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Archive for Meat & Poultry

TIP OF THE DAY: How To Cook A Frozen Steak Without Thawing

Frozen Steak

Frozen Steak

Strip Steak

Splatter Screen

[1] Remove the frozen steak from the freezer (photo courtesy Mart2Go). [2] Place it in a hot pan (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] In 20 minutes, plate and enjoy (photo courtesy Eddie Merlot’s). [4] We use a mesh spatter screen, but we just ordered this folding spatter screen from Norpro.

 

Want a steak but you haven’t defrosted it yet?

No problem. Your steak will be ready in less than 30 minutes with this technique developed by Dan Souza of Cook’s Illustrated (thanks to Good Eggs for sending their adaptation to us).

Dan experimented by cutting strip steaks in half, freezing both halves, then defrosting one half before cooking.

He cooked both the thawed and frozen halves exactly the same way, and found that the frozen steak lost less moisture, cooked more evenly, and tasted better than the thawed half!

The steak needs to be frozen properly, since any extra moisture or ice will cause a flare-up when it hits the hot oil. Here’s Dan’s freezing technique:

HOW TO FREEZE A STEAK

  • SET the steak(s) on a baking sheet lined with parchment and place in the freezer until frozen.
  • WRAP each fully-frozen steak in plastic and place it in a heavy-duty plastic bag.
  • SQUEEZE any air out of the bag. Place it in the back of the freezer, so it doesn’t get hit by warm air every time you open the door (which can create condensation on the meat).
  •  
    RECIPE: COOKING A FROZEN STEAK

  • 1 frozen steak (not thawed!)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cast iron pan
  • Optional: splatter screen, meat thermometer
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 275°F. Set a wire rack atop a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

    2. DRIZZLE 1/8″ oil into a cast iron pan—just enough to coat the bottom. Place the skillet over high heat. When the pan is smoking hot, gently lay the steak onto the pan and sear both sides until browned, 90-120 seconds per side. NOTE: Frozen steak splatters more.

    3. TRANSFER the steak onto the wire rack and place in the oven. Cook until the steak is the desired doneness: 18 to 20 minutes for a 1-inch-thick steak to be medium rare (an internal temperature of 125°F on a meat thermometer).

    4. COOK the veggies or prepare the salad while the steak cooks.

    5. REST the steak for at least 3 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to settle in the meat, instead of pouring out when sliced.

    Here’s a video of Dan’s preparation.
     
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF STEAK

    How many different types of steak have you had?

    Check out our meaty Glossary Of Beef Types.

     

     
      

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    FOOD FUN: Filet Mignon “Sculpture” For National Filet Mignon Day

    Here’s some food fun for National Filet Mignon Day, August 13th:

    Instead of serving the meat flat on the plate, create a filet mignon “sculpture”: a commemoration of the tenderest cut of beef.

    In this example from Rue 57 restaurant in New York City, the filet is set against a mound of mashed potatoes, and surrounded by:

  • Jus
  • Pearl onions
  • Peas
  •  
    Two croutons (toasted baguette or ficelle slices) garnish the dish, but you can crown the mashed potatoes with sprig of chive, rosemary or thyme instead.

    You can tailor the dish any way you like. For example:

  • Serve the jus on the side.
  • Add mushrooms or other vegetables.
  •  
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT BEEF CUTS IN OUR BEEF GLOSSARY.
     
    WHAT IS JUS?

    Jus, pronounced ZHOO, is the French word for juice. With meat or poultry, it refers to a thin gravy or sauce made from the meat juices.

    The fat is skimmed from the pan juices and the remaining stock is boiled into a sauce, adding water as desired.

    Some cooks use additional ingredients to add flavor; for example, brown or white sugar, garlic, herbs, onion, salt and pepper, soy sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce. Our mother was fond of Gravy Master.

    In France, it would be argued that such additions are not jus, but a more complex sauce.

     

    French Dip Sandwich

    [1] Honor filet mignon on its national holiday, August 13th (photo courtesy Rue 57). [2] The French Dip sandwich, roast beef on baguette with a side of jus for dipping. Here’s the recipe from One Perfect Bite.

     
    “Au jus” (owe-zhoo) is the French culinary term that describes serving the meat with its pan juices.
     
    CAN YOU NAME THE AMERICAN SANDWICH THAT IS SERVED AU JUS?

