Sunday, May 31, 2015

I'm All About That Steak


I've never really been a fan of Philly Cheesesteaks.  Maybe it's because I live in Texas and can't find a good one.  I never liked sauteed bell peppers and onions (still really don't).  And I don't often buy things like Cheez Whiz.  But my husband likes all of those things, so we gave it a try.

Now, I know all about the supposed rivalry between Pat's and Geno's in Philadelphia and how people will only eat one or the other.  But I've also heard that Pat and Geno are actually friends and their competition is friendly.  Their cheesesteaks look very similar to me, only one uses sliced steak and one uses chopped steak.  If I ever get a chance to go to Philly, I'll certainly try both.

Anywho, after doing much comparisons online of recipes, I found that the only way to go here is boneless ribeye steaks. The ONLY way to go.  My husband went to the butcher and bought a ridiculous amount and had the butcher slice it as thin as he could.  We then decided to cut the slices into strips, but that's just a personal preference.  After a quick sautee of peppers and onions in the pan, we threw the meat into the screaming hot pan and quickly seared it on both sides.  We piled it all up on a bun and slathered on the Cheez Whiz.  It was to die for!  We only seasoned the meat with salt and pepper and it was so succulent, juicy and tender.  It was even tender the next day heated up in the microwave.  I'm sure there are people who may say my recipe isn't authentic, but that's okay.  It's darn tasty and that makes me happy.  I'm a fan after all.  Enjoy!

PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS
1 lb boneless ribeye, thinly sliced
6 hoagie rolls
2 green bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter
Drizzle of vegetable oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
One 15-ounce jar Cheez Whiz 

NOTES:  We had the butcher slice the meat thin, but we thought the pieces were too big and would pull out of the sandwiches.  We decided to slice the slices into thin strips. It's up to you.  Also, if you're not a fan of Cheez Whiz, another traditional way to serve these sandwiches is with Provolone cheese.  Just be sure to let the cheese melt on the meat before serving.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Wrap the hoagies in foil and warm them in the oven.

Melt the butter in a skillet and drizzle in some vegetable oil. Cook the bell peppers for about five minutes over medium high heat.  Add in the onions and cook until the veggies are tender.  Add in the garlic and season the veggies with salt and pepper and cook about 30 seconds.  Remove the veggies from the skillet and cover them to keep them warm.

Drizzle in a little more vegetable oil if necessary, and turn the heat up to high.  Add in the meat and generously season with salt and pepper.  Cook the steaks for about a minute or less on each side for medium rare and up to about one more minute if you want it closer to well done.  Move the meat to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  Heat up the Cheez Whiz either in the microwave or in a small pot.  Split the hoagies open and fill them with the meat, veggies, and Cheez Whiz.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tasty Spikes


My husband says, "if you put anything on a stick, it will be good."  While he was in Korea in the Army, they had Chicken on a Stick, so he's always trying to get me to find recipes for skewered meat.  But this time he found a great one.  I'm not sure where he saw it, but he texted me one day last week and all it said was, "Puerto Rican Pinchos."  So I had to do the research.  Pinchos means "spikes" or "thorns," but what it really means is skewered food.  This is a very popular street food in Puerto Rico and is made with either pork or chicken. Since pork is my favorite, I went with pork.

Now, we've done Pork Kabobs which were pretty spectacular and, of course, the Chicken on a Stick.  But I have to tell you, these Pinchos were amazing!  The marinade gave the meat great flavor.  It calls for adobo seasoning, which I've never used before now.  The meat was tender and juicy.  The little bits up fat crisped up and were slightly crunchy.  The 7-Up barbecue sauce was phenomenal (you read that right.  7-Up BBQ sauce is apparently quite popular in Latin America). The meat took on a bit of the flavor of the onions and bell peppers.  It was outstanding!  Here's a picture my husband took of them on the grill (he's so cute!):


I didn't know that BBQ sauce was popular in Puerto Rico. Learn something new every day.  If you are a grilling fan, a pork fan, a BBQ fan, a 7-Up fan, you are going to love this!

PUERTO RICAN PINCHOS
One 2 lb pork butt or shoulder
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T adobo seasoning
1 T onion powder
1 T cumin
1 packet Sazon
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
Metal skewers

FOR THE SAUCE:
1 C 7-Up
2 C ketchup
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
3/4 C brown sugar
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 T smoked paprika
2 T molasses
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 C apple cider vinegar

NOTE:  I found both the Sazon packets and the adobo seasoning at Walmart.  The Sazon is on the International foods and I found the adobo seasoning, oddly enough, to the left of the pickle section where there were a lot of Goya products.

