Tag Archives: Beef

Roasted Corn Salsa Dressing on Peppercorn Steak Salad

This is Greg and this is my first Kitten post!  A teacher has some summer time so you should be seeing me around here more often.  The original idea for this was black and blue steak salad and I decided to really focus on the black part and made a peppercorn rub for the steak.  I used a porterhouse cut of about 1.5 pounds which is not the typical or easiest cut for a steak salad, but they are always on sale at Giant in the summers and was a great deal for some quality meat.  With the trimming off the bone, there were some convenient scraps that had to be tested too.  When grabbing the blue cheese, Gorgonzola was right next to it and I decided to switch up the black and blue philosophy though it is not a major change as they are pretty similar.

Filet on the right!

The rub was just a combination of some dried spices and whole peppercorns that I ground in our spice grinder.  It was very loud at first and I ran it until itwas quieter but not fully ground.  I wanted to keep the peppercorns a bit coarse.

Preground peppercorns and spices
Don’t be afraid to use your hands and get it well covered

It is called a rub because you are supposed to rub it into the meat, so pour half of it on and get to work!  Flip it over and make sure that the whole piece is thoroughly covered. Grill it as you normally would a steak.  If possible, it is best to plan some rest time once the steak is done to allow the juices to set and to allow it a bit of time to cool to cut it and serve on a cold salad.

Where the term blackened comes from

Despite how it looks, the meat was cooked medium rare.  The rub just really blackened it that much.  It did not taste over spiced, again despite it’s appearance.  I let it sit for about a half an hour and sliced it up.  I kept the filet separate to make sure we got fair shares and as mentioned, many samples had to be had while carving it along with cleaning the bone.

Once the steak was sliced, I placed it on a bed or romaine lettuce and applied the salsa/dressing that I was simultaneously making.

Could always stop here and add a premade dressing

I had a hard time naming the dressing because it is sort of a salsa mixture that we used as a dressing.  There were so many important ingredients also that it was hard to focus on a few to give it an identity.  No other dressing was added once we topped the salad with this.  I first wrapped the peeled corn in foil with some butter and salt and pepper and roasted it on the grill for about 45 minutes or so turning once in a while.

Good ol sweet summer white corn
Double wrapped and ready for the grill

While the corn was roasting, I combined the remainder of the ingredients.  The lemon juice, oil, and vinegar tied it together as a dressing consistency which spread well on the salad and held the whole thing together too.

All of the ingredients for the dressing except for the corn

Once the corn was roasted, I let it cool until it could be handled and removed the kernels and mixed it in with the rest.

Apparently the center was on the most intense heat

Once all of the dressing ingredients were combined and well mixed, we used it as you would a normal dressing on the steak salad and sprinkled a little bit of extra Gorgonzola on top and enjoyed.

The final product!

It was sort of a lot of work but was well worth it and we really enjoyed it.  The dressing was so good itself that salad bites without steak were still really fulfilling.  An added bonus was that about half of the steak bites were filet mignon which most would consider a sin to be placed on a salad but the price was so great that it was just fine.  Give some or all of it a try!

Recipe for Roasted Corn Salsa Salad Dressing

Recipe for Peppercorn Rub

Greek Feast!

If you are a fan of Greek food I am pretty sure you will really like this meal. It is relatively easy to prepare and the flavors are intense and extremely satisfying. We made gyro burgers, which were composed of ground beef and lamb as well as some traditional Greek spices. We also prepared homemade tzatziki sauce and  a Greek salad of tomato, cucumber, red onion and fete cheese. It all went well together and you could also serve the burgers in a pita or flatbread if you so desired.

I will begin with the tzatziki sauce, which is a traditional sauce served with gyros that is made with yogurt and cucumber and is awesome.

The key ingredient here is mint. Luckily mint grows like weeds and we have plenty growing outside!

I just combined all the ingredients and let it chill in the refrigerator while we prepared the rest of the meal. Below is a pic of the final product. Not only is this a great sauce to put on whatever you please, really, but can also be served as a dip with pita or veggies. It is so good.

