July 2nd, 2014

Most Popular American Foods

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It’s almost America’s Independence Day!

So let’s take a look a some of America’s most popular foods. Here’s an unofficial list compiled by ME. Make your own if you feel I missed something!

1. HOT DOGS

I mean, what do we eat while watching America’s pastime? Why, hot dogs! All beef, of course.

2. BURGERS

When people travel to America, they HAVE to stop and order a burger somewhere. It’s quintessentially American.

3. ICE CREAM

You know this one makes the list. We love this stuff!

4. PIZZA

It may have come from Italy, but we took it to a whole new level. Seriously. Top it with beef and it’s a homerun!

5. STEAK AND BARBECUE

Virtually every city/region in the United States believes that their barbecue and/or steak is the greatest. Memphis, Kansas City, Texas, Alabama, Nebraska. Just ask ‘em!

 

Maybe this week is the time to indulge in all foods American. If so, it might be the best week of your life!!! :)

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 23rd, 2014

A Guide to Grill Marks

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The number one rule of grilling a steak is don’t overcook it. It’s got to taste good or else what’s the point?

But the number two rule?

Make it pretty.

Presentation is a very, very close second to taste. If it doesn’t LOOK appetizing it simply won’t taste good.

And as far as steaks are concerned, grill marks are of utmost importance. So we’ve got to spend some time making sure they’re absolutely gorgeous.

Now, you could just go for the horizontal look (see above) and just give your steak a good diagonal placement across the grill, then flip and create the same effect on the other side.

That’s beautiful, but many chefs prefer this method as described in this “Top 10 Steak Grilling Tips” list compiled by a true chef:

“Use the hot grill to create ‘cross-hatch’ grill marks. Set your steak down at a 45-degree angle from your grill lines. About a quarter of the way through cooking, give it a quarter turn. Half-way through cooking, flip it once. Give it a final quarter turn for the last bit of cooking. When finished you should have a steak that looks like it belongs on a commercial. This might not be the most important thing in your day, but if you’re on a first date or trying to impress then try this!”

And I totally agree. If you’re gonna do it, do it right! Don’t haphazardly flip your steak twelve times. You’ll have crazy lines that have NO uniformity. And what’s the fun in that?

Have a blast perfecting your grill mark technique the next time you’re at the grill and check out that Top 10 list here for other great steak grilling tips!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 20th, 2014

Guide to Grilling Summer Ingredients

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We’re all out there grilling up a storm. After all, it’s summertime!

Delicious beef is a given, but what else are you complementing it with? We’ve got to take advantage of summery favorites at this time of year – things like summer squash, zucchini and corn on the cob.

To die for.

When putting these delicate veggies on the grill, we’ve got to be careful to treat them just right. For instance, cutting the SQUASH into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick horizontal slices will ensure they don’t fall through the grill. Start them off in a pan with olive oil, garlic cloves and salt and pepper. Then finish them off on the grill – about 5-10 minutes per side until they’re YOUR desired tenderness. Be sure to brush them occasionally with the oil mixture for great flavor.

On the ZUCCHINI, this recipe is a must for perfection every time:

Grilled Zucchini Medley

Ingredients:
1 lb. zucchini
1/2 lb. yellow squash
1 red pepper
1 medium onion, sliced vertically into thin strips
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Directions: Cut zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper in matchstick size pieces. On one half of a 22” x 18” sheet of heavy-duty foil, layer vegetables in order listed. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with oil. Fold top half of foil over vegetables to meet bottom edge. Grill over hot coals for approximately 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
Source: KC Steak Company

 

For great CORN ON THE COB, remove husks and silk, rinse with cold water and wrap in foil. Place on the grill for about 15-20 minutes until tender, turning occasionally. Create a butter mixture to your taste – add garlic, salt and pepper, Parmesan cheese, parsley – whatever your fancy. Then spread liberally on each ear of corn after grilling. YUM!

And then try these VEGGIE KABOBS…

Vegetable Kabobs

Ingredients:
Marinade:
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp. minced parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, mincedKabobs:
2 large green peppers
3 small zucchini, sliced 3/8 inch thick
1 qt. fresh mushrooms
1 large red onion
Can of potatoes
Directions:Stir together marinade ingredients and pour over vegetables. Toss to coat. Cover and marinade several hours or overnight. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Put vegetables on skewers and broil 6 inches from source of heat for 10 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with marinadeServes 8-10 skewers.
Source: KC Steak Company

 

With these tips and recipes at your fingertips, you CANNOT go wrong at the grillside this summer! Enjoy!

Photo and recipes courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 18th, 2014

Planning a Cookout? Use This Checklist

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It’s COOKOUT time of year!!!

You want to invite the whole gang over to beat the heat and share some good, grilled grub.

With a little planning, your cookout can be the Greatest Cookout of All Time. And everyone – including you – will have lots of fun.

