Tag - recipe of the week

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Gourmet Eating Experience – in your own home!
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Tuna Steak
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Carnivores Rejoice! Turkey Has Been Saved.
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Brie Is Beautiful
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A Simple Secret to Amazing Steak

Gourmet Eating Experience – in your own home!

hello fresh

All I can say is holy smokes.  I had no idea that you could have a quick, gourmet meal delivered right to your front door for the price of a night out at an average restaurant.  I was recently introduced to Hello Fresh.  This is an amazing company that delivers all varieties of meals customized to your liking.  These are not frozen dinners from a truck or carry-out meals from the local Chinese restaurant.  These are down-home, healthy, flavorful meals that will blow you away!  I have written a fair amount about having a little swag and at least acting like you know your way around a kitchen (I am talking you men).  This company has your back in the department.  I will give you some details in the next few blogs about the three recipes that graced my kitchen and hope you give them a little love.  This is an introduction to the experience.  The three recipes will soon follow, I promise.

The Plan

hello freshHello Fresh has an online presence that allows you to customize meals based on taste and needs.  They have vegetarian options along with larger serving options.  The site is very easy to navigate and walks you through the menu planning process.  Fast forward a couple days as the package shows up at your house, complete with everything  you need to make the recipe.  The ingredients are fresh, super fresh.  The recipe cards, special offers, and apron (nice touch) are separate from the produce and  greet you as you open the box.

I had some doubts, after all, I like to cook and enjoy making my own meals.  My expectations were obliterated.  These first three recipes I tried were nothing I would have made on my own.  Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Saltimbocca, Curried Jamaican Beef and Collard Greens, and Charred Zucchini & Bean Quesadillas are the tastes that changed my look at food.  I think I did not even realize my rut.  Did I mention they were awesome?

Some Details

Each recipe gives a picture based view of the cooking process which helps so much.  There are little icons that remind you of the time, the difficulty level, the spice level, allergens, and the core ingredient.  The card is very clear and concise.   I have read a fair amount of recipes and rarely dohello fresh I see calorie count, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, and even the tools needed listed as part of the recipe.

Is this more expensive than going to the store, sure.  The question that has to be asked, are you buying this kind of food at the store?  I mean really people, this is more like eating out at a great restaurant.  That is your comparison.  Don’t you dare compare this to some box of stuff and a some frozen beer.  When you match this up against the real target, a meal out, you are actually saving money and looking like a super star at the same time.  Picture this, date night, you cook this meal, pair it with a great wine and some mood music.  You are miles ahead financially than if you went out, got a cab, ordered drinks and food, left a tip for average service and came home broke.  Here is your only action item, planning.  This requires a little planning but please, don’t kid me, I know better.  You know when her birthday is, your anniversary comes up every year on the same day, and you should know when a holiday is coming up.  YOU HAVE A CALENDAR AND KNOW THE WEEKEND IS FEW DAYS AWAY.    These meals were under 12.00 per person.  My son and I ate at a sub shop the other day.  Two subs, chips and soda, 19.00.  Guess what else, it was super average tasting and made completely of salt, sugar, starch, and fat.  Game, set, match.

Final Thoughts

I don’t how to say this any other way.  Try it!  Don’t take my word for it, I am not a reliable source, your palate is.   Click on this link and enter this code – YCKNZUget $40.00 off your first order.  I will put the Curried Jamaican Beef and Collard Greens up against your homemade version any day (no offense but odds are you made ham instead).  People, step out of the routine, you will thank me.

Let’s Go!

Tuna Steak

Seared Tuna Steak

This may be my favorite recipe yet.  In the spirit of getting a huge bang-for-your-buck, this tuna steak is a bullseye.  I picked up an amazing tuna steak at my meat market and had it for lunch.  That’s right –  lunch – just $5.99 for a great meal that was ready in less than ten minutes. I guess you could have some processed grease-bomb with chips and a cup of sugar for the same price.  You pick.  I know which one I’d choose.

Tuna Steak

Get Ready For Lunch

Here’s all you need to do… practice this once on your own, then get ready to blow away your friends. Mix the following together:

  • 1 Tbsp. powdered wasabi mustard
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt

Seared Tuna Steak

Once they are mixed together, it’s time to firmly press the steak into the seasonings covering it completely.  I have seen posts where they say to use tongs or some kind of gloves, but I say balderdash.  Grab it with your hands and get dirty.  The sesame seeds add a fantastic crunch to the tender steak.

Get the pan heated to medium-high.  Don’t rush.  Get that pan really hot because you only have one shot at a seared steak that rules the kitchen.  Put a thin coat of sesame oil on the bottom for flavor and to crisp up the crust.

How to Cook Tuna Steak #Viewblender

This step is important…

You all have to figure out how you like your tuna, but for me, the more rare the better.  Look at the finished product in the picture.  That steak was done with one minute on each side. Exactly one minute. If you really like it really rare, I would cut it down to 30 seconds per side.  Now get that meat off the heat, onto your plate, and into your mouth!

