Monday, July 7, 2008

What's for Dinner? STEAK, BABY!

What's for dinner? Steak, baby! That's right. At the Johns household, chicken, pork and seafood are good. But, if you are looking for something special. Steak is what's for dinner. You add a big bake 'tater that is fully loaded to that and maybe some sauteed mushrooms and onions with some Southwestern seasoning and you have got all of the makings for a perfect meal.

In this case, the meal was a ribeye steak that I had purchased on sale in bulk. If you find meat on sale, you need to buy and break it down yourself. By doing that, you save money and you can have steak almost every night. I know. My doctor is probably rolling his eyes and about ready to send me a dirty note about my cholesterol. (It is sad when you are able to spell "CHOLESTEROL" and the names of most of your medications.) Oh, well. Back to the steak.

Take a close look at the steak. You see the diamond sear marks on the steak. You can do the same thing. It just takes a little practice. When you put your steak on the grill. A very hot grill is an absolute must. How hot is hot? 500 degrees or better. Do not take your burner all the way up with the lid down. You will cause damage to your grill. When I preheat my grill, I set the controls to about medium. That will get you there. Once you open the lid to start cooking, you can put the spurs to her and turn your gas jets to wide open. You can then put the steak on the grill at a 45 degree angle and after about 3 minutes or so, you can rotate it to 45 degrees in the opposite direction. That will give you the sear marks you are looking for. Your friends will think you are a chef.

As for seasoning, I have made my own and tried a ton of different ones. The one I'm using now is the Chicago style blend from Webber. It has some bite to it and it gives the steak a great favor. If you ask me what do people love consistently on their steaks, I would say salt, pepper and some butter. If you are a purist, that's all you need.

Some people have asked about the potato. My daughter loves a good baked potato and my wife loves a good baked sweet potato. Well, there are some secrets to that, pilgrim. Let me tell you how to bake a great potato. First, select a good solid potato for baking. When I look, I look for fairly good sized potatoes. The other thing is that all of the potatoes should be the same size. Don't pick big ones and small ones. That will throw the cooking time off. Next, wash them good and dry them with a paper towel. After that, poke a few holes in them. Place each potato on a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Rub them down with cooking oil and salt them. If you like your potatoes to have a crispy skin, you can forget the foil. If you use the foil, wrap them up semi-tightly and place them on the grill. If you are preheating for your steaks, a good 450 degrees would be perfect for both the steak and potatoes. Place them on the warming rack and close up the grill. It will take about 1 hour to cook most potatoes. Use a knife to check for doneness. If it goes through the potato without resistance, you are done. As for the sweet potato, you can do the same to it except you don't need the full hour. I usually give the sweet potato only 45 minutes and I do use the aluminum foil. Since it has a higher sugar content, it burns easily. So, use the foil. Plus, the skin comes off easily when you use the foil method.

There you go. One top-notch steak dinner. Remember, you don't need a lot for seasoning when it comes to a steak. Salt, pepper and butter are great.

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