotty at best and spelling is tossed out the window — all in good fun.

Are you on yet? Go there (www.twitter.com) and get a free account, then you can find all sorts of fun people to share ideas with.

Oh, yeah, I’m on there — www.twitter.com/steakenthusiast. Follow me — and I’ll follow you, too! We can chat!

Have fun!

Check out these guys on Twitter:





October 15th, 2009

Tips: Steak on a Charcoal Grill


Happy day! Super-Cali-Fragilistic Sister-in-Law Chef Sandy weighs in today on the use of a charcoal grill versus gas.

There are some fierce proponents of each. Here, Sandy tells us the ins and outs of using charcoal to cook that gorgeous steak. Enjoy!


Using A Charcoal Grill

Right before Hurricane Ike hit Houston last year, my husband and I decided we needed to have a grill, just in case we lost electricity for a while.  We had left our old gas grill behind when we moved, and had planned on replacing it when we got settled in our new home.  Well, the day before a hurricane hits is no time to buy a grill, we discovered, and we were not able to find a gas grill anywhere in the Houston area.  The only thing we could find was a few bags of charcoal and a camping sized charcoal grill.

Given that there were no other options, we went with the charcoal grill and quickly learned some of the nuances which make this just a little more complicated then firing up a gas grill.  I do feel like I have mastered a few tricks which I would like to share with you, whether you are a new user, or someone who may just do the charcoal thing occasionally, like when you are camping or picnicking at a state park.

If you are a long-time charcoal griller, you’ll probably be familiar with all of this.  My intended audience is those who have not often had success with charcoal, but would like to give it a try.  Gas grills are certainly a convenient option, but if for whatever reason or preference drives you to use a charcoal grill here are some things that might help you have success.

The charcoal grill has two grates — one is intended to support the charcoal at the bottom of the grill, the other is to cook your food on.  The lower grate holds the charcoal up slightly from the bottom of the grill so that oxygen can get to the pile of briquettes.  Use about 6 total sheets of newspaper, rolled tightly into 2 rolls. Form an X at the bottom of the grill with the 2 rolls of newspaper, and place the bottom grate on top of the newspaper to hold it in place.

Next, form a pyramid of the charcoal, so that it will burn efficiently and not require too much starter fluid.  The amount of charcoal you will want to use is limited by the size of the grill, of course, but also should be determined by how much you want to cook.  A couple of burgers may only need something like 30 briquettes, but pounds and pounds of steaks and chicken will take longer to cook, therefore you will need a fire that burns longer — plus more briquettes.

Once you have a nice square pyramid (ask your fourth grader!) squirt the pile with the recommended amount of lighter fluid.  Don’t forget to read the package.  It is usually just a couple-second squirt.  Don’t be that guy who squirts half a bottle of lighter fluid onto a pile of burning charcoal – this is dangerous and foolish and stinks!  Put the top back on the bottle and put it far from the fire, before you light a match.  Light the ends of your paper tubes, which should fairly quickly catch the pile of briquettes on fire.

After about 20 minutes, when the briquettes are covered with ash and the flames have died down, use a fire-proof implement to spread the hot charcoal evenly on the grate.  Please use every safety precaution.  Sparks can and will fly up.  Replace the clean cooking grate on top of the hot charcoal and you are ready to cook.

Enjoy the smokier flavor that charcoal grilling imparts to your food — you may become a convert!

Photo of Weber charcoal grill courtesy of HomeDepot.com.

October 13th, 2009

The Steak Life: Jewelry Edition


For the girl who has everything . . . well, I’ll bet she doesn’t have this!


She loves steak. She loves jewelry. She loves you. Why not buy her a ring that says it all?

I mean, who wouldn’t want to advertise their carnivorous desires each and every day? On your digits, no less!

If I had this ring I’d probably just save it for our special outings to steak dinners — or romantic steak meals at home around the dining table. But that’s me.

Hint:  Honey, here’s that holiday gift idea you were asking about.

Photo courtesy of etsy.com.

October 9th, 2009

Like Tarragon? Check Out This Filet!



Oh, beautiful, delicious filet mignon. How I’ve missed you. I’ve been cheating on you. Most of my dates lately have been with ribeyes. I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?

When I think of your tender, juicy goodness I get little pangs of regret that I’ve been lured into choosing the rich, hearty taste of the ribeye.

I don’t know why I do it.



I don’t know.

Maybe it’s the draw of the cowboy, rogueish, bad boy ribeye. You know a girl can’t resist a bad boy.

But when I see photos of you like this I have to ask myself why. Why don’t I choose you lately? You’re so soft. And tender.

Women need that, too, you know. So, if just for now, I choose you, filet.

I choose YOU.

Filet Mignon with Red Onion and Tarragon Relish

Olive oil for the pan

1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot

1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon


2 – 4 filets mignon

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil for the pan

For the Relish

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion, sugar and salt. Cook until the onion is soft, but not brown, stirring often. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the red wine and allow the liquid to gently simmer until evaporated, stirring often. About 5 – 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar and tarragon, stirring briefly. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

For the Steaks

Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Don’t hold back, do this like you mean it. Heat the oil in the pan over high heat until the oil starts to smoke. Carefully place the steaks in the skillet using tongs, and cook on the first side for about 4-5 minutes. Flip once that side is a deep brown. Continue to cook on the other side until done to your preference. This was about another 3-4 minutes for me (medium rare).

Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, mound the relish on top of each steak and enjoy.