Ahi Tuna Steak

Plating

There are a lot of ways to serve this beauty.  Cut it up and eat it dipped in wasabi and soy sauce.  Lay the slices over a bed of greens and have a salad.  Take some leaf lettuce and make some wraps with rice.  There are endless ways to dress it up. I just ate it (sometimes plain and simple is the best way).

Ok gang, I am going to sign off and search for another great option for all of my Viewblender friends.  Heat it up and Let’s Go!

 

 

 

 

Carnivores Rejoice! Turkey Has Been Saved.

Avocado Turkey Feta Burger

Just when you though the health food nuts had met their match…  I have tried and tried but nothing has been able to displace the good old greasy burger.  My parents make Turkey burgers all of the time.  They are good for you and have NO TASTE.  Listen, I am 100% on board with health and treating your body right but, at some point we all must demand flavor.  All of you carnivores are welcomed back at the table for the most flavorful turkey burger you have ever eaten.  I understand it may be the first turkey burger you have ever eaten so you have no frame of reference but, I will take credit for bringing you to the turkey-table regardless. Buckle up kids, here comes the Turkey Burger.

Here Is The Straight Scoop

All you need is a bowl and a bunch of stuff to mix in it.  Get some lean ground turkey.  The one I bought was 1.25 pounds of 94% lean protein.  Grab your sharpest knife and a cutting board.  As always you can mix and match ingredients, but here is what I used.

1/4 cup Feta Cheese (blue cheese would certainly rock)Turkey Burger

1/4 cup Craisins (use cranberries, or anything sweet)

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach

1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper (use something else if you don’t like a little heat)

1 Farm fresh egg (ok, any egg but I sound so hipster when I say farm fresh)

Mix this all together.  The egg will help hold it together since turkey is a little harder to keep in a tight patty, like beef.

Turkey BurgerMake the patties about 5 or 6 inches across and keep them thinner than a normal burger.  These burgers do not shrink down like beef so make them about the size you would prefer.  Exercise a little patience, they need some TLC to form up.

Next take a big drink of beer and wash your hands.  This step is not optional.

Step two is a deceptive little topping.  In a second bowl (and yes, you have to wash two bowls) mix 1/2 ripe avocado with 2 heaping Tbsps of Greek Yogurt.  After that is all mixed up why don’t you go ahead and chop some tomato and add it to the dip.  Toss that dip in the fridge so it is good and set up when you need it.

Heat a skillet to a medium temperature or fire up the grill.  Use a heavy dose of non-stick something since the feta will sear onto the pan or the grill.  I like an olive oil spray since olive oil is…cooler than regular spray, so says science.  It will take about seven minutes per side.  Don’t flip it over and over!  Be patient and try to live with one flip because this bugger can crumble if you are not careful.

Get that hot burger on a bun ASAP.  Smear a healthy pile of avocado topping on the meat and add some fresh veggies for a little crunch.  Be creative with the entire process.  I added some radishes, bell pepper slices, and red onion to the sandwich.  Crunch and zing make the burger all the better.

I know that it seems like a lot of work for a burger but it is really good.  The part that I underestimated as a carnivore was the flexibility that I held in my hand.  Tons of different flavors, dozens and dozens of fillers, and almost any combination of toppings.  I think I am going to fire up some coconut with a pineapple topping next time.   If it is good I will tell you about it.  If it is terrible I will hide in shame.

Get the bread and Let’s Go!

 

 

Brie Is Beautiful

Brie with LingonberryOne of the easiest appetizers in the world to make is Brie.  It is cheese, just cheese.  Serve it warm, serve it cold, serve it with crackers, serve it with bread, serve it any way you like.  I will shoot you a couple cool versions and show you why “brie is beautiful”.

Let’s Make Some Brie

Grab a wheel of the soft cheese magic.  Brie ranges in price, find one that you are comfortable with until you lock down your palate.  It is much like wine, sometimes a great bottle of wine is under $10.00.  I bought the Brie used in this post for about $5.00.  I ate half of it before I heated it up and it was delicious.

You will need something to serve it on, or dip into it (if you heat it up it will be liquid for the most part).  I love a fresh Brie with applesbaguette but crackers can do the trick.

Once you have your two core ingredients all you need are your bonus items.  I have two versions here, one served with a Lingonberry spread and one with thinly sliced, sour, Granny Smith apples.  Next time I am going to serve up some Kalamata olives and almonds on the side.  I think you see the versatility of the Brie plan.

If you bake the cheese it only takes about 10 minutes at 350.  You can cut the corner and use the microwave.  Be aware the microwave is only about a 30 second heat-up, don’t boil it to death.  Drop it on a plate or in a little crock and set it on the plate.  Stash your apples, your nuts or you fruit on the plate and get eating!

