Diner Inspired Sandwich- Grilled Ribeye with some Sauteed Onions

This is a nice, fun, and somewhat quick meal which can be tailored in many ways to suit one’s own liking. In this particular instance, I kept it in similar fashion to a version I had tried a few months back at a retro 50’s themed diner.

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On to the fun part: Start off with a nice boneless ribeye or two (or more depending on how many you are feeding), season to your liking- I used some cracked peppercorns, black-garlic salt, and some rosemary. Toss on the grill and cook to your liking (I did mine to about medium-rare as they will cook a little after you pull em off).

For the onions, I sliced up a nice large yellow sweet onion. Threw it in a skillet of already heated up olive oil, threw in some pepper to taste, and tossed in a little Worcestershire sauce. Cook til golden brown. Throw it all together on a nice roll, toss in a side of homemade broccoslaw and some pickles and bam…you have a complete meal. Quick, easy, tasty…what more could you want?

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Enjoy.

Always Fun to Walk into a “Real” Bucher Shop- Followed by Grilled Elk-Blackberry Sausage

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This past weekend I had the fun time of heading over to Philadelphia and walk around the Italian Market Festival. Streets were lined with vendors selling all different types of products, fresh produce stands were out in abundance, and along the streets in the storefronts you had everything from pastry shops, cafes/restaurants, cheese shops, to one of my favorites- the butcher shop.

Of course they had the traditonal styled butcher shop- got all of your beef parts in one case, pork in another (I did get a nice 4.5 lb. piece of pork belly), and others with poultry, lamb, etc. It was when I went into another more “exotic” shop, that the fun began.

It started off just by looking at the display in the front window…quail, snake, kangaroo…the list goes on. So when I went inside i started looking around and the variety was quite distinguished. And so I ended up buying a nice package of quail for future cooking endeavours, however for this post we will go into the sausage that I obtained: Elk sausage with blackberry.

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Now, some people may be turned away by some of your gamier meat- but not me (especialyl when it is cut with something like blackberry to add a slight sweetness and some mositure when cooked. So at that point it was sausage (check), then I needed to get some rolls (check) and well a look in the fridge and we found some toppings (check).

I started off by throwing the sausages on the grill. While that was happening outside, I had a pot of water boiling (with salt added) on the stove and tossed in some broccoli rabe to cook for about 2 minutes. When it was done I drained in the sink and flushed with cold water to stop the cooking process. I then had a pan set up with some olive oil, butter, diced garlic, and black pepper. I then checked on the sausage and at the appropriate time I sauteed the broccoli rabe so it was nice and hot just as I borught the sausages inside.

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I started off with cutting the rolls. I then grated some cranberry-cinnamon cheddar onto the roll, tossed on the sausages, and then topped with the broccoli rabe. Overall, a nice flavorful meal which did not require too much time or effort. If you happen to stumble upon elk sausage, I would say buy some and try it- you won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy.

Scampi with some fresh squeezed lemon

To be honest, I am quite unsure of the last time I had made a shrimp scmapi myself- I’ve had it out to eat at places or in the past when visiting my parents but making my own- hmmm, at least before I started blogging.

I started off with some uncooked shrimp (26-30 count per pound variety) and I took them out of their shells and placed on paper towel to get rid of some of the extra water weight. I then put them in a large bowl, zested 1 lime (yes a lime, not a lemon), tossed in some ancho chili powder, a little bit of salt, and some cilantro and mixed together.

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In a medium pan, I heated up 3 teaspoons of butter and 2 of olive oil. While slowly heating I diced up a couple of garlic cloves (4 or 5) and tossed this into the now hot butter/oil mixture. I sauteed the garlic for a minute or two and then tossed the shrimp in on top. I let them cook for a few minutes and then added in 1/3 cup of Rose wine (did not have a bottle of white open but this is just as good). I then simmered this mixture until the shrimp turned pink.

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Separately, I had a pot of water boiling and had tossed in some thin spaghetti. Once the spaghetti was ready i drained it out and tossed the shrimp/sauce mixture into the pot. I then squuezed the juice out of two lemons and tossed in about 1/2 cup of fresh diced parsley and mixed it all together.

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As you can tell, the wife was happy, so scampi was a success.

Enjoy.

Grilled to Perfection: Ribeye, Corn on the Cob, and Potatoes

It’s evenings like yesterday that you can never complain about- mid 70’s, sunny, and a slight breeze. Which als means it is the perfect time to fire up the grill and what is better then tossing on some steaks.

