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Enjoying Dan’s Meat.

23 Sep
Hello ladies and gentlemen. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Daniel Kulisek. I am a friend, co-worker, and fellow foodie of Allie’s. She had mentioned that she might want to put up some guest blogs on her site while she is away and I jumped at the chance. This site was severely lacking in the “red meat” department (as I kept mentioning to her, probably to an annoying extent), so I figured this would be a great opportunity to give a little lesson in meat.
Lets call it “Meat 101: Making the Proper Steak Dinner”
Or maybe “Enjoying Dan’s Meat”? Yeah, I think I like that better.
We’re going to do this in steps, so lets roll –
Step 1: Purchasing the steaks. Buy the cow, feel the love.
Now for the home grill master, USDA Prime is going to be hard to come by and quite expensive, so your best bet would be to go with USDA Choice. Make sure it says that on the label, other wise you’re going to get USDA Select, and I wouldn’t eat that with your teeth. USDA Choice is easy to find, but I suggest going to a butcher shop. Or Wegman’s.
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Man, I love Wegman’s. I’d marry it if it were a woman. Or if I wasn’t married. Oh hell, I think Laura would understand. You see, Laura is my wife. Wait, where was I? Oh yeah….
There are many different cuts, but today we’re going to focus on my favorite – the rib eye. The rib eye cut is the most marbled, so therefore the most flavorful. I’ve always lived by the rule that “the flavor’s in the fat”. Even if you don’t eat the fat (I’m staring at your plate, Laura, and I intend on eating every last bit you cut off), you’ll find that the meat is the phenomenal. Look to get your steaks cut at least ¾-1” thick, otherwise you’ll run the risk of overcooking the center. I usually try get them 1” or thicker. Color is also very important, you want the steaks to be a true-red color with ivory colored marbling. Steer clear of any meat that is bright red, and definitely stay away from traces of grey meat and yellowish fat. These meats are unacceptable, and would be better served rotting in the stomach of a mangy mutt hanging around a dumpster.
Step 2: Prep. It’s all about the prep. It’s not about the Benjamin’s, you know, like Diddy said.
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Now that we have our meat in hand, what to do with it? Hmmm. Well, first of all you want to make sure you take it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. The reason we do this is because steaks are best cooked at room temperature. Cooking a steak that is cold, doesn’t allow for the enzymes to break down inside the meat, therefore it will not be as flavorful. You can use this time to get you’re coals ready, but we’ll explore that in the next step.
There are several schools of thought on this. Some folks like to season the hell out of a steak using various rubs and marinades. I’ve always felt that this detracts from the flavor of the meat. After all, you probably just dropped $50 on good steaks and you don’t want to ruin them. Save that for London broil. We’re going to stick with salt and pepper. You want to use coarse sea salt or kosher salt, iodized table salt is for old ladies to use on soup in a crappy diner. As far as pepper, use freshly ground coarse peppercorns. That powdery, ground black pepper lacks flavor and “zip”. You’re going to want a little “zip”. Coat each side with a good amount of both and let them come up to temp.
Now go crack a beer, we’re going outside. Go on, you deserve it.
Step 3: Cooking the steaks. If you can’t take the heat, go back in the kitchen.

 

Ideally speaking, you’re cooking these beauties on a grill. My preference is charcoal; I find the flavor of the smoke compliments the steaks best. If you’re using a gas grill, that’s fine, you’ll still get a nice steak and it’s a hell of a lot easier. But hey, who want’s easy.
I like to heat my coals using a chimney. Place the coals in the top, and, using newspaper, start the fire underneath. As the fire grows, it will heat the coals to a proper temperature. This usually takes 20-30 minutes, depending on the elements outside. I’ve tried to do this in bad weather and it is extremely frustrating.

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When the top layer of coals gets to be a greyish color it is time to place them in the grill. Lift off your grates and, very carefully dump them into grill. Make sure the area underneath your cooking surface has an even amount of coals. When this is finished, close your grill lid and open all the vents. You want to get that bad boy up around 400 degrees in order to get a proper char on the outside of the steaks. Once the grill is to temp, arrange your steaks on an angle across the grates. Rotate them after about a minute and a half in order to get some proper grill marks. Cooking times are as follows:
Rare: 2-3 minutes per side
Medium Rare: 3-4 minutes per side
Medium: 4-5 minutes per side
Med-Well & Well: GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!
Step 4: Plate presentation. Don’t just stare at it- eat it.

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Once the steaks are done to your liking, remove them from the grill. Bring them inside and place them on the counter. It’s always good to let the meat rest 5 minutes before serving so that it can gradually finish cooking itself. After that, there are two ways I like to serve it. The first is plating each steak separately and doing individual plates. I’ll do this if it’s just Laura & I, or if it’s just me. However, if you are serving to a large group, I find that my guests have enjoyed it when I slice all the steaks up in pieces and serve it on a large serving dish. It’s kind of like a Thanksgiving presentation, however it is steak and not some crappy, dried out turkey.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Keep on keepin’ on!!
Daniel Kulisek.
Thank you Dan, for a hysterical and informative post.  Yes, my blog does  lack in the meat department because unfortunately I very rarely (get it) eat red meat.  I’m glad someone can inform us all!  While Dan does not have a blog (yet) you can find him on twitter.

