June 29th, 2011

July 4th Steak – In 30 Minutes

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Okay, an important steak-related holiday is coming up (quicker than some of us realize). We’ve got to get ready – but who wants to spend a bunch of time preparing? We’ve got celebrating to do!

Here’s a 30-minute steak dinner planned out for you . . . just for the July 4th holiday!

It includes:

sprout salad

marinated strip steaks with garlic mushrooms

patriotic berries with angel food cake


It’s a visual, flavorful meal for the 4th! Click here for all the details!

P.S. It’s coming up on Monday – where has this year gone???

Photos courtesy of TastyPlanner.com.

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June 28th, 2011

Sunny Steak Dinner

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Oh, yum! What’s better than a steak dinner?

A summer steak dinner!

Eating outside, soaking in the sun and enjoying being alive. THAT’S what summer’s about!

Check out this video filled with great ideas to make an amazingly sunny steak dinner at your house!

And, seriously, the steak in this video just might be the biggest steak I have ever seen. And the vegetable? Cactus! Plus, chipotle mashed potatoes. You’ve GOT to check it out.

Enjoy!

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June 24th, 2011

Summer Steaks

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Don’t you just love the sound of that?

SUMMER STEAKS.

Two things I adore in this life. Together.

Magic.

This recipe creates a fresh, citrusy marinade that is absolutely perfect for summer. It calls for sirloin steak, but any cut you love best will work.

Try it this weekend and embrace all that is summer – and steak!

Photo courtesy of BusyCooks.About.com.

 

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June 22nd, 2011

Mall Steak

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Steak lovers across America, rejoice!

THIS may be coming to a shopping mall near you . . .

At least it was at a mall near me.

It’s a screen-projected image of a steak on the walkway. And when you step on the grill, the flames lick your feet as if you, too, were a T-bone.

It’s madness.

And genius.

All I know is that it made me very hungry and the offerings at the food court were not nearly as appetizing as that sizzling steak on the floor.

Oh, technology! You move me and mystify me at the same time!

Why must you tease me so?

After this trip I came home and devoured the leftover Father’s Day steak that we had in the fridge. Take that, screen steak!

Ever seen something like this???

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June 20th, 2011

Father’s Day Steak Fest

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Did you have a great Father’s Day?

We did. You know why? ‘Cause we did this . . .

. . . and this . . .

It was a full-on frenzy of beef-eating magic.

The dads in my life were quite pleased. And stuffed. And celebrated.

I hope you had a fabulous one, too!

 

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June 17th, 2011

Grill Guru Father’s Day Steak Tips

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Grill Guru Gives Father’s Day Steak Tips: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com

You want to cook the best steak possible for Dad this weekend, right?

Well, the Grill Guru is here to help you in that endeavor. Check out this video with tips to make Father’s Day less crispy and burnt.

And, really, we all want that in the end.

Have a safe, relaxing, joyous – and tasty – Father’s Day, everyone! I’ll be giving a shoutout and a steak to my papa this Sunday. He’s done a lot for me and now it’s time to celebrate him!

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June 16th, 2011

Homemade Steak Rub: A Gift for Dad

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Remember when you used to make an ashtray out of popsicle sticks for dear old Dad for Father’s Day?

Not such a great idea.

Well, you can still make him something homemade – but this time, he’ll REALLY enjoy it.

Try making him a homemade steak rub (along with a really good cut of meat).

Here’s a fantabulous recipe that will make Dad very, very happy this Sunday. It’s got garlic powder, red chili flakes and lots of other good stuff to make a tasty and memorable steak.

Think of the smiles and tears and accolades for years to come! This will be a Father’s Day to remember. And you won’t have to wait in line at Denny’s.

Seriously, THIS homemade gift will be a Father’s Day home run!

Photo courtesy of Clarendon.Patch.com.

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June 15th, 2011

Video Tips on Grilling Steak

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Good Day Café: Grilling Steak: MyFoxNY.com

It’s that time of year! So many things to celebrate – Father’s Day, graduations . . . summer!

And how do we celebrate things around here? Why, with food, of course!

So to help us do that, here’s a video of Arturo McLeod, executive chef at Benjamin Steak House in NYC, showing us exactly how to grill that perfect steak or burger.

My favorite takeaway from this one? Heat your grill 30-45 minutes before putting on the steaks.

Now that’s a HOT grill! Makes sense, though.

Mmmm, I can hear that beef sizzling now . . .

 

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June 10th, 2011

National Beef Steak Month? Let’s Celebrate!

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So, I just found out that June (yes, THIS month) is National Beef Steak Month!

How did I miss this? It just snuck up on me!

So, in honor of this very special month (and, well, because I just love a good steak recipe) here’s a step-by-step guide to a scrumptious summer salad featuring this month’s star:  STEAK!

It’s got grilled herbed steak mixed with tender couscous.

That word always makes me laugh. Couscous.

So get out there and celebrate this weekend! Your beef steak will be very honored – and your appetite will be very, very pleased.

Photo courtesy of Shannon K. Wendt via Examiner.com.

 

 

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June 8th, 2011

Is Kobe Beef All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

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A beautiful piece of meat to me is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

A buttery tender consistency and juicy, flavorful taste make any day worth living.

But that’s just me.

Or is it?

There are differing opinions out there as to whether Kobe beef (that Japanese delicacy) is worth the extra effort to find it, pay for it and cook it properly.

Well, I’m here to tell ya – it’s worth it, man.

