Category Archives: Beef
I must admit that I have a love affair with steak, especially when it’s dry aged. I have been to some of the best steakhouses in NYC and I know that dinner in a quality steakhouse here can easily cost in excess of $200+ for two people. So I usually reserve a trip to this type of restaurant for special occasions only. The reason why these places are so expensive: dry aged steak. (plus, this is NYC)
Summer is here! That means it’s time to dust off those BBQ grills and get out to the parks and beaches. I love grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, but there is nothing like a steak grilled to perfection. Sirloin, porterhouse, and rib-eye are amongst my favorite cuts to grill. I believe a good marinade is key to a tasty, tender, and juicy grilled steak. This marinade is one of my favorites , especially since it is easy to prepare. Read the rest of this entry
For the shrimp:
1 bunch fresh cilantro
8 medium chopped scallions
2 green chili peppers
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 lbs large shrimp
Wooden skewers soaked in water
coarse sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
lime or lemon, sliced
fresh cilantro for garnish
In a blender or food processor place the cilantro leaves and stems, scallions, chili peppers, garlic, lime juice, cumin, and turmeric and blend to a puree. Add some water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Peel the shrimp,devein them leaving the tail intact. Place the shrimp in a bowl, and toss with the cilantro mixture. Marinate for about 3-4 hours.
When you are ready to cook the shrimp, scoop them up so that more of the marinade remains on one side of each one. Use an indoor grill if possible and either use non=stick spray or a bit of olive oil on the grill. Put shrimp on the soaked skewers with the sliced lemon or limes. Heat the grill to medium-high and place the shrimp marinade-side up on the grill. Cook until almost done, about 2 minutes.Turn shrimp over and cook quickly on marinade side, about 1-2 more minutes. Remove shrimp from grill. Divide the skewers among serving plates. Sprinkle the shrimp with coarse salt, pepper, chili powder, a squeeze of lime juice, and a few cilantro leaves.
For the steak:
1 shell steak 1 1/2-inch thick
olive oil to coat
kosher salt and ground black pepper
Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature. When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste. Immediately place steak in the middle of the hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the hot oven for 3-4 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.) Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Just add your steak to the plate with the shrimp you have a mouthwatering Surf & Turf meal! Enjoy 🙂
Spaghetti & meatballs has always been one of my favorite meals, but I pretty much grew up eating jarred sauce like Ragu & Prego at home since most home cooked meals for me as a child was soul food. Don’t get me wrong, Grandma Janie could burn! Man oh, man grandma sure put the love into the soul food she made for our family (RIP Grandma). I live in Brooklyn but I grew up in Ravenswood housing projects in Long Island City, Queens, and according to National Geographic (2010), it is the most diverse neighborhood in the world, which means tons of ethnic restaurants. So I have had my share of different types of food even through my childhood, and since I have quite a few Italian friends that I’ve grown up with, I have had my share of authentic home-cooked Italian food. And this is the reason why I wanted to do a sauce that was authentic. Since I prepared an Italian breakfast, I figured I’d stick with that theme for the day.
I chose to use Piedmontese beef since it is an Italian-bred beef, originally from the region of Piedmont in north-west Italy. Beef from Piedmontese cattle is seen as a premium product. Thanks to a specific gene – a form of myostatin – natural to the Piedmontese breed, you can have all the nutritional benefits and flavor of beef that is low-fat, low in cholesterol and calories. This uniquely lean and tender beef originated in the Alpine Region of Northern Italy, where green hills provide a natural diet full of fiber-rich grasses. If you were to order a steak in Italy, you would get a Piedmontese steak. This was one of the products I picked up from Fossil Farms. I figured with the combination of all fresh herbs & spices plus Italian-bred beef, how can I go wrong? This recipe is easy, but by no means is it fast meal to make, it is a lot of prep work but the taste was so worth it! I tried to be sure to use all premium ingredients since I was cooking with such a high quality beef. Ingredients such as an assortment of tomatoes (vine, plum, and campari), the freshest basil and oregano and quality parmesan cheese . I did not make my own pasta (forgive me) which is optional and not too difficult to do, but I picked the best pasta I could find at my local market. I shaved some fresh parmesan cheese on top and had some good Italian bread on the side, pure heaven! Overall, the meatballs and sauce were off the charts and I hope you enjoy this recipe. Buona Tavola!
