Friday, August 17, 2012

Frito taco pie

On occasion, while planning my trip to the grocery store, I’ll ask the Mr. if there’s anything he wants me to cook in the next few days. Sometimes he has suggestions, sometimes he doesn’t. As a journalist, I always have follow-up questions when he doesn't.
“Is there anything you like I don’t make enough of?” I asked, not too long ago.
“Stuff with Fritos in it,” he said.
Challenge accepted.
The first meal was a knock-off of Sonic’s half hot dog, half Frito chili pie. You know, basically a chili cheese dog with a bunch of Fritos on it. The second meal (featured below), however, was my own spin on the Frito chili pie. It’s much faster to make than the original since spicy taco meat is subbed for chili. 
1 pound ground beef
1 packet hot taco seasoning (or mild, if you prefer)
Taco sauce
Mexican blend cheese
Pickled nacho sliced jalapenos
Sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350
Brown ground beef on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Drain, if necessary.
Mix taco seasoning and water according to package directions. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Arrange Fritos on individual plates, topping with meat, taco sauce, cheese and jalapenos. Repeat.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
If desired, top with sour cream.
The Mr.’s looked like this:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Beef love in print, chipotle flank steak recipe

I’m a complete magazine junkie. So, it’s probably no surprise that I get just plain giddy when beef is being featured in one of the many mainstream magazines I either subscribe to, pick up at the grocery store or airport or glance at while I’m getting my hair cut.
When this month’s Redbook arrived, I was happy to spot 2 beefy mentions.
1.       This ad from the Beef Checkoff, featuring a yummy-sounding recipe and a photo and note from one of the many real ranching families who feed the world. Even better, I know this family and they have a tremendous love for the land and dedication to the industry.

2.       This fun fact about Guy Fieri. While Redbook may have given the credit to the eggplant he didn’t want, it’s important to remember what he did want: steak.

Where have you spotted positive mentions of beef lately?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

CFS minis

Me: “Have you ever had the chicken minis at Chick-fil-A? I’m thinking about doing those with beef.”
The Mr.: “Do you think I would ever order anything with 'mini' in the name?"
Point taken.
That’s why I didn’t tell him what I was thinking of calling these. But, mini or not, they are quite substantial little treats equally suited for breakfast, lunch, dinner or parties. As a substitution idea, you could also make them with biscuits for a different spin.
1 package cube steak
Rhodes frozen white dinner rolls (1 per patty, see below)
1.5 cups buttermilk
12 ounces beer
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
Coarse sea salt
Coarse black pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Garlic powder
Vegetable oil

Let rolls rise according to package directions. (I’m a fan of the quick method, which involves cheating a little bit with a warm oven and some boiling water.)
Cut cube steaks and form into roll-size patties. I found I could make 2-3 patties per cube steak, but this will vary greatly depending on the size of the cube steaks you’re working with.
Pour flour on a plate and season generously with the spices. Mix it around and add a little more seasoning.
Mix buttermilk, beer and eggs in a bowl.
Dredge patties into the dry mixture, into the wet mixture and then back in the dry. Place on a plate you’ve sprinkled with flour and place in fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s hot enough when a flour piece rises quickly to the top.  
Add patties to the oil carefully and cook about 3 minutes per side or until nice and brown. (Cooking time will vary based on size of patties, oil depth, how many you are cooking at once, etc.) Drain on paper towels.
While they are cooking, bake rolls according to package directions. I like to put just a touch of butter on top of each before I start baking them.
When rolls are done, remove from oven and allow to cool about a minute before splitting. I didn’t completely separate mine, leaving a little bit of a pocket to stick the steak in. Slide the steak in, and repeat with remaining rolls. If desired, serve with gravy for dipping. (Click here for my favorite gravy recipe.)
Ours looked like this:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Corona con lima marinade

(This post brought to you by whoever left a Corona in our fridge. Title courtesy of Gary P. Nunn.)
12 ounces Corona
2 generous squirts of lime juice
5 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt
Coarse pepper
Garlic powder

Season 1-2 pounds of beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Place in Ziploc bag.
Add beer, lime juice and garlic cloves.
Refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
Remove beef and pat dry. If desired, add more of the dry seasonings.
Cook as desired.

This marinade is perfect for less tender cuts you want to throw on the grill!