All posts by Dax Phillips

Grilled New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

Finally. Yes, finally we are back to a few good months of weather in Wisconsin. Let’s face it, this past winter was brutally long, and finally everything is blooming. The smell of late spring and summer is here, and well, it’s just plain awesome. It’s funny how something so simple that mother nature provides makes us all cheer up a bit.  With that said, it is also that time of year where grilling becomes part of the everyday ritual. Whether it is lunch during the weekend, or by default the dinner cooking method during the work week, my little grill is getting it’s workout week, especially during this long holiday weekend.

As I got the ‘house’ ready for the long weekend, meaning, cut the grass, plant the vegetable garden, etc, I was really hungry and I knew I was going to want to fill up on a good meal. So with that said, about 80% through my cutting of the grass, I lit some coals in my charcoal chimney starter, and took a small break to season a New York strip, generously with salt on both sides, and cracked black pepper on the other. Then I thought, after having a recent conversation with a friend regarding morel mushrooms, that I would throw together a bit of blue cheese butter. Yes, blue cheese, and butter are amazing with steak if you have never had it, now then, please try.

New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

After I cut the grass, the coals were finally heated, and so I placed the grate onto the grill, cleaned it, heated it, and got pretty darn excited for lunch. Steak for lunch? Hell yes. It wasn’t that I was so excited as the steak, as it was for the blue cheese butter. Trust me.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 New York Strip, to your liking
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 tsp chopped chives

That’s it. And TRUST me, the combination is out of this world.

Start by seasoning both sides of your steak with salt. Pat it into the steak. Season one side with the cracked black pepper. Let this sit on the counter, at room temperature for about 30 minutes. During this time, heat you grill. I always prefer charcoal, but do what you want on this step.

Take the butter and add it to a small bowl. Add the blue cheese, and chives. Mix well and set inside the refrigerator to cool.

How to make New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

Once the grill is preheated, clean your grates, then take the steak, and place onto direct heat, cracked pepper side down. Sear the steak for about 4 minutes.

Turn, and cook until your desired tenderness. I go medium, to medium-rare nowadays.

Remove from the grill, and place onto your serving dish. Top with the blue cheese butter, and gently spread onto the top before slicing into it.

Yes, this is what I had for  lunch, and after 3 hours of working outdoors, it was well deserved.

The result is a perfect flavor combination. My brother-n-law turned me onto the blue cheese and steak combination years ago, and to this day, it’s one of my favorites. As much as I love cooked mushrooms with my steak, this one tops it. The grilled New York Strip with blue cheese butter has this creaminess, along with that great kick from the blue cheese that will just blow your mind. Trust me, it’s a good one. Hope you enjoy!

Curried Quinoa

I’ll let you know right off the bat that I’m still not a serious fan of quinoa. I’ve tried, and I keep trying, and I think I finally have found my flavor that impacts quinoa, so much as that I ate it for like three days straight. Yup, I said it, three days straight. Quinoa. You have probably seen the commercial from Budweiser, it’s funny, and it kind of sums up the idea of quinoa in my opinion. Quinoa has been a buzz for some time now, and it probably makes sense. It’s good for you, hands down, but simply made, it is bland, and can be a bit bitter if you don’t prepare it correctly.  Well, I had to change all of this, and make quinoa taste good, and well, feel good.

Curried Quinoa

I’ve lately become somewhat addicted to Indian spices and recipes, probably as much as I have been with Thai and Vietnamese recipes. Let’s get started on this simple dish that explodes in flavor, and heck great for you to boot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 3 times
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger/garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Salt, additional for taste

Start by adding the quinoa, salt, and water to a pot. Bring to a medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and cook for about 25 minutes, until light and fluffy.

During this time, add the oil to a skillet and bring to medium heat.

Toss cumin and coriander seeds. Cook for a few minutes. Then toss in the onions, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions have sweated.

How to make curried quinoa

Add the onion mixture to the cooked quinoa and give a nice stir until everything has been incorporated.

Taste and season with additional salt.

Dig in. The quinoa, as good as it naturally is, is elevated by great curry flavors. So much that it reminds me of tabouleh or something along those lines, but enhanced by earthy and spice that really just brings you back for more. Yes, for more, and that’s not a bad thing as everything is really good for you in this dish. Like quinoa? Give this a shot. Hope you enjoy.

Loaded Breakfast Stromboli

This past week, a couple of my colleagues and I took a nice long walk to a local pizza place that we love near work. Sal’s Pizza to be exact. We typically head there for a slice (or two), but on occasion we will take on one of their stromboli’s. These things are awesome, and they make a really great stromboli. I’ll admit theirs can probably feed a family of three, and you can load it how you want it. The result is a perfectly crisp and garlic butter exterior, loaded with your favorite pizza toppings, and then a bowl of marinara served on the side. It’s genius, and I love them.  But that got me thinking, while conversing with my coworkers, and the topic came about regarding the endless stuffing’s you could come up with, and that led me to making a loaded breakfast stromboli.

Loaded Breakfast Stromboli

I’m a big fan of utilizing leftovers so this breakfast stromboli was right up my alley. You can use whatever ingredients you desire that you love for breakfast, but here was my take as I had plenty of things just laying around waiting on me.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the Pizza Dough:

  • 3 3/4 cup of bread flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 plus a pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups of room temperature water

Make the dough by adding the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix. Add the water, and with your wooden spoons, or hands, mix until blended. I use my KitchenAid for this process to keep everything in the bowl during the rising process. Mix for about 30 seconds. The dough should be a bit stiff. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked steak, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole serrano chili, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked asparagus, chopped
  • 1 yukon gold potato, cubed, and cooked until tender
  • 1/2 cup corn, cooked
  • 1/2 cup of sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite marinara
  • Grated parmesan cheese, optional

Again, use what you want. Much of this was from the previous night’s dinner, with the exception of the potato and eggs, so it was pretty much a throw together for me.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, with pizza stone if you have one, otherwise a pizza pan, or cooking sheet.

Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Add in the oil, bring to temperature, then toss in the onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir, then toss in the mushrooms, potatoes, corn, asparagus, eggs, and steak. Season with the salt and pepper, add the cheese, and reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, just to warm things through.

How to make a loaded breakfast stromboli

Add the butter, and garlic powder to a small bowl. Heat until melted. Toss in the parsley and set aside.

Lightly sprinkle a work surface with some bread flour, or all purpose flour.

Next, take about half of the batch of pizza dough, and work your dough on the surface, making about a 12 inch diameter. Add the toppings onto the middle, and spread out a bit, only to leave some room for folding and sealing.  Seal all edges, slide onto the pizza stone, then liberally brush with the garlic butter.

Place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, shower with parmesan cheese, and serve with a small bowl of marinara.

