Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: BBQ

The Scoop on Icy Treats

The dog days of Summer are fast approaching. In many parts of our beautiful country sweltering temperatures can bring on the craving for a cool refreshing treat. A simple icy fruit cocktail such as a citrus spiked Granita can instantly placate a parched tongue. Ever […]

Caesar Salad Dressing

Stephen loves Caesar salad. It is his all time favorite meal. Caesar salad used to be our traditional anniversary dinner. That was until we went to the Pasta Moon in, our anniversary vacation spot, Half Moon Bay and tried their Risotto Sea Scallops and tomato […]

Navigating the Meat Case

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop or supermarket, you must first understand the different cuts of meat.

There are three top grades of beef to consider when choosing a steak or roast. Prime, Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

“Choice” graded meats has less marbling but are still tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

“Select” is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice but a much lower price.

You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select grade cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness. So how do you know the Choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Unlike the vibrant white ribbons of fat in Prime and Choice meats Select or commercial grade (or lower grade) meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:


1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known as Chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Brisket:
The Brisket is located below the Chuck. This is a very course meat as it surrounds the sternum. Ideally Brisket should be smoked slowly to soften the stringy fibers. Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a salt brine.

3. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

Prime Rib:
The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars. You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.”

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

Short Loin Steak:
Without the extra ripples of fat the short loin steak is less tender than a rib eye.

The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has a little of both the short loin and the tenderloin. The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak:
The sirloin comprised of the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are large and thin. The most well-known is the tri-tip. Sirloin steaks and ground sirloin are leaner making them a better pick if you are watching your fat.

Flank Steak: Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut. Flank steaks are offen used when making Fajitas. Cook them very quickly to medium-rare and slice thinly against the grain.

*Photos curtesy of The Meat Man, Delicious Magazine, Snider Bros, Western Beef and Seafood, Kobe Beef Store, Tony’s Market and Wiki Commons,

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

When I was little I loved Pizza Hut pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside. Each slice had the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Of course if it was not a special […]

Saucy BBQ Cran-Apricot Pork Chops with Oranges

I had some pork chops I did not know what to do with. With a few searches on the net I came across a recipe for Saucy Pork Chops with Oranges. I did not have any orange juice (that stuff never lasts in this house) […]

Boiled Eggs Tips and Tricks

Soft boiled egg tips

My favorite way to eat eggs is soft boiled with a runny yolk and a piece of toast to dip or mixed with a side of grits; it is part of my southern upbringing I suppose. Hard boiled eggs can be equally tasty sliced in a salad. Getting the eggs to the perfect stage and out of its shell though is the dilemma. My boss once asked me how to boil eggs. It took a moment to remember because boiling eggs was second nature; put them in a pot, cover with water, boil, steam, cold bath. Time…shime… I never kept track I just did it. Thankfully my advice panned out.

Once a month on Dazzledish we try to post a ‘how to’ tutorial on a particular food, gadget or cooking tip because we want everyone to learn the basics so they feel confident in the kitchen. This month we will learn the art of hard boiled eggs and a few recipes to use them in.

What you need:
6 large eggs
Water
Large pot
Ice cubes

Place the eggs in a single layer in a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water to 1-inch above the eggs. Bring the water just to a boil on medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover and steam for recommended time (see below). Immediately drain the hot water from the pot. Carefully cover the eggs with ice and cool water.

soft-yolk

Soft Cooked Eggs:
A soft cooked egg has a firm white and runny yolk. Heat large eggs 1 1/2 – 3 minutes.
Soft cooked eggs are mostly served in an egg cup small end down. The top is removed to expose the runny yolk. The egg is eaten out of the shell using a small spoon. You can also use strips of toast to scoop up the yolk.

medium yolk

Medium Cooked Eggs:
Medium cooked eggs have a firm white and a slightly firm yolk. Heat large eggs 4 – 6 minutes. Pair peeled medium cooked eggs with poached asparagus or toast or in a Kedgeree.

Hard Cooked Eggs:
Hard cooked eggs have both a firm white and yolk. Heat large eggs 10 – 12 minutes or as long as 17 minutes.
Eat hard boiled eggs with a sprinkle of salt or try some of the international recipes listed below.hard-yolk
Deviled eggs
Soup
Salad toppings
Egg salad sandwich
Potato salad
Tuna Nicoise salad or Sandwich
Egg bread
Curry
Thai Son and Law Eggs
Pakoras from India
Cookies

TIPS:
— Some individuals like to add salt or vinegar. They say it makes removing the shell easier. Add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to your water.
— Use eggs that are at least a few days old. Farm fresh eggs do not peel as easy.
— Do not boil eggs with cracks. They will break open and leak.
— Putting too much water in the pot will take longer to heat which can throw off the timing. Too little water will result in undercooked eggs.
— Watch the water. At the first sign the water is boiling remove the pot from the heat. Keep time from the moment you remove the pot from the heat and cover it.
— The ice bath stops the cooking process and the steam created inside the eggs will make it easier to peel.
— To peel start at the larger end where the air pocket is. Grab hold of the membrane under the shell and peel off.
— Chilled eggs are easier to slice. Warmer eggs are easier to crumble.
— Refrigerate unpeeled boiled eggs within a few hours for up to one week.
— The times listed may vary slightly due to the way your stove heats, the type and size of pot you use, the amount of water and number of eggs.

Blueberry Scones Over Melted Peaches

I have longed for summer fruit since December. The stock of homemade jams and frozen fruit vanished before the new year. I was fortunate to discover a U-Pick strawberry and blueberry field close by.  The kids went hog wild filling up buckets of fresh picked […]

Easy Italian Spiced Pork Chops

Italian spiced pork chops, sounded delicious and was; that is if you do not over cook the meat. I am not a big fan of the modern kitchen that is fitted with every kitchen tool imaginable. While they may be convenient they are expensive and […]

Peachy Chicken and Asparagus Rollups

Peachy Chicken Asparagus Roll-ups

1 pound thin asparagus ,trimmed
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 5 ounces each)

Fill a medium skillet halfway with salted water; bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander; rinse with cold water. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill to medium. Cut six 12-inch pieces of kitchen string. In a small bowl, stir together the jam, lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Pound each piece of chicken about 1/4 inch thick and season with salt and pepper. Divide the asparagus into 6 equal portions and place each portion crosswise in the center of a chicken cutlet. Roll up each cutlet and tie closed with the kitchen string. Brush the rollups with the jam mixture; season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the chicken rollups to the grill, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes.

Mini Pigs in a Blanket

Talk about blast from the past. I have not eaten a “pig in the blanket” since I was a little girl. The kids were a little skeptical at first, you know the whole something new hurdle. My sister-n-law Roxanne showed us how to make these […]