Celebrate with Santa Monica Street Tacos

Nearly every site that tracks and promotes National Days tells us that tomorrow is National Taco Day. Yet there is one lone site that promotes Taco Day today. And not just any taco, but soft tacos. If you ask my guys, nearly every day should be taco day. And those that aren’t are pizza days.

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The Triumph of the All American Steak Burger

Four years ago, as we were wandering about the grocery store, I noticed a display for Sutter Homes Wine and their Build a Better Burger contest. Hum, I’ve never entered a contest before. I’ve never been brave enough to enter a recipe contest. Me? I’m just a home cook, nothing special. Yet I really wanted to be brave. What was the worst that could happen?

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Ground Steak Burgers Smothered in Brown Onion Gravy

Let’s start with one undeniable fact – you can’t have a Steak Burger without grinding up some steak. A steak that is well marbled. A steak that is easy to grind at home with the use of a food processor. While hunting through pictures of food for inspiration, I can across a recipe for Steak Burgers using ground beef. Ground Beef? Call it what you want, but what you’ve got with ground beef are Salisbury Steaks. That’s when I remembered how much we enjoy my gourmet steak burgers. These are burgers formed by grinding (or more precipice “chopping”) skirt steak with the use of a food processor fitted with a blade. Skirt Steaks are rich in deep beefy flavor, and naturally have the necessary balance of fat to meat ratio to bind into burgers without adding more fat to the mix. I like to grind skirt steaks for chilies or tacos. And it’s great as a starting point for Steak Burgers. Who knows, maybe next time I make my Salisbury Steaks, I’ll use chopped Skirt Steak instead of ground chuck.

Ground Steak Burgers Smothered in Brown Onion Gravy
Steak Burgers
1/2 cup milk
2 slices white bread
1 1/2 lb Skirt Steak, ground
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp. minced dry onion
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.

Pour the milk into a bowl. Tear bread into pieces and place in the bowl with the milk. Let soak for 5 minutes. While the bread is soaking, make the ground steak.

Cut skirt steak into manageable chunks. Place a blade in the food processor. “Grind” skirt steak in batches until the meat resembles coarse-ground meat.

Set aside until ready to use.

Beat egg with Worcestershire Sauce. Add dry onion to the egg, mix well

Pour egg mixture and milk mixture into bowl with ground steak.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Form meat mixture into four patties. Place on the baking sheet and bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

While the steak burgers cook, chop the onions for the gravy and set aside until ready to use.

Once the steak burgers have cooked, drain juice and fat from the pan. Cover to keep warm and let steak burgers rest while gravy is made.

Brown Onion Gravy
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Flour
16 oz Beef Stock

In a medium saucepan, melt butter with olive oil. Sauté chopped onions until tender golden in color.

Sprinkle with flour and continue to cook for about 2 more minutes or until everything has a nice, warm caramel-color.

Slowly pour beef stock into the saucepan, stirring constantly. Bring to a low boil, allow to thicken, then remove from heat.

Arrange the steak burgers on a rimmed serving platter. Pour onion gravy over steak burgers and serve.

This is delicious with mashed potatoes or wedged potatoes and steamed green beans.

Cozumel Inspired Crab-Stuffed Skirt Steak in a Chipotle Cream Sauce

Many years ago, while in Cozumel, I had the most delicious grilled beef roll filled with succulent crab and served with a spicy cream sauce. The flavors, the textures, sweet citrus and spicy hot chilies dancing about on my tongue was amazing. This was a dish I wanted to have again and again. The problem was, I didn’t have a recipe.

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