Tag Archives: Beef

Vietnamese Style Beef Kebabs with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

I had some ground beef in the freezer that I needed to use for one of our weekday meals, and I really wanted to try something different with it. I started browsing around for recipes, which usually means hitting something like “ground beef recipes” on Google, and going to Images to see what catches my eye.  I saw some kebabs and went to a reliable source for a recipe, that usually means Martha Stewart, or Simply Recipes.  I used Martha Stewart’s recipe as a guide line, using my own ground beef mix to make meatballs. These kebabs are pretty easy to make, and they were ready in no time. For those of you with kids, I am happy to report that it is a kid friendly recipe, if you leave the Sriracha sauce out of it. They can dip their kebabs in regular tomato sauce, and they love the idea of eating from a stick.

Tip: My wooden skewers burnt a little bit under the broiler. Even though I knew I should coat them with vegetable oil… I forgot. Coat yours with vegetable oil and that should keep them from burning too much.


Vietnamese Style Beef Kebabs with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

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Filet Mignon with Hollandaise Sauce & Bacon Potatoes

I don’t think I need to say much to get you to try this recipe, filet mignon speaks for itself.  This cut of beef is taken from the smaller end of the tenerloin (called the short loin), and it has a tender, melt in your mouth texture.  As if this weren’t tasty enough, I went ahead and made hollandaise sauce for it and paired it with potatoes…and bacon.  I know, it’s too much… But this is a special occasion meal.  Skip the sauce if you’re watching your diet, and pair your beef with some salad instead!

Back to the Hollandaise sauce, this time I made the easy blender version.  I found the recipe on The Joy of Cooking, and I don’t think I’ll make it the old fashioned way again!  (although my arm could use the workout)

Here are a few tips to guarantee success when cooking this delicious cut of beef:

  • When selecting tenderloin or filet mignon slices, choose the lighter colored ones over dark red. This indicates more marbling which makes it more tender.
  • This cut is so tender that it should never be cooked beyond a medium-rare stage. The longer you cook it, the less tender and more dry it becomes.
  • Use a dry, high heat method such as broiling, roasting, pan-frying or grilling for this tender cut.
  • Whole tenderloin is wonderful to stuff or bake en croute (in savory pastry).
  • Cutting into the meat to check doneness lets precious juice escape. Use the touch or finger test method. Press the meat. If it feels soft and mushy and leaves an imprint, it is rare. If it is soft, but slightly resilient, it is medium-rare. The minute it begins to feel firm, it is overdone.
  • Since the beef tenderloin has no surrounding fat tissue, it is often wrapped in a layer of fat (called barding) such as suet or bacon to keep it from drying out. Likewise with filet slices. The barding also adds flavor.
  • Cubed tenderloin is a popular choice for fondue hot-pots and shish-kebabs.
  • To ensure even cooking when roasting the whole tenderloin, the small end should be tucked up and tied or trimmed for other use.

Tips from http://homecooking.about.com


Filet Mignon with Hollandaise Sauce

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Freezer Method & Slow Cooking: Beef & Vegetable Goulash

Browsing through Pinterest (isn’t it addictive?!) I saw quite a few pins on slow cooking meals and frozen meals.  I could certainly use the help this stew freezer method of cooking brings to someone with a tight schedule, like me.  I tried a couple of recipes and let me tell you, this method IS a lifesaver.  And not only that, the recipes are really delicious. I wouldn’t do this every day, but I do like to prepare them at least once a week,  especially for my busiest day which is Monday.

First thing to do, is defrost your meat. I do that on Sunday, at noon. Prepare the recipe, which in my case, yields for two meals because you divide the whole thing into 2 resealable freezer bags and each bag is enough for 4 servings. Mark each bag with the cooking instructions (see my photo).  At night I throw all the ingredients from one of the bags into my slow cooker, I turn it on Low at about 10pm before I go to sleep, and on Monday morning my meal is ready. I can forget about it and not worry about how I’m going to squeeze in the time to make lunch between house duties, office duties, picking Kristen up from school and taking her to swim class.  (I have to get to all that before lunch time, which on Monday’s is at 2).  I know a lot of us have hectic days like those, so I hope you will give this method a try.

The key is to organize yourself.  Pick out at least 2 recipes and get the ingredients you need for one day of chopping and mixing. You’ll have a month’s worth of once a week freezer meals ready to help you out on your busiest days.


