Sunday, April 27, 2008

Omaha Steaks

This evening I cooked some Omaha Steaks Filet Mignons for dinner. My wife, Karla, and I celebrated our 17th anniversary of our first date this evening. So, I decided to cook some steaks to celebrate the special occasion. I also prepared Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions. Since my wife is on a diet, I prepared a baked sweet potato for her.

When preparing the sweet potato, I use a little vegetable oil on it to keep the skin moist. The other thing to remember is that it takes about 45 minutes to cook a large sweet potato. If you cook it for the same time as a baked potato, you will burn the sweet potato. Remember, sweet potatoes have sugar and will burn easy. I set my Weber grill for medium for about 15 minutes. That will take the temperature up to about 425 degrees. This is a great temperature for pototoes. I wash my potatoes and then dry them. I rub them with vegetable oil and then salt the skin. My daughter loves it and eats the skin. Put the potatoes in heavy duty aluminum foil to keep them moist. You can cook them without the foil, but the skin dries out a bit. You have watch them carefully. Once the temperature is at 425 degrees, you can now add your baking potatoes. After about fifteen mintues, you can add the sweet potatoe.

Once the potatoes are in the grill, you have time to prepare the mushrooms and onions. I usually cook enough for myself. My wife and daughter aren't big fungus fans. So, I cook just enough for me. Now, if I have time, I like to cook with fresh mushrooms, but I usually just used canned. I use 2 small cans and 1 small white onion. I drain the mushrooms and put them in a plastic bag and them cut the onion into julienne strips. I add about 2 cloves of garlic to the mix. Then add 2 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a little salt and a little pepper. Depending on my mood, I might add about 1 tablespoon of chipotle sauce to the party. In the words of Emeril, I'll use the sauce "to kick it up a notch." Once done, I squeeze out all of the air from the bag and seal it up and let it set for a bit to marinate.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to grill, take the thawed steaks out and begin preparation. I used the Weber steak seasoning (Chicago Style) for the meat. I recommend that you season the meat and then add some vegetable oil on the steaks. These steaks are very lean and need a little oil to make sure they don't stick to the grill. Remember, your grill is fairly hot at the point. Let the meat sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Cover it with some plastic. Don't worry about spoiling the meat. The salt in the seasoning will kill anything on the surface.

Once I have checked the potatoes and we are close to done, it's time to do some grilling. I will take a cast iron skillet with me, the steaks, my Grillslinger Sport, a grill mitt, about 2 tablespoons of butter and a platter. I'll set the skillet on my sideburner and set it to high. Once that bad boy is hot, I'll add the mushroom and onions. BE CAREFUL! You have oil and liquid in the mix. When it hits that hot, hot skillet, it will splatter. So, be careful. You don't want to go to the emergency room or have to pencil in facial features. Once it starts to steam up a bit, you can start moving the mushrooms and onions around. Not too much. Remember, we are looking to saute the mushrooms not sweat them.

Ok, time for the steaks. I lift the lid on my trusty Weber and put the spurs to her. I turn the burners from medium to high. I want HIGH heat for the steaks. Remember, grill marks are good. So, I will then add the steaks to the grill. I will point them in a 45 degree angle. After about a couple of minutes (2-3 minutes), you should have a good set of grill marks. Use the tongs and turn them to the opposite direction. 45 degrees in the other direction so you can get a great set of grill marks.

Remember, the mushrooms! Check on them. When the liquid has reduced down, it's time to add the butter. Turn the temperature down to about medium. We don't want to burn the butter. Mix it into the mushroom and onions. By now you should have them nice and brown. Carmelized! BINGO! Lower the burner to low, just to keep it to warm for dinner.

Time to flip the steaks! Do the same thing. Point them in the same direction 45 degrees for a couple of minutes and then in the opposite direction. You will have great grill marks. When I'm cooking a tenderloin. I don't go any higher than medium rare. Just a little red in the middle. My mother loved her steaks well done. OUCH! Don't do it! If you want to incinerate good meat, well done is the way to do it.