For the sauce:
13 ripe tomatoes (give or take)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 small onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Burgundy wine
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery
2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Plunge whole tomatoes in boiling water until skin starts to peel, 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and place in ice bath. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then remove peel and squeeze out seeds. Chop 11 tomatoes and puree in blender or food processor. Chop remaining two tomatoes and set aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil and butter until onion starts to soften, 5 minutes. Pour in pureed tomatoes. Stir in chopped tomato, basil, Italian seasoning and wine. Place bay leaf and whole celery stalks in pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours. Stir in tomato paste and simmer about 1 hour then add meatballs and cook on low heat for 1 more hour . Discard bay leaf and celery and serve.
For the meatballs:
2 pounds ground beef (Piedmontese, if available)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil.
1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except olive oil by hand, using a light touch (do not over mix). Take a portion of meat in hand, and roll between palms to form a ball that is firmly packed but not compressed. Repeat, making each meatball about 2 inches in diameter.
2. In a large, heavy pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add meatballs in batches. Do not crowd. Brown well on bottoms before turning, or meatballs will break apart. Continue cooking until browned all over. Remove meatballs to a plate as each batch is finished. Let meatballs cool slightly, and add to sauce.
Let’s talk about Fois Gras, it’s one of the most expensive ingredients in the world, and sometimes one of the most controversial ingredients. Fois Gras is made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through force-feeding corn, which is where the controversy begins. So before deciding to cook it, I wanted to do some research on this ingredient. I don’t want to participate in any animal being tortured before it lands on my plate! During my research I learned that the company that distributes my product (Hudson Valley Fois Gras) does not do this to their animals. You can view the video of the process as Anthony Bourdain from the show No Reservations explains why Foie Gras is Not Cruel . Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine. Its flavor is rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of an ordinary duck or goose liver. I really enjoyed tasting and learning how to cook this cuisine, although I wont be cooking this too often because it is rather pricey and the focus of too much controversy.
Filet Mignon is the most tender cut of beef, and is the most expensive. It’s also my favorite cut of steak because it is so flavorful.This beef cut can be quite pricey when dining out, but much more reasonable to make at home, especially if you purchase a whole tenderloin which I do normally. It is best when cooked medium rare since this cut does not have too much fat or connective tissue, it will dry out and become tough if overcooked. Give this steak a little love and attention when you cook it and the flavor goes a long way. So it is a rare treat for me to be able to pair the “perfect” steak with a delicate and delicious topping such as Fois Gras. I pan-seared the fois gras and topped my steak with it and drizzled a white wine plum sauce of my creation on top. I roasted some red potatoes in rendered duck fat (courtesy of Fossil Farms) and added broccoli rabe to seal the deal, and soon enough i was sitting in front of a dish that any restaurant would charge $70 or more for. So if you ever get the chance, be sure to try some Fois Gras you wont regret it. Bon Appetit!
