Easy Charcoal Grilled Ribeye steak with Horseradish Cream Sauce and Baked Potato

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 1 lb ribeye steaks
  • 2 medium sized baking potatoes
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion
  • 5 or so whole mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup sour cream (for the horseradish cream sauce)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (for the potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup horseradish
  • Kerry Gold Irish butter
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Frank’s Red hot sauce
  • Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh or dried chives

Tools:

  • Charcoal grill
  • Charcoal
  • Mesquite wood chunk or chips
  • Meat thermometer
  • Tongs or bbq spatula
  • Charcoal chimney starter
  • newspaper
  • lighter

A ribeye steak dinner is one of my favorite meals, however finding a spot that actually prepares one properly can be tedious and quite expensive. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed with either the quality of meat, tenderness, seasoning, or temperature requested. Face it, if you’re going to eat at a chain steak place, there’s a strong chance that you might not get a seasoned veteran preparing your grub. Fear not, that’s where I come in. In this post I will take you step by step in how to make a big boy steak house worthy ribeye with minimal and inexpensive tools.

First and foremost, a steak prepared over charcoal is vastly superior to any gas grill. However, you don’t need to break the bank to make it happen. The Weber kettle style grill is one of the best options, but I prepared these steaks on my little red Aussie walkabout grill ($50 at Home Depot).

To begin the process, make sure to pull your steaks from the refrigerator and season them a minimum of 30 minutes prior to grilling. Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world. I used olive oil, Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. Use as much or as little as you like. Remember that there is a lot of salt in the creole seasoning, so you don’t need to add salt.

Next I prepped the potatoes foil packet of mushrooms and onions, so I preheated my oven to 400 degrees. First I sliced up the onions and mushrooms and placed them on a piece of aluminum foil. I seasoned the with black pepper, creole seasoning, garlic powder, olive oil, butter, worcestershire sauce, and Frank’s red hot. Then I mixed it all together and folded the foil into a packet. After that I washed and dried the potatoes, made several puncture holes with a fork, wrapped in foil, placed in the oven directly on the rack and baked for about an hour.

While the potatoes were baking I started the charcoal chimney by filling the bottom with newspaper and the top full of Kingsford charcoal. I lit the newspaper and let the chimney get to work. You’ll know they are ready when there is a white outline on the edges of the top coals. After about 15 minutes I dumped them all to one side of the grill as these steaks will cook direct and indirect the coals.

Depending on how hot your grill is and the outdoor temperature can affect how your steak is cooked, so I highly recommend a good meat thermometer. I picked up a Kizen instant read thermometer for about $20 on Amazon. I like that it lights up and has a bottle opener on it. It also has a temperature guide on for quick reference.

I placed the steaks directly over the coals parallel with the grate and let it cook for about four minutes with a quarter turn at the half way point. While the steaks are on one side, I put the foil packet of onions and mushrooms on the opposite side. At the end of the four minutes I flipped them and repeated with the quarter turn. When that four minutes was up I flipped the steaks to the indirect side of the grill and cooked for about two more minutes per side and moved the foil packet directly over the coals. I like my steak medium rare, so I pulled them off at around 130 degrees as I checked with the meat thermometer. Keep in mind that the steaks will still continue to cook even after you pull them off the grill, so don’t cover them. I just brought them inside, topped them with butter and let them rest.

While the steaks were resting, I made the horseradish cream sauce. I Just added the sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice, hot sauce, and pepper in a bowl and mixed thoroughly. When the steaks were done resting, I sliced them and topped them with the mushrooms, onions, and horseradish cream sauce. The baked potato was topped with sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, and sour cream. Enjoy!

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Easy Smoked Salmon and Rice

Prep time is less than five minutes for the salmon and about fifteen for the grill. All together this meal can be put together in under an hour. Not bad considering the $$$ you save by cooking it yourself.

Salmon is a delicious and easily one of my favorite meals on the grill. Prep is minimal and the cooking process is super easy. First I seasoned the salmon filet. I chose a large one because I enjoy the leftovers for a quick meal the next day. You can season whatever you like, but I chose olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning, and chili powder. I didn’t add salt because the creole seasoning has it already.

Second, I prepped my charcoal grill by filling a Weber charcoal chimney 3/4 of the way full with Kingsford charcoal. Next I added a few crumpled newspapers to the bottom and lit it on fire. Then I waited about fifteen minutes for the coals to form a slightly ashed appearance on top and then dumped them in my little Aussie walkabout charcoal grill with a couple of chunks of applewood and waited another five or so to heat up. The salmon will cook entirely indirect, so make sure to keep the coals and wood to one side of the grill.

Third, I put the grate on the grill and put the salmon on top of the grate opposite of the coals and wood. After about fifteen minutes of smoking, I rotated the salmon as to cook evenly. After another fifteen minutes, thirty in all, I pulled it off, topped with Kerry Gold Irish butter and tented it with foil while I made the rice.

Finally, I used a couple of ninety second microwaveable brown rice packets and churched it up with butter, Frank’s red hot sauce, parmesan cheese, creole seasoning, pepper, and chili powder. That’s it. All that was left to was eat.

