May 28th, 2010

Steak Life: Marbling

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Ohhhh. I’m going to spend this weekend marveling at marbling.

That beautiful, snaky, flavor-filled goodness that makes a good steak — great.

Plus, I’m going to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country as well.

What do the two have in common?

Nothing, really. Except that folks have been putting the two together for years now. And it seems to work.

Maybe I have the luxury of spending time oogling a great steak over a long weekend because of those who fought for me — and continue to fight for me.

Thanks, men and women of our armed forces. I’ll raise a glass to you this weekend. And I’ll sprinkle that steak with the extra sweet taste of freedom.

My favorite.

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May 27th, 2010

Cheesy Steak Rolls

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Simply gorgeous. Delectable. Tantalizing.

Is it time to eat?

These amazing cheesy steak rolls are an incredible mix of steak, cheese, prosciutto and spinach atop asparagus.

Mmm. THIS will impress. I guarantee it.

Well, unless you are hosting vegans. Then, um, get some new friends.

Click here to read more about this eye-popping dish and its unusual origins at Wasabi Prime.

There’s a story there. Mangia!

Photo courtesy of WasabiPrime.blogspot.com.

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May 26th, 2010

Thoughts on Seasoning

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Super Sister-in-Law and Amazing Chef Sandy is back with her wisdom on the subject of seasoning today.

I always learn so much from her. Whether it’s the steak itself or the sides to that yummy steak dinner:  seasoning matters.

Class is in session . . .

Let’s face it; some meals are just better than others.  Why do some meals just resonate with us?  Sometimes it’s the company, or the setting.  But when we get to the brass tacks of the food on our plate, what makes one meal better than another?

Usually it is because of the quality of ingredients, and perfect seasoning.  The quality of the food we cook at home is dependent on using the best ingredients we can get our hands on.  Use great cuts of meat, and the best seasonal vegetables you can find.

When it comes to seasoning properly, one of the best tips I can give you is to taste what you are cooking, often.  I taste the water that I am going to cook pasta in.  Water salted for cooking any kind of carbohydrate (pasta, potatoes, vegetable) should taste slightly salty.  Not “Oh my god that’s salty” but just kind of a slight taste of the sea.  Properly seasoning the water that you cook in before you add the starch will mean using a lot less total salt in your cooking.  You may not have to add more salt after cooking and the food will taste like what it is – you want the potatoes to taste like potatoes, not salt and certainly not bland.

I taste raw asparagus before it goes on the grill.  If you are making a risotto, taste the stock and correct it for seasoning before you add the rice.  If you are making a pilaf, season the vegetables as you are sautéing them, then add perfectly seasoned stock.  Before you serve, taste the food again.  You may need to adjust the seasoning again.

For many vegetables and other starches, a little bit of acid (in the form of citrus juice – a squeeze of lemon juice, for example or a few drops of a great vinegar) added just before serving perks up the flavor in an indescribable way – it just makes the flavor fuller and brighter.  If you need a little more salt flavor, you may want to consider adding a little grated parmesan cheese or a little soy sauce to give that boost.  If you have added cheese to a dish, adding a few drops (really – less than a teaspoon) of balsamic vinegar will make the cheese taste cheesier.

When adding any kind of seasoning, add a little, taste and adjust.  We all know that it is impossible to take out seasoning when you have added way too much.  Pour salt onto the back of your hand or into a measuring spoon, not directly into a soup or stew from its container.  If you accidently dump too much you may be able to salvage your meal by quickly scooping up what you dumped in.  When you add vinegar or lemon juice, also add just a few drops at a time to enhance the flavor – no one wants their risotto to taste of balsamic vinegar.

If you have slightly over salted something like a stew or soup, one of my grandmother’s tricks was to add a few chunks of raw potatoes.  Let them cook for 20-30 minutes, and then either scoop them out or leave them in if you desire.  A few drops of acid will also help a slight over-salting.  You may be able to add more unseasoned liquid to take some of the over saltiness out.

