Sunday, December 7, 2014

From Deirdre's blog:

Tamara's insanely, ridiculously, amazingly delicious meatloaf 

My friend Tamara is a chef extraordinaire.  I want to live next door to her so I can just go over with wine 
and eat her food. I asked for help updating meatloaf recipes. Tamara sends me this:

Meatloaf equal parts beef & pork, eggs, crumbs.  Sometimes I use Italian or Bratwurst instead of plain pork, out 
of the skin of course.  Put all the things you'd like on a hamburger, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, mustard, 
bacon, grilled onions, mushrooms etc.  Mix everything together, divide in half.  Put half in the pan, put your 
favorite cheese in the center, put the rest of the meat over it, top with sauteed onions, bacon or whatever 
you want.This will be the best you have ever had.

I ask for measurements.  Mortals need measurements. 

She sends this:

To increase the fat content you might add flax seed oil or maybe flax seed.  I don't measure but I'd give a 
good squirt of each, probably 2 T. will be enough.  Extra eggs and no crumbs will keep it a bit softer and less dry.

I love her.  She is superhuman.  I am mortal. So to make it, we did this, with measurements:

1 lb ground beef (from our grass-fed cow, not a lot of fat)
1 lb ground pork
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 T Mickey & T's All American Season
1-2 T BBQ sauce
1-2 T ranch dressing
1-2 T mustard
onions (I like them raw)
cheese - about 1/2 a cup (we used 3 cheese)

We did what she said.  Mixed everything together, divided in half.  I put half in the pan, added the cheese in the 
center, and then covered with the rest of the meat.

I put a couple of squirts of BBQ sauce,mustard, and ranch dressing on top. Cooked uncovered to 165 degrees. 
Then we let it sit, covered, for about 10 minutes.

 It is unbelievable.  It is unlike any meatloaf that I have ever had and I will have a hard time making anything else. Ever. Again.

Cook's Notes:
1.  Because we are tweakers, the next time we make this (and we will make this again), I will add chopped pickles.
2.  Mickey & T's All American can be found on-line here.  It is similar to a Montreal Steak season, only better!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Rosemary Flank Steak

We are making this recipe tonight.  The ingredients were simple, and we just love pretty much anything that has to do with a flank steak:


- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 1/2 tablespoons of honey
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons minced rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 flank steak


In a resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, olive oil, honey, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Mix this marinade well for 10-15 seconds.  Place the flank steak in the marinade and seal the bag, pushing out as much of the air in the bag as possible.  Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator and let the flank steak marinate for at least four hours.  About 30 minutes before placing the flak steak on the grill, remove the sealed bag from the refrigerator.  

Prepare a fire in your grill.  When the grill is ready, remove the flank steak from the bag and discard the marinade.  Place the flank steak on the grill and cook to desired doneness.  When the flank steak is done, remove it from the grill and place it on a plate.  Cover the flank steak with foil and allow it to rest for 7-10 minutes.

When the flank steak is done resting, transfer it to a cutting board and slice it across the grain.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tri-Tip Sirloin Steak Marinade

Last weekend I visited an old friend and he made a marinated tri-tip sirloin steak.  The steak came marinated from a local butcher shop.  I decided to try to make my own marinade and use a tri-tip steak that was in the freezer from our cow purchase last fall.  Here is there recipe I made (it was a combination of a couple of recipes I found):

- 1 T kosher salt
- 1 T ground black pepper
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1 T oregano
- 1 t cayenne pepper
- 1 t dried rosemary
- 1/2 t dry sage
- 2 T olive oil

In a bowl, combine all the dry spices.  Transfer the mixed spices to a zip-lok bag, and add the olive oil.  Mix well.

Place the steak in the bag and rub the bag to that the marinade coats the steak.  Place the bag in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

Prepare a fire in your grill.  When the grill is ready, cook the steak until done, flipping the steak once.  When done, remove the steak from the grill and place on a cutting board.  Cover the steak will aluminum foil and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes.

Serve with a hearty red wine.

Cook's Notes:  I cooked the steak for just over 11 minutes.  The steak was a perfect medium rare throughout.  You need to monitor the cooking closely, because if you over cook the steak, the meat will be very tough to chew.  We served a 2011 Zinfandel (Rock Wall) from California with the steak, along with green beans and a Caesar salad.  It was a wonderful meal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pork Dry Rub

Last weekend we used our slow cooker to cook a couple of pork shoulder steaks.  I found a dry rub that we liberally applied to the meat, and here is the recipe

- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1/8 cup fresh ground pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 cup kosher (or course salt)
- 1/4 cup Brown (or white Sugar) 

Mix all ingredients well.  Liberally apply the rub to the meat before cooking

Cook's Notes:
I used Splenda Brown Sugar, and I also used one tablespoon of onion powder and garlic powder.  The rub added a great taste to the meat.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Green Beans

I love green beans.  Here is my favorite recipe.

Green beans, ends cut.  I just make as many as I want.
Pine nuts, roasted.
Feta cheese.

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Cook/blanch the green beans for 3-4 minutes.  (longer, depending on how you like your beans).

Plunge in cold water.  Drain and dry in paper towels.
While the beans are drying, dry roast the pine nuts.  Once roasted, set aside.
In a fry pan, heat the beans; once warmed, add the pine nuts.  Add feta cheese.  Once the feta cheese has melted, serve.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beef with Broccoli

We continue to experiment with our wok.  Last night, we made Beef with Broccoli.  Below is the recipe:

1 lb round steak or flank steak, thinly sliced into bite size pieces
11/2 lbs broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon peanut oil
Freshly ground black pepper to season the beef

Stir-Fry Sauce:
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade.  Add the beef and marinate for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Stir-Fry Sauce.

In a large pan, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and bring to a boil.  Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes.  The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.

Over high heat, add the peanut oil and swirl to coat.  Once the peanut oil is hot, add the garlic and green onions and cook for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak, keeping it in one layer and cook for 2-3 minutes.  
Flip the strips and fry the other side, and add the peanuts to the beef

Pour in the Stir-Fry Sauce into the wok and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.

Serve over white rice

Cook's Note:
This was easy to make and delicious.  The peanuts were a last minute addition.  The next time I make this, I will substitute water chestnuts for the peanuts.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cashew Chicken

A few weeks ago, we purchased a wok, courtesy of our friend +Karen Kerr,  from  We have been experimenting with the wok and last night we made Cashew Chicken.  Here is the recipe:

Serves: 4 

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon corn starch

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

Cooking SAUCE:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
2 tablespoon oyster sauce or hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional)

2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2-3 broccoli florets, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup snow peas
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews


Marinate the chicken.  In a medium bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice wine and cornstarch, until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chicken and stir gently to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine, oyster/hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauce (if using). Set aside.

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the base. Add the garlic and stir-fry until just aromatic, about 20 seconds.  Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for until cooked.  Remove the chicken from the wok and keep warm.

Add the onions and cook until translucent.  Add the cashews and cook for 1 minute.  Add the broccoli and the snow peas and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the sauce and stir to coat the vegetables.  Let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes to thicken and then add the chicken.  Stir fry the chicken and vegetables for 1-2 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Cook’s Notes:

I used dark soy sauce and hoisin sauce making this recipe.  I also used chili sauce for the cooking sauce.  The original recipe used less oyster/hoisin sauce and the recipe could have used more.  When I make this again, I will use the amounts listed above to make more sauce to coat the chicken and the vegetables.