February 4th, 2015

Homemade Soup Recipes

Steak Soup

Need something to really warm you up this time of year?

A good homemade soup will do the trick!

I like to make mine with different cuts of steak. Sirloin steak is especially good and holds up well in soup. And beef tenderloin tips are the perfect size for adding bite-sized bits of goodness to your creation.

This homemade soup recipe is exactly what I need right now.

Beef and Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb. package Beef Tenderloin Tips
2 onions, minced
4 cups fresh mushrooms, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 brandy or sherry
4 oz. dried shitake mushrooms
4 oz. dried morel mushrooms
3 cups, heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
6 cups beef stock
salt and pepper

Servings: 8

Directions: Bring six cups of water to a boil and pour over dried mushrooms. Let stand ten minutes. Strain mushrooms, chop and reserve liquid. In a heavy bottomed stock pot, sauté Beef Tenderloin Tips in butter, remove and reserve. Add onions and sauté. Add fresh mushrooms and cook for five minutes. Add garlic and cook for three more minutes. Add flour and cook for five minutes. Deglaze pan with brandy. Add stock a little at a time and until soup becomes smooth. Add reserved mushroom liquid and reduce by half. Puree soup in a blender or with a stick blender. Add beef, cream and reconstituted mushrooms and season to taste.

This recipe uses beef tenderloin tips and just thinking about this soup makes my mouth water!

Treat yourself and your family to a tummy-warming homemade soup!


January 21st, 2015

Beef Soup Recipe

Beef and Vegetable Soup

My toes are perpetually frozen this time of year. So a hearty, beefy soup makes perfect sense right now.

I need a meal that’ll thaw me out!

This Beef and Vegetable Soup recipe uses bite-sized beef tenderloin tips made from Filet Mignon and it really does the trick.

Ingredients:                                                                
1 lb. package Beef Tenderloin Tips, minced
2 onions, minced
2 carrots, minced
3 celery stalks, minced
2 cups, diced tomatoes
1 cup barley
1/2 cup lentils
6 cups beef stock
1 tbsp. oil
salt and pepper

Directions: Sear Beef Tenderloin Tips in oil and remove from pan. Add carrot, celery and onion and sweat. Add barley and cook for three minutes. Add tomato and beef stock and bring to a simmer, cook for 30 minutes and add lentils. Continue to simmer for another 10 and add reserved beef. Cook for 10 minutes, season to taste and serve.

Servings: 8

A soup that includes bites of steak? Yes, please! This one’s a winner!


June 3rd, 2011

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

By

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.


May 11th, 2011

Eat More Steak – It’s BBQ Month!

By

So, it’s National BBQ Month. Who knew?

Apparently, lots of people knew – and know. This thing is huge, people.

In celebration of National BBQ Month, here are some hints for making it successful from D Magazine (D as in Dallas – and they know barbecue).

Be sure to heed the advice about when exactly to put those steaks on the grill.

Hint:  Ya gotta give it time.

Click here to see those tips – and click here for more ways to get the most bang for your buck outta National BBQ Month. Let’s milk this thing, folks!

I hope YOU go all-out to celebrate this special month. It deserves to be feted!!!

Photo courtesy of WikiHow.com.

 


April 19th, 2011

Grilling the Perfect Steak

By

Seems we all have varying ideas on how to grill the perfect steak.

I guess it all comes down to:  What do you like?

Here’s a video with tips we can all appreciate. Maybe you’ll come away with something new to try the next time you’re at the helm of your ship grill.

Life is a continual learning process, right? Enjoy!

 


January 18th, 2011

Steak Fun Facts

By

If you’re here, you probably love a great steak.

But here are a few fun tidbits you might not know about our beloved beef. Read on!

History

  • Although meat has been grilled since shortly after the discovery of fire–some 500,000 years ago–it did not become a popular pastime until the 1950s.
  • Time Frame

  • Depending on the cut of the steak, it may take between 10 and 30 minutes to cook on the grill; thicker cuts, such as filet mignon and T-bone, generally take the most time to grill.
  • Benefits

  • Grilling is an exceptionally healthy method of cooking steak and other kinds of meat because excess fat drains away rather than being consumed.
  • Fun Fact

  • The charcoal briquette was invented in 1920 by Henry Ford, with help from Thomas Edison.
  • Warning

  • Most injuries related to grilling are caused by improper use of starter fluid, such as adding additional fluid after lighting an outdoor grill.
  • Considerations

  • If you want to produce “grill marks” when making steak, avoid moving the steak except to turn it–only once–during the course of cooking.
  • Read more: Facts on Grilling Steak | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_4567438_grilling-steak.html#ixzz1BQ8Xn2iX


    December 28th, 2010

    How Long is Too Long for Leftovers?