Mix together the garlic powder, pepper, adobo seasoning, onion powder, cumin, Sazon, and oil with a whisk.  Cut the pork into thin strips about 2 inches long.  Put the pork and the marinade into a large zipper bag and marinate at least two hours.  Cut the bell peppers and onion into about 1-inch pieces.  Set the veggies aside.

For the sauce, put all of the sauce ingredients into a pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat slightly.  Continue cooking, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened up, about 15-20 minutes.  Keep the sauce warm.

Preheat the grill to high, somewhere between 400 and 450 degrees.  Weave the pork pieces onto the skewers with a red bell pepper slice, an onion slice, and a green bell pepper slice in between each piece of pork.  Put half of the sauce into a bowl to baste the meat with.  Reserve the other half of the sauce for serving.  Baste the skewers with the sauce. Grill the skewers for five minutes.  Turn them over and baste them again.  Grill for another five minutes.  Turn them one last time and baste again.  Grill until the pork is nice and caramelized and the meat is done.  Serve the skewers with the reserved sauce.

Mofongo


Out of curiosity, last night we tried making Mofongo.  It's a Puerto Rican dish that consists of mashed plaintains, which are like bananas but not sweet, and chicharrones, which are fried pork rinds.  I didn't attempt to make homemade chicharrones yet, so I used the kind in a bag found on the chips aisle.  It was certainly different from anything I've eaten, but it was delicious.  And the broth I made to serve them in was divine.  Now, please don't expect these to be truly authentic Mofongo.  I did research a lot of recipes, and I probably tweaked it to my liking.  Enjoy!

MOFONGO
3 large plaintains
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
1/4 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 C chicharrones 
Salt & pepper, to taste
Peanut oil, for frying

FOR THE BROTH:
1 1/2 C beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T butter
1/4 C onion, rough chopped

NOTE:  You can mash the plaintains in a large mortar and pestle, in a stand mixer with the batter attachment, or with a potato masher.  

Peel and slice the plaintains.  Soak the slices in water for 15 minutes.  Drain them on paper towels.  

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pot and cook the onion until tender.  Add in the rest of the broth ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Strain the broth over a bowl and discard the vegetables and bacon.  Return the broth to the pot and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Preheat some peanut oil in a large skillet.  Fry the plaintain slices until browned on both sides.  Drain the slices on a paper towel.  Mash together the garlic, olive oil, bacon, chicharrones, and salt & pepper until it is all very small pieces (be careful with the salt since the bacon and chicharrones are salty).  Add in the plaintains and mash until no lumps remain.  Shape the Mofongo into balls or with a scoop or a small dish.  Keep them warm in the oven on a sheet pan until ready to eat.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Where Have You Been All My Life


Recently my husband came across something intriguing, something, quite frankly, spectacular:  A Himayalan salt block.  We watched a video of someone cooking their steak on the grill on top of the salt block.  He said, "food your salt, don't salt your food."  What a concept!  My husband was so excited that we ran out and bought one.  You can get them online, but we found one at a store called World Market.  And it wasn't expensive either.  We got ours for about $20.  We also went out and spent a ridiculous amount of money on 1 1/2 and 2 inch ribeyes.  Here's a look:


We bought four, but as you can see from the picture we could only fit three on the sheet pan.  

Anywho, surprisingly, these steaks turned out extremely juicy and had the right amount of salt and flavor.  Aren't you excited!  Apparently you get about a dozen or so uses out of one block.  Over time, since it is a solid piece of salt, the block will crack and eventually break.  You can also use the block in the oven or right on top of a gas flame.  If you're a grilled meat kind of person, you're going to love this!

SALT BLOCK STEAKS
4 steaks of choice (we used two 1 1/2 inch ribeye chops and two 2 inch ribeye chops)
Black pepper, to taste
One 2-inch Himalayan salt block

FOR THE STEAK BUTTER:
1 stick of butter, softened
1 T chopped Italian parsley
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper

NOTE:  Salt blocks contain some moisture and need to be dried out slowly in the oven.  If you put a cold block on a hot grill it will cause your block to crack and/or break.  Also, we used very big thick steaks here.  If you use smaller or thinner steaks, your cook time will need to be decreased. Additionally, the Steak Butter has a lot of uses.  You can use it to cook veggies in, stir into pasta, deglaze sauces, etc.

For the Steak Butter, mix all of the ingredients together. Spoon it out onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Roll the wrap up and shape it into a log.  Put the log in the fridge until you are ready to use it. 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Dry the salt block for 15 minutes.  Increase the oven to 350 degrees.  Dry the block again for 15 minutes.  Increase the oven to 500 or as high as your oven will go and dry for 15 more minutes.  During this last 15 minutes, preheat your grill to 500 degrees.

Using gloves, carry the block to the grill.  Leave the block there for about 10 minutes before putting the steaks on. Season the steaks with pepper, if desired.  If using the large steaks, you may only be able to cook 1-2 steaks at a time. Cook the steaks for 6 minutes on the first side.  Flip the steaks over and cook for an additional 5 minutes (for medium rare).  Put the steaks directly on the grill grates and cook for about 2 minutes per side to sear.  Remove the steaks to a plate and cover with foil.  Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve the steaks with a slice of steak butter. 






Sunday, May 24, 2015

Magic Cooking


I have seen a lot of pins on Pinterest for this Mississippi Roast.  I'm not sure why it's called that or where exactly it came from (I'm assuming Mississippi).  I have been very very skeptical about this recipe and very hesistant to try it.  Throw five ingredients into a crockpot, one being a roast, and no liquid.  How in the world could that be any good!  But my curiousity finally got the best of me, and I caved in and set out to try it.

I put it all in the crockpot before work.  It literally took me less than a minute, so it's ridiculously fast.  When I got home, it smelled amazing.  I lifted the lid off and snuck a little piece.  It tasted good.  But I wasn't sold yet.  The recipe calls for an entire stick of butter, so I was worried the sauce or gravy would be greasy.  Also, the directions on some of the pins didn't say how to serve it.  Some of the pins said to shred it with the sauce, so I went with that.  

My husband figured out a new trick.  If you have a stand mixer, put the meat and all of the juice into the bowl of the mixer with the batter attachment.  Shreds in 30 seconds or less!  Genius!  We served it over the best mashed potatoes in the world (so my family says).  And you know what?  It was like magic cooking.  It was outstanding!  Tender, juicy, very flavorful and not greasy at all.  In fact, it was so good that I just ate a little bit of the leftovers for breakfast.  Enjoy!

MISSISSIPPI ROAST
One 3-4 lb beef roast (any cut will do)
1 packet Ranch dip mix
1 packet Au Jus gravy mix
1 stick butter
5-10 pepperoncini peppers, stems removed
3 teaspoons garlic powder (I know, I said 5 ingredients, but garlic is essential!)

Put the roast in the crockpot and sprinkle the Ranch and Au Jus packets over the roast.  Place the stick of butter on top of the roast.  Place the peppers around the roast.  Don't add any liquid.  Trust me, you won't need it.  Cover the crockpot and cook the roast on low for about 8 hours (I let mine go 10 hours).  Shred the meat with all of the juice and peppers and serve over mashed potatoes or even rice. 

NOTE:  If you are making mashed potatoes to serve with it, be careful of the amount of salt you put in the potatoes.  The Ranch and Au Jus give the roast and potatoes enough salt and adding salt to the potatoes might make it too salty.  My secret for mashed potatoes is to use real butter and heavy whipping cream instead of milk.  Very rich, but very good. Also, I never peel potatoes, but my family is okay with that. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Third Time's a Charm!


Most of the time, I cook dinner, take pictures, and usually try to blog it the next day.  And I try to bring you at least three or four new recipes a week.  I'm busy, I know.  And I consider myself very blessed and fortunate that it works out that way for me most of the time.  But every now and then it takes a few tries to get a recipe right.  Like this pasta.  This is Spicy Chicken Rigatoni.  

I saw something kinda similar on Pinterest, but I had to change it up some, of course.  I just can't leave well enough alone.  I'm one of those moms who will just do it myself since I can't get anyone in the house to do it my way and it's easier to just do it than to argue or try to teach someone the right way.  That's probably doing my kids a disservice on some level, but maybe they'll take away the fact that doing things right is the way they should do things when they're grown. 

Anywho, the first time I made this pasta, the flavor was awesome, but I had a little problem with the cheese.  It seized up on me and stuck to the chicken and there was no sauce at all.  The second time I made it, I added chicken stock to the recipe, but the cheese still seized up.  I went back to the source of the similar pasta and read the comments and found that other people had that problem too.  
So I thought long and hard and my brain flipped the light bulb switch.  I make a lot of cheese sauces and I add the cheese after the liquid boils, but I do it off of the heat and in small amounts.  So I tried that here.  Voila!  It worked!  Creamy, cheesy sauce.  This pasta also has sundried tomatoes, which my husband will tell you he doesn't care for.  But he loved this pasta so much that he asked me to make it again next week.  Even my picky son ate it all three times and loved it. And I hope you love it too!

SPICY CHICKEN RIGATONI
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 T butter
Olive oil
1 lb rigatoni (or your favorite shape pasta)
One 8.5 ounce sundried tomatoes in oil, well drained
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 C half & half
1 C chicken stock
1 1/2 C shredded Mozzarella
1/2 C shredded Asiago cheese
Red chili flakes, to taste
2 T chopped fresh basil
Salt & pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet or dutch oven and drizzle in some olive oil.  Cook the chicken until tender, about 5-6 minutes.  Spoon the chicken out of the skillet and put on a plate.  Cover the plate to keep the chicken warm.  Turn the heat up a little bit and add in the onion.  Cook the onion until tender.  Add in the garlic, sundried tomatoes, smoked paprika, chicken stock, cooked chicken and any juice on the plate, half & half, red chili flakes to taste, and salt & pepper to taste.  Bring it to a rapid boil.  Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the Mozzarella in small amounts until it is melted and the sauce is smooth.  Stir in the Asiago cheese the same way.  Stir in the basil and the drained pasta and serve.

Loosely adapted from Julia's Album

Monday, May 18, 2015

Volcano Potatoes


Here is an interesting new way to cook potatoes.  These are Volcano Potatoes.  I parbaked potatoes, hollowed them out, stuffed them, wrapped them in bacon, and grilled them.  And, while I didn't picture the sauce, it's pretty good too.  Enjoy!

VOLCANO POTATOES
4 medium potatoes, washed
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
8 slices bacon
1/2 C chopped ham (or turkey)
3/4 C shredded Cheddar cheese
About 1 C barbecue sauce
Sliced green onions, for garnish

FOR THE SAUCE:
1 C sour cream
Hot sauce, to taste (any brand is fine)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rub the potatoes with some olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.  Wrap the potatoes in foil and bake for about 20 minutes.  

Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients together and chill. 

Preheat your grill to about 350 degrees.  Unwrap the potatoes (use an oven mitt).  Cut a small slice off of the fatter end of the potatoes so that you can stand the potatoes up. Cut a small slice off of the other end.  Carefully scoop some of the insides out of this end (use an apple corer or a jalapeno corer or a small scoop) to make room to stuff the potatoes (it's okay if they break a little.  The bacon will hold the skins in place).  Wrap each potato with 2 slices of bacon, using toothpicks to secure the bacon.  

Stand the potatoes on the fat end and stuff the ham and cheese in the potatoes in layers, ending with cheese on top. Grill the potatoes over direct heat for about 30-40 minutes, basting with the barbecue sauce every 5-7 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender and the bacon is cooked.  Garnish the potatoes with the green onions and serve with the sauce.

Adapted from BBQFOOD4U (click for video)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Crazy Drivers


The other day, my son and I walked out the front door for me to take him to school and me to work.  As I walked out, a moth flew at me and I kind of jumped back, not that I'm scared of moths but it just surprised me.  Every year we seem to have a crazy invasion of moths here in West Texas. I didn't see where the moth went, so I assumed it flew away.  

Anywho, we got in the car and off we went.  When I turned off of our street and onto a big four-lane street, all of a sudden the moth was frantically flying around and bouncing off of the windshield.  I guess he piggybacked on my shirt or in my purse.  I rolled down the windows and started frantically waving my arms around trying to chase it out.  I told my son to do something, all the while he's hysterically laughing at me and saying, "it's just a moth, Mom."  I'm sure I swerved the car trying to get that thing out.  I probably looked like I was inebriated or crazy.  The moth finally flew out, and my son laughed at me all the way to school.

