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  • Doug Ferguson 6:04 pm on February 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Super Bowl Preparedness – “The Best Steak Nachos” 

    I know that’s a bold statement, as I’m sure a lot of you have recipes and techniques for making a killer plate of nachos.  But if you look closely at the headline you’ll see I put that in quotes.  Meaning, I’m just quoting my neighbors.  Well, just one neighbor, but still, they’re pretty bangin’.  Give them a whirl this Super Bowl and tell me I’m crazy.

    We in the Northeast have been having an incredibly mild winter so far.  I mean it’s 60 degrees right now in New York and it’s February.  So, what the heck, fire up that grill!

    The key: Don’t do the traditional TGI Fridays move by taking a big mound of chips on a plate and then throwing loads of goopy topping on top.  What always happens is you get a bunch of overloaded, soggy chips on top and naked chips on the bottom.  Very unsatisfying.  No, when you’re making steak nachos, take the time to build each nacho into the perfect bite.  Your guests will be impressed.

    I start with two skirt steaks and throw them into a large ziplock.  Then I make the marinade.  I have a few variations on my skirt steak marinade, this one has more of a Tex-Mex vibe for obvious reasons.

    Mexican Skirt Steak Marinade:

    • 3/4 cups soy sauce
    • 1/4 olive oil
    • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • juice of a lime
    • half bottle of Tabsco Chipotle hot sauce
    • tbsp Cumin
    • 1/2 tbsp mexican oregano
    • two shallots or 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
    • salt and pepper  (at least 5 grinds of coarse black pepper)

    Secure the ziplock and shake it all around to completely mix and cover the steak with all the ingredients.  Place in a casserole dish in case it leaks and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour.

    Remove from ziplock and Grill to medium.  Something magic happens with the Soy and the Red Wine Vinegar.  I high flame will start to caramelize it and the results is pure magix.

    Slicing tip:  Slice the pieces crossway, meaning with the grain, so that you have a bunch 3 inch pieces.  Then take those three-inch-long pieces and slice them, fairly thin, AGAINST the grain.  You should have perfectly tender and perfectly sized pieces of steak, ready for tortilla toasting.

    Grate some cheese.  I like to do a mix of orange and white, sharp cheddar.

    Lay out your tortillas (no broken, wimpy chips allowed) across two cookie sheets.  Layer with a piece of steak, a large pinch of grated cheese, a jalapeno and a black olive.  I mix it up in places and leave off the jalapenos on some for the kids and double down for… well, me.

    Cook in a pre-heated, 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Keep an eye on it.  They can burn easily.  If you can time it so they’re perfectly gooey and the chips are a little toasted/browned at the corners, well then you’re just money.

    Serve with a nice selection of hot sauces, lime wedges, sour cream and guacamole.

    Crunch. Yum.

    Thumbs up!  We’re Jets fans but we’ll be rooting for Big Blue this Sunday!

     
  • Doug Ferguson 2:06 pm on August 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Lobster Roll Recipe Challenge – Ed’s Lobster Bar vs. Luke’s Lobster 

    Who doesn’t love a good Lobster Roll?  Friends of ours apparently!!

    I won’t name names but [JONATHAN AND MADELINE!]  we had some friends over a few weekends ago and I had just bought a ton of lobster to do a blog post I had been waiting all Summer to do.

    “So, guess what we’re having?” I said waiting for them to leap with joy.  “Lobster Rolls!”

    A grimace and a “yeesh” later.  “We don’t eat seafood.”    Ugh.

    Well, serves us right for not knowing our guests better and not checking on food likes/dislikes/allergies/etc.  Do that next time you prepare a meal for friends.  The big reveal moment is not worth it.    Plus, our friends are so awesome and fun we have to give them a pass [JONATHAN AND MADELINE!] .

    It ended up working out fine too because Beth’s brother was coming over to babysit that night and was blown away at how thoughtful we were for making him Lobster rolls and treating him like a king.  ; )

    So last weekend we had a do-over.  We called up Colin and Christina the day before our scheduled playdate/lunch and asked if they were cool with Lobster Rolls.

    “Of course!” replied Christina, “Who doesn’t like Lobster Rolls?!”   Seriously, she said that.

    Danielle and George joined us and the tasting panel was assembled.  The challenge?

    Ed’s Lobster Bar vs Luke’s Lobster

    If you’re not familiar with these New York Lobster establishments they are two of the most talked about, blogged about, tweeterbooked about Lobster Roll joints in New York City with two, distinctly different styles.

    As an American who grew up in Nova Scotia I consider myself more than qualified to prepare these two different styles of Lobster Roll and judge which one, traditionalism aside, simply tastes better.

    Ed’s Lobster Roll is the Lobster Roll I grew up on.  The Lobster is dressed with Hellman’s mayo, Lemon Juice, Salt + Pepper and then mixed with finely diced celery and topped with minced chives.  Ed has generously posted his exact recipe on his blog.

    Luke’s Lobster Roll is different, tactically speaking.  He’s been interviewed a number of times talking about how bummed he was when he moved to New York and could only find Lobster Rolls drenched in Mayonnaise.  He spreads a thin layer of mayo on the bottom of the top-split hot dog roll and then adds straight up, naked Maine lobster.  It’s then topped with melted butter and spices, primarily celery salt.

    I prepared two, half lobster rolls, representing each style, for my guests to taste.

    After the obligatory: “Ooh this is so awesome”, “Yummy”, etc. my panelists got down to the business of judging which style tasted better.

    As far as the results go, it wasn’t even close.  Sorry Ed, you seem like an awesome guy and I really tried to represent you properly, but Luke’s style won out 6 – 0.

    Christina:  “They’re both good but the melted butter just showcases the lobster better”.

    Colin:  “Dude, not even close.  Luke’s all the way.”

    George:  “I can’t tell yet, can I have seconds?”

    Danielle:  “This is delicious.  You go Dougie Fresh.  Style?  What do you mean?  Oh, is this for your goofy blog?  Okay then, the one with the butter is better.”

    Beth:  “I really like the crunch of the celery in Ed’s.  I miss it when I bite into Luke’s but overall Luke’s just tastes better.  Next time you make them, make ‘em in Luke’s style but add some celery.”

    Coming Soon:  Beth’s Lobster Bar

    p.s.  Be sure to check out the SlideShow below to see Christina’s awesome homemade ice-cream too.  Sooo good!

     ::: SBCB SlideShow - Lobster Roll Recipe Challenge – Ed’s Lobster Bar vs. Luke’s Lobster :::

    Videos:

    Luke on the Today show

    Ed on the Martha Stewart Show

     
  • Doug Ferguson 2:49 pm on September 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    8.4 Million New Yorkers Abandon the City 

    I’m not a crazy fan of the Onion like some, but this was pretty funny.

    “I always had this perverted sense of pride because I was managing to scrape by here,” said Brooklyn resident Andrew McQuade, who, after watching two subway rats gnawing on a third bloody rat carcass, finally determined that New York City was a giant sprawling cancer. “Well, fuck that. I don’t need to pay $2,000 a month to share a doghouse-sized apartment with some random Craigslist dipshit to prove my worth. I want to live like a goddamn human being.”

    I know it’s satire, but we really had a meltdown moment like that 5 years ago and have not spent one minute regretting our move the burbs.  “Work in the city, live in paradise.”  That’s our motto.

    Check out the full article here.  Happy Labor Day and look for Pizza and Grilling videos next week.

     
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