    By

    The Christmas meal has come and gone. But you still have turkey, ham, prime rib and various and sundry sides in your fridge.

    How long can we keep nibbling on them?

    As you can imagine, there are many schools of thought on this. But I like Madam Trainer’s explanation here.  She makes some good arguments and I, personally, like to err on the side of caution with this one.

    Check out her sage advice here and let me know what YOU think!


    October 22nd, 2010

    Grape Marinated Steak

    By

    What, you say? Grape?

    Yes. Grape. It’s something I’ve never thought of before.

    Good thing there are chefs out there who are always thinking!

    Here, Chef Evan Branning goes over this recipe detail by detail, tip by tip for us. Thank goodness, because I need specific directions.

    He even tells us exactly how to season before the marinade to get the most flavorful steaks possible. So go here now for the full recipe and instructions.

    Happy cooking!

    Photo courtesy of ChefALaPorte.com.


    October 13th, 2010

    Pan Searing Steaks

    By

    You know how to grill. You know how to broil. But are you an expert on pan searing a delicious, exquisite steak?

    Here are a few tips on this yummy cooking method from the Kansas City Steak Company. Don’t forget that there are slightly different methods for different cuts. Did ya know that?

    Me neither.

    Check out the article here and let me know how it goes for you!

    Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


    September 10th, 2010

    3 Ways to Cook a Great Steak

    By

    There are all sorts of helpful hints out there to get you on your way to the perfect steak.

    Here’s an article with important tips to create your most amazing meal and three of the best ways to cook it.

    It’s always good to heed time-tested advice — especially when it comes to something as critical as steak!

    Listen to the experts, I say. This is too important to mess up!

    Check it out here. And let me know how your incredible meal goes . . .

    Photo courtesy of StartCooking.com.


    September 9th, 2010

    Flip Your Steaks By Hand

    By

    I’m often up late at night. The TV is on and you can imagine what kinds of ads I see.

    Everything from “enhancement” products to hearing aids to – well – THIS:

    It’s the Grill Glove!

    Seriously, you put it on, reach right on that hot grill, grab your steak, flip it and all is well!

    It’s even dishwasher safe. Bonus.

    I don’t know what I think about this. Will I accidently burn part the of my arm that’s not covered by the glove as I reach over HOT FLAMES?

    Also, do I want to actually pick up my steak with my hand as it is cooking? I’m worried about the “ick” factor here. Will it feel mushy?  

    On the other hand, Anthony Sullivan is endorsing it. So you know it has to be top notch.

    Who’s Anthony Sullivan again?

    What do you think? Do you have any experience with the Grill Glove? Or is this a flash in the pan?

    Photo courtesy of GrillGlove.com.


    September 2nd, 2010

    Are Your Steaks Ready for Labor Day?

    By

     

    In this fantastic article, chef Scott Popovic grills up some great advice on choosing the right meat and more to make this Labor Day the tastiest ever!

    I hope you are planning on sharing some steakburgers or T-bones or something yummy with loved ones this long weekend. After all, that’s what it’s for!

    Well, that, and honoring our country’s workers, of course.

    But, seriously, what better way to do that than by cooking up a great feast?

    Get your beef here, check out the article here and then let me know what you cooked. I want to see photos, too!


    August 31st, 2010

    Steak Tips From Your iPhone!

    By

    Okay, this is so cool. Technology absolutely rocks.

    The Kansas City Steak Company now has a free iPhone app that lets you select your favorite cut of meat (you know, T-bone, filet mignon, etc.), choose a thickness and how well done you’d like your steak and then the app’s timer will tell you how long to cook it and when to flip it.

    Genius.

    Besides that, it has tons of recipes, grilling tips and a steak reference library. How awesome is that?

    Go here, check it out, then download the app on your phone and have fun playing with it. It’s free and it’s my new obsession. 

    Let me know what you think. I’m dying to know if you try it out this Labor Day weekend!!


    July 8th, 2010

    Perfect Steak in 20 Minutes

    By

    This video shows you how to cook a great filet mignon indoors in about 20 minutes.