How does this happen? Follow this simple checklist for a fantastic cookout!

1. INVITATIONS

You can obviously just verbally invite folks over but if you do that you don’t have a concrete RSVP list. And that makes food and supplies hard to judge. My advice is good, old-fashioned invitations in the mailbox. Guests can RSVP by e-mail, but go all out and send ‘em some paper!

2. MENU PLANNING

Think about the number of people who’ll be there, but also WHO will be there. Does everyone like filets? Burgers? Chicken? Seafood? Make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy. And load up on sides and desserts, too, like gourmet mac ‘n cheese and red velvet cake. Check out these recipes for inspiration. Hey, variety is the spice of life!

DRINKS

Don’t forget to quench their thirst! Make sure if you’re going to have alcoholic drinks, you also have non-alcoholic drinks. And have lots of water on hand. It’s hot out there!

DECORATIONS

You can really give your cookout a special feel if you decorate just for the occasion. Go Hawaiian or decorate with a down-home Southern twist. Really make it special!

ENTERTAINMENT

This can be as simple as setting out a game of horseshoes or croquet to play while the food is grilling. Or, even designating a DJ. Just give ‘em something to focus on before, during and after the food makes its grand entrance!

 

If you plan it all out ahead of time, you can just go with the flow and enjoy your friends and family at your cookout. And THAT is what summer’s all about!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 13th, 2014

Grilling Tools For Different Meats

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You consider yourself a grillmaster. You have immediately earned my respect and admiration.

But as a grillmaster do you have all of the important tools of the trade? Do you have different tools for different types of meat?

Let me explain.

STEAK

It’s heavy and needs to be flipped without steak juices escaping all over the place. A SPATULA is the tool you need at grillside for this delicious dish.

STEAKBURGERS

Lighter than steak, but still substantial, burgers need proper flipping as well. But these babies require a SMALL SIZE SPATULA just large enough for the patty.

HOT DOGS

Hot dogs have a distinctive shape and require a tool to match. TONGS are your best bet for turning and grilling these to perfection.

BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS

Yum! Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a favorite around our house as well. Use a PRONGED FORK to do right by this healthy meat.

SALMON

Seafood, especially salmon, is very delicate so it requires extra care and attention. Use ALUMINUM FOIL to wrap this meat before placing it on the grill. It’ll help it cook evenly and keep it all in one piece!

 

Now that you know all the tools of the trade, make sure you’re locked and loaded for grilling season. The right tool makes all the difference!

Photos courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 11th, 2014

Mmmmm…USDA Prime Beef!

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The marbling!

The flavor!

The tenderness!

Oh, the magic of USDA Prime beef

What is it?

Only the top 1-2% of all beef can be labeled USDA Prime and you can taste the difference. It’s a designation reserved for only the best beef.

USDA Prime is known for its marbling – you know those little lines of fat delicately running through a great piece of meat? That’s marbling. And it makes beef tender and flavorful. Not fatty. There’s a difference.

Simply put, these steaks and meats are cut above. You can buy USDA Prime steaks of all cuts and in roast form (like the exquisite Chateaubriand).

They are more expensive, but that’s because only 1-2% of beef out there qualifies. Supply and demand, right?

In my opinion, Prime beef is worth it. After all, you want your dining experience to be the best it can be! Try it and see!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 9th, 2014

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Foodie Dads

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What do you give the man who wants nothing but has a real obsession with great food?

Foodie gifts for Father’s Day!

I’ve come up with some fun/yummy ideas for dear old Dad that will get his taste buds moving! Take your pick and he’s sure to be appreciative!

1. Gift Boxed Steaks. Nothing says love like gorgeous steaks in a beautiful package. Near perfection.

2. The Big Daddy Steak Combo. Encourage Dad to indulge his passion for grilling with a steak combo package of his favorite cuts – and invite you to join in!

3. USDA Prime Beef. Go all out and treat Dad to these very high-quality steaks and beef. Only the top 1-2% of beef can be “Prime.” That should impress Dad.

4. Chef Hat. Dad loves food so he needs to look the part. Make sure he has a fancy chef hat to wear while he’s grilling up something great!

Not sure what to give him? A gift card will do just fine! Let HIM decide what he wants most!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 5th, 2014

Everything Ribeye!

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Oh, the glorious ribeye! How I love you!

It’s my absolute favorite cut. It’s tender, but rich and hearty. Just the way I like it!

With or without the bone, it’s sliced from the prime rib. And so, so succulent.

The bone has been rumored to give the meat even more flavor, but for me, I prefer the simplicity of boneless. Beauty is, you get to decide for yourself!

Want to pair a ribeye with a nice wine? Try a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon for maximum impact. This wine pairing chart is fun to peruse when cooking a beautiful steak dinner.

