Coffee and beef go together like…. uh… well all other things that go together great. The coffee flavor mellows and enriches the beefy taste. My favorite way to use this rub in on smoked beef brisket. I give the meat a nice generous coating of the rub and let it sit overnight before smoking it until nice and incredibly tender. Perfect. And that’s not the only great use of this rub, either. A little sprinkle on burgers just before grilling them really gives them a fantastic rich different flavor. You can use whatever coffee suits your fancy, but for me, the best is the coffee from Cafe du Monde. It has a wonderful chicory flavor that is incredibly rich and compliments beef perfectly. You can now find Cafe du Monde coffee in most grocery stores, thankfully, so you don’t have to go to New Orleans to get it. However, going to New Orleans is never a bad idea, so next time you go, bring back some coffee.
Ok, I admit it. I sometimes buy cheap steaks on sale. They make for a quick lunch. Since I work from home I can just toss them on the grill and in no time I’m chowing down. But let’s face it. Cheap steaks aren’t the same as not-cheap-steaks so I often add a bit of something to kick them up a bit. This jalapeno onion steak topping was so good I ended up making another batch to top some hamburgers later in the week. Sweet lightly-caramelized onions in a creamy sauce with just a little beat of jalapeno heat. Next time I cook up some hot dogs I’m going to make another batch of this jalapeno onion steak and burger (and hot dog!) topping. It’ll really crank up any grilled hot dog or smoked sausage. There’s not a tremendous amount of heat (the jalapenos mellow while they cook), so don’t be afraid that the topping is too hot. It’s quite mellow and packed with great flavor.
I could’ve gone the smooth, creamy, mellow Ranch dressing route. But no, I wanted a salad dressing that would sneak up on me and then hit me with a little kick. This jalapeno Ranch dressing has that bit of kick, but also a great pepper flavor. I’m not a big fan of jalapeno-infused flavors where I can’t still taste the fact that the jalapeno is a pepper. This jalapeno Ranch dressing has that and more. The dressing thickens a bit as it sits. If it gets too thick for your liking just add a bit more buttermilk, stir, and serve. This jalapeno Ranch dressing is also great as a dip for vegetables or chips. Use less buttermilk to make a thick, spicy dressing for hamburgers, wraps, or sandwiches.
I’ve made mustard-based BBQ sauces before, but nothing even comes close to this Atomic BBQ sauce. It takes mustardy sauces to a whole new place, thanks mostly to the addition of pickled banana peppers. Of course, there’s a pretty good kick to the sauce. It is called Atomic BBQ sauce for a reason. Perfect on a rack of smoked St. Louis-style ribs, and outstanding on a pulled pork sandwich. For a little extra kick, substitute spicy banana peppers. Don’t want the heat? Substitute jalapenos for the habaneros. You’ll still get a kick, but it’ll be tame enough for just about anyone.
Atomic BBQ sauce is a great thing. Definitely my new favorite when it comes to non-ketchup-based BBQ sauces.
I can’t even begin to say just how much I love this dressing. Great roasted garlic flavor tamed by Dijon and honey. And not overly mustardy, either. That’s a good thing because for me, there is a such thing as too much mustard. The perfect consistency, not too thick that you need to cut it with a knife, and not too runny so that it just rolls right off your salad. This roasted garlic salad dressing would also be outstanding as a poultry marinade, specially for chicken destined for the grill. It is packed with flavor.
I was wandering around the produce section at the grocery store when I came across a really nice basket of fresh-picked ripe peaches. I knew exactly what I was going to make with them. Peach BBQ sauce, the perfect sauce for a rack of St. Louis-style smoked ribs. Although I’d be partial to using this tasty sauce on anything, it really complements anything pork the best. This peach BBQ sauce isn’t too ‘peachy’. You can taste the fresh peaches, sure, but they don’t over-power the sauce. The peaches add a nice sweetness too.
Our local grocery store had cheap steak on sale even cheaper, so I picked up one for lunch. Working from home has its advantages, and one is being able to toss a steak onto the charcoal grill during the day. As much as I love just salt and pepper on a steak, sometimes I want something a little different. I had Asian flavors on the brain, so well, you can guess what happened next. An Asian steak marinade combining salty soy with a little sweetness and a little heat. I loved the combination of heat and sweet in the Asian steak marinade. I would not be afraid to add more chili paste, though. That’s just me. I like a bit of spicy in all of my dishes.
You do want to be careful cooking the steaks over high heat. Too long and they’ll char. Sear them quickly and then move them to indirect heat to let them finish cooking.
I grilled up a few marinated chicken breast last week. I sliced them thin and began what I call ‘salad week’. That means big salads, lot of greens and good stuff on top, and homemade salad dressings. This copycat of the creamy Italian dressing from Pizza Hut was one of my favorite dressings of the week. It has a nice herby flavor with a hint of nutty Parmesan, and the kick of vinegar and citrus. Although it wouldn’t still be a copycat recipe, I wouldn’t hesitate to add a pinch or two of dried red pepper flake to this dressing. It’s great as is, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of kick in your creamy Italian dressing.