    If it has been raining lots where you are, don’t fret! You can still enjoy a great summertime steak. Just cook it inside. Listen to his tips and watch how he works his magic.

    Try this out!


    June 28th, 2010

    8 of the Most Expensive Cuts of Beef You Never Knew You HAD to Have!

    By

    8 of the Most Expensive Cuts of Beef You Never Knew You HAD to Have!

    You love steak, and even in a recession you want the best that money can buy.  But how much money are you really willing to drop to buy the “perfect” steak?

    Let’s say you have an unlimited budget…what would be the best steak that your money could buy?  Here’s a list of the 8 most expensive types of beef.  The prices listed below are based on USDA Prime quality beef, but prices will vary according to your geographic location, the portion size, and grade of beef selected.

    Not all beef is created equal.  If you want to eat the best steak of your life, it’s gonna cost you…and it’ll be worth every penny.

    The Best of the Best

    1)    Kobe Beef

    This beef comes only from Kobe, Japan; therefore, costs more the further you travel from Japan.  What makes it so special?  Well, it comes from Wagyu cows that have been massaged with sake-fed grain fodder and given one beer a day.  This makes the beef tender, flavorful and wonderfully marbled.  You can find this in most of the top, high-end steakhouses in the U.S. like Japonais in Chicago.

    At the Renga-tei Restaurant in Kobe, a cut of Wagyu, wrapped in rice paper and seared on an iron grill, then served with salmon and salad is $206.  Chef Varley’s “Triple Seared” Japanese Kobe in Las Vegas costs $33 an ounce.  So, an eight-ounce serving is $264.

    www.jenius.com.au

    2)    American Wagyu

    This type of beef comes from Wagyu cows imported from Japan but raised here in the U.S.  They are rare (there aren’t very many of them) so they are expensive.  They, too, are tender and very flavorful.  You can find this type of beef at BLT Steak in New York City.  There, an American Wagyu 12-oz. ribeye runs $92.

    3)    Tenderloin

    Typically, the most expensive cuts of beef are taken from the most tender parts of the cow.  These are the parts that don’t get “overworked” in the animal’s lifetime.  Therefore, they’re tender.  Tenderloin is an amazing example of this.  Try The Tenderloin Room in St. Louis.

    The “Pepperloin a la Tenderloin” dish at the Tenderloin Room (which consists of slices of specially seasoned, marinated tenderloin) costs $38.

    4)    Filet Mignon

    Now, this is exquisite.  Filet mignon is taken from the small end of the tenderloin (called the short loin) and is known as the “king of steaks.”  It can often be cut with a fork, it’s so tender.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  You can find delectable filet mignon at most any upscale steakhouse, but I prefer an at-home version delivered by the Kansas City Steak Company.  They’re widely known for their corn-fed beef – especially the filet mignon.

    A 12-oz. filet at BLT Steak in NYC is $42.  Six 6-oz. filets from Kansas City Steak Company run $64.95.  Definitely a better buy.

    www.kansascitysteaks.com

    5)    Kansas City Strip

    Strip steaks, taken from the short loin, are particularly tender, but not as tender as the tenderloin.  They can, however, but cut into thicker portions which is appealing to lovers of more rare beef.

    Sometimes called New York Strip or Delmonico, you can find strip steaks just about everywhere!

    www.ruthschris.com

    6)    Porterhouse

    Ahhh, the Porterhouse!  Part tenderloin and part strip steak, this hefty favorite divides the two with a bone that helps provide amazing flavor.  The Porterhouse has a larger side of tenderloin than on a T-bone. Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn, NY, is famous for its 2-person Porterhouse.  Newsday describes it as “Fibrous, mineral-sweet beef, crusty and tender.”  Yum!

    A single Porterhouse at the Tenderloin Room in St. Louis runs $39.

    www.peterluger.com

    7)    T-Bone

    The yin to the Porterhouse’s yang, the T-bone is a more conventional favorite, yet still pricey in upscale restaurants.  The fact that this type of steak comes from the short loin section of the cow (and, thus, the most tender) makes it expensive.  Find a great T-bone at Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses across the country.  A good bet.

    8)    Bone-in Ribeye (Cote de Boeuf)

    It’s the bone that gives this cut its flavor.  Leave the bone in and you leave the rich flavor intact.  The ribeye comes from the rib section of the cow, which gives it its hearty flavor.  Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Dallas, TX, has a bone-in beauty to die for!

    www.tenderloinroom.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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