Friday, February 15, 2008

BEAUTY AND THE BEEF

This past coupla weeks I have found myself telling folks about a particular cut of meat that Geraldo and I discovered a few months back and have really fallen in love with. Now, I'm going to mention Kroger and Meat in the same sentence, but before you write me off as completely carnivore -challenged, let me preface this with the fact that the particular cut of beef I'm talking about comes to Kroger already cut, processed and vaccum sealed. It is an aged beef, not angus, but Steak House quality. Look, I buy meat from Kroger sometimes because I don't have a neighborhood butcher named Sal waiting with sharpened tools to custom cut my rump roast. A gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do and sometimes you have to go for convenience and shop local. Recently tho, Kroger has began carrying some really good cuts and their house ground beef is a good balance of fat to lean. Great for burgers, chilli or meat sauces. I would love to open my own little meat "Shoppe" with some artisan cheeses, freshly baked breads, some great olive oils, 3 or 4 little tables and a great take out business, but that's down the road.....literally. In the meantime, let's get back to my beef story.
I am most definately a carnivore and am surrounded by such. I really enjoy a good steak, chop, cutlet or roast. Beef, bird or pork. My favorite cut of beef is probably a New York Strip...no wait, a Rib-Eye...no wait... a T-Bone. You get the picture.
But the steak worthy of all this build up and fanfare today is..........................drumroll please..................
the FLAT IRON STEAK! Grilled, broiled, pan fried, stir-fried, cubed however,this steak has great body. Sorta the best of a filet of tenderloin meets the strip steak family. Really tender, not mushy, and holds it's own on the grill. The trick is to buy one that is thick at both ends as they have a tendency to slant to a thinner end. Picking one thick at both ends is strictly for cooking reasons so that its consistent. If you're gonna use it for a coupla different meals, half it and stir fry the thinner half. You have to cut it against the grain. You know like a flank steak, but it's never as tough as a sirloin, no matter how you slice it. For grilliing or broiling, all I season it with is Sea Salt, black ground pepper and granulated garlic. That's it.
Read the information under SIMPLY RECIPES in the side bar for all the "where this cut comes from" info. But do try it. And don't bake your potatoes in foil. For gosh sakes, give 'em a little scrub, maybe rub a little sea salt on the outside, prick a few holes with a fork and put them on the middle rack and bake those stinkers on about 400 degrees till they are FLUFFY...not steamed. Go buy a steak and invite a Cowboy ( or Cowgal) over for
a good ole steak supper! comfortcook@gmail.com

COMFORT COOK CATERING 615-525-8336

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CHILES 'CAUSE IT'S CHILLY!!

I did some grocery shopping yesterday and when I go into those stores, it's really like a normal, stereotypical gal going into a mall or department store. I am definately in my element and am inspired pushing the cart around. I am currently planning a field trip to the new Whole Foods that recently opened in Green Hills like some folks plan a trip to an outlet mall. I get excited when produce is big, fresh, bright and crunchy looking. I love to find the names of products I only fantasize about when reading food articles or watching cooking shows. Publix comes close most of the time and Kroger has definately picked up its creative pace, but I'm chomping at the bit (literally) to get to Whole Foods and check out "SHOPRYLAND." That's the newest food theme park to hit Middle Tennesse, and one I definately want a season pass for.

I have been to some great food shows in the past and tried cheeses and foods I couldn't pronounce or identify. One cheese monger offered me a sample of the best Bleu Cheese I have ever eaten and after I came back down to earth, I asked him where I could get it. He asked if I had a Whole Foods in my area. This was in Louisville and a few years ago, so I was so excited when I heard the announcement that Nashville was finally staking a real claim on the consumer culinary map. I look forward to getting there soon and sharing the excitement with you. Back to my meager shopping trip yesterday......

I found some great shiny, bright green , crunchy Poblano peppers on sale and immediately knew that Geraldo and I would be enjoying Chile Rellenos this week. I make mine with Picadillo (meat filling) and cheese. I saw this recipe years ago on a 911 episode with Tyler (How Cute Is He?) Florence. I've made this recipe quite a few times and changed it each time. I am not a fan of the spicy to the "front of the mouth" taste, I'm more a "back of the throat" kinda gal. Therefore, as this recipe calls for 2 Chipotles in adobo, I use one. I also make sure all the membranes and seeds are out of the peppers. This recipe is a little bit time consuming, but it really flows and goes smoothly. The results are really worth it!! Invite some real foodies over to enjoy this one with you 'cause this is a real culinary homerun and not something someone gets served everyday. If you don't like raisins, then leave them out. Same with the olives. Do trust me and go with the spices (cinnamon, cloves, etc.) cause that really gives this recipe it's distinctive flavor. I follow it pretty exact and stuff Con Queso cheese (or Monterrey Jack) right inside with the meat filling. You can use canned Enchilada (Red) sauce instead of making the Ranchero Sauce, also. My mouth is watering right now thinking about tonight's supper!! OLE!!!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chiles-rellenos-with-picadillo-recipe/index.html

COMFORT COOK CATERING 615-525-8336

GOODNESS GRACIOUS!

GOODNESS GRACIOUS!
Does it get better than this?

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NEW ORLEANS STYLE!!

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GREEN GOODNESS
Ya gotta make you some of these!

SCHLURRRRP!

SCHLURRRRP!
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TENNESSEE TEXAS CAVIAR

TENNESSEE TEXAS CAVIAR
This is Soooo good!!

CUBAN MOJO CHICKEN

CUBAN MOJO CHICKEN
Light, And Flavorful!!

BAR- B -CUED PORK...SCHLURP!!!

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GREAT TASTING PORK STEAKS!

CRAB CAKES

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Wolfgang Puck's Great Recipe Here

FRESH FISH

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STEAK, STEAK, STEAK

STEAK, STEAK, STEAK

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