Reimagining an old classic

17 Aug
Welcome Valerie Gravel,  a blogger for Cutting Boards USA.  Cutting Boards USA specializes in crafting high quality wood cutting boards.  (That are really cute!) They offer a wide range of products from butcher blocks to bread cutting boards and novelty shaped ones. Visit Cutting Boards USA today! 
Reimagining an old classic:

Simple new twists for the traditional grilled cheese sandwich

Growing up, I was a picky eater. I didn’t eat a whole variety of foods like I do today. One of my favorite food as a kid was the traditional grilled cheese sandwich. Two slices of bread with cheese in between roasted in a skillet that was enough to make me happy. Now that I’m an adult, I still love the golden brown cheesy sandwich, but I wonder if that are ways of reimaging this classic in a more sophisticated, grown up way?
Bruschetta style grilled cheese sandwich:
I love balsamic vinegar, and this sandwich uses it as a seasoning, which I think is wonderful! All you need to put this sandwich together, besides the bread and cheese, is some tomato slices and basil leaves. Just put the tomatoes and herbs with the cheese and drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the bread. Brown to a crisp, cut into slices on your cutting board, and you’re done.
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Apple and cheese sandwich:
I tried this once at home and I thought it made a lovely breakfast sandwich. Before I added the apples to the sandwich, I cooked them slightly in a frying pan, just to warm them up a little and I sprinkled some cinnamon on them to give them a little extra flavor. All that was left to do was add them to the sandwich and grill everything up. It’s a nice alternative to an egg and meat breakfast sandwich and it’s quite tasty too.
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Adding a little piggy to cheese:
I love bacon, but I never think of using it for any recipes, because, to put it simply…I hate cooking it. The grease just splatters all over me and it’s a pain to clean the pan and the stove when everything is finally cooked. Fortunately for me, now, some bacon is pre cooked when it’s packaged, all that’s left to do is warm it in the microwave. When the bacon is just a little warm and not too crispy, adding it to a grilled cheese sandwich must simply be divine and it’s something I will have to try.

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In the end, overhauling a grilled cheese sandwich is a pretty easy thing to do. All you need to do is look in grocery store for condiments or types of meat you could add to change the flavor of your sandwich. You can also change things up by replacing the traditional cheddar for finer cheeses like Brie or Gouda. Bottom line, be creative and create a recipe that will be unique to you and that will please your family for many years to come.

Thank you Valerie for taking the time to write a post and sharing your creative ideas  and simple sandwich twists!

Also, don’t forget to enter my giveaway that ends on Thursday at 11:59 PM EST!

Guest Postest with the Mostest

15 Aug
Today I am a guest blogger on Danica’s blog, Danica’s Daily.  Check out her blog to read my post and read the recipe that I shared!  And while you’re there check out all of her posts because they are great, informative, and she is really funny.
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I also am doing a giveaway!  In my post I use Uncle Sam Original Cereal, which is made by a company called Attune. So make sure you participate if you would like to win a voucher for a free Attune  Foods product, courtesy of Attune Foods and Alisa of Go Dairy Free.
I will be selecting 5 winners this Thursday, August 18th at 11:59 EST and then announce the winners on Friday.  At that time I will also email the winners to get their addresses.  To select the winners I will throw the names in a hat.  Each comment will be a separate entry so you have 4 chances to win!!
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To enter the giveaway:
1.) Check out my post and leave a comment on Danica’s blog.  Then come back here and say that you did.
2.) Tweet about the giveaway.
3.) "Like” me on Facebook.  My page is All I Eat Food. And then tell me that you did.
4.) Tell me what your favorite Attune product is or which product you will buy if you get a voucher!
Good luck and enjoy the post!

Guest Post by the Dainty Chef: Blueberry Buckle

13 Jun
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Hello All I Eat Food readers! My name is Krissy, the Dainty Chef, my blog is where I share recipes that are family favorites and ones that I stumble upon in magazines, cookbooks, and other blogs.  Allie asked me to share something with you. I am returning the favor since Allie did a guest post on my blog a few months ago. You can check it out here. Thank you Allie for this opportunity to share with your readers.
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On my blog I try to keep a balance of savory and sweet recipes, but sometimes I have a tendency to lean towards more sweet dishes. I love to bake and always have my eye on new and delicious treats. This recipe is actually a family favorite. I am not one to eat blueberries very often on their own, but I do love them when they are baked into something. This cake reminds me of summer because that is when my mom would always make it. Since my summer is right around the corner, I thought this was the perfect time to whip this up. The best part about it is that you can enjoy this cake as a dessert or in the morning with a cup of coffee. It is very versatile in that way. I hope you enjoy this as much my family does.
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Blueberry Buckle
(Printable Recipe)
Ingredients:
For the Cake:
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
For the Topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
What you’ll do:
For the cake: Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl, cream sugar, butter, and egg. Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk, stirring well after each addition.
Mix first four toppings ingredients until crumbled. Place 1/2 dough on the bottom of a greased and floured tube pan. Place blueberries on top and remaining dough on blueberries. Sprinkle with mixed topping. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Source: Betsy Blaston
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