Have you ever had that experience?  My husband told me once that he was driving down the road and a bee flew in the window.  He said he slammed on the brakes right in the middle of the road and got out of the truck (yes, a lot of people do drive trucks in Texas).  Luckily no one hit him.  I can't say I blame him though.  I'd probably wet my pants or cry or just jump from the moving car.  Okay.  So none of that has to do with this recipe.  I just thought I'd share.

This recipe is for Chicken Pizzaiola.  Pizzaiola roughly translated means "pizza style."  Now, I'm not claiming that this version is anywhere near authentic.  The traditional Italian version of "carne pizzaiola" is meat cooked with peppers, tomatoes, and olive oil and a lot of times includes oregano and basil, thus giving it a kind of pizza flavor.  My version is a wildly varied version and Americanized.  I baked chicken breasts coated in Asiago cheese, then melted cheese with pepperoni on top.  I served it with some spaghetti and it was a hit!  It was really easy to make and (I just have to say it) it was darn tasty!

CHICKEN PIZZAIOLA
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Black pepper, to taste
1 lb spaghetti
2 C marinara sauce (click for my recipe)
1 egg
4 thick slices Mozzarella cheese
16 slices pepperoni

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.  Heat the marinara sauce in a small pot or in the microwave.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butterfly the chicken completely in half so that you have 4 cutlets.  Whisk the egg with a little water.  Mix the Asiago cheese with the garlic powder and black pepper, to taste.  Dip the chicken into the egg wash and then both sides into the cheese mixture, pressing down to coat.  Lay the chicken on a greased sheet pan.  Bake the chicken 15-20 minutes or until it's at 165 degrees internally.  

Lay the Mozzarella slices over the chicken and four slices of pepperoni on each piece of chicken.  Return the pan to the oven and cook until the cheese has melted.  Mix the drained spaghetti with the warm marinara sauce.  Serve the chicken over the spaghetti.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Potato Salad


I'm sure you all have a favorite Potato Salad recipe, but I wanted to share mine with you.  This is a pretty typical Southern recipe.  When I serve this at potlucks or cookouts, there is never any left.  Enjoy!

POTATO SALAD
6 medium potatoes, diced
6 boiled eggs, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 C chopped red onion
1 1/2 C mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip or salad dressing)
1 1/2 T white vinegar
2 T yellow mustard
Salt & pepper, to taste

NOTE:  I like extra sauce on my potato salad, so I usually add a little more mayo, mustard, and vinegar to the measurements above.  Also, I don't usually peel potatoes simply because I don't like to.  But it's good either way.

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and then cook the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain them very well and let them cool slightly.

Whisk together the mayo, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients into the mayo mixture. Chill the potato salad completely and serve cold.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bring on the Red


History tells us that chili originated in Texas.  Ladies known as "chili queens" would set up stands in San Antonio and sell their chile con carne, which means chiles with meat, or what we now know as chili.  Cowboy cooks ran little chili shacks and sold a bowl of chili for a nickel.  In 1893 at a world fair in Chicago, there was a Texas stand that introduced chili to the rest of the world.  

There are probably as many variations of chili as there are stars in the sky.  But this recipe is a little different than the typical chili I make or am used to eating.  My Darn Good Chili has very little tomato, is more of a brown chili, and, yes, I put beans in it.  

But this time I wanted to try something a little different. Something maybe a little more authentic and closer to what those chili queens were serving up.  Something made with real chiles.  Why do I spell it that way?  The spanish word for peppers is chile, pronounced chee-lay.  For me, when I'm talking about the pepper, that's what I use.  Chili is a pot of stewed meat and other ingredients.  So I made this Chile Colorado con Puerco, which means red chiles with pork. Colorado is "red in Spanish" and puerco means "pork."  It is an easy recipe and turned out so wonderful.  We ate ours over Fritos and called it a fancy pants Chili Frito Pie.  And I went around for the day calling myself a Chili Queen, so you should probably do that too.

CHILE COLORADO CON PUERCO (RED CHILI WITH PORK)
One 4 lb pork butt or shoulder, cut in long thin strips
5 dried red chiles, like New Mexico chiles or Guajillo chiles
1 onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
3 serranos, chopped
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano

NOTE:  My husband discovered a brilliant and super fast way to shred meat.  If you have a stand mixer, put the meat in the bowl of the mixer and attach the batter beater.  The meat shreds in seconds this way.