    In the U.S., jus is served as a side in a small bowl, with a French dip sandwich: a roast beef sandwich on a hero roll or baguette.

    Here’s how the French Dip originated: another happy accident.
     
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT SANDWICH TYPES IN OUR SANDWICH GLOSSARY.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Feijoada For The Olympics

    Feijoada Recipe

    Feijoada Light

    [1] Feijoada at Sushi Samba, a Brazilian-Japanese restaurant with locations in New York City, Florida, Las Vegas and London. [2] A lighter version of feijoada from SimplyRecipes.com.

     

    To get into the grove of the Rio Olympics, we turn to Brazilian fare, beginning with its national dish, feijoada (fay-ZHWA-dah).

    A hearty, smoky stew of beans and salted, smoked and fresh meats, it is served with white rice and sautéed collard greens are served, along with a set of garnishes that including orange slices and farofa, a toasted cassava flour mixture (think of cornmeal made from cassava and see photo #5 below).

    It’s a one-bowl dish of comfort food, and is the traditionally Sunday dinner in Brazil (as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is in England).
     
    WHAT IS A NATIONAL FOOD

    A national food is a popular dish made from local ingredients prepared in a particular way. It’s part of the country’s sense of identity, like Austria’s wiener schnitzel and Hungary’s goulash, Korea’s bulgogi (hibachi-grilled beef wrapped in lettuce leaves) and the U.K.’s roast beef with yorkshire pudding.

    According to Wikipedia, during the age of European empire-building, nations would develop an entire national cuisine to distinguish themselves from their rivals.

    The U.S. has no declared national food; nor do countries such as India. There are too many diverse ethnic groups with specialized cuisines to choose a single national dish.

    In Latin America, however, dishes may be designated as a “plato nacional” (national dish).

     
    In addition to feijoada, examples include:

  • Argentina’s locro, a hearty stew of beef or pork or tripe and red chorizo, corn and other vegetables.
  • Colombian’s ajiaco, a soup that includes chicken, three varieties of potatoes and a local herb, guanaco.
  • Dominican Republic’s and Panama’s sancocho, a heavy soup/light stew.
  • Peru’s ceviche, made from any combination of fresh seafood and a variety of marinades (here’s a recipe template).
  •  
    Whatever the national dish, there are as many versions as there are cooks.

    Feijoada, for example, can be spicy for mild, eaten with a spoon or so thick, you can eat it with a fork.

     

    RECIPE: FEIJOADA, BLACK BEAN STEW

    This recipe was developed for American cooks buy Hank Shaw of SimplyRecipes.com.

    (It’s hard to find fresh pig ears, tails and preserved malagueta chiles in many American supermarkets, but if you want a truly authentic recipe, here it is from the Centro Cultural Brasil USA. Not to mention, the traditional recipe is a two-day preparation.)

    You can make it for own; for example, top the greens with bacon, or lighten the meats and smokiness by substituting chicken sausage and/or thighs.

    Pair it with iced tea, beer, red wine, or red sangria.

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • Boiling water to cover
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound carne seca (dried beef) or corned beef, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pound fresh chorizo or Italian sausage
  • 1 pound kielbasa, linguica or other smoked sausage
  • 1 smoked ham hock or shank
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • Water to cover
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • Salt
  •  
    Sides & Condiments

  • White rice
  • Collards, kale or other greens, sautéed with onions and garlic
  • Orange slices
  • Farofa
  • Pork rinds
  • Fresh parsley and/or green onions
  • Hot sauce
  •  

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01 data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/Feijoada cookdiary.net 230

    Feijoada Garnishes

    Farofa With Raisins

    [3] Feijoada is served family-style, scooped from a pot with passed garnishes (photo courtesy CookDiary.net). [4] Feijoada and its traditional accompaniments (photo courtesy Centro Cultural Brasil USA). [5] Farofa, a dish of toasted cassava flour, can be layered with ingredients from herbs and olives to peas and raisins. In feijoada, however, it is served plain (photo courtesy Blog Da Mimis).

     
    Preparation

    1. COVER the beans with boiling water and set aside.

    2. HEAT the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When browned, remove the meat from the pot and set aside.

    3. PLACE the onions in the pot and brown, stirring occasionally. Be sure to scrape up the fond (the tasty browned bits on the bottom). Sprinkle with a bit of salt and add the garlic. Stir to combine and sauté for two minutes more.

