CATEGORIES

Worth the wait–beef jerky

Sometimes recipes look daunting. Or sometimes just the thought of making something delicious seems like it’s too much trouble. I subscribe to a great magazine called Clean Eating. Of course, I don’t eat as healthy as I should, or by the standards of this magazine all that much (if you read this blog, you know I have a soft spot for junk food)–but I do try to at the very least use it for some healthy habits and for some killer recipes. So last week my wife was reading the letters to the editor about how great their homemade beef jerky recipe was. I had missed that, so I dug it up from the January/February issue to see what the fuss was about.

And as you can see by the attached photo, it sure looked like a lot of work, and a bit complicated because you have to take out your oven racks, reposition them, hang the jerky from the racks on skewers, put foil down and use a towel to absorb moisture. You also have to freeze the meat to cut it easier, then marinate it for 3-6 hours before baking/dehydrating it for 5 hours or more. That’s a long day. So after buying a nice London broil on Saturday, I looked closer at the recipe and became scared. I didn’t want to spend all day Sunday doing this.

But on Monday I felt guilty and felt like I really should give it a go. I pulled out the recipe again in the morning, and fortunately I work from home. So I did it. I froze the meat for an hour, cut it, marinated for 3 hours, then did all the funky oven stuff (which was not difficult or time consuming as I had thought) and let the strips of deliciousness cook or dry out or whatever it does…for five hours. The result…..fantastic. Here I have homemade jerky that is tasty, spicy, just chewy enough, and with no ingredients I can’t pronounce. The only problem is that big batch from Monday is almost gone already. So it’s time to make more!

Note: I couldn’t find this recipe online, but I will reach out to the editor to see if they have one or a pdf…and if you’re interested in that, e-mail me at mikeyskitchen@gmail.com or message me on Facebook.

Easy Fried Rice

I made this fried rice twice last week and it was awesome. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they have easy and delicious rice in their frozen foods section. You just nuke a bag of it for three minutes and you have perfect rice–either brown or jasmine or white rice. You can also buy the Uncle Ben’s or other easy microwave rice packets that are sold in the rice/pasta section, but trust me–this Trader Joe’s rice tastes better. I use the brown variety but either would work fine.

So after you nuke the rice, set it aside. Chop a small or half a large onion. Chop some baby carrots, and put them along with a handful of frozen peas (and/or frozen corn) in a small pot and cover with water and boil for a couple minutes. Crack an egg and cook that in a small, nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray for a minute or two until set.

Then, take a large nonstick skillet, swirl in a tablespoon or so of cooking oil such as canola. Heat over medium heat for a minute, then add the onion and rice. Stir fry for a couple minutes or until the onion is cooked and translucent. Drain the peas and carrots and add those. If you have any cooked pork, chicken or beef, chop that up and throw it in. Chop the scrambled egg and add that. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add a couple tablespoons of soy sauce. Continue to stir fry for another minute or so. If you have any cilantro, chop that and add in at the end (or green onion, or both).

That’s it. It is easier than it felt typing it all out, trust me. And it’s delicious and not too greasy as most restaurant fried rice is.

Grub for Guys: beef tenderloin

Greetings and welcome to Mikey’s Kitchen in the week before Christmas. Wow, did I just say that? Anyway, we posted my recipe for beef tenderloin with a horseradish dipping sauce over on Bullz-Eye’s Grub for Guys today. I’m also pasting the recipe below. Enjoy!

If you read my column here and food blog, Mikey’s Kitchen, you know that I don’t always suggest using expensive and/or exotic ingredients. It’s more of a an every-dude column for the average guy, mostly ones who don’t necessarily cook much but who are looking for tips and ideas on how to get more comfortable in the kitchen. And so in the spirit of the holidays, since it’s a special time of year that may require a special meal or two, I am suggesting you go buy some beef tenderloin – aka filet mignon. Because sometimes you just have to, and because I made this dish last week and it came out freaking awesome. Now, you can buy the whole tenderloin as I did, and you can roast it whole and then slice it, as I did not do. You can also buy the filets pre-sliced. But I cut my own steaks from the whole tenderloin, and the result was maybe some of the best steak I’ve ever had.

INGREDIENTS:
4-5 pound whole beef tenderloin (filet mignon)
Olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley

FOR THE SAUCE:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons jarred horseradish
Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS
Let meat sit at room temperature for an hour or so. Meanwhile, combine dipping sauce ingredients and set aside or refrigerate until you are ready to continue.

Preheat a grill pan (or large nonstick skillet) to medium high heat. Combine salt, pepper and parsley on a plate. Slice steaks into 8 oz. portions or so (about an inch thick), brush all sides with oil and then roll in salt mixture so that the outside rim of the steak is coated. Also sprinkle some salt on both sides of the meat, then place in grill pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium (it helps to cover while cooking to seal in the juices and not set off your smoke alarm). Let stand on a plate with tented foil for about 1-2 minutes before pouring the juices back on top, and serving with the dipping sauce. Serves 3-4.

Good sides for this dish are my twice baked potatoes and sautéed spinach (heat a few tablespoons oil in a very large, deep skillet, and add a 16-20 oz. bag of spinach. Cook down for about 2 minutes, add salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic powder before serving).

Finally….

The weather outside in most of the country is chilly, and in Wisconsin it’s downright cold. I think I might make a giant pot of chili this weekend. We fired up the slow cooker this past week to make one of my favorite meals, beef burgundy. The one we made is from an old cookbook and includes beef, mushrooms, onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup and red wine. That’s about it. But to help you out, check out this Google search for beef burgundy, which basically is a beef stew made with some sort of red wine.

So what about you? What do you like to make when the weather gets cold, football season is in full swing, fires are raging in your living room, and you’re out shoveling snow, cross country skiing or out Christmas shopping, and want something hot to eat. Man, I’m getting hungry.

Related Posts