Saturday, February 4, 2012

Heart Healthy Beef - Kabobs

I love kabobs, especially in the summer. Fresh veggies, fruit and meat on a stick? Yes I think so!

I love to marinadee kabob meat. It is so easy to mix up or open up a marinade and pour it in a zip lock baggie with the cut up sirloin and massage it all around to get the marinade in all corners and crevices of the meat. You can do this up to a day in advance if you want to throw it together the night before you plan to cook the meat.

If you are using wooden skewers then make sure you soak them in water for at least 20 minutes because well wood burns and wood near high heat or flames really char dry wooden oversized toothpicks. If you are using metal skewers then be careful of residual heat in the skewers after you bring them off the grill.

I personally love to add what some people consider strange things to my kabobs...I like the traditional onions, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms...but I also love zucchini, pineapple, peaches, pearl onions vs chunks of yellow onion and multiple kinds of meat. Since all the meats cook at different speeds I usually make one skewer of just shrimp so I can add them at the last minute and they aren't over cooked. Chicken and pork I add on the same skewer but my precious beef I have on a separate skewer so I can control the doneness.

A favorite kabob of mine is to marinate steak in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, peach preserves and Dijon mustard. Then skewer them with pearl onions, tomatoes, zuchinni and peaches. Salt and pepper well and it is so yummy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Heart Healthy Beef - Serloin Roast

I love, love, love roast. I wish I was home more on the weekends because there is nothing like having a roast in the crock pot slowly cooking all day and slowly smelling up the house with wonderful beef smell. And roasts are soooo easy to make. Like here is how easy...take a crock pot on low or a stock pot and an oven turned onto 275...put the roast into either vessel with some aromatics, herbs and liquid. So for example a common roast that a lot of people make is a package of onion soup mix and water half way up the roast...cook it for 5-8 hours depending on the size of your roast, then with an hour or so remaining throw in some pearl onions, large chunked raw potatoes and baby carrots.

Now I like to fancy mine up a little big by adding dried porcinni mushrooms, oregano, and thyme with a mixture of water and red wine for a great Italian combination.

There are a million recipes online for roasts...or there are packets at the store that make it very, very simple. Try it this weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Heart Healthy Beef - Filet

The filet is a very popular steakhouse order. For me I personally prefer the strip but knowing that the strip is usually 8-10 ounces and a filet usually is 4-8 ounces I usually go for the filet for portion control and because it is on the Heart Healthy cuts of beef list.

Now I always prefer to grill beef so if you are able to grill your beef then go for it. Here is a great guideline by the Cattlemen's Beef Board on Safe and Healthy Grilling that includes temperature settings for the particular doneness you prefer.

Now I'm a purist when it comes to grilling filets. I like a slight bit of olive oil that I rub on the surface and salt and pepper or add some great seasoning salts like the ones I picked up from John Elway's Steakhouse (see my post from last year) last NCBA.

Now if you can't cook on a grill for whatever can always make a great steak inside in a cast iron skillet. What is that you say? You don't have a cast iron skillet? Then I highly recommend you stop by the closest antique mall and find a used, well-seasoned cast iron skillet. No antique mall close by or the thought of using someone elses skillet bothers you then you can get a new one but make sure you follow the instructions on seasoning the skillet even if it says it was seasoned. There are lots of different methods of cooking a steak in cast iron but I use the one that works for me.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place your skillet on a stove top burner on high heat and get it blazing hot. For medium rare steaks...add the steaks that you have seasoned to your preference for 2 minutes per side. Do not pick them up, or touch them, they are creating wonderful carmelization...let it work its magic. Once the second side is complete flip the steak over again and place in the oven and time for 4 minutes, flip the steaks for another  13 minutes. Pull the skillet out of the oven and put the steaks on a warm plate and tent them for 5 minutes with aluminum foil to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. If you want to be really bad...add a pat of butter or if you are really ambitious make your own herbed butter by combining whatever chopped fresh herbs you have with softened butter and add to the top of the steaks when you put them in the oven. Not super great for the waistline but awesome for the taste buds.

Yes I was ambitious...I made my own herbed butter with parsley and the tops of green onions.

Oh yea...steak goodness picked up on the squash.

I love mushrooms soaked in wine and is a recipe I posted back in 2010 for Faux Burgundy Mushrooms you can make.
I made filets a last weekend and paired them with Burgundy mushrooms and sauteed green and yellow squash. It was delish.I used the cast iron skillet with the steak goodness to saute the squash. YUMMY!!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Heart Healthy Beef

February is Heart Healthy month and I remembered last year when the American Heart Association in conjunction with the Cattlemen's Beef Board put out a release announcing that there were three cuts of lean beef that had been added to their list of heart healthy foods. They are:
  • Boneless Top Sirloin Petite Roast (select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Filet (select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Kabob (select grade)
There are many other cuts that meat (he he he) government guidelines for lean cuts of beef as well so check them out on the release linked above. Since I'm at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association annual convention this week I thought it would be worth a focus on these lean cuts...and maybe give you an idea or two for a nice at-home Valentine's Day meal in a couple weeks...or a suggestion of what you should eat next time you are out at a nice steakhouse.