These nice ribeyes were basted in some olive oil and then I applied two different salts: one being a black-garlic salt and the other being a cabernet infused salt.

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Now for the corn, I soaked the husks, basted the cobs and sprinkled on a spice mixture. The potatoes were par boiled, cooled, and then cut in half. I then spread on a little bit of butter, tossed on some spices and wrapped them individually in aluminum foil and tossed on the grill.

I left the potatoes and corn to grill for a while and I left the steaks out on the counter to get closer to room temperature. When the vegetables were getting close to being done, I took a small soufle bowl tossed in some pecan wood chips, water and placed on the grill. I then proceeded to throw on the steaks cooking each side for a couple of minutes.

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Back inside, I had some re-hydrated lobster mushrooms sauteeing in the mushroom juice and some truffle infused oil. These were then tossed on top of the steaks upon completion.

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Enjoy.

Summertime Grilling: Burgers Part One

A while back in the winter time I had originally posted an “indoor” version of a burger which can be seen here.

Now that the weather is warm and the grill can be fired up, it is time to have some fun and experiment with different variations of burger concepts and toppings. Today I will present two wonderful ideas and as the summer progresses, there will be many more to come.

Before I get into the main jist of things, I’ll quickly go through the making of the patties. I am not typically one to add a whole lot fo stuff into the burger itself or jump on the tv craze of “stuffed” burgers. I am somewhat agreeable with chef Bobby Flay in that the burger itself should be simple and that adding additional flavors and elements should be in the roll, toppings, etc.

The patties I created I used 90% ground beef. I take a few strips of uncooked bacon and dice them up into a mush and mix well into the beef. I know a lot of people may utilize seasonings such as onion/garlic salt, but I prefer to finely dice up both vegetables themselves and add them into the mix. I then utilize some sweet paprika and a touch of sage and then make the patties by hand (no tools required).

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The first version I attempted was a nice little bit of sweet and spicy. Along with grilling the burgers, I had also cut up slices of fresh pineapple and some orange habaneros and tossed them on the grill as well. In a small skillet I had fried up and then used breadcrumbs to coat and make some crispy onion straws. I had also fried up some bacon which I added some fresh peppercorn for a little kick.

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When the burgers were close to being fully done, I tossed some Colby cheese onto the patties and let it melt on top (about 4-5 minutes).

The final product was as follows: Bottom layer of roll, Romaine lettuce, burger with Colby cheese, grilled pineapple, onion straws, bacon, and finally the orange habanero.

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And, now on to the second version.

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In this instance I decided to go with more natural and “woodsy” flavors as opposed to sweet and spicy combinations.

As in the previous instance, as the burger was almost done I had added on the cheese to melt a little. I chose a nice 3 year aged cheddar to top. After the cheddar, I cut up a fresh avocado and threw on a nice slice of that. I had some dried lobster mushrooms which I had re-hydrated in some water and then sauteed in a little oil. Now with my birthday just happening, one of the gifts I received was the Polyscience Smoking Gun. What better way to test was to cook up a few slices of bacon and then add some applewood smokiness to them? This was all served on a ciabatta roll with some red leaf lettuce and a side of polish pickles and some chips.

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Enjoy.

Broiled Flounder with a Pineapple-Shrimp Topping

Fish is such a great meal due to its versatility and the fact that in most situations it does not take all that long to prep or cook. I decided in this case to go fairly simple and stuck to having some broiled flounder.

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So, the flounder was simple enough. I poured a little olive oil into the dish and tossed in the filets. Since I wanted to make it a little citrusy, I poured in some orange juice. I then sprinkled on some ancho chile powder and some smoked paprika and put in the oven.

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While that was in the oven, for the topping I diced up some fresh pineapple and put into a pan. I added in some soy sauce and heated on medium. After that was cooking for a little bit of time (and to soften it) I then added in some “salad” shrimp (the small ones they sell to put in a salad. I then cooked this all together until the juices were slightly thickened.

As a side, I sauteed some asparagus in some truffle-infused oil along with some salt and pepper.

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Enjoy.

Keeping it Fairly Simple—Steak.

Sometimes the best tasting meals are the easiest ones to prep. Luckily, steak typically falls into this category. For this dinner, I started off with a couple of bone-in strip steaks. I did a quick baste with some truffle infused olive oil and then tossed the steaks in a mixture of salt, pepper, sweet paprika, and rosemary and then crushed on some fresh garlic cloves.