Along with the burgers we also prepared a Greek salad. I love this salad, especially in the summer when the vegetables are nice and fresh. It is a great accompaniment to any meat, really, and goes particularly well with the strongly flavored lamb.

Now, on to the burgers! I’ll let the pictures do the talking here….

The meat had a gyro like consistency as you can see below (sorry, it’s a bit blurry) and of course the flavor was right on.

Give this one a try!

Recipe for Gyro Burgers

Tzatziki

Greek Salad

Homemade Marinara w/Meatballs and Alfredo sauce

For two people who really enjoy eating tomato sauce, I knew it was only a matter of time before we began to make our own. Coupled with a new-found desire to eat natural foods and stay away from unknown ingredients/chemicals and the fact that homemade things just tastes better than store bought, we ventured down the path of creating our own marinara. We created a very basic marinara, which leaves a lot of room for creativity going forward. For now though, it was a few simple ingredients simmering in low heat for all of a Sunday afternoon that stole the show.

I started the sauce off with some chopped onions and carrots (which, in retrospect I probably should have grated the carrots) and of course, a good amount of garlic. I sauteed all of these ingredients (carrots and onions first, then garlic) in extra virgin olive oil in the dutch oven.

While the onion/carrot/garlic mixture sauteed I also added some spices: salt, pepper, Italian seasoning blend, and red pepper flakes.

I then added some canned tomatoes.  3 big cans (32-oz.) to be exact, 2 cans of crushed tomatoes and 1 can of chopped to be even more exact 🙂

I put the lid on and put the pot into a 300 degree oven for about two hours.

During that time, I also made my spaghetti squash and the meatballs.  Two things I love very dearly at this point!

After the two hours had passed (stirring about every 1/2 hour or so) I turned the heat down to 200 degrees and let the sauce continue to simmer.

When it was nearly done and I was ready to add my mostly cooked meatballs, I added some freshly torn basil.

In went the meatballs and the sauce returned to the oven for another 1/2 hour.

You can see how the addition of the meatballs dilutes the sauce a bit, but in a good way!

Greg also wanted to make an alfredo sauce for this meal. He used our previous recipe for this sauce, but added some fresh parsley and used only one type of cheese, parmesan, I believe.

This sauce is so amazing, but can be very heavy. I opted out of having the alfredo this time around (after several spoonfuls to make sure it was ok during the cooking process though 😉 )

With or without the alfredo this meal was awesome and it was nice to make my own Sunday gravy.

It’s nice to have options too and a little of the alfredo sauce can go a long way. Greg likened the combo to a rose sauce.

The cool thing about making our own sauce was that there was a good amount leftover. I threw it in a tupperware and into the freezer for another meal at a later time. If you have the time, this is the way to go!

Recipe for Basic Marinara Sauce

Recipe for Alfredo Sauce

Recipe for Meatballs

Stuffed Peppers

The other night we made stuffed peppers for dinner and again, this is really one of those meals that you can make unique to your tastes. We used green peppers, but if you prefer sweeter red peppers or even yellow, orange or purple peppers, by all means. We also used ground veal in our peppers, but most people would probably opt for beef (bison, chicken or turkey meat would be even lower in fat) for example. I’m not sure what inspired the use of veal, but sometimes you just want something different.

I have to give Greg all the credit here on this dish- he created it and made it while I was still at work. I love coming home to a dinner cooking in the oven 🙂

Like I said, he used ground veal. He browned it and set it aside. Later, adding some freshly grated parmesan.

To add some sustenance he also added some freshly sauteed onions and spinach and a little tomato sauce. Many recipes call for other fillers, such as rice or breadcrumbs, but he omitted that and honestly, it was not missed!

Then it was time to stuff the peppers, which he cored out nicely.

He baked them for about 40 minutes.