There are many other seasoning options that would be equally delicious, but this is one of my favorites. The leftovers make a quick and easy breakfast the next day as I hate to waste food. Heat it up in a pan with a quick egg scramble is amazing. I threw these leftovers in a pan after I added some green pepper, onion, mushrooms, spinach, feta, parmesan cheese, and eggs. Enjoy!

Ingedients:

  • 1 – Large salmon filet
  • 2 – ninety second brown rice packets (Uncle Ben’s has a lot of options, but I used the Kroger brand for this meal.)
  • Kerry Gold Irish butter (Use as much or as little as you want)
  • Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning
  • Frank’s Red hot sauce
  • Chili powder
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil

Mediterranean shakshouka or “Eggs in Hell”

Ingredients:
● 1 small to medium diced yellow onion
● 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
● 1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
● 1 ½ 16 oz. cans tomato sauce or puree
● 1 diced bell pepper
● ½ cup sliced mushrooms
● 1 cup diced spinach
● Chopped parsley (fresh is better, but dried will work if it’s all you have)
● ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
● Salt and pepper to taste
● ¼ teaspoon of cumin
● 2 tablespoon of garlic powder (for the sauce and toast)
● 6 large eggs
● 7 strips of bacon (I recommend applewood smoked Wright brand bacon)
● Hot sauce to taste (I recommend Frank’s Red hot)
● 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno discs from a jar (optional)
● 2 teaspoons of oregano
● 4 slices of bread
● 4 slices of provolone cheese
● 4 tablespoons of irish butter (or whatever you have, but Kerry Gold is the shiznit)

Preheat your oven to 400℉ and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add the strips of bacon and bake for 15 minutes. At that point pull the tray from the oven and flip the bacon, return it to the oven and continue to bake for an additional ten to 15 minutes (depending on your desired doneness). When done, place the bacon on another tray lined with paper towel. When cool, then dice it up. (Even if it’s too much, you can save the rest in a sandwich bag for salads or whatever is good with bacon, which is everything! 🙂 

   Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the onion, peppers, mushrooms, and jalapeno. Saute until softened and then add the minced garlic and diced spinach. Let that simmer for a couple of minutes until spinach is wilted and then add the tomato
sauce, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, parmesan, and hot sauce.

Be careful to not add a lot of salt as the parmesan and bacon will contain salt as well. Let that come to a quick boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. While it is simmering, you can prepare the toast.

Take four slices of whatever bread of your choice and top with butter, garlic powder, oregano, provolone cheese, and bacon. bake in the oven or toaster oven until browned. I typically use a toaster oven and put it on broil about 3/4 of the way through cooking to brown the cheese.

While the toast is in the oven, make six crevices in the sauce and crack an egg in each spot. Place the lid on and poach the eggs in the sauce until desired doneness. When serving, I spoon sauce and eggs in bowl or plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, hot sauce, bacon, and parsley.

Well, there you have it! Mediterranean shakshouka or sometimes referred to eggs in hell. I’m sure you could switch up the ingredients of the sauce to make it even more delicious. My next effort will introduce italian sausage or pepperoni into the sauce. Enjoy!

Detroit Style Pizza

Most people have heard of New York, Chicago, or California style pizza. However, one of the most underrated pie in our country is Detroit style. It is a creation fashioned from the hardcore nature of the motor city, yet a delicious concoction that makes a sturdy case as one of the best pie’s around.

Buddy’s pizza in Detroit, MI is the originator of this deep dish delight. The square shape depicted in the photo was created in a cast iron auto parts pan to caramelize the Wisconsin brick cheese that is layered edge to edge. Living out of state, I don’t get to experience it as often as I would like, but places like Jet’s pizza and Little Caesars offer a pretty solid locally available version in a pinch.

Don’t get me wrong, there is room in the pizza world for all types. I’ve had some solid Chicago and New York style pies in my day, although not as well known, Detroit style pizza is as good if not better than any style I’ve ever experienced.

The Dead

  At fifteen, Billy was a bit of a loner outside of the home. Most of his classmates were dying to go on trips for spring break, but Billy was still mourning the loss of his grandpa who had just passed away. The family was very close. They would go fishing year round, even on the ice in the winter. Sometimes they would share a meal and listen to the ball game on the radio as they sat on the front porch facing the dock. His grandpa was not only Billy’s guardian since his parents passed, but his best friend as well. They were inseparable. Everywhere his grandpa went, Billy was sure to follow. Everything his grandpa did, Billy tried to emulate. They even dressed alike.

  While Billy loaded his fishing gear and lunch on the boat, he realized that he had forgotten his lunch cooler. After grabbing it out of the refrigerator, he smiled thinking of all of the good times he had spent with his grandpa and how much he missed him. He then proceeded to head back to the boat. After untying the rope from the dock and securing it, he lifted the anchor and began to row out into the lake. A few hours had passed and the sun was almost directly overhead, Billy decided to take a break to have some lunch and maybe put on his grandpa’s old fishing hat to shield him from the sun.

  As he opened his lunch cooler, Billy lifted his grandpa’s deceased head out of it and sat it upright on top of the ice and the cooler lid on top to shield the sun. Refrigeration had preserved it well. As he took his fishing knife from the cooler, he sliced off part of his grandpa’s ear and cheek. While Billy sat in the boat, chewing on the ear of his grandpa, he knew something wasn’t right. He wanted his grandpa to enjoy the day as well, so he took a couple of fish hooks and connected each cheek to the side of his grandfather’s head to form a smile.

  “There, that’s how I remember him. Grandpa was always smiling when we went fishing”, Billy said out loud as he kicked back to relax and drifted along.

  “Maybe tomorrow, mom and dad can come, if there’s enough left”, Billy once again said out loud as he smiled and tilted his grandpa’s old fishing cap.

   It had been just passed a year since the outbreak and Billy was bitten by a zombie at school. Although he killed his parents and his grandpa for their flesh and brains, he still loved them and remembered the good times instead of the chaos that the world had become. He didn’t want to kill them, but the zombie virus grew too strong. Billy knew that eventually the virus would decay his body and he would slowly deteriorate, but he wanted to spend every last second he had with his family.

   They tried to keep Billy under control. They even tried to lead a normal life, but eventually his mother came too close. As his father attempted to save his mother, he too was bitten. When Billy’s grandpa came home, he was horrified, but he knew the family dynamic was ruined. However, he loved his family so much that he removed his parents’ heads to prevent them from turning. He dismembered and refrigerated them for preservation.

   Billy’s grandpa wanted to be near him for as long as he could, so he used restraints to keep him at bay and would only feed Billy small pieces at a time. Just enough to satiate his zombie desires. Unfortunately, a few days ago, Grandpa came too close. Billy bit his bit him during a feeding. He was horrified at what he had done. However,  just as he did as a child, Billy tried to emulate what his grandpa had done.

Captain America: Civil War Debate

Captain America: Civil War

 In this movie, the Avengers are faced with an internal dilemma that divides them and causes them to interact with physical violence that leads to an array of death and damages along the way. This dilemma is derived from a United Nations sanctioned document, called the Sokovia Accords. This document forces any enhanced person to be regulated by the UN. Captain America, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Ant man feel that forcing them to sign that document would be a violation of their freedom and could ultimately prevent them from instinctually saving lives. Ironman, War Machine, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Black Panther and Vision initially feel regulation is necessary after all of the death and destruction in Sokovia.

  Helmut Zemo, a terrorist who lost family in the Avengers fight against Ultron in Sokovia, blames the Avengers and is driven by revenge. He orchestrates the divide in the civil war amongst the Avengers because he feels the only way to beat them is to destroy them internally. By the end of the movie it is debatable as to whether or not Zemo succeeded. There is still divide and separation amongst the Avengers, but tensions have eased. Black Panther altered his position of revenge when he found out that Zemo was responsible for the death of his father, not the Winter Soldier. He even goes as far as to help Captain America and Winter Soldier to hide in Wakanda.

  In a universe where enhanced individuals are powerful enough to be considered weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s), should they be regulated? There are two compelling sides to the argument. I see valid reasoning to both sides. On one hand, you somewhat handcuff the abilities of enhanced individuals to save lives by not allowing them to use their instincts that could prevent potential catastrophic disaster. On the other hand, their non-regulated and instinctual actions have led to several casualties along the way.

  In the end, both sides are right, but who gets to make the rules? Why is a UN panel more capable of making a rational decision than Tony Stark, Captain America, even Ant Man when they almost nuked an entire city in the first Avengers movie. If it wasn’t for Tony Stark a whole city and it’s population would have been vaporized. Instead, his quick action saved New York and defeated the enemy and alien Chitauri fleet. On the other hand, in cases such as the Winter Soldier, Hydra has shown the ability use mind control. If that would happen to say, the Hulk, things could get real ugly and quick.

  In the end, I think some sort of regulation is inevitable or chaos could ensue. However, it shouldn’t come at the cost of freedom or loss of innocent lives. Much like the gun control debate that is currently a hot button in the US, both sides have compelling arguments. However, fighting about it won’t solve anything, it just creates a bigger divide. Whether you are pro Captain America, pro Tony Stark, for gun control, or against it, there needs to be calm level-headed discussions about what makes sense. At the end of the movie, Cap left Tony a letter that gives us the sense that cooler heads seem to be prevailing, even though he didn’t sign the Sokovia Accords.

  I’m somewhat torn about both and have strong feelings both ways. Obviously, one is a comic book movie and one is real life. However, both sides should have a voice and be heard. No one wins in a tyrannical society or when freedoms are lost. However, whether you are an Avenger or a governing political leader, corruption has happened and is a constant threat. Nazi Germany, the Russian and Young Turks Revolutions are real life examples of what can happen when government goes bad. All three happened within some of our current grandparents or great grandparents lifetimes.

  Although no one wants to see children murdered in mass shootings in real life or children losing their lives collaterally by an Avenger, it is important to remember that creating legislation without considering the bigger picture can and has led to tyrannical situations in history. In the end, I don’t know if there is a solution that would make everyone happy for the Avengers or the gun control debate, but it’s worth discussing.