After Hurricane Irene passed through NYC, I’ve been thinking about hurricanes. A few years ago we took a trip to New Orleans. It was my first trip down there and I thought all we’d do was drink, drink, drink. But as soon as we arrived I realized how great the cuisine was in this “party” city. We visited two years after Katrina and the city was still reeling from the disaster. We purchased a self-guided Katrina tour CD from the car rental location (proceeds donated to rebuilding the city) and drove through the still devastated areas of the lower 9th ward. It was an overwhelming and humbling experience as the damage was still extensive and the infrastructure of the city was not yet very functional. We even grabbed a picture of Fats Domino’s house, which is in the lower 9th ward from which he was evacuated from after the storm, and we drove up to those famous breached levees. But up on Bourbon Street, which was not damaged too badly by the storm, it was a different city. Live music and food was abundant; you had the feeling that this city was on the verge of rebounding from the storm. We visited the Praline Connection off Bourbon Street (542 Frenchmen St) where I had some alligator sausage to die for, and my girlfriend, Emily, had the jambalaya, which was deelish as well. Acme Oyster House yielded fresh oysters but no clams, which we were told were more expensive because they had to be imported from up north. It didn’t matter, though, because the cajun/creole cuisine was top notch. I was thinking about that trip when I decided to cook this dish, a cajun-spiced riff on pasta, shrimp and steak. Recipe Coming Soon
Chinese style Beef & Broccoli
Now this is a dish I was inspired to prepare since it was a popular lunch dish among most of my co workers when I was in the construction business years ago. When prepared correctly, this is a very tasty dish. My problem was it was inconsistently prepared at different local take-out joints. While some would have a nice tasty sauce and others would have a thick and bland sauce. So after scouring the web for hours I decided to deconstruct this meal and make it tasty and easy to cook for you.
1 lb top sirloin or flank steak, sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thin strips
1 small red and green pepper, roughly chopped (optional)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium carrot cut into strips
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
2 garlic clove, minced
6 Tbs. low sodium Soy sauce
1 Tbs. honey
½ Tbs. red pepper flakes
1 Tsp. Fish sauce
1 garlic clove minced
½ tsp black pepper
3 Tbs. Cornstarch
3 Tbs. Soy sauce
¾ Cup beef broth or water
1 Tsp hoisin sauce
1 Tsp. fish sauce
1 Tsp. White sugar
1Tbs. Dry Sherry cooking wine
3 Tbs. Asian sesame oil (a must)
Slice beef across the grain into 1/8 inch thick bite-sized pieces. In a bowl mix together soy sauce, honey, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, and the beef then cover, and let it marinate for 4 hours to overnight in the fridge. Make the sauce while beef is marinating; In a bowl mix and dissolve the cornstarch in soy sauce, dry sherry, sugar, sesame oil, beef broth, and fish sauce.
Heat wok and I mean let it heat really good and then add 2 Tbs. of vegetable or canola oil and stir-fry beef for 20 seconds or until it’s no longer pink in small batches, don’t crowd the meat. Repeat this process until all beef is cooked then set aside. Over medium heat stir-fry garlic, dry red pepper flakes , ginger, bell peppers (if using), and onion for 40 seconds. Next add broccoli and carrots, cover, and let simmer for one minute. Increase heat to high, add 1/2 cup beef broth, cover, and let it simmer for another minute. Remove cover, add beef, and all juices accumulated and stir for one minute or until the beef is heated through. Then add the sauce mix and keep stirring until the sauce has thickened. Transfer it to the serving platter. Top white steamed rice with the beef & broccoli. Bon Apetit!
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon White wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to infuse together. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 to 4 weeks.
For the sirloin strips:
2 lb beef sirloin steaks, at least 1″ thick
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
3 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil, or any oil w/ high smoke point
Bring sirloin steak out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for even cooking. Salt and pepper both sides of each steak. Note: I usually use salt after the steak is cooked to maintain juiciness because salt immediately draws moisture out. Heat skillet on high (I use cast iron), Drizzle oil on pan for a thin coat. Add butter and allow to melt. For medium rare, sear steaks 4 minutes on each side. Turn off heat.Remove steaks from pan and let rest 5 minutes. Then slice thinly against the grain with a sharp knife. Toss sirloin steak strips back into pan with buttered drippings. Stir to coat evenly. Serve immediately over a bed of arugala or salad of your choice and drizzle with horseradish sauce. Bon Appetit!