Trying out a ribeye soon? Watch the ribeye video on this page. It’s a wonderful resource for chef tips and advice on cooking your ribeye perfectly. Check it out and heed this advice! :)

And when you’re ready to dive in, the ribeye recipes here are to die for! Try your hand at whipping up some Chipotle Buttered Ribeye Steaks or even Spicy Ribeyes Topped with Blue Cheese. You’ll be a pro in no time!

All this ribeye talk is making me hungry. I know what I’m having for dinner. How about you?

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 4th, 2014

Menu Ideas for Father’s Day

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Now that we have a checklist for planning a celebration of Dad on Father’s Day, let’s talk MENU!

We’ve got to do it up right for Dad!

APPETIZERS

We’re going to want to whet Dad’s appetite, but not TOO much because there’s lots more to come! Try some Jumbo Shrimp or Basil Pesto Gorgonzola Kisses to get him started.

ENTREE

Now on to the main course! Might I suggest a gorgeous Porterhouse steak for such an occasion? It’s manly, it’s delicious and it’ll let Dad know you’re serious.

SIDE DISHES

This celebration meal calls for Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Mushrooms or decadent Twice Baked Potatoes. Delish!

DESSERT

MY dad is all about the German Chocolate Cake. But maybe yours would love Red Velvet Cake or Vanilla Cheesecake. Pick his favorite!

It’s so much fun to plan a meal for someone you love. Make sure you have all Dad’s faves and it’ll be a hit. Click here for more menu inspiration.

Happy celebrating!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


June 2nd, 2014

Checklist for Planning Your Father’s Day Cookout

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Dad’s big day is coming up! June 15th is Father’s Day and it’s time to celebrate!

Lots of us equate celebrating with food. Why? Because it’s how humans have shown love since the dawn of man.

And what better way to show Dad you love him than with a steak and beef-filled cookout?!?!!

To make sure we don’t forget a thing, let’s make a checklist of things we’ll need to make this cookout DA BOMB:

 

1. High-quality steaks, burgers and whatever kind of beef Dad loves

2. Veggies for amazing kabobs or fantastic, colorful side dishes

3. A clean grill!

4. Spatula/tongs for optimal grilling

5. Buns or bread

6. Dessert

7. Condiments, condiments, condiments

8. Plates, cups, utensils

9. Ice!

10. Beverages of Dad’s choice

11. A beautiful tablecloth/table setting – Dad-themed, of course!

12. Lots and lots of love!!!

 

Definitely tailor your fiesta to your specific needs but this is a great start. And check out some yummy menu ideas for Dad’s day over here. Hint:  Steak is the main course!

Follow this list and maybe you’ll find, like I have, that planning to celebrate someone is almost as fun as the celebration itself!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.

 


May 28th, 2014

Dry Rub 101

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The weather’s warmer and you wanna get out there and barbecue!

Wanna make the most of your meats this summer?

Then you’ll want to brush up on your dry rub acumen. Sometimes, we just need a refresher course.

Check out this “Dry Rub 101” lesson and you’ll be all set to rub up some great ribs, burgers, steaks, brisket – whatever you like!

Happy studying, my friends!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


May 23rd, 2014

Marinating By Meat Type

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A marinade adds wonderful flavor and juiciness to any type of meat – whether poultry, beef, fish or other.

But did you know that some marinades are better suited to one type of meat over another?

Once you know these secrets, your steaks, burgers, chicken – you name it – will rise to a different level!

Check out this “Marinating 101″ lesson from our friends at StartCooking.com.

It’ll open your eyes to a whole new world of marinating. Try it this weekend!

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


May 21st, 2014

Video: Steakhouse Secrets – Perfect Steak at Home

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Looking for the secrets of the pros? Check out this video on making your own PERFECT steak at home.

Tips and techniques from chefs always make at-home meals better.

Try it this weekend – this LOOONNNG, EXTENDED weekend!

And while we’re enjoying a day off, let’s remember the folks who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom this Memorial Day.


May 20th, 2014

Memorial Day Party Checklist

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If you’re like me, hosting parties is fun, but you get a little frazzled just beforehand.

Did I forget anyone? Did I forget anything? Do I have enough food?

All of these questions come tumbling down upon us if we don’t prepare well in advance.

And, well, I never seem to do that.

So here is a Memorial Day Party Checklist for those of us who need a little bit of help.

Location? Check.

Seating? Check.

Clean grill? Check.

So many things to think of, but the beauty here is SOMEONE ELSE THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING!

I love it when that happens.

So whether you’re serving burgers or brisket or steaks or hot dogs, you can be sure your party is a success.

Check out that list here — and get checking!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


May 15th, 2014

Cooking Steak in Cast Iron Video

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Have you ever cooked in cast iron? It’s amazing.

This video shows us how to cook a steak using the “constant flip method” in a cast iron skillet.

It’s so good I can smell the aroma through the screen!

Delicious.

Enjoy these amazing tips for cooking a perfect steak!