* Remember to bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking so that they heat evenly.

Heavenly photo and recipe courtesy of Cooking-Books.blogspot.com.

October 8th, 2009

Quick Steaky Meal


Looking for something quick — but yummy — that you can whip up in the middle of the week?

I keep these on hand for just those occasions . . .


These babies were hard as a rock when I decided that’s what we were having for dinner. Planning ahead just wasn’t happening on a Wednesday evening.

But that didn’t stop me.

I thawed the patties in the microwave on “defrost.” (Not my favorite method, but it was my only option.) Then I poured the olive oil in a pan, salt and peppered the steakburgers and we were off!

Soon, the house was smelling like a real home, with meat cooking and wine flowing. I found myself whistling and humming in anticipation of a meal that did not include “Mc” in its name or instructions like “Poke a hole in the plastic wrap to ventilate while microwaving.”


Thirty minutes from frozen to steaming hot on a plate is just perfect for me. And it meant a lot to skip the drive-thru. And THAT makes for a peaceful, pleasant dinner at home which I think is something we all crave whether you’re the chef or the grateful diner.

October 6th, 2009

Steak and Grilled Broccoli



Tired of that baked potato? Super Sister-in-Law Chef Sandy gives us some ideas for what to eat with that tasty steak you’re planning. And – beware – it’s healthy for you. Mwuahahahahahaha!

(That was an evil laugh.) Here’s what she says . . .

What are you going to eat alongside of that gorgeous steak tonight?  Might I suggest broccoli, cooked right beside it on the grill?  Broccoli, as we all have heard, is one of nature’s super foods.  It has a ton of vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants and nutrients which are fabulous for you.

The problem with broccoli for many people is the bitter taste and/or texture.  By cooking it with a dry cooking method, the broccoli will release some of its natural sugars, covering up some of that bitterness, and the texture is less soggy than broccoli prepared in water. Here’s a super way to cook it that will change both of those characteristics, and make it easy to prepare, right next to your steak.


Broccoli on the Grill

1 pound fresh broccoli, washed

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp of kosher salt, if desired

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp red pepper flakes, if desired

1 clove of garlic, if desired

½ onion, cut into ¼” rings, if desired

Wash broccoli well, then cut into 1 inch florets.  Cut the stem pieces into ¼” rounds, so that they cook in the same time as the florets. 

Using a heavy chef’s knife, smash the clove of garlic to remove the peel, cut off the hard ends and then smash it with kosher salt.  The salt acts as an abrasive and will allow you to smash the garlic into a paste.  Place this garlic paste, peppers and olive oil into a large mixing bowl and combine with the olive oil.  Toss the prepared broccoli and onion rings into the mixing bowl, mixing to combine it well and make sure that all of the broccoli has some of the flavorful oil on it.

This broccoli will only take a few minutes to prepare on a hot grill, so if you want to serve it piping hot with the steak, you will need to start the steak first.  The advantage to this dish is that it tastes great even at room temperature, so feel free to prepare it first if you want to enjoy it that way.

To cook the broccoli, place a large piece of heavy duty foil (or a specially designed grill implement) on the grates of the grill.  Toss on the broccoli, in a single layer, and allow to cook, covered for a few minutes or until the broccoli begins to brown.  You will have some pieces which get very brown, others not so much.  I think this improves the appeal of this dish. Using tongs, flip the broccoli over and cook until desired doneness is reached.  This is a dish which will need to be tended to fairly closely — it would burn if left more than a few minutes because of the delicate size of the pieces.  Remove to serving platter, and serve with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.

October 2nd, 2009

Steak With Raspberries, Figs and Blue Cheese



This one sounds different.

I can honestly say I’ve never eaten raspberries and figs on my steak before. I just never thought about it.

But why not?

I love raspberries and figs give good flavor. Plus, blue cheese does wonders for steak. Why not combine them all?

You try it, too, and let me know what you think!

Steak with Raspberries, Figs and Blue Cheese 

1 cup red raspberries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 large or 16 small figs, quartered
2 ounces ham, chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 boneless ribeye or beef tenderloin steak, about 2 1/2 pounds total
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill on high, or preheat a broiler. Lightly oil the grill rack or broiler pan. 
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the raspberries, sugar and vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Set aside. 
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the figs, ham, rosemary, garam masala, and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the figs are very soft. Set aside and keep warm. 
Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the steaks for 12 minutes, turning once, or until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 145 degrees F for medium-rare.
Place each steak on a plate. Top with an equal amount cheese and cover with some of the fig mixture. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the raspberry sauce over all. Serve the remaining fig mixture on the side. 

Recipe courtesy of newsobserver.com.

Photo courtesy of greenopia.com.

October 1st, 2009

A Gift for the Steak Lover


I was in Target this week and THEY HAVE HOLIDAY STUFF OUT ALREADY.

Christmas. Hanukkah. You name it. It’s out.

And I’m still getting over the fact that it’s not summer anymore. I’m slow.

So in honor of the tradition of starting the holiday season WAY too early, I give you these . . .


They’re earrings! And they’re so versatile.

Truly the perfect gift this holiday season.

Your favorite aunt can wear these BBQ T-bone danglers to work, to the movies, to a Bar Mitzvah, anywhere!

But get ’em now before they’re all snapped up!

I know I’ll be wearing them to my husband’s office holiday party. Wait, I want him to keep his job . . .

. . .  on second thought, never mind.

Photo courtesy of storesense.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 »

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