Acid-y                                                                     Salt-y

Lemon, Lime Juice                                            Salt

Wine                                                                        Soy Sauce

Balsamic Vinegar                                              Parmesan Cheese

Other Fine Vinegars                                         Feta Cheese

Garlic

Garlic is one of the most popular seasonings used in this country, after salt and pepper of course.  Of course, garlic is really a vegetable, from the onion family.  You can buy garlic in many forms in this country – garlic salt, garlic powder, garlic in a tube, jar or from the freezer.  And then of course there is a fresh bulb of garlic, which may be intimidating to some people.  When you get familiar with the fresh form of garlic, and how easy it really is to use, you may be ready to clear all those other jars from your pantries!

First, a little terminology:

Head of Garlic/ Bulb of Garlic – this is the onion-sized whole product of garlic, which is covered by a pale, papery skin.

Clove of Garlic – each head of garlic has numerous papery-skinned cloves, usually upwards of 8-9.  These are held together with a plate at the bottom, which will be discarded.

The pungent flavor of garlic is released when the cells inside the clove are broken.  The more they are broken, the more pungent the flavor – a slice of garlic will be much less strong tasting than crushed fresh garlic.

Personally, I don’t like to bite into a chunk of garlic, so for most of my cooking purposes I use crushed garlic, although often just one or two small cloves.  I take a whole, unpeeled clove of garlic and place it on my cutting board.  Then I lay the flat side of my heavy chef’s knife over the clove, I use one hand to really pound the knife onto the garlic.  This smashing will loosen the skin from the clove, making it easy to remove.  I remove the skin, and then continue using the knife side to really crush the garlic.  If I also need a little salt in the recipe, I often add kosher salt to the garlic on my board, because the kosher salt really abrades the garlic into a paste.  Then scrape the board and the knife into my sauté pan, where I sauté the garlic just briefly over medium heat and continue with my recipe.

This salty garlic paste is also delicious added to a quantity of softened butter, for yummy garlic bread or to finish a delicious hot off the grill steak.  I use one large clove of garlic, smashed, then crushed with about a teaspoon of kosher salt (2/3 garlic, 1/3 salt) and mix this with 4 tablespoons of softened butter, plus fresh parsley, chopped, if available.

A quick and easy way to make garlic bread without smashing the garlic to smithereens is to toast good quality rustic bread.  When the toast is crunchy, simply slice a clove of garlic and rub the cut side of the clove on the toasted surface of the bread.  Spread with butter or drizzle with a little olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and you have a delicious, authentic garlic toast to go with that juicy, tender steak!

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May 21st, 2010

Celebrate a Win With Steak!

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The article below cracks me up! These lottery winners are celebrating their big take with a steak dinner.

See? We always celebrate the best things in life with steak! Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc. Now — a lottery win!

This phenomenon is apparently seen the world over since this article is from New Zealand.

Steak: It’s universal.

Steak dinner for Lotto winners

A group of Christchurch flatmates are dining out on a big Lotto win with a steak dinner.

The flatmates’ syndicate decided to upgrade their dinner menu after discovering a six-month-old Lotto ticket worth $250,000.

One flatmate checked a handful of old tickets while out doing the groceries.

“At first I thought we had won $25, but then I saw all the zeros on the end…it was so exciting and I still can’t really believe it,” she said.

“None of us have very healthy bank accounts, so this win has come at such a good time for us. We won’t be having mince on the menu tonight at the flat – we can upgrade to a steak dinner.”

Their ticket, sold at the New Brighton Paper Plus on November 14, was part of the Lotto Wishlist promotion.

NZ Lotteries’ chief executive Todd McLeay said it was unusual for a prize to be claimed six months after the draw.

“Usually we hear from our excited big prize winners within a week or two,” he said.

“However, this is a good reminder to always check your tickets — as every year we have several prizes that expire before they are claimed.”

- NZPA

Article courtesy of nzherald.co.nz

Photo courtesy of pollsb.com.

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May 20th, 2010

Steak Health Report

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A new Harvard study tells us what we’ve always known in our hearts:  Red meat is NOT linked to heart disease.