These are specially-bred cattle so the price is a bit more. That’s understandable. And the finding it part? Not so difficult. You can order some American Wagyu Kobe here and have it delivered right to your door.

And the cooking? Not really any different than any other cut. It’s just that the result is much more tender and flavorful.

Read on here to see what others have to say about this topic.

And if you haven’t tried it yourself yet – treat yourself!  Think of it as an experiment.

An experiment in deliciousness.

Yeah, it’s a word.

Go forth and savor!

Photo courtesy of TheKitchn.com.

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June 7th, 2011

Steaks: Rinse well. Repeat.

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There are so many cooking techniques out there.

None of them are “right” or “wrong” – but some leave me scratching my head and some are just, well, new to me.

This is one of those.

Here’s an ezine article about cooking “perfect steaks.” It suggests liberally salting the meat.

Check.

Then, RINSING off the salt before marinating.

Now THAT is a new one on me. But . . . that does not mean it isn’t a great thing to try. I just wasn’t ever taught to rinse beef.

Am I alone in this?

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I believe that. But I just don’t know how I feel about this one.

What are your thoughts????? Is this a killer technique I’ve been missing out on? Or does this miss the mark?

Photo courtesy of jade.shine12 via Flickr.com.

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June 3rd, 2011

If It Quacks Like a Duck…It’s Not a Steak

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Okay, that’s a Mallard, but Super Sister-in-Law Chef Sandy will be talking to us about the MAILLARD reaction today. Very different things.

Close. But not really.

Here’s what she has to share with us about creating exquisite flavor for your steaks with what is known as the Maillard reaction. Man, it’s nice to have smart people in the family . . .

What is the Maillard reaction?  Does it have anything to do with ducks?

What makes a steak mouthwateringly delicious?

Read on . . .

From Wikipedia: “The Maillard reaction (French pronunciation: meh-YAR) is a form of nonenzymatic browning similar to carmelization. It results from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducting sugar, usually requiring heat. Vitally important in the preparation or presentation of many types of food, it is named after chemist Louis-Camille Maillard.”

What this means in layman’s’ terms is that the combination of high heat with amino acids creates a new flavor profile.  This reaction is accelerated by an alkaline environment.

The Maillard reaction is what produces the brown-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside pretzels available in Biergartens in Germany, or from street side vendors in the Northeast US.  This reaction is what we are looking for when we brush egg wash or milk onto pastry – the browning that will occur when the product is baked adds a tremendous dimension to the finished product, in addition to adding visual appeal.  If you ever try to make pretzels or bagels at home without adding something alkaline on the outside (the recommended method is to dip the dough in a boiling baking soda bath) you will be sadly disappointed in your resulting pastry.  You will have a crunchy, pale, bloated looking pretzel or bagel instead of the shiny brown crust covering a tender soft interior product.

Alkalinity in order of weakest-strongest:

Milk – almost acid, just slightly more alkaline than water

Eggs

Salt

Baking Soda

Lye

Pretzels, in fact, used to be made in commercial settings by dipping them in a lye bath, which I would never recommend you try at home.  I have had great pretzel-making success using the baking soda bath method – dunk the shaped pretzel dough in boiling water to which 2/3 cup of baking soda has been added.  Surprisingly, the baking soda doesn’t really impart a taste to the pretzels (thank goodness!), just allows them to brown beautifully.  The recipe I use doubles up on the Maillard effect by then brushing the pretzels with egg yolk before sprinkling with pretzel salt and baking.

So what does all of this have to do with cooking a great steak?

The Maillard reaction is that amazingly brown seared crust on a fantastically prepared steak or burger.  The nuance of flavors is something that cannot be duplicated or created with any combination of seasonings; it must be cooked into the meat.  Meat is actually acidic, so it really benefits from a little help to get a Maillard reaction when cooking meat:

  • ALWAYS dry meat before cooking –use a paper towel to blot the meat dry before you even season the beef, or blot dry anything that has been marinated
  • get your pan hot
  • season the meat with kosher salt to increase your Maillard reaction
  • use a well seasoned pan to avoid the need to add a lot of oil
  • don’t crowd the pan – this will reduce the heat in the pan and prevent that elusive crust from forming
  • let the meat cook long enough to form a crust before you disturb or turn it
  • cook in a pan rather than on a grill to get the purest meat flavor and best Maillard reaction

So there you have it! Nothing to do with ducks whatsoever. Try these tips for the Maillard reaction the next time you are sizzling a beautiful steak and it will not only be gorgeous – it’ll be incredibly flavorful too!

Photo courtesy of Animal.Discovery.com.

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June 1st, 2011

Man. Need. Beef.

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Yeah, that headline sounds kinda cavemanish. But it’s basically been a fact since time began that men love beef.

So what better to get dear old Dad this Father’s Day than an exquisite cut of beef – or two?

I know my dad would love it. Who do you think taught me to appreciate a juicy steak?

Here are some great Father’s Day gift ideas that’ll have Dad’s mouth watering and his heart full.

Things like gift boxed Kansas City strip steaks will make him jump for joy (check them out above).

Or what about Wagyu Kobe beef steakburgers? Isn’t Father’s Day the time to break out the really good stuff?

And you can never go wrong with a gift certificate that lets Dad pick his own beefy goodies.

Like a kid in a candy store.

Think about it. But not for too long – you want it to arrive in time for Father’s Day, June 19th!

Check out all the gift options you can handle here!

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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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