Once all done, you should be ready to serve and eat. I took everything in to the family and everyone was happy. I tried something a little weird with my potato this evening. I forgot to pick up some green onions for my potato. I love fully loaded. I added some fried onions I had from a green bean casserole recipe. WOW! It was fantastic! You might give it a try at your next steak dinner.

In May, we will be having some friends over for fajitas. Stay turned. I love to grill and share my recipes and tips with everyone. If you are interested in the steaks that I used you can order them through

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stretching the Dollar when Purchasing Food

With the price of gasoline going up each day, as consumers, we need to work harder to stretch each dollar. This clip provides you with some points to consider.

Here are a few things I do to stretch my dollars when purchasing food.
  1. Use the grocery store flyers. The grocery stores near me send out their flyers and I find great deals in them.
  2. Use the coupons! It doesn't take many of them to start saving money.
  3. Buy fruits and vegatables in season. You will be surprised by how much you can save. If you want something that is not in season, consider frozen. Canned is ok. But, frozen is better.
  4. Buy items in bulk if possible and use a vacuum sealer. Yes, it is expensive, but it will save you money if you use it.
  5. Buy store brands rather than name brands. You will definitely be surprised to find out that the store brands are often produced by the name brand companies. There is no shame in buying store brands. When you have to make every dollar count, you should do it.
  6. If possible, cook food in batches. I cook for an entire week if possible during the weekends. In order to keep the air conditioner from running, I cook outdoors as much as possible. By cooking chicken breasts on the grill for example, you have meals for several days. As unintended benefits, you save time during the week by reheating the chicken and save on your electric bill by not heating up the entire house when cooking.

In no time, you will find more time and money by following these tips. If you have tips you would like to share, please post them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Italian Sausage Hoagies

If you need to feed your mob, this recipe is for you.

10 uncooked Italian sausage links
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 jar (26 oz) meatless spaghetti sauce
1 can (6.5 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 medium green pepper, julienned
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 medium white onion, julienned
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 loaves French bread

Cooking Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausages in olive oil. Drain when done.

  • Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients.

  • Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until sausages are no longer pink on the inside.

  • Slice French bread loaves lengthwise but not all the way through.

  • Cut French bread loaves widthwise into five pieces.

  • Fill each with sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms and sauce.


  • I grill my sausages so that they have grill marks and a nice smokey taste. Do not cook them through. Once they start to turn golden brown on the outside, remove them from the grill and place them in the slow cooker.

  • As for serving, I garnish with red pepper flakes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Grillslinger Sport Barbecue Tool Belt

I have to tell you. I'm a tool fan. I love tools for the kitchen and for the grill. Of all of the tools I own, I have to say that one of my favorites is the Grillslinger. It looks great and has all of your grill tools right at your finger tips.

I own both the Sport and the original. When I'm just doing burgers and hot dogs, I use the Sport. When I'm doing steaks or fajitas, I use the original.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How to Cook Pizza on a Gas Grill

I was out on YouTube looking around for recipes. Well, I found a video by a guy name the UrbanGriller. He had some good points on how to cook a pizza on a gas grill. I have done it several times myself and it is very easy to do. I highly recommend using the 3-can tripod method. It keeps the crust from burning.

You can get some fancy items for your grill to cook your pizza. I have included a few items that can make it easier for you.

One of the things I have discovered is using Pillsbury Pizza dough. It is very good and it will save you a lot of time in preparation.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Traeger Wood Pellet Outdoor Grills - Taste the Difference

Last Friday, I dropped by my Ace Hardware store in Cedar Park to pick up a couple of items and ran into the general manager of the store, Tom. As we started to talk, my attention turned to a grill I had never seen before, the Traeger Grill.
This unique grill doesn't use gas or charcoal. It uses wood pellets. I was truly amazed. I found a video about the grill.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The First of Many Entries to Come

Hi, fellow Food and Flame enthusiasts! This is the first of many blogs to come. This blog is devoted to cooking food. It doesn't matter where. Indoors or outdoors. Gas, charcoal, solar, whatever the source of heat.