Steak!

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Steak is the perfect meat for all occasions.  Grilling with the homies, throw on some steak.  Expensive dinner out, definitely get the steak.  Sitting at home alone on a Saturday, let a steak cheer you up!  Besides being delicious and juicy, steak is the most manly of meats and I’m pretty sure the Constitution declares it as the National Meat.  This is a fact supported by Wikipedia.  Ok, down to the cooking aspect of this shindig.  Steaks are surprisingly easy to cook, but, at the same time, they can be easily butchered.  The most common problems I see people run into when cooking steak is overcooking the meat or overcooking the outside while not cooking the inside, this is called black and blue.  I like my steaks medium rare so I say, when in doubt, pull it off the heat, but that’s just me.  The best way to cook a steak is on the grill.  It is important to do two things before grilling, preheat and oil.  Preheating the grill insures and even temperature of cooking and oiling makes sure that it wont stick.  Now, take your steak out of the fridge and sprinkle some salt and pepper on that bad boy.  Throw it on the grill and listen to the fat sizzle.  After a couple minutes (about 5) flip that dude and marvel at the grill marks you just made.  After another of couple minutes, take your delicious meat off the grill and let it sit for around 5-10 minutes.  Letting the steak rest is very important to maintaing its tastiness.  Resting the steak allows all its juices to be absorbed and that means more awesome flavors.

Grilling a steak is the best method, but sometimes you don’t have access to a grill.  You may live in an apartment, the weather may not permit it, or you just don’t have the dolla bills to buy a grill cause that shit is expensive.  The next best thing is to prepare the steak using a combination of a pan and the oven.  Put some olive oil in a pan and heat it up nice and high.  Season your steak the same as before and toss it in the pan, and by this I mean lightly place because hot oil splashing around is fun for no one.  Let the steak sear for a minute and flip it to brown the other side as well.  If the steak is extra thick, brown it on the sides as well.  Once the outside looks dark on all sides, put it in a 450°F oven for about 5-7 minutes to cook the inside.  This method doesn’t give you those tasty grill marks, but it works just as well for cooking steaks.

Now that you know how to handle the meat, its time to test out some tasty recipes.  The first is a dry rub that you can apply to a steak before grilling.  It gives it a delicious crust that compliments the meaty inside well.  The second is a marinade for steaks.  You can place the steak in this marinade a day before you cