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Daddy’s Day 2012 – The Feast

Big Ol’ Daddy’s Day Feast 2012

Okay, so the votes have been tabulated and the “Big Ol’ Daddy’s Day Feast 2012” is planned, prepped, and will soon be an epic event…one for the record books.

Thanks to everyone who helped make suggestions for the grand event. Your thoughts, input, and suggestions were all taken to heart. Here we go…

– Jalapeno Poppers

Main Course:
– Ribeye Steaks
– Asparagus
– Potatoes

– Garlic French Bread
– Sautéed Mushrooms

WoW! That sounds so completely and totally UNinteresting, if I do say so myself. If you haven’t been completely bored to point of narcolepsy, and are still reading, let’s try this again…using the same ingredients, but trying to be a little more descriptive…

Bacon Wrapped / Crab Stuffed Jalapenos
– Stuffed with a blend of Queso and cream cheeses, crab meat, cracked black pepper and smoked paprika, then grilled to excellence.

Main Course:
Sweet Balsamic Glazed Ribeye Steaks
– Marinated and char-grilled to perfection. Drizzled with a honey and balsamic reduction.

Bacon Wrapped Petite Asparagus
– Tender Asparagus bundles wrapped in hickory smoked bacon, brushed with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, grilled then seasoned with cracked black pepper and truffle salt.

Smash Baked Potatoes
– Baked whole then smashed, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, then grilled until outside is slightly crisp. Seasoned with cracked pepper mélange and sea salt with a dollup of sour cream.

Whole Wheat Garlic Parmesan French Bread
– A split loaf covered with a delicious compound butter of roasted garlic, grated parmesan cheese and scallions. Toasted on the grill.

Sautéed Baby Bella Mushrooms
– Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms sautéed in unsalted butter, minced garlic and a dash of sweet red wine. Served both on the side and over the steaks.

Daddy's Day 2012 Feast

Whew! Hopefully THAT description was a little better. Even with my A.D.D. it was more fun to type, because it was a closer example of how it tasted.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say, since not everyone in the Rhino Domain enjoys this kind of menu, a request was put in for grilled cheese burgers too. Because it is a Big Ol’ Daddy’s Feast, I couldn’t very well just toss a couple of preformed patties on the grill. Nope, this is a special day where I get to go the extra mile to thank my family for putting up with me as a daddy and husband. Anyway, here’s what we did for burgers…

Cheese Burger - Rhino Style

Each burger started with a juicy 80/20 Ground Chuck, mixed with crumbled Queso Cheese, seasoned with a sea salt and black pepper blend, then grilled to liking of each critter*. (Here’s where it gets good) Nestled between a buttered/grilled, corn meal dusted bun, then topped with Colby Jack Cheese, sliced tomato,  hickory smoked bacon, sautéed Baby Bella Mushrooms.

4/5ths of the reason for being.

I am not bragging, but would like to say in a most humble mindset, I am truly blessed to have a beautiful bride who tolerates me, and four incredible children who, despite my short falls and sometimes quick temper, seem to love and appreciate me. This is certainly an epic Daddy’s Day. I appreciate being able to spend time with them and cook for them (even though they don’t always like my ‘creations’), and have a career that allows me to spend time with them.

After all, who says Daddy’s Day is just about celebrating dear old dad? I believe it should be a day where dad gets to show appreciation for having a family. For without them, I would not, and could not, be the person I am. May God bless them with health and happiness throughout their lives.

*I am not referring to scurrying animals, rather ‘critter’ in this sense is an endearing term I often use for my children.

Boeff Tenderloin

Okay, today is an odd day. The planets must be aligned just so, because I am making double post.

Dinner tonight was just tooooo-o-o-oooo good to not post. It was ‘made-my-own’ from a recipe that I found on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. Yes I am a dude and I use Pinterest. I’m comfortable in my own skin. Judging me is fruitless, so here we go.

Without getting into an enormous back story of how I got this Choice Beef Tenderloin for only $2.79/pound, I will say that I have been dry aging this amazingly tender piece of meat for more than 3 weeks. This was the first time I have tried aging a tenderloin, but must admit, it had the most amazingly intense ‘beefy’ flavor I have ever had, outside of a very high end chophouse.

While bringing the tenderloin to room temperature, I assembled the lemon/garlic butter as so: Start with one stick  of softened real (salt free) butter. Add a couple pinches of sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, cracked pepper to taste, 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest, and a pinch of minced thyme and rosemary. Blend together well; place on a piece of plastic cling wrap, fold over the wrap to cover and shape the butter into a log. Roll the butter up in the wrap and place in freezer to firm up while you move on to the sauce and grilling.

