Steak Out
September 4, 2010, 9:37 am
Filed under: Food, Kitchen | Tags: ,

Growing up, Saturday nights in the summer meant one thing: Dad searing a chuck steak on the grill.   And not just any marinade would do.  It had to be the one below.  The smell of this marinade causes serious olfactory deja-vu for me.   And the best part is, if you reheat the marinade it makes a great steak sauce.

The cut of steak is also important for my deja-vu’ing.   It must be what is known as a “7 bone steak” to trigger the memories. Mom bought it back then because it was cheap.  We buy it now because we like it.  The 7 bone steak is not named this because it has 7 bones but, because one of the bones in it resmbles a “7”.  Mmm-kay.  If you say so.  But the great thing about this steak is that it gives you a bit of many different cuts and great flavor to boot.  It may be a bit chewier than other cuts but the flavor is worth it. 

The marinade/sauce will work on other cuts of steak.  If you must.

Saturday Night Chuck Steak Marinade 

2/3 cup catsup

½ cup water

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tsp. celery seed

1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. Tabasco sauce

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. onion powder 

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Marinate a bone-in center cut chuck steak for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.  Remove steak and reserve marinade.  Grill!

Simmer reserved sauce for 5 minutes and either serve warm with steak or allow to cool.


April 7, 2010, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Food

Not sure why it had to be done but it has.  The NYT has combined all their Dining and Drinking blogs into one blog.  I only really read Bitten but now I will have to sift through the others to get to him.  I suppose I will check out the other posts but enjoyed the unfiltered variety of blog.

Melting Faces (and butter)
March 8, 2010, 7:12 am
Filed under: Food | Tags: , ,

Our current favorite band excels at face-melting bluegrass music.  But it turns out mandolin player Jeff Austin is also quite accomplished in the kitchen.  We should have known when we saw them last summer they talked about the great restaurant down the street from the venue.  A restaurant a friend had recomended to me and we passed up.  Just think!  We could have dined with the band!

Great interview on Epicurean Musician.

Lean Times
March 5, 2010, 2:08 am
Filed under: Food, Tomatoes | Tags: ,

The recent cold weather in Florida has caused a major shortage of tomatoes in the rest of the country.   This has caused some fast food restaurants to stop using tomatoes in their food unless specifically asked to.  Not that this is a bad thing based on how bad those tomatoes usually are.

On the bright side, I’ve ordered my seedlings rather than starting seeds this year.  With so many varities available as live plants it seemed like too much trouble to start my own.  But the snow had better melt soon as I asked for a “first half of April” delivery.

What was I thinking?

Pho Sure!
January 25, 2010, 6:44 am
Filed under: Food | Tags: ,

We were saddened last November when our favorite Vietnamese restaurant Little Saigon closed.  Great food, great Pho and really close by in Montclair. 

To our delight we received word last weekend that, as rumoured, they’ve reopened in nearby Nutley.   Same menu same smiling faces welcoming us.  For those of you who are nearby they’re at 358 Passic Ave in Nutley (sorry, no website).

And somehow in the process of figuring out where they were I stumbled upon this wonderful site:  Pho Fever.  Primo’s already got his eye on a “Pho Shizzle” t-shirt.

The Eternal Debate
May 22, 2009, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Food, Kitchen | Tags: ,

“Give me two bricks and an oven rack and some wood, and I’ll cook you a better steak than any expensive gas grill, hands down.  It might look good in your garden, it might be more convenient, it might impress your friends, but it’s not going to cook you a better steak.”

-Chris Schlesinger, Owner, East Coast Grill, Cambridge, MA


I take a pretty hard line when it comes to the debate of charcoal versus gas for grilling.  When someone tries to extol the benefits of gas to me I usually reply with a comment along the lines of  “If I wanted to cook with gas, I’d stay in my kitchen”  I took a class with Chris Schlesinger once, who, when asked about cooking times for a gas grill on whatever he was making replied: “I don’t know.  I don’t cook with gas.” 

 When I lived in an apartment and gas was all I could get away with, I used gas.  But ever since we moved into our current house, I have sneered at the gas-aholics whenever the subject came up.

Until a few summers ago.  That’s when after years of toiling in our non-centrally-air-conditioned kitchen I hit upon the idea of usuing a gas grill as a sort of “outdoor oven” to keep the heat down in the kitchen.  With a company awarded gift certificate we aquired a cheap s*#t gas model from Sears.  Since then we’ve baked bread, tarts, crumbles and roasted oven-dried tomatoes in the damn thing.  Between the heretic gas grill and the BGE, we rarely turn the kitchen oven on at all during July and August.

Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the summer grilling season, so I ask you, loyal readers to weigh in.  The gloves are off.  Which do you prefer?