Though the skins were nice and wrinkly, the peppers were still quite firm. I would recommend a little longer in the oven, maybe 50-60 minutes if you prefer them more tender.

All in all, it was a good wholesome dinner!

Recipe for Stuffed Peppers

lettuce leaf tacos!

mmm tacos. Who doesn’t love a good taco every now and then? The beauty of the taco is that you can make it exactly how you like it and it’s still a taco (ie: hard shell, soft shell, choco taco 🙂 ). Although I do love me some of those pre-made corn taco shells or a soft flour tortilla to support my beef and cheese, we decided to go the healthier route for our taco night this time and use these large, beautiful romaine lettuce leaves.  We made some fresh guacamole to complement the earthy lettuce shells and topped the tacos with cilantro and lime for a tasty version of the classic beef and cheese taco.

First, the guac. I like to make guacamole with just a few ingredients ’cause I love avocados so much.

All I use are avocados, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper.

Chop, chop, chop…

…then mash, mash, mash…

…and you have one of the most easy, yet most delicious condiments on the planet.

From here all we did was brown some ground beef, mix in a little taco seasonings, and served it atop a large lettuce leaf with some cheese, chopped tomato, guacamole, fresh cilantro and lime. Nothing fancy, but downright delicious.

Nothing processed or refined in this spin on a Mexican? American? traditional dinner food. Whole foods and tons of flavor. YUM!

Steak Chili

I love making chili in the winter time and there are so many different styles to try. I asked Greg to make chili for us one weekend and he decided to make chili with steak (beef chuck roast) instead of traditional ground meat.  He began by trimming the meat and cutting down the 3 1/2 pound roast into cubes. Coincidentally, this occurred during Maryland’s nail biter against Virgina Tech and provided him with a good outlet for all that anxious energy. Maryland won by the way!

We used the dutch oven again for the chili, like we did with the Cincinnati Style Chili we made several weeks ago. For this chili version,  start off by browning the meat on the stove top and drain the excess liquid.

It does not have to be cooked all the way through at this point, because it will go in the oven for another 3+ hours.  However, once you get a nice brown coating, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

At this point it is pretty chunky, but it will cook down over the next few hours and each part will be rather indistinguishable.

Before three plus hours in the oven (above) and after (below).

It thickened up quite a bit and all of the bug chunks of meat cooked down and became much smaller with an almost shredded like consistency.Similarly, most of the other ingredients (tomatoes, onions, peppers) also cooked down and created a thick sauce like texture.

We topped it with some shredded cheddar cheese, raw yellow onion, and avocado. YUM!

Chili is so good for leftovers too! Hope you like it!

Recipe for Steak Chili

Balti Beef

We have a recipe book that is all about curry and one night this week we decided to make a recipe we have made once before called Balti Beef. In following this recipe you primarily make a sauce using onion and tomato and serve it over beef and red bell pepper (along with some more onions!) and Indian spices. It is very delicious and full of flavor and it was a good excuse to give the new blender a test drive.

Lots and lots of onions in this dish! It was a little tough to get through all the chopping without shedding a few tears.

Along with the onions, we sauteed garlic and ginger. The recipe called for garlic paste and ginger paste, but since we couldn’t find those at Giant we just used fresh chopped garlic and ginger. Along with that, we added a can of chopped tomatoes and 8 different seasonings.

After simmering on low for about twenty minutes and cooling for another 10 or so, it was time for the blender. Check it out!

You can get a general idea of the thickness of the sauce here and look at that beautiful red orange color!

Once the sauce was finished  it was time to make the rest of the dish.

More onions and garlic!

Some fresh red bell pepper added to the mix.

Next, we added the beef and sauteed for two minutes, followed by the Balti sauce. We let it summer for another 5 minutes.

We served it over some jasmine rice with some fresh cilantro for garnish. If you want to go without the rice it is equally as good on it’s own (I just had it for lunch this way 🙂 ).

Anyway, it was good mush! Foods of the Indian/Paki persuasion often look like mush to me- tasty mush though!

