December 25th, 2009

Merry Christmas, Steak!

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If you celebrate Christmas today, have a merry, merry one!

More and more families are celebrating this day with a sumptuous steak dinner.

steaklg

This photo is of a luscious filet with herb butter. The rest of the menu consists of a creamy potato casserole, carrot pineapple salad, a brie with cherry chutney as an appetizer and a caramel banana cream pie for dessert.

Does yum come any bigger than that?

Check out all the recipe details here and don’t forget to let me know what you think!

Photo courtesy of Linda Larsen at BusyCooks.About.com.

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December 10th, 2009

O Steaky Night

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holidaysteak

All was quiet in the house (well, except for the kids)

We decided it was time for a strip

So that’s what we did


A salad to start

Some mashed potatoes as a side

We talked about the holidays — and life

It’s been quite a ride


How did it get to be Christmastime already?

A few days ago it was 70 degress

Now the snow is comin’ down heavy


Nothin’ like grilling with your gloves on

When you’re serious about a steak

It was fun while it lasted –

Our at-home holiday date.

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November 17th, 2009

Steak for Thanksgiving?

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Oh, yes. Steak for Thanksgiving.

Why not? If the pilgrims had had access to a juicy ribeye you can bet your bottom dollar (or gold coin or whatever their currency was) that they would’ve jammed out on a nice, big steak.

Alas, turkey was the meat of the day. And although I do enjoy good turkey, must we always be followers?

I liked this discussion thread I read over at Chowhound.com. And if you’re considering steak for YOUR Thanksgiving meal this year, read on!

NewYorkStripSteak

Steak for Thanksgiving

We’re going non-traditional this year with grilled rib eye; nice, fat, corn-fed, dry-aged, 1lb. steaks per person, grilled over mesquite. What do you suggest for side dishes? Only requirement is that they pair well with a big red wine. Thanks!

Reply

First off: what’s steak without potatoes? ?Baked potatoes are easy and can be left to their own designs, but they’re fairly uninteresting – although smearing them with butter, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper and then wrapping them in foil to bake sure helps. ?Smashed red potatoes with herbs and a dash of citrus zest are great; smashed gold potatoes with gobs of butter and cracked black pepper are also great; and you can’t go wrong with whipped Idahoes. ?Oven fries are good, too, roasted golden brown and covered in salt and herbs, but that might be difficult for a large group.?Corn:?A bit of a southwest twist never hurt corn. Saute some red onion and garlic on medium-ish heat until they start to soften, add in some chopped red bell pepper, throw the corn in once the pepper starts to cook through, and then pull it after a couple minutes. Toss it all in a big bowl with some salt & pepper, lime juice, a bit of cumin, and some chopped fresh cilantro. ?Sweet potatoes:?Another southwest suggestion: rather than traditional candied yams, make a hash of these with red onion, red bell pepper, some chili powder (I prefer chipotle or ancho for the smoky flavor, but guajillo is good too), cumin, and coriander, and salt and pepper. ?Green beans:?I see no reason to mess with tradition here – slow cooked with some bacon works well.?Asparagus:?As long as you’ve got the grill lit up, no reason not to toss some asparagus on. It’s easy and fast to cook, and you can gussy it up with some lemon juice and fresh grated Parmesan.?Salad:?Something bold with a strong vinaigrette is probably a good idea. I’d look for pears and red onion with red wine vinegar if you lean southwest on the above sides, or if you want something that’s a bit sweeter, head for balsamic with walnuts and feta. ?Hope some of that helps — most of it is stuff I make on a regular basis and I can vouch for pairing it with steak. :D

Discussion thread courtesy of Chowhound.com.

Photo courtesy of Hardrock.com.

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October 6th, 2009

Steak and Grilled Broccoli

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broccoli2

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

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.

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January 29th, 2009

To Sauce or Not to Sauce?

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Well, so, that is the question.

When a great cut of meat is involved do you sauce it or not?

large_filet

Denny Howell over at MLive.com gives us one option . . .

Sauce or no sauce?
That’s a big question when you have a good cut of steak. I waiver back and forth depending on the occasion and the rest of the menu, I think a sauce can truly finish the flavors. This was the case on Saturday when cooking for a dinner party.

Now I’m not talking about A.1. Steak Sauce. I’m talking about classic finishing sauces; a Merlot reduction, a Mushroom sauce or Bearnaise. Saturday happened to be a Creamy Cognac Peppercorn sauce with Morel Mushrooms.

I really liked the sauce and the rest of the dinner guests thought it was great! Not only did it go well with the steak but I thought the flavor of it with the mashed potatoes was really harmonious.

