Steak Tartare

I’ve been making steak tartare for about six months now and my favorite recipe is below. A grinder makes it easy and pretty but it can also be sliced thinly with a sharp knife. The most recent serving (pictured) was for a holiday event and so delivered on toast points. But it’s hard to savor the beef and especially the egg that way so consider arranging the toast points to the side or even omitting them. The tartare and egg can then be mixed to taste and spread if desired.

Steak Tartare

1/2 pound ground raw beef filet. (Repudible purveyor, purchased uncut/unground)
1 TBSP capers, finely chopped
1 TBSP brown Mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp lemon juice
2 TBSP onion, finely chopped
1 TBSP chives, finely chopped
2 TBSP finely chopped parsley or favorite herbs
2 Farm fresh eggs or quail eggs (yolks only)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Remove beef from refrigeration, leave covered.
Prepare other ingredients in bowl.
Grind or cut beef, add to bowl, fold together gently.
Form into disks with a center depression for egg yolks.

The ChicDuckHen

Here are the tribulations of the likely certainly too-ambitious process of making a Chicken / Duck / Cornish Game Hen recursively stuffed bird. Why? A TurDuckEn is great but also huge. This should be more suited for a smaller group. Also any excuse to enjoy a game hen is a good one.

There is a good resource for de-boning a bird here. I followed it for the most part but made the cardinal sin of tearing and puncturing the skin slightly which risks losing juices during the cooking. I think next time I’ll be less focused on rolling the bird inside out “like a sock.” I ended up making more surgical-like cuts internally to remove the bones from the meat and skin vs. trying to peel these back off the ribcage.

Chicken is a bit ordinary so I’ll marinate this one in a tart cherry and cranberry sauce for 24 hours. Maybe we’ll get some holiday red to go along with the green center of rosemary, parsley, Basil, sourdough stuffing planned…..

Click for all the pics.......

Click for all the pics.......

The problem was that I tried to cook it too quickly and this along with my error above tearing the skin caused the top to dry and split.  While this may sound esoteric, we could really taste the difference in the moistness of the birds inside.  It was edible but not nearly as good as the Turducken we bought for Thanksgiving.  It cost about half as much to make it than to buy it but that is still about $40.  Plus the prep is a pretty intense time commitment of about 4 hours.  Lastly, I consider myself a carnivore to the end but the process of de-boning birds tested this.  It is definitely not for the squeamish and had me considering a vegan sabbatical happy-place during the process.  It will be a while before I try again.

Click for all the pics.......

Click for all the pics.......

Simple Queso

As you probably know, I’m an avid foodie, but I also have that pesky career which takes up quite a bit of my time.  I’ll occasionally commit time to roasting peppers or experimenting with a dozen new ingredients to spice up my queso.  There isn’t always time available though so shortcuts have a place in my kitchen and and this 3 ingredient queso is a nice example. 

Simple Queso

Yellow Onion
Jalapeno Peppers

This can be as simple as melting the cheese on the stove top, adding the chopped onion and jalapenos, and letting it simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.  I recommend this vs. a microwave because the time in the saucepan will allow the flavor to blend.  The jalepenos can be canned or fresh.  You can add a bit of milk, water, or white wine to help thin the mixture to suit your taste.

If you can commit a second 5 minutes as I did in the picture, saute the fresh jalapenos and onion in the pan with a tablespoon of olive oil first until the onions have browned.  Then add the cheese.

Caesar Dressing

I made this egg-less caesar salad last night with grilled shrimp and romaine and enjoyed the dressing as much as the classic version. Plus, it’s easier and healthier. Original recipe from


1/2 cup olive oil
2 TSP red wine vinegar
2 TSP lemon juice
2 TSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP anchovy paste
1/4 TSP mustard powder
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 TBSP Yogurt (fat free, plain)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Garbonzo Spinach Salad

Thanks to Melissa for this gem:

There are lots of recipes for garbanzo/spinach tapas; most omit the bacon and shallot, some omit the red pepper, and some add sherry vinegar or lemon juice.  Mine was:

3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 or 2 tablespoons shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch smoked Spanish paprika
10 oz raw spinach

Half-cook the bacon.  Depending on how much bacon fat you’ve got, add 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add chickpeas, bell pepper, shallot, and garlic and saute until the chickpeas start browning, maybe 5 or 10 minutes.  Add paprika and stir in spinach until it’s wilted, 2 minutes or so.