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With the weather being a tad cold still (had made these about a week ago) I decided the best thing to do was place some oil in a pan and broil them on low in the oven. While this was taking place, I proceeded to make a risotto which I added some cheddar too as well as some cauliflower which I had boiled to soften and then seared in some oil.

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A Mixed Cream of Vegetable Soup

I always enjoy going to a produce market as in most instances there is a variety of vegetables you do not normally see in the grocery store and there are typically a lot of very great prices. And in times like this, I get a tad overzealous and have more than I know what to do with so I start to try different combinations and types of meals and thus I came across an interesting soup combination: Cream of Broccoflower and Asparagus with sweet onion and lemongrass- topped with mild cheddar and sauteed broccolini.

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You can choose any stock you want as a base, but since yesterday I had made 5 quarts of fresh chicken stock, I went with that. I started off by pouring in a little olive oil and sauteed the sweet onion along with the lemongrass. I diced up the broccoflower and asparagus into smaller pieces and added them to this mix.

I let that cook for a few minutes and then added in 5 cups of stock and 5 cups of warm water and brought to a simmer. I then put the lid on the stock pot and let it cook for an hour or so.

At this point, I proceeded to add in 1 and half cups heavy cream and put the lid back on again. In a separate pan I sauteed some broccolini which I would later on put as sort of an edible garnish on the soup along with the cheddar.

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At the two hour mark, I took out my immersion blender and blended the whole thing right in the stock pot (saves time and effort of transferring to a blender/mixer etc. and doing it that way. I then poured the soup into the bowl tossed in the broccolini and some shredded cheddar.

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Enjoy.

Seared Porckchops with an Apple-Shallot Compote

Since we had celebrated the holiday on Sunday, we did not have the normal corn beef and cabbage as you would on Saint Patrick’s Day- I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday celebration. Instead I decided to make some seared pork chops.

The chops were initially seasoned with salt and pepper. In a medium pan I heated up some oil along with some Worcestershire sauce. I then proceeded to brown the chops on both sides and near completion with them still in the pan, I deglazed the pan with a little red wine and cooked both sides slightly more.

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While all this was going on, I diced up one apple and one whole shallot, and tossed them in a small saucepan with some butter. Part of the way through the cooking process, I added in some honey and cooked it down. Near the end I tossed in some fresh oregano for some added flavor and topped the chops with this combination.

As a side dish, I did a twice-baked baked potato. I initially baked 3 potatoes whole and then as they cooled, cut them in halves (careful to keep them fully intact). Each one I had scraped out (the four halves I saved for secondary usage had some still on the sides to maintain structure while the others I fully scraped out). I then tossed this into a bowl which contained a combination of heavy cream, and sauteed garlic, kale, small bits of bacon, and some mozzarella (mainly for creaminess). I then mixed this up, spooned back into the potato halves and baked again. Near the end, I topped the halves with a little bit of cheddar for added flavor or color (I do like things to look nice and colorful).

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Enjoy.

Hanger Steak with a Shrimp Topping, Brussel Sprouts, and Potatoes au Gratin

Last night was kind of a mid-week celebration for Jenn’s birthday (just the two of us) as the upcoming weekend we are having a joint birthday celebration with her brother-in-law and last weekend was somewhat similar when we went down to Atlantic City (love restaurant week). So I figured somewhere in the middle I would do my own thing. Since you can never go wrong with steak, or shrimp- or why not just use a little of both, here is dinner:

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The steak I had initially marinated in some sugar, tequila, chile powder, and some worsteshire sauce. I seared it in the pan and used a little bit of honey-brown sugar bbq sauce to make a nice “sticky” coating. The shrimp I did in a oil-soy based combination along with some fresh chopped garlic and ginger.

For the first side, I cut the brussel sprouts in half, steamed them, and ran under cold water to stop the cooking process. I then took some oil, butter, rosemary, and sage, and tossed in the bruseel sprouts and gave them a nice saute until just starting to brown on the outer layer.

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For the second side, i busted out my Kobra V-slicer to make nice thin potato slices. I first poured in some oil and heavy cream into the bottom of th dish, then did a layer of potatoes followed by grating some Emmantal cheese, added some rosemary and did this for 4-5 layers (whenever I ran out of potatoes). For some color and added flavor on the top layer I added in some sharp cheddar and some panko breadcrumbs. I then proceeded to bake in the oven at 375 for about 40-45 minutes.

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Enjoy.