You can’t find a much more reliable resource than Harvard. And that will make your mom happy.

Check out this video for all the details.

And then carry on eating your juicy, amazing, delicious steak dinner!

Health Effects of Processed Meats Versus Unprocessed Red Meats from Harvard SPH on Vimeo.

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May 19th, 2010

Citrus + Steak = Heaven

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I’m sorry, will you look at that?

I love, love, love when my food is as beautiful as it is tasty.

Gorgeous oranges, dark, lovely greens and — of course — the star of the show lightly pink filet mignon.

Click here for more on this wonderful, light, flavorful steak salad.

It’s yummy. It’s healthy. And it can be yours.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Photo courtesy of designeatplay.com.

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May 14th, 2010

Steak Flavor Combo

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This is a new one on me. But that’s not hard.

Steak with bourbon caramelized onions. I can just smell it sizzling now.

Check out the step-by-step instructions here.

Then go out and create your own masterpiece this weekend.

Photo courtesy of lifesambrosia.com.

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May 13th, 2010

One-Minute Ribeye Steak Video

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Gordon Ramsay shows us in one minute how to cook excellent, flavorful ribeye steaks with artichokes. Delectable!

Now, it will take YOU longer than one minute to prepare these, you know. But this video shows you how to do it in just a minute. Spectacular!

You can’t go wrong with Gordo’s advice.

Think he’ll hunt me down and hurt me for calling him Gordo?

Sorry. Gordo.

Enjoy! And let me know how yours turn out.

Video courtesy of YouTube.com.

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May 12th, 2010

Steak From the Frying Pan Into Your Mouth

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Like your steaks a bit more done than rare? This step-by-step process claims to ensure the “juiciest, tastiest, well-done steaks and chops.”

That is, if you like your steaks well done.

There are all sorts of techniques out there to help you achieve that perfect steak. And only “the perfect steak to you” matters, right?

So, dear readers, you try it and then let me know your opinion.

Read all about it over here at WikiHow.com. *Sounds like a rap song to me. Wiki, wiki how!*

Image courtesy of WikiHow.com.

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May 7th, 2010

Steak Makes You Strong!

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Wanna grow up and be big and strong? Eat meat.

I’m not sayin’ you’ll look exactly like this. You’ll have to work hard and lift a lot of weights and stuff, but eating meat is a good start.

Gives a new meaning to the term “beefcake,” doesn’t it?

Happy eating!

Illustration courtesy of http://vi.sualize.us

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May 6th, 2010

Steak – It’s Not Just For Dinner

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We’ve talked a little about mixing steak in with your breakfast. And some of you are HARD CORE steak-for-breakfast eaters.

My hat is off to you.

This exquisite conglomeration is a mixture of last night’s steak, home fries, eggs and leeks.

Heavenly.

It’s even more beautiful in its own mini iron skillet. De-li-cious.

Check out jessicalettucetomato.wordpress.com for more on this scrumptious and efficient use of steak.

Never let steak go to waste!

Photo courtesy of jessicalettucetomato.wordpress.com.

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May 4th, 2010

Steak Class is in Session . . .

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Good morning, class. Today we’re going to discuss what in heaven’s name a Delmonico is.

You may know it as a bone-in top loin, a boneless ribeye or a New York Strip, Kansas City Strip or strip loin.

Those strip steaks are what I’ve always heard substitute for a Delmonico, but there seems to be some difference in opinion.

Delmonico’s Restaurant in NYC is credited with making this steak meal world famous with a baked mashed potato dish topped with grated cheese and buttered bread crumbs. Oh. Yum.

History is always being rewritten, so we may never know which exact cut was the REAL Delmonico. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s a strip.

Read more about Delmonico steaks at Wikipedia here. Then, let me know what YOU believe a Delmonico is!

Illustration courtesy of Wikipedia.org.

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May 1st, 2010

Steak-Grillin’ Humor

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Classic.

Nothing’s changed much, has it?

Enjoy your weekend! Hope you guys get to grill a great steak!

Cartoon courtesy of bgebbq.tumblr.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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