The succulent tenderloin is still resting at room temperature, but not quite ready, so next came the sauce as so (in rough measurements): 1 cup of beef broth, 2 cups of White Zin Whine, 1/4 cup low sodium Soy Sauce, and about 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Tossed all into a very wide, high sided skillet, brought it to a boil over Medium/High Heat, and reduced it to about 1/2 cup…almost syrupy, but not quite. This produced an insanely savory and delicious sauce that was drizzled over the finished entree.

Before moving on the the meat, it’s still resting and warming to room temperature and doing just fine, I HAD to add some sauteed mushrooms to the mix. One of my favorite things of all time happens to be the splendiferous pairing of sauteed mushrooms and perfectly cooked beef. This tenderlion screamed for something more than the usual button mushrooms. I still had two Portabello ‘shrooms left over from lunch, so that’s what made it’s way to the skillet on Medium/High heat.

SPOILER ALERT: UNHEALTHY (BUT TASTY) INGREDIENT IS ABOUT TO BE USED. I added about 3 tablespoons of BACON JUICE to the still hot, extra large skillet, used for the sauce. After slicing up the ‘shrooms, tossed them into the pan to begin softening and soaking up all the bacony goodness. At the point when the ‘shrooms began to soften, I added in about a cup of the White Zin wine from the previously opened bottle. This cooked long enough for the liquid in the pan to evaporate. I then moved the ‘shrooms to an oven safe dish and place in the oven at 170* to keep them warm while I moved to the main event…the meat.

Aside from trimming out, and hog tying the Beef Tenderloin, the most time consuming steps are now out of the way. Whew! Let’s cook some meat!

Now that the ever-so-loverly beef tenderloin has warmed to near room temperature, I added about 2 MORE tablespoons of the BACON JUICE to the still hot, extra large skillet on Medium/High heat. After the BACON JUICE re-liquified (and it will not take long), I sprinkled the entire roast with Truffle Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, then carefully placed the tenderloin in to sear each of the 4 sides for about 60-90 seconds per side. Since I had already fired up the gas grill to finish the cooking process, I guess I could have used it to sear the meat, but the BACON JUICE would have been useless, and let’s face it, wasted BACON JUICE should be a crime. Okay, back on track. After searing the tenderloin in the skillet, I took it to the now rocket hot grill and placed in the middle of the rack. The way my gasser is built, there are 3 long burners. I turned the middle one off so that finishing the meat on the grill, with it in the middle, would be more indirect without further searing. I left the other 2 burners on HIGH heat and closed the lid to cook the meat for about 5 minutes…the temp of the grill was about 750*F. At that point, I turned the burners to LOW, rolled the beautiful roast while keeping it in the middle of the grill, closed the lid and cooked for another 5 minutes with the lid closed. Again visiting the grill, I rotated the beef yet again, closed the lid and, you guessed it, cooked it another 5 minutes.

For me, I like beef tenderloin medium rare AT MOST. After 15 minutes on the grill, it was time to remove the roast back to the kitchen. I simply kept it on the cutting board and allowed it to rest for about 5 minutes. During this ‘resting’ phase (trust me you do not want to skip this phase), I turned the oven off (remember the ‘shrooms are in there keeping happy), and warmed the sauce. After resting, I sliced the tenderloin to 1/2 inch slices, drizzled the sauce over the top, removed the lemon/garlic butter from the fridge and sliced off a few thin coins, and placed them on top to melt down.

Here’s what we had…

Please believe me when I say, this was THE best beef tenderloin I have ever tasted. So good, in fact, that my lovely daughter (who only eats meat in the form of chicken tenders) tried it and asked for seconds! I am such a proud papa!

I’m sure part of the awesomeness of flavor came from the extensive dry aging of the beef, but the earthyness of the mushrooms and the intensity of the sauce really added pop to this dish.

We stuffed ourselves, but had plenty of the steak left over to ensure tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch will be amazing.

English Muffin Salmon Bfast

Simple. Delicious. Simply Delicious.

Was looking for something quick and easy (tends to be a theme in the life of the Rhino Crew) for breakfast. Opened the fridge and viola! Inspiration!

Thomas English Muffin, split in half and toasted; Novia Scotia Salmon, pre-packaged for instant gratification; Fresh Egg from Jourdan Acres…yeah, livin’ large is how I roll.

So there’s nothing complicated about this recipe. Simplicity is key but flavor is huge.

Here are the stars of the show…

Stars of the English Muffin Salmon Bfast

Toast the Thomas English Muffin (I am big fan of English Muffins, but not all brands are created equal. I like this brand for the light & fluffy texture and, of course, the nooks and crannies); Lightly butter. In the mean time, hard fry the egg in a dab of extra virgin olive oil. Season with cracked black pepper and truffle salt.

English Muffin Salmon Breakfast Sandwhich

Okay, the truffle salt is a little indulgent, but so worth the money. I don’t use it all the time, but really enjoy the pungent aroma and nutty flavor. Otherwise I am a proponent of sea salt.

Bon Appetit!

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