Dinner Menu:
Grilled Romaine with Spicy Caesar Dressing
Mushroom Stuffed Filet Mignon with Cognac Peppercorn Sauce
Boursin Mashed Potatoes
Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Serves 6

Grilled Romaine with Spicy Caesar Dressing
The Spicy Caesar dressing is very quick and easy. Just take your favorite creamy caesar dressing and add one or two finely chopped
chipotles and about 1 Tbsp of the adobo sauce.

For the Grilled Romaine, cut the romaine heats in half lengthwise brush the cut side with olive oil, salt and pepper then place on the grill until slightly charred.

Serve with anchovies, croutons and grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Tri-Mushroom Stuffed Filet w/ Creamy Cognac Peppercorn Sauce
- (6) 6-8oz filet mignon steaks
- 1 1/2 oz. dried portabella mushrooms
- 1 1/2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 1/2 oz. dried chanterelle mushrooms
- 2 cups cognac (I used
Hennessy)
- olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup shallots, minced
- 3 tsp. fresh thyme
- Salt and Pepper

Place all the dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Pour heated, either microwave or stove-top) cognac over mushrooms. Let stand 1.5 hours. Drain mushrooms, while saving liquid for the peppercorn sauce.

Chop the garlic, shallots and mushrooms. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, saute 1 minute. Add chopped mushrooms, saute another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, cool and add fresh thyme.

Cut a small slit into the side of each steak and move the knife around in the middle to make a pocket. Press the cooled mushroom mixture into each steak. You can secure the pockets with toothpicks. Season the steaks with salt and pepper.

Outside – Prepare Grill. Arrange coals to have hot section to sear and medium section to finish cooking. Place steaks on hot section and sear for 1 minute, rotate 45 degrees and sear an additional minute, on each side. Move steaks to medium section and grill for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes covered with foil.

Inside – Preheat over to 350. On High heat place the steaks in a grilling pan and sear for 1 minute, rotate 45 degrees and sear an additional minute, flip the steak, sear for another minute, rotate 45 degrees and place in the over for 5-10 minutes depending on steak temp. I recommend Med-Rare.

Creamy Cognac Peppercorn Sauce
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. chopped shallots
- 4 Tbsp. crushed green and pink peppercorns
- 1cup cognac-mushroom liquid (drained from mushrooms)
- 1cup heavy whipping cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- Optional
(18) morel mushrooms

In a saute pan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp butter. Add shallots and peppercorns. Saute until shallots are soft. Add cognac-mushroom liquid and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add cream and simmer until sauce slightly thickens, add optional morel mushrooms. Turn off heat and slowly whisk the remaining 1/2 to 1 Tbsp of butter in the sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper and dill.

Spoon over the top of the filet mignon steaks set over the mashed potatoes. Make sure to get some morel’s on each plate!
Boursin Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks (peeled if you don’t want the skins)
- 1 package (5.2 oz.) Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander. In a bowl, mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Add the Boursin cheese and continue mashing until the cheese is thoroughly mixed. Add the milk and cream and beat in to the potato mixture and salt and pepper to taste.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2lb to 1lb Bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Blanch green beans for 3 minutes. Toss them in olive oil and salt and pepper. Bundle about 5-7 green beans and wrap a piece of bacon around the bundle. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until bacon is cooked.

Enjoy….

Photo and excerpt courtesy of Denny Howell at MLive.com.

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January 9th, 2009

Fit For a King

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At our little castle in the sand over the holidays we were very spoiled by the food.

Great meals just kept on coming.

One night we enjoyed bacon-wrapped filets with oven-baked potatoes and veggies.

Most of us in the house were in at the word “bacon.”  But, then, we were treated to buttery-tender filets that were to-die-for.

There was, however, a word of warning on the box that I must show you . . .

pin

The Kansas City Steak Company totally had our number. They knew they were dealing with pigs who would just dive right in — pin and all. Thanks, guys! You saved us an emergency trip to the dentist in a state none of us live in. Appreciate ya.

To start the meal, first, Sandy pan-seared the filets after sprinkling each filet with the seasoning that came with the steaks.

seared-filets

She also cooked the bacon a bit and re-wrapped them. You can see them above being placed on aluminum foil and then sent out to the grill to be manned by the cutest griller around. (Okay, it was my husband.)

Why the foil? Because we don’t trust other people’s grills. Remember, this was a rented house. Plus, that grill had seen better days and we weren’t taking any chances with this meat.

Some in our group like their filets pretty well-done and not so thick. So we simply cut one in half so we had two filets that were half as thick. Voila!

While those were grilling we worked on the sides. We made oven-baked potatoes that were quickly cooked in olive oil, salt and pepper in a skillet and then baked in the oven.

potatoes

Here is the final product (after the pins were removed). This baby didn’t last long after the picture was taken.

baconwrappedfilet

By the way, this was our Christmas Eve dinner. A special and exciting night for us all. Can you imagine a better meal?