    4. RETURN the pork shoulder to the pot, along with the other meats, bay leaves and enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.

    5. DRAIN the beans and add them to the stew pot. Simmer covered, until the beans are tender, about 90 minutes.

    6. ADD the tomatoes, stir well and taste. Add salt as desired. Simmer uncovered, until the ham begins to fall off the hock, 2-3 hours.

    7. SERVE with sides and condiments.

      

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    PRODUCT: Artisan Bacon Hot Dogs

    Bacon Hot Dogs

    Vermont Cure Bacon Hot Dogs

    Bacon hot dogs from Vermont Smoke & Cure, a craft producer of meat products (photos courtesy Vermont Smoke & Cure).

     

    The CEO of Vermont Smoke & Cure, Chris Bailey, created this bacon hot dog in home test kitchen. Fusing two of his favorite flavors, the craft dog blends juicy bacon flavor with classic hot dog texture.

    The dogs combine beef, pork and uncured, maple-brined bacon. They’re smoked with cob and maple wood and stuffed in a natural lamb casing. The result: a succulent snap and a sweet, mellow smoke flavor.

    Here are tips for enjoying a bacon hot dog:

  • Try it without toppings. While some people prefer toppings on their dogs, Chris suggests that you first try the bacon dogs plain, on a toasted bun. You may find them so flavorful and juicy that you can skip the toppings.
  • Combine them with eggs. Serve grilled Bacon Hot Dogs with eggs, toast and asparagus for breakfast, lunch or dinner. When asparagus is out of season, substitute broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, leeks, sliced tomatoes or other veg.
  • Serve a mixed grill. Team grilled dogs with grilled chicken for dinner. Consider adding some slices of that acclaimed Vermont Smoke & Cure bacon.
  •  
    The hot dogs are $5.99-$6.99 at select Whole Foods and natural foods stores in the Northeast. Here’s a store locator.
     
    ABOUT VERMONT SMOKE & CURE

    Vermont Smoke & Cure makes bacon, ham, hot dogs, meat sticks, pepperoni and uncured summer sausage.

    The products are made from premium, vegetarian-fed meat with no added hormones or antibiotics. They are free of dairy, gluten, nuts, preservatives and sodium nitrites.

     
    For more information, visit VermontSmokeAndCure.com.

    The company sells most of its products on Amazon and its own website store, but not [yet] the hot dogs.

    We did discover this tempting bacon gift basket that contains:

  • Vermont Smoke and Cure Bacon
  • Broadbent’s Kentucky Bacon
  • North Country Smokehouse Uncured Fruitwood Bacon
  • Vosges Chocolate and Bacon Candy Bar
  • Vosges Bacon and Chocolate Pancake Mix
  • JB’s Best Bacon BBQ Sauce
  •  
    Put it on your gift list for bacon lovers.

    In the interim, find a store, buy the bacon dogs, and make people happy.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: 20 Other Uses For Hot Dog Rolls

    Hot Dog Bun Enchiladas

    Pizza Hot Dog

    Salad Sandwich

    Peanut  Butter Sandwich

    [1] Chicken enchilada fixings in a hot dog roll (photo courtesy KingsHawaiian.com). [2] Pepperoni pizza ingredients in a hot dog roll (photo courtesy SimplyStacie.net). [3] Salad on a hot dog roll (photo courtesy Bitemore.com). [4] Peanut butter, bacon and banana on a hot dog roll (photo courtesy Huffington Post).

     

    July is National Hot Dog Month, so be sure to get your fill.

    When you have extra rolls without hot dogs, brats or other sausages to grace them, you can stick them in the freezer.

    You can also turn them into bread pudding, panzanella (bread salad), croutons or bread crumbs, and any number of recipes requiring bread, from gazpacho to romesco sauce.

    But today, we’ve thought outside the box in terms of fillings, and present 20 alternative fillings for your hot dog rolls.

    TIP: If the preparation doesn’t already require toasting/grilling, most of these preparations will be better with toasted or grilled rolls.