Hope you enjoy this one!

Recipe for Balti Beef

Meatloaf! The All-American Dinner

Whether it’s 1950 or 2010 you cannot go wrong with this dinner. A classic diner institution, I am pretty sure my meatloaf can match up with anything you see on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Ok, maybe I’m getting a little carried away here, but as Greg said, my meatloaf is good because I make it with love. I really do LOVE making (and eating) this meatloaf and the combination of eating it with mashed potatoes and peas (thanks to my Grandma J) is the ultimate combo.  In our house though there is a division over ketchup. I simply cannot eat meatloaf without it and Greg rarely uses it all and prefers his meatloaf with the classic beef gravy, which coincidentally I do not like so much. So, what to do? Make two meatloaves- one with ketchup and one with gravy.

The ingredients for the all-American dinner include, meatloaf “mix” (ground beef, pork, and veal), peas, mashed potatoes (cheating, ya caught me-not from scratch), ketchup (reduced sugar), onion soup mix (hiding in the background), beef gravy, eggs, and bread crumbs.

Meatloaf #1 was my meatloaf- Ketchup Style.

From left to right, bread crumbs (I try to use as little as possible), onion soup mix, ketchup, and an egg atop a package of ground meat. I mix my meatloaf by hand to get all the ingredients incorporated together.

Meatloaf #2 was Greg’s meatloaf- Gravy Style

From left to right, onion soup mix, gravy (a little too much poured out than I wanted), egg, and breadcrumbs (I had to use more to balance out the excess gravy) atop a package of ground meat. Due to my pouring error I had to add more breadcrumbs to get the consistency right. This nearly doubled Greg’s meatloaf in size from mine.

Each loaf went into it’s own dish and got covered in preferred sauce- mine ketchup, Greg’s gravy.

These guys have to cook for a while, at least 45 minutes. In the meantime, I prepared the sides- mashed potatoes and peas. It’s tough to know when the meatloaf is done. I used a meat thermometer and also just went on looks. Below: this meatloaf is not quite done but it’s getting close.

Yum, yum, yum. Both varieties came out great.

Ketchup!

Gravy!

I have to say, the gravy plate looks great! I still prefer to have it my way though.

Recipe for Meatloaf

8-Layer Taco Dip

On Saturday, it snowed more than the predicted 1-inch and we were semi-snowed in for the night. I think we ended up getting closer to six inches, which was a pleasant surprise.  Though this ruined our plans to head into DC for the night, we reconciled by making a sinfully delicious taco dip and purchasing a rather large bottle of Crown Royal. All was good…

The making of the dip- all 8 layers:

1.

da beans

2.

no, this is not icing

3.

3.a,b,c

4 & 5.

meat/peppers/onions

6.

7.

8.

those are jalepenos on the right side

You can’t really go wrong with any of these ingredients individually let alone when combined into a super-dip! We served it with some tostitos chips and happily munched away. This dish is straight up junk food at it’s finest. Mmm…

Recipe for 8-layer taco dip

Oven Roasted Brisket

I guess Greg was inspired by our most recent trip to Urban BBQ when he decided what to make for dinner the other night… Brisket! Unfortunately though smoking this baby was out of the question considering it was under 20 degrees outside and we don’t technically own a smoker.  So, oven roasting it was.

Massive amounts of seasoning were added to the meat a suggested by Paula Dean. We don’t have a roasting pan so Greg used a basic Pyrex baking dish and it worked just fine.

I believe this picture was taken after an hour or so of baking. You can see that Greg added beef stock to the pan. It went back in the oven for another couple of hours.

This is what it looked like when it was finished. It shrunk down quite a  bit as you can see.

Greg and I went different directions with how we ended up eating it. He had his on an onion roll with some BBQ sauce.

a lil blurry...

Instead of a sandwich I opted for having the meat by itself with some of the natural gravy/pan juices.

yum!

Recipe for Oven Roasted Brisket