Well, wait ’til you see what else we cooked that week . . .

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December 18th, 2008

Kwanzaa Delights

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moroccansteak

My son is in first grade and his class has been studying different holidays people celebrate around this time of year.

I’ve enjoyed learning along with him about the ways people come together and celebrate.

I’ve zeroed in on Kwanzaa because, well, it’s really cool. Here’s a little background info from ChefMom.com:

Kwanzaa, celebrated by some African Americans, is a holiday which has gained in popularity in recent years. It came out of the 60s cultural revolution that set off an interest in African history, music, art and a growing sense of black consciousness.

Kwanzaa, which means “first fruits of the harvest,” is celebrated for seven days from December 26 through January 1. It is a cultural, rather than religious, holiday. Each day is celebrated, generally by a gathering of family and friends. Participants discuss and commit to seven guiding principles, one each day. A candle is lighted each day. The first day starts with a black candle – it represents African American people in unity. The next six days alternate between lighting a red candle, representing struggle, and a green candle, representing a “green future.” A feast is held on December 31 for sharing, remembering, reassessing and rejoicing. ~Bev Whitfield and Kathleen Wilson

Now, we celebrate Christmas at our house but I’m loving learning the cool things others do at their houses.

And naturally, ’cause I like to eat, I wanted to know just what they eat at this feast. So, here’s a Kwanzaa recipe we ALL can celebrate!

Moroccan-Rubbed Grilled Steak and Sweet Potatoes

From EatingWell Magazine April/May 2006

A Moroccan-inspired spice rub coats the steaks and is tossed with the sweet potatoes as well. The foil-packet cooking method for the sweet potatoes yields excellent results (and fewer dishes). Make it a Meal: Sautéed greens, such as arugula, kale or spinach, and a glass of Zinfandel round out the meal.

Makes 4 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 25 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

EASE OF PREPARATION: Moderate

1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound strip steak, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 4 portions
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total), peeled and very thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1. Preheat grill to high.
2. Combine allspice, cumin, ginger, salt, cinnamon, coriander and cayenne
in a small bowl. Sprinkle steaks with 4 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture. Toss sweet potatoes and onion with canola oil, orange zest and the remaining spice mixture.
3. To make a packet, lay 2 24-inch sheets of foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the ingredients from burning); generously coat the top piece with cooking spray. Spread half of the sweet potato mixture in the center of the foil in a thin layer. Bring the short ends of foil together, fold over and pinch to seal. Pinch the seams together along the sides to seal the packet. Repeat with two more sheets of foil and the remaining sweet potato mixture.
4. Place the packets on the hottest part of the grill and cook, switching the packets’ positions on the grill halfway through cooking, 5 minutes per side. Place the steaks in the front or back and cook, turning once, about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to plates and let rest while the packets finish cooking. Open the packets (be careful of steam) and serve alongside the steaks.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 337 calories; 18 g fat (6 g sat, 8 g mono); 69 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 22 g protein; 3 g fiber; 347 mg sodium; 480 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (220% daily value), Zinc (26% dv), Vitamin C (20% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 medium-fat meats, 1 fat

Recipe and photo courtesy of EatingWell.com.

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November 11th, 2008

Dauphinoise Potatoes

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Sandy mentioned previously a delicious side that would complement a Chateaubriand or, really, any beef entree.

I love an alternative to my usual potato sides. This recipe for Dauphinoise Potatoes is not only tasty, but truly gorgeous. Here is what it looks like when Sandy prepares it . . .

Yeah. Spectacular.

You can brush up on your gratin family of potatoes history here. In the meantime, here are Sandy’s step-by-step instructions so we can be JUST LIKE HER . . .

Recipe for Dauphinoise Potatoes:

1 pint heavy cream or half and half
garlic, herbs or flavoring as desired
kosher salt and pepper
6 medium baking potatoes, peeled
2 Tablespoons Butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring cream or half and half to a simmer in a medium saucepan, adding whole peeled and smashed garlic cloves (2 for subtle garlic flavor), herbs such as thyme or rosemary sprigs to flavor the liquid.  When the cream develops small bubbles on the rim of the saucepan remove from heat and set aside until potatoes are prepared. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds fresh pepper.  Taste the mixture for seasoning.  It should be slightly saltier than you would eat straight (potatoes absorb lots of salt). 

