Thursday, March 21, 2013

Best Steaks to buy

Nothing tastes, sounds, and smells more like summer than a juicy steak sizzling on the grill. Unfortunately for meat lovers, many choice cuts like New York strip cost at least $15 a pound, which is pretty pricey for a family dinner. And forget about it if you are hosting a barbeque party.
Shine spoke with two experts, John Stage, owner of Dinosaur BBQ, and Kari Underly, a third generation butcher and author of The Art of Beef Cutting, about their favorite budget cuts. Stage goes for chewier meat with big beefy flavor and Underly clued us in to the most tender of the cheaper steaks.
Stage's favorites:
Stage likes to use a tenderizing tool called a jaccard to break up the connective tissue in tougher cuts. You can also tenderize meat with a fork. His favorite steaks do well with dry rubs or marinades. Cook on medium to high heat until the meat fully caramelizes and releases from the grill before flipping.
Skirt steak. This flat, thin steak is a little chewy but has great flavor. "I'll eat a skirt steak as quick as a New York strip," Stage says. "It's a little chewy but as far as flavor goes, I prefer it to a more expensive cut like a rib-eye." This well-marbled steak is quick and easy to cook.
Flank steak. Stage says this thin, lean steak has big flavor but it's very lean, which makes it a bit tougher. It benefits from at least four hours in a marinade and should be cooked to medium and sliced against the grain.
Top Round. Also called London Broil, this steak benefits from slower cooking on indirect heat. Stage applies a dry rub about an hour before grilling to bring out the flavor and help tenderize.
Underly's favorites:
To find the most economical cut, Underly suggests shopping for the steak that is in the grocery store flyer. "There will be a good selection of what's being promoted." Her approach to seasoning is simple -- a quick rub of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper before grilling.
Chuck-eye steak. This cut comes from the same muscle as the rib-eye but is about half the price.
Flatiron steak. "The great thing about this cut is that it's the second most tender muscle after tenderloin," says Underly. It also maintains some juiciness if you overcook it, so it is a good choice for people who like their meat well done.
Sirloin tri-tip. This is the most tender of the budget steaks that are cut from the round. Grill to medium and slice thin on a diagonal across the grain.
Underly says the best way to buy an affordable, tasty steak is to make friends with the butcher. "They will steer you in the right direction."
John Stage's Korean Marinade
Makes 4 cups
1 cup soy sauce
1 ⅓ cup teriyaki sauce
⅔ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
½ cup sesame oil
4 oz. dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Dump all the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together. Store in a plastic or glass container until ready to use.
John Stage's Red Rub
¼ cup smoked paprika
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons dark chili powder
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 ½ tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix together in a bowl. You will have leftover rub; store it in an air-tight container until ready to use.

ordering and preparing steaks

If you're going to splurge on an amazing meal at a high-end steakhouse, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Yahoo! Shine reached out to the experts at some of the country's top spots and asked them what you need to know in order to order the best steak you've ever had in your life. Here's what they had to say:
The best cut to order: A bone-in rib eye
All of the experts we interviewed agreed that rib eye (with the bone) was the best choice for steak lovers. "It has plenty of flavor from the bone as well as the flavoring from the marbling of the meat," Doug Sullivan, the general manager of Morton's The Steakhouse at the Boston Seaport, explained Yahoo! Shine. Dieters can still indulge in a good steak, though. "If you're trying to watch your calories a little bit more, I suggest the filet, which is leanest cut," he said.
How to have it cooked: Medium rare
Cooking a steak just until it's medium rare can make a great steak even more amazing, all of our experts said. "Med-Rare with extra char! I won’t order steak any other way," Matt King, corporate chef at Smith & Wollensky, told Yahoo! Shine. "The broiler needs to be at least 1,000 degrees, which creates the perfect crust on any well-marbled steak."
Grass-fed, grain-fed, or corn-fed beef? Choose corn-fed
In Europe and South America, cattle are usually fed grass. In North America, however, cattle is grass-fed while they're young and then fed corn or a mixture of grain as they mature. The corn and grain add fat, which means the steak has more marbling. Famed restauranteur and chef Wolfgang Puck describes grass-fed beef as having "a more iron-y flavor" and not as "rich tasting." Both King and Sullivan told Yahoo! Shine that corn-fed beef is their favorite.
"Corn-fed beef has a much higher degree of marbling," King explained. "Corn-fed beef has a rich buttery nut taste compared to grass-fed."
"To me, the best flavor is corn-fed -- gives the sweetest flavor to the beef," Sullivan agreed. "Grain-fed is next flavorful. Grass-fed has a lot of acid in it, and that brings another kind of flavor to the beef."
Go for the aged beef. It has much more flavor
"Aging allows time for natural enzymes within the meat to break down collagen, making the bite more tender," King explained. (Collagen is the protein in the tough connective tissue.) "In particular dry-aging adds another element of flavor by pulling excess water out of the meat, intensifying the meats delicious flavor." 
You don't always need a sauce
"The prime cuts can typically stand well on their own," King told Yahoo! Shine. "The filets, however, while very tender and lean, have less marbling.  I like to use interesting rubs on filet, like our Cocoa and Coffee Rub, which  brings out the natural flavor. It chars beautifully under the broiler – then I top it with ancho chili garlic butter, lime juice, and a little spice." (You can find his recipe for the rub here.) Sullivan points out that BĂ©arnaise Sauce -- a hollandaise spiked with tarragon -- also compliments a great steak well.
When it comes to steak, bigger isn't necessarily better
"It's really just a matter of your own personal desires and what you have along with it," Sullivan told Yahoo! Shine. "If you're ordering a baked potato or a vegetable, a six- or eight-ounce steak may be adequate. If you're having just the steak by itself, a 12-ounce steak might fill you up."
Then again, sometimes you just want a lot of meat. "We have a 48-ounce porterhouse which is supposed to be split by two people," Sullivan adds. "But sometimes people order it for themselves."
The secret to making a great steak at home
The secret? Using a cast-iron pan. "Our grills get up close to 1,000 degrees, and you can't really duplicate that at home," says Sullivan. But if you have a cast-iron skillet and a little oil, you can make a restaurant-quality steak at home.
"You can create a great crust in a very hot pan, sealing in those flavors and juices from a well-marbled cut," King says. "Resist the urge to constantly turn your steak. Let it sear correctly as this will release the sugars within, resulting in a perfect caramelized crust. You will also capture flavorful drippings in a pan, which can be de-glazed with some brandy or red wine!"
Other steakhouse tricks for home cooks
Take your steak out of the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before you plan to cook it, in order to allow it to come to room temperature. Season it simply, with salt and pepper, before searing it on both sides -- a 2.5- to 3.5-inch steak will take about 4 minutes on each side to get to medium rare. And when it's done, let it rest for a few minutes before cutting and serving. "If you cut a steak right away, all of the juices run out," Sullivan explains, leaving you with a dry piece of expensive meat.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Apple things


  • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

  • Spoon about one heaping quarter cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon; roll up, tucking in edges; and place seam side down in prepared dish.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over enchiladas and let stand 45 minutes.
  • Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream