Category Archives: Food

Blueberry sauce makes steaks taste incredible

Check out that beauty. That flat iron steak is topped with a blueberry sauce I found at Forays into Foodiedom; click that link and give ’em some love. Oh man, was that stuff good. The tartness of the blueberries mixed perfectly with the steaks. Instead of becoming a meat candy like the cherry rub, the strong flavor of the meat was enhanced by the blueberry’s subtle sweetness. That sauce brings out the best in the fruit’s sweetness without getting candy-like — all the ingredients back off for the blueberry and bring it out.

Blueberries are one of my lifelong favorite foods. When I was a kid, I always wanted a blueberry pie instead of a birthday cake. My grandmother, Bammy, always made a red, white and blue pie for holidays. You can imagine how vindicated I felt when, as an adult, I found out that blueberries are the Superman of foods.

Back to the steaks, I made some tweaks to the recipe:

  • I used red cooking wine instead of just red wine. The taste of wine is wasted on me, so I figured I was OK with the rough stuff. I also didn’t wanna open the only bottle of red wine we have in the house.
  • I used rosemary leaves instead of the finer stuff. Next time, I’ll try crushing it up.
  • Instead of cooking sirloins in the same frying pan, I grilled flat irons (seasoned with only salt and peppercorns) and dolloped sauce on top. There was plenty to spread around.

The blueberry abundance in this area is apparent in the produce section. The berries are huge and fresh, and actually pretty cheap (I found an 18-ounce carton at Food 4 Less for less than $3. Yes, the same Food 4 Less I dogged for having expensive flat irons. Win some, lose some.)

In other words, there’s plenty available for standard blueberry stuff, such as muffins and pies. There are also plenty for trying new things such as slathering steaks with ’em. Nom.

My next mission: Combining blueberries and bacon. It has to have been done before; if not, I’ll be a pioneer. I’ll do that for y’all. I consider it a public service.

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Bacon bleu stuffed burgers pass taste test

Every Sunday night is grilling night at Geeked Out Central, located near the historic Gabby Street Boulevard. The latest experiment turned out pretty well: Bacon and bleu cheese stuffed burgers. Going into the weekend, I was craving bleu cheese, but that stuff is so strong that the flavor needs to be diluted. Burgers are an obvious choice, but what else goes with it?

At Dillon’s, I found some Lea & Perrins Thick Worcestershire Sauce. Perfect. I mixed some of that with some bleu, bacon and minced garlic. My wife, who is not a fan of bleu cheese, discovered that they were incredible with French fried onions on top.

Here’s a basic recipe:
~ 6 tablespoons Lea and Perrins Thick Worcestershire Sauce
~ 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
~ 10 slices pre-cooked bacon, cut into nickel-sized pieces
~ three tablespoons bleu cheese crumbles (divide bigger crumbles)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and you’ll have enough stuffing for about three or four burgers.

To stuff the burgers: Prepare and season the ground beef normally. (Avoid ground round or sirloin; beef or chuck work best.) When it comes time to make the patties, grab the beef you’d use for a single patty, divide it half, then add a little bit more to each half. Use the halves to make two patties, but make them flatter and wider than normal. Place one on a flat surface. Spoon the stuffin’ in the center of the patty and smooth it out, but keep it away from the edges. Place the second patty on top and seal the two by using your thumb to mash the seam.

These will be bigger than normal patties; if they are too big, it’s no problem to slice a burger in half after it’s done cooking. When cooking on the grill, give ’em a few extra minutes, because

I really should have taken pictures of this process. I will next time so that the instructions are better.

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Beware balsamic: Too much kills tri tips

Because of the new Enjoy section, I’m back to a Monday through Friday schedule at the Globe. This means the return of our family’s Grilling Sundays.

Last week was easy enough: I grilled some flat iron steaks and some beef sausage. Nothing too exotic. Last Saturday, I found some tri tip steaks on sale at Price Cutter that looked good for marinating, and I had been wanting to play with a garlic balsamic marinade recipe, so I scooped them up.

The recipe was a simple yet incredible mix of olive oil, garlic, balsamic and pepper. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I threw in extra balsamic, garlic and crushed rosemary, and marinated the steaks for about 20 hours.

The net result was a tangy, tangy steak that completely overpowered the garlic. That stunk, because I grilled the tri tips PERFECTLY. Tri tips come from the more flavorful sirloins, but because those tend to be not as tender, they are best at a medium rare. The texture of Sunday’s tri tips was perfect. Too bad the taste was too strong.

Don’t get me wrong: I woofed my helping down, each bite with some roasted golden potatoes and pesto broccoli. I also cooked the steaks with some burgers on the grill at the same time. Next time, I’ll go heavy on the garlic but scale back the balsamic. I’ll also leave in the rosemary, but I’m not sure it did so much. Also, I’m really curious how flat irons will respond to marinating.

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Fuddruckers closing? Say it ain’t so

Man, this is my third post on a new blog dedicated to irrational exuberance, and I’m already depressed about something. Fuddruckers, the place with the ginormous burgers on Seventh Street, is now closed. And I didn’t even get a chance to nosh a final 2/3-pound bacon and cheddar burger.

My family was full of fans for the place. All it did was make good burgers, good fries and good chicken strips. Some have argued that it was too expensive compared to other burger joints, but have you been by some of those other joints? The prices were perfect for what you got.

One of the last times I went was on Halloween, and I was having an awful day. I was tired and starving from trick-or-treating with my stepson. I remember being mad about something, too, but I can’t remember. ANYWAY, we drove all the way across town to have some burgers at the place. Our order was called and I went to pick it up. When I got to the counter, the lady behind it was placing the bacon on my burger. I said, “You know, if you want to throw a few extra slices on there,” fully expecting to get a “ha-ha, you and everyone else” type of answer. Instead, she PILED on the bacon. If bacon could be slathered, she slathered my burger with pork. She made my night.

I’m sad to see it closed. Not geeked out today — bummed out.