The result is awesome. This is a gut buster so be ready to share with hungry kids. You get the great smell off the bat from that garlic butter, and when sliced into you get all sorts of great textures from the soft potatoes to the slight bite from the peppers, steak, and onion. If you are looking for something new and fun to make for breakfast or brunch, give this a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Loaded Breakfast Stromboli
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the Pizza Dough:
  • 3¾ cup of bread flour
  • 2½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ tsp table salt
  • ¾ plus a pinch of sugar
  • 1⅓ cups of room temperature water
  • Ingredients for the stuffing:
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • ½ cup of onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked steak, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole serrano chili, chopped
  • ½ cup cooked asparagus, chopped
  • 1 yukon gold potato, cubed, and cooked until tender
  • ½ cup corn, cooked
  • ½ cup of sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup grated cheese
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • ½ cup of your favorite marinara
  • Grated parmesan cheese, optional
Instructions
  1. Make the dough by adding the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix. Add the water, and with your wooden spoons, or hands, mix until blended. I use my KitchenAid for this process to keep everything in the bowl during the rising process. Mix for about 30 seconds. The dough should be a bit stiff. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  2. Again, use what you want. Much of this was from the previous night’s dinner, with the exception of the potato and eggs, so it was pretty much a throw together for me.
  3. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, with pizza stone if you have one, otherwise a pizza pan, or cooking sheet.
  4. Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Add in the oil, bring to temperature, then toss in the onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir, then toss in the mushrooms, potatoes, corn, asparagus, eggs, and steak. Season with the salt and pepper, add the cheese, and reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, just to warm things through.
  5. Add the butter, and garlic powder to a small bowl. Heat until melted. Toss in the parsley and set aside.
  6. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with some bread flour, or all purpose flour.
  7. Next, take about half of the batch of pizza dough, and work your dough on the surface, making about a 12 inch diameter. Add the toppings onto the middle, and spread out a bit, only to leave some room for folding and sealing. Seal all edges, slide onto the pizza stone, then liberally brush with the garlic butter.
  8. Place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, shower with parmesan cheese, and serve with a small bowl of marinara.
  9. The result is awesome. This is a gut buster so be ready to share with hungry kids. You get the great smell off the bat from that garlic butter, and when sliced into you get all sorts of great textures from the soft potatoes to the slight bite from the peppers, steak, and onion. If you are looking for something new and fun to make for breakfast or brunch, give this a shot. Hope you enjoy!

 

Mixed Berry Yogurt Pops

Since January, I have been on a morning juice kick. I love it, to be honest with you, and my morning commute seems a bit incomplete if I go without one. I’m jamming mixed berries, grapefruit, ginger, and spinach and kale into the juicer, and suck it down on the way to work. Let’s just say I feel really good, and have improved energy. With that said, I thought that I would utilize whole berries and make something with my daughter, who by the way not only loves berries but wants to be creative in the kitchen. This is when I thought of making mixed berry yogurt pops. Did I mention she also loves fruit flavored yogurt?

I ordered some Tovolo Groovy Ice Pop Molds not too long ago with anticipation that my kids would love concocting some sort mixture to go in the molds. My daughter was the first to take a go at them (actually I asked if she wanted to help me), and we were both excited for the outcome.

Mixed Berry Yogurt Pops

Got berries, or mixed fruit and yogurt for that matter? Make these. Trust me. You will love them.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (non Greek)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of blackberries
  • ice pop molds

This is way too easy, so enjoy.

Start by adding the sugar, yogurt, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Mix to dissolve the sugar.

Add in the berries.

Using a ladle, pour into the molds.

How to make mixed berry yogurt pops

Add the cover to the molds, and carefully place on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for 6 hours.

When ready to eat one (or two), remove  a pop from the base, and run the exterior under warm water for about 30 seconds, or until the mixed berry yogurt pop comes out of the mold.

The result is a perfect treat. It’s sweet, it’s sour, and you get great hunks of berry. My daughter only got about half way through hers before she put it back in the freezer, while my wife and I enjoyed one later that night. They were really refreshing, and pretty much good for you to boot. Hope you enjoy!

Mixed Berry Yogurt Pops
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups plain yogurt (non Greek)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup of black berries
  • ice pop molds
Instructions
  1. This is way too easy, so enjoy.
  2. Start by adding the sugar, yogurt, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Mix to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add in the berries.
  4. Using a ladle, pour into the molds.
  5. Add the cover to the molds, and carefully place on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for 6 hours.
  6. When ready to eat one (or two), remove a pop from the base, and run the exterior under warm water for about 30 seconds, or until the mixed berry yogurt pop comes out of the mold.
  7. The result is a perfect treat. It’s sweet, it’s sour, and you get great hunks of berry. My daughter only got about half way through hers before she put it back in the freezer, while my wife and I enjoyed one later that night. They were really refreshing, and pretty much good for you to boot. Hope you enjoy!