Cut the stems off of the chiles and knock the seeds out.  Put them in a bowl and put about 2 C hot water over the chiles. Soak them until they are softened, about 20 minutes.  Pour the water and the chiles into a blender and blend until smooth.  Put all of the ingredients including the blended chiles into a crockpot.  Cook the chili on low for about 8 hours or until tender.  Remove the meat from the crockpot and shred.  Return the meat to the sauce and serve.  You can serve this over Fritos with Cheddar cheese for a fancy pants Frito Chili Pie, or just eat the chili with a spoon.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Splurging




Most of the time I'm pretty frugal when it comes to our meals. But, every now and then, I splurge a little.  Well, this time maybe a lot.  I have been wanting lobster for a while now, so I decided to just go on and get it.  This Grilled Surf & Turf dinner was absolutely amazing!  The picture here doesn't do it justice, but the lobster tails I bought were 1 foot long and weighed 1 lb each!  Ridiculous, I know.  But I only bought two lobster tails and two ribeyes, and the four of us split them.  I served them with baked potatoes, creamed spinach, and sauteed mushrooms.  I guarantee that, if the four of us went out to eat, we would have spent a whole lot more money than I did on this meal.

But the one thing that stands out for me about this meal, aside from how darn tasty it was, was what I call Steak Butter.  Years ago I ate at a steakhouse, and they brought me a sizzling steak with a pat of flavored butter on top.  It was fantastic!  Since then, this is the only way we eat steaks now.  No steak sauce for us.  And Steak Butter is good for other things too, like lobster.  But you could use it to serve on chicken, to cook veggies with, put in baked potatoes, etc.  It's divine!  Enjoy!

GRILLED SURF & TURF
Two 1 lb lobster tails
Two 1 1/2 inch bone-in ribeyes
Salt & pepper
1 recipe of Steak Butter (recipe below)
Optional, sauteed mushrooms (recipe below)
Optional, creamed spinach (recipe below)
Optional, loaded baked potatoes

For the lobsters, cut the top side of the shells with kitchen shears down the length of the lobster, being careful not to cut the meat and don't go through the tail fin.  (If you need more help, Google "how to cut a lobster tail" and watch a video.) Carefully separate the tail meat from the shell and then place the meat back in the shell.  

Preheat the grill to 425 degrees.  Generously season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.  (Seriously, be generous.  You want the steaks to have some flavor!)  Cook the steaks for five minutes.  Flip the steaks and cook them for four minutes.  Flip the steaks and cook an additional four minutes for medium rare (135 degrees internally), or longer if you want a more well done steak.  

Cut slices (two 1 T slices) off of the Steak Butter and melt it. Put the lobster tails shell side down first for about 8-10 minutes for a 1 lb lobster tail (smaller tails will take a lot less time).  Flip the tails over and brush the tail meat with the melted steak butter.  Cook the tails for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees.  A thermometer is a must here since the size of the lobster tail determines the cooking time.

Cover both the steaks and the lobster with foil to keep them warm.  The carryover cooking time under the foil will bring them both up to the temperature they need to be at.  Serve the steaks with a pat of the Steak Butter and serve the lobsters with small bowls of melted Steak Butter.  Serve the Surf & Turf with sauteed mushrooms, creamed spinach, and even a loaded baked potato.


STEAK BUTTER
1 stick of butter, softened
1 T chopped Italian parsley
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper
Dash of salt

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Spoon the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Shape it into a log, wrap it up, and chill until ready to use.




CREAMED SPINACH
One 10-ounce bag of spinach leaves
1 T butter
Olive oil
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T red onion, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a skillet and drizzle in some olive oil.  Add in the onions and saute 2-3 minutes.  Add in the spinach and garlic.  The spinach will wilt a lot. When it's cooked through, stir in the cream cheese and parmesan cheese.  Continue cooking and stirring until the cream cheese is melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.



SAUTEED MUSHROOMS
8 ounces mushrooms (you can slice them or leave them whole)
2 T butter
Olive oil
1/2 C white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Italian parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet and drizzle in some olive oil.  Put the mushrooms in and cook until well browned all over. Deglaze the pan with the wine.  Add in the garlic and cook until most of the wine is cooked out.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the parsley and serve.