With 1 tablespoon of softened butter, grease the potato baking pan(s) generously.  Wash, peel and thinly slice potatoes, preferably using a mandolin-type slicer with a sharp blade.  1/8 in slices are ideal and easy to do with a slicer.  Slice potatoes directly into baking dish.  I used a loaf pan but any pan which will allow the potaoes to cook in a deep layer (ie lots of head room) will work.  Individual tart pans can be used to bake and serve directly.  Toss the raw potatoes with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and some pepper.  Strain the liquid or just remove herbs and garlic.  Add to baking dish, you will probably not need all of the liquid, depending on the size of potatoes, the baking dish and how much reduction of liquid took place.  Potatoes should be nearly covered, but not swimming in cream.

Use plastic wrap to push the potatoes down into the liquid.  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the potatoes.  Cover pan and plastic wrap with foil and weight the potaoes down with a slighly smaller pan filled with hot water.  Place the baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes.  Carefully remove the water filled pan, the foil and the plastic wrap and continue to bake until the potaoes are tender and the liquid is nearly absorbed.  Some thickened liquid will remain.

If you are serving immediately, place the pan under the broiler and cook until potatoes are golden.

If you are preparing this dish ahead, cover and let cool in refrigerator.  When totally cool, potatoes may be turned out of baking dish onto cutting board and cut with a sharp heavy knife into serving sizes.  Place on well buttered baking pan.  To reheat, place in 450 degree oven until browned and hot throughout.  Serve immediately.

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September 16th, 2008

Old-Fashioned Steak Fries

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I love the thought of “old-fashioned” anything because it brings back a time in my mind when people didn’t worry about fat grams or carbs or any of that stuff.

The question simply was, “Does it taste good?”

Try these with your next steak or steakburger meal and let me know the answer!

old-fashioned steak fries
an original recipe by rachelle

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed well
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

preheat oven to 450 degrees. halve potatoes lengthwise and then cut into steak fry sized slices. leave those skins on! if you’ve got mahusive potatoes, you may halve them again. but i like the idea of a mahusive fry. toss the potatoes in a ziptop bag and dump in the oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. smoosh it all together and dump out on a cookie sheet. roast for 25 minutes: roast ten minutes, turn over the fries and bake about fifteen minutes more.

Recipe and photo courtesy of foodbuzz.com

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September 10th, 2008

This One’s Just Peachy!

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Say you’re looking to serve something other than potatoes with your juicy, tender steak tonight. Then, say you’re up for something quite different than your ordinary fare.

This just might be what you’re looking for. It’s fresh. It’s peachy. It’s cheesy.

Try it!

Italian Grilled Peaches
Serves 4

2/3 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
3 T sugar
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 large peaches, unpeeled, halved and pitted
2 to 3 oz Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
2 T mascarpone cheese, for garnish

In a small, non-reactive saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar, sugar and pepper, and simmer until reduced by half and thick enough to use as a glaze.  Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat grill to medium-high, 350º to 400º.  Place peach halves on the grill, cut side down, and grill 5 minutes, or until flesh is slightly charred. Brush the rounded tops of the peaches with the glaze, and cook 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip peaches, brush the cut sides with glaze and grill an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer peaches to 4 individual serving dishes, and spoon any remaining glaze over the tops. Sprinkle each serving with an equal amount of Gorgonzola and place a small dollop of mascarpone on the side.

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September 5th, 2008

And Now For Your Dining Pleasure . . .

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. . . a side salad that is the perfect complement to a prime rib roast, steaks — or just about any dish.

Enjoy!! And have a great weekend! Eat outside while you still can . . .

Greens and Berry Salad
Serves 4-6

1  (8 oz) pkg. mixed greens (about 8 cups)
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2   ¼” thick slices red onion, separated into rings
1 cup fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries
1  (2 oz) pkg slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard

In a large salad bowl, combine the greens, blue cheese, onion, raspberries and almonds.  In a small bowl, whisk together the salad dressing and mustard. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well.

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August 26th, 2008

Hangin’ With Mr. T-Bone

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Here’s the scenario:  You’ve grilled up a beautiful T-bone. It’s cooked just right — it’s juicy in all the right places, it’s seared in all the right places and the grill marks are outta sight.

What could possibly be good enough complement that? Or (gasp!) to sit on the same plate?

You’d better have a killer side, baby. That’s all I’ve got to say.

Psst. Yeah, you. Come here . . . closer . . .

Closer.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

Try this . . .
Avocado Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil
Serves 6

2 cups finely chopped onion
¾ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3 T finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T white wine vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced
1½ cups chopped peeled avocado (about 2)
1 (8 oz) pkg. mixed greens (about 8 cups)
1½ cups grape tomatoes
2 T chopped fresh cilantro, optional
¼ tsp hot pepper sauce, optional

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; toss mixture gently. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours. Stir in avocado just before serving. Divide greens and tomatoes among 6 salad plates. Top greens with avocado mixture and garnish with cilantro if desired.

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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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