Freezer Method: Beef & Vegetable Goulash

Recipe adapted from Mama and Baby Love

Yields: 2 freezer bags, 4 serving each.

3 cups chopped onions
2 cups coarsely chopped green bell peppers.
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup of cooked peas (fresh or frozen)
2-3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into one inch cubes
2  500 gram cartons of crushed pureed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of  paprika
2  tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup of white wine

Note: When you’re ready to cook, and you have transferred your prepared meal to your slow cooker, add some fresh herbs: 1 bay leaf and 1 spring of thyme.


  1. Mix everything and divide  into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.
  2. Day of cooking, defrost your bag ahead of time. dump it into your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or low 6-8 hours, depending on your specific slow cooker.
  3. I make white rice to go with this, but cooked noodles are also a great choice.  You can add a little sour cream on top before serving.
  4. Enjoy!






TFK Grilled Cheeseburgers

It’s grilling season! This is a great opportunity for me to share our homemade grilled burger recipe with you.  We got together with our group of friends to take advantage of the beautiful weather we had been having in Guatemala before the rainy season began, one of them – Felipe- has a great little grill in his backyard so it was the perfect setting. Friends, food, sun, beer. Plus, I would get to try out the recipes from my new cookbook : Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries and Shakes.
It rained.

To entertain ourselves while the rain passed, we had a few beers and a couple of drinks…or more, and listened to music. Fortunately, the rain did pass (as well as the afternoon) and we headed outside to start grilling our prepared burger patties and vegetables. I don’t have a lot of pics like we normally do for our posts, I couldn’t get a good photo of food outdoors and at night!

Anyway, the recipe I chose for the burger patties ended up being a mixture of Bobby Flay’s tips and Saveur’s hamburger edition ingredient recommendations. I added some bread crumbs, an egg, worcestershire sauce and a few spices to my ground beef and ground pork mixture.   I made a 70% beef – 30% pork combination for my patties, I just like the flavor the burgers get from pork.  And also, I didn’t get lean beef. I bought 80% ground beef.  When you’re grilling, you want a little fat in there for flavor.  We used a lot of additions for this, which… not to toot our own horns, but we assembled a damn good burger.  It had caramelized onions (thanks, Edith!), bacon, pickles, chipotle mayonnaise, a choice of monterrey jack or swiss cheese, the works!

So gather your family or friends and heat up the grill!  You’ll have a great time and I guarantee everyone will love them.  We served them with oven roasted fries and to finish it off, we treated our friends with Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Poptails.


TFK Grilled Cheeseburgers

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay and Saveur
Yields: 5  hamburgers (almost 6 oz each)


 2 lbs ground beef (you can mix 1 1/2 lb beef and 1/2 lb ground pork)
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 egg lightly beaten
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of herbed bread crumbs

5 Hamburger buns

Romaine lettuce
Tomatoes, thinly sliced
Swiss Cheese, sliced
Monterrey Jack Cheese, sliced
Caramelized Onions
Crisp Bacon strips
Pickles, sliced
Chipotle Mayonnaise
Dijon mustard


  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together.  Don’t overwork the meat, mix everything until it is well combined. (If you pack the meat too much and overwork it, it can cause the burger to become mealy and overly dense.
  2. Divide meat into 5 equal pieces.  You can use a scale to make sure you have an average of 6 oz patties.  I find that 8oz is a bit too much, but it’s up to you. If you prefer a thicker patty, go for 8oz.   Also, be aware of the circumference of your bun. The burgers will shrink a little while cooking.
  3. Thick burger patties tend to puff up in the middle while they cook.  Making a depression in the top of the patty using the back of a measuring spoon helps the burger hold its shape.
  4. You can prepare the meat patties ahead of time, by stacking them between pieces of wax paper.  Keep refrigerated and well sealed up to one day.
  5. When grilling time comes: Heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.  Brush the burgers with oil.  Grill them until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes.  Flip the burgers over.  Cook until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, about 4 minutes for medium rare.

For Assembly:

  1. Lightly brown the sides of the hamburger buns, which will help them from getting soggy.
  2. I have a system for assembling my hamburgers to help them from falling apart:  The first thing that goes on the bread are 2 lettuce leaves, then the hamburger patty, followed by your choice of cheese, tomato, bacon, caramelized onions and pickles.  I prefer to squeeze mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard right on top instead of spreading it on the top bun.
  3. Devour.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!