  • Buffalo Roll: Chicken tenders, blue cheese dressing, diced celery.
  • Breakfast “Burrito”: Scrambled eggs, bacon/sausage, salsa or other garnish.
  • Breakfast Toast: Serve a toasted roll with your favorite breakfast spreads.
  • Bruschetta or Crostini (the difference): Add your favorite toppings and eat them sandwich-style. You can cut them in half for serving.
  • Carrot Dogs: vegan recipe.
  • Cheese Sticks: recipe.
  • Chili (without the dog, but with the cheese and onions).
  • Faux Enchiladas Or Tacos: replace the tortilla with the roll.
  • French Toast or breakfast pastries.
  • Fruit Rolls: toast, spread with honey and add fresh fruit.
  • Garlic bread: One roll creates a mini garlic bread “loaf.”
  • Green Salad Roll: put all the ingredients on a toasted roll (go light on the vinaigrette): Cobb Salad, Chef Salad, Greek Salad, Spinach Salad.
  • Grilled Cheese.
  • Grilled Fish Or Seafood: Top it with tartar sauce or seafood sauce (instead of a lobster roll, try more affordable seafood).
  • Other Foods Not Eaten On Bread: Try Bean salad, ratatouille—check the fridge.
  • Panini: Add sandwich fillings, butter the outsides and grill the roll on a panini press.
  • Pizza Roll: Fill with your favorite pizza topping, sauce and mozzarella; microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
  • Sandwiches Made With Other Types Of Rolls: Barbecue, chicken parm, cubano, meatball, po’boy, Sloppy Joe, etc.
  • Sandwiches Made With Sliced Bread: Ham and cheese, PB&J, tuna, etc. Try a PB and banana sandwich, using the entire banana like a hot dog.
  • Southern Bird Dogs (recipe).
  •  
    We avoided ideas like these cheese fries in a hot dog roll, as well as spaghetti rolls and chicken chow mein on a hot dog roll. But you still can have fun with it: See the Frog Sandwich photo below.

     
    GARNISH, GARNISH, GARNISH

    Whatever you put into your hot dog roll, consider garnishes to top it:

  • Chopped fresh herbs
  • Diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, bell peppers
  • Leftover grains, vegetables
  • Pickles and/or sliced olives
  • Chutney or relish
  • Salsa
  • Shredded cheese
  • Shredded lettuce, slaw
  •  

     

    BUNS, ROLLS AND BISCUITS: THE DIFFERENCE

    You may have noticed that we use the word roll instead of bun to denote hot dog-specific bread.

    There is no official difference: Both are single-serve breads, and the FDA only stipulates that buns and rolls weigh less than one-half pound (loaves of bread must weigh one pound or more).

    Manufacturers and retailers use whichever term they want. However, the American Institute of Baking uses this distinction:

  • “Rolls” is generally applied to individual breads that hold a filling—either pre-filled like cinnamon rolls from sandwich bread like Kaiser rolls. The notable exception is hot cross buns, which are filled with currants or raisins. (Editor’s note: The first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” appears in 1733, when there was no distinction. Because there is no official standard, there are many exceptions, from hot dog an hamburger buns (should be rolls) to hot cross buns (filled with currants).
  • “Buns” typically do not contain a filling, but can be eaten plain, with a spread (butter, jam), or used as a sop*.
  • Bunne was the word used in Middle English. The use of roll to describe a small bread came much later. The oldest reference we could find is to Parker House rolls, in 1873.
  • Biscuits use a different leavening. Biscuits use baking powder to rise; buns and rolls use yeast.
  • Texture: Rolls can be hard (crusty) or soft, buns are soft, and biscuits are pillowy soft (from the baking powder).
  •  
    HOT DOG RECIPES (WITH ACTUAL HOT DOGS)

  • Bacon Cheese Dogs
  • Cubano Dog
  • Gourmet Hot Dogs 1
  • Gourmet Hot Dogs 2
  • Italian Hot Dogs
  • Mini Corn Dogs
  • Tater Tot Hot Dog Skewers
  • Top 10 Hot Dog Toppings
  •  

    Southern Bird Dog

    Salami Sandwich

    Frog Sandwich

    [1] The Southern Bird Dog is filled with chicken tenders and bacon (photo courtesy JamHands.com). [2] Use extra hot dog rolls for your sandwiches (photo courtesy GlutenFreeDairyFreeNJ.Blogspot.com). [3] Have fun: a cheese sandwich on a hot dog roll (photo courtesy TheChaosAndTheClutter.com).

     
    _____________________
    *“Sop” indicates a piece of bread or other solid used to wipe up a liquid food: gravy, sauce, soup, stew, etc. It is the source of the words supper, soup and sopping (drenched). It evolved from the Old English soppian, “bread soaked in some liquid.”

      

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