Category Archives: Grilling

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!

Thai Cucumber Salad

It’s official, it’s spring time in the United States! For you warmer climate states, that probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, but to us Northerners, it means a great deal. It’s the first time we can see our yards, granted they are littered with winter debris, and the color of brown grass is not appealing, but we will take what we can get! With spring time said, it is that time where the chili dishes take a step to the side, and where other brighter dishes take a step forward, for example, this dish, the Thai cucumber salad.

I’ve made this recipe numerous times and I’m surprised I have never posted on the matter, as after all this salad is bright, diverse, easy to make, and super delicious. Need I say more?

Thai Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole cucumber, partially peeled, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili sauce
  • Fresh mint leaves, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, optional
  • roasted peanuts, optional

Start by adding the sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat, add the chili sauce, and let cool.

How to make Thai Cucumber Salad

Once cooled, add the cucumbers and red onion to a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, and gently stir. Let this sit for about 30 minutes, or overnight.

When you are ready to serve, feel free to sprinkle with roasted peanuts and fresh herbs such as mint, or cilantro, however without these, this salad stands tall.

The great thing about this salad is that you can serve it with practically anything. It is really perfect as an accompaniment to pretty much everything. It’s flavors are sweet with just that subtle amount of heat from the chili sauce. You can use the cucumbers and onions on sandwiches, as a side to grilled meats for vegetables, on omelets, or what I did, and serve with a side of seared tuna.

However you decide to serve it, I’m certain you are going to love this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Cucumber Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole cucumber, partially peeled, sliced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili sauce
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat, add the chili sauce, and let cool.
  2. Once cooled, add the cucumbers and red onion to a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, and gently stir. Let this sit for about 30 minutes, or overnight.
  3. When you are ready to serve, feel free to sprinkle with roasted peanuts and fresh herbs such as mint, or cilantro, however without these, this salad stands tall.
  4. The great thing about this salad is that you can serve it with practically anything. It is really perfect as an accompaniment to pretty much everything. It’s flavors are sweet with just that subtle amount of heat from the chili sauce. You can use the cucumbers and onions on sandwiches, as a side to grilled meats for vegetables, on omelets, or what I did, and serve with a side of seared tuna.

 

Thai Three Sauce

I am a huge fan of great sauces, especially when it comes to Thai sauces. Examples being the Thai shallot sauce, Nam Prik Ong, and one of my favorite Vietnamese sauces, nuoc cham. One thing I love about these sauces is they all bring together the best of sweet, spicy, and sour, and to me those are just the right combination in flavors.

There is another sauce that in my opinion can be used on pretty much everything and it just explodes with flavor. It is know as Thai three sauce, and once tried, you will be totally hooked. I find myself actually taking small spoonfuls, yes eating it alone (as it is that good), and I find myself coming back for more. It’s addicting and could very well be one of my favorite sauces.

Thai Three Flavors Sauce

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 25 Thai Bird Chilies, red and green
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed
  • 1 cup of shallots
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup tamarind nectar
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Start by adding the chilies, garlic, shallots, and cilantro, along with half of the water into a food processor, and pulse down until you have an even, smooth consistency, no chunks.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add in the oil. Once heated, add in the chili mixture, and stir.

Add in your remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 25 minutes until it reduces a bit.

My wife told me to crank up the fans as she is not one for the smell of fish sauce, or even when vinegar is cooking on the stove, so it’s probably best to turn on the exhaust fan as after all, you are cooking with a lot of chilies and fish sauce. I don’t much mind the smell to be quiet honest with you, but it’s your call.

Thai Three Flavor Sauce

Let cool, then store in a seal tight container for up to several weeks. Trust me, it will not last that long as this stuff rocks.

I know it sounds like a lot of chili peppers, but trust me, the addition of the salty fish sauce, and balanced by both the brown and palm sugars, it is a perfect sweet heat. I actually had a spoonful this morning before putting some on my omelette.  This sauce goes extremely well with things like fried fish, eggs, or just as a condiment for things like french fries. Give a go at it, and let me know how you like it. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Three Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiments
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • 25 Thai Bird Chilies, red and green
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed
  • 1 cup of shallots
  • ¾ cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup tamarind nectar
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the chilies, garlic, shallots, and cilantro, along with half of the water into a food processor, and pulse down until you have an even, smooth consistency, no chunks.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add in the oil. Once heated, add in the chili mixture, and stir.
  3. Add in your remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 25 minutes until it reduces a bit.
  4. My wife told me to crank up the fans as she is not one for the smell of fish sauce, or even when vinegar is cooking on the stove, so it’s probably best to turn on the exhaust fan as after all, you are cooking with a lot of chilies and fish sauce. I don’t much mind the smell to be quiet honest with you, but it’s your call.
  5. Let cool, then store in a seal tight container for up to several weeks. Trust me, it will not last that long as this stuff rocks.
  6. I know it sounds like a lot of chili peppers, but trust me, the addition of the salty fish sauce, and balanced by both the brown and palm sugars, it is a perfect sweet heat. I actually had a spoonful this morning before putting some on my omelette. This sauce goes extremely well with things like fried fish, eggs, or just as a condiment for things like french fries. Give a go at it, and let me know how you like it. Hope you enjoy!

 

Thai Shallot Sauce

Many of us never think to serve grilled items with a dipping sauce. I know I never did until I experienced Thai food. It was then, and only then that I fell in love with how complex, yet so simple, the flavors became when dipping a bit of grilled beef into this Thai dipping sauce. It was also probably the first time I experienced fish sauce, otherwise known as nước mắm, nam pla, nam pa, or patis. I know at first thought you might be thinking, ‘gross, fish sauce?’. When introduced to the smell, you might back away, after all it is fermented fish, extracted to make what I think is such a great sauce. Any time I make sticky rice, or grilled beef focused around Thai flavors, I always make a sauce, either to be dipped into with the ball of great sticky rice, or a quick dip with a slice of beef. With that said, I wanted to steer a bit into a slightly different direction and make a slightly sweeter sauce, hence this Thai shallot sauce utilizing a bit of the toasted rice I recently made as well.

Thai Shallot Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp good quality fish sauce (I use Red Boat, or Three Crabs brand)
  • 1 tsp ground dried chili pepper
  • 1 tsp toasted rice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup of shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed toasted rice

Combine all of the ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust any more ingredients for flavor, more pepper if you want it spicier, or a bit more sugar if you want it a bit sweeter.

Serve this sauce as a side to any grilled beef, chicken, pork, or sticky rice.  The flavors of this is awesome. You get this sweet, tart, spicy note in every bite and it just has you coming back for more. If you are looking for a great dipping sauce, full of flavor, and one that will get you to experience fish sauce, this is the one. I hope you enjoy.

Thai Shallot Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp good quality fish sauce (I use Red Boat, or Three Crabs brand)
  • 1 tsp ground dried chili pepper
  • 1 tsp toasted rice
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • ½ cup of shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed toasted rice
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust any more ingredients for flavor, more pepper if you want it spicier, or a bit more sugar if you want it a bit sweeter.
  2. Serve this sauce as a side to any grilled beef, chicken, pork, or sticky rice. The flavors of this is awesome. You get this sweet, tart, spicy note in every bite and it just has you coming back for more. If you are looking for a great dipping sauce, full of flavor, and one that will get you to experience fish sauce, this is the one. I hope you enjoy.