Bonus Info

brieThis is another one of the recipes that I love.  It is easy and it looks very sophisticated and purposeful.  You are serving great shrimp, a steak, or maybe even some pasta dish so you don’t want to fire up pizza rolls as your appetizer.  Trust me when I tell you this, dropping this appetizer on the table along with some good wine and a little smooth jazz in the background is like having a police escort to date three (you may get to skip date number two).

Do some research on your own and come up with a variation that rocks.  The key is keep trying new recipes and become a better man.  Challenge yourself – Let’s Go!

A Simple Secret to Amazing Steak

great steak

This is going to sound like back peddling, but a big giant steak is what you need.  No, I am not running for office planning my flip-flop on stances.  A Steak Salad with a reasonable amount of meat is perfect for that balanced diet.  A gigantic steak is perfect for the summer grill.  The two are not mutually exclusive, they can co-exist in captivity.  I understand in the wild a big steak and a salad are natural enemies, like a kitten and a squid.  But in the friendly confines of your home it is harmonious and fan-frickin-tastic.  The part that is missing is a brilliantly delicious and simple seasoning.  Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Tarragon Butter.  This is the simple secret to an amazing steak.

Let’s Get To The Meat Of The Issue

If you are going to eat it, make sure it is worthy of those calories.  I am not saying you need to blow 50.00/lb on a prime cut of meat, just get something you like.  I watch the sales and keep a keen eye out for New York Strip or Ribeye.  I have tried many of the “lesser” cuts with limited success.  When you go too far down the beef food chain you become entirely dependent on the seasoning and the cooking style.  Promise me this, you will wait to try this recipe for a good cut of meat before you tell me it is terrible.  If you experimented with 1.99/lb ass steak don’t come crying to me.

Make sure that you are not cooking from frozen.  Better yet, get it from the butcher and then go directly to the grill.  If you have to thaw it out do not use the microwave, that dries things out and you lose before you begin.  It is akin to the Minnesota Twins in the 1990s and early 2000s going into Yankee stadium.  Sadly no matter how good the cut of meat was on the mound the pinstriped devils cooked the life out of them.  (thank-you for indulging that analogy, it helps me deal with my pain when I write it or speak it out loud).   Lay that steak on a cutting board and massage a little salt and pepper on one side and get ready to grill it.

Let’s get the grill good and hot, fire it up to that 450 – 500 degree range so the meat sears right away trapping the juices inside.  This works in a frying pan as well, I just prefer the grill whenever possible.  For the sake of argument here lets pretend you are using the grill you like the best.  I don’t have the energy to hear from the charcoal snobs or the gas aficionados, just go with what you know.  That hot grill your steak is on will cook pretty fast.  Depending on how you like your meat let it go on one side until it is well over half way done.  As soon as you flip that bugger, lather on the butter.  Aha, I am finally getting to the rub.

Treat The Meat Right

While my steak is breathing I get the secret weapon ready.  Grab a 1/2 stick of butter, real butter.  I say real butter because the health ship has already sailed, you may as well enjoy drowning in the bay of cholesterol.  Then get some fresh Tarragon finely chopped or crumbled (depending on freshness) and mix it with the butter.  This creamy magic will be an old-school delight.  Do you remember buying a 45rpm record and realizing the B side has the coolest song?  The B side of your steak will make you forget why you even seasoned the A side.  This is a simple recipe, butter and tarragon.  Please tell me you can remember that.  A great way to prep this is to whip up a large batch, spread it on wax paper, roll it up and freeze it.  Now you can knock a piece off any time you want good buttery meat.

Back To The Grill

If you recall we still need to flip that steak and go to the second side.  Put a healthy amount of the butter/tarragon mix right on top of the side you have seared.  It is going to melt fast and fill in every little opening in the steak.  The reason this goes on last is two-fold.  The first reason is that it is a quick melt, you don’t want to have it all cooked off when you eat it.  The second is that when ittarragon steak melts and drips over the sides the grill flares up and can char the steak.  Remember, your steak is almost cooked so plan on a couple minutes on the grill then straight to the plate.  It should be noted that some people like a well done steak.  The flare up and butter accelerant will add an instant crisp to the outside edges of the steak, so it may not be a bad thing for everyone.

Put It In Your Mouth

The steak is done, it is on your plate and ready to go.  Now the money shot, your friend, family member, wife, date gets to taste it.  The mix of butter dripping from the corners of your mouth and the tarragon dancing on your tongue is enough to bring a tear to your eye.  Mix that with some asparagus, baby red potatoes, and some red wine…winner.  I also like having a little tub of the butter mix on the table or on each plate to enhance the situation.  DON’T YOU DARE USE STEAK SAUCE.  I will drive to your house and scold you in a very stern manner.

As Always….

Nothing is set in stone.  If you do not like Tarragon (and shame on you) try another seasoning.  Experiment with tastes.  The key to any steak recipe is to let the meat do the talking.  You are simply adding to it, not overwhelming it.  I look forward to feedback and some of your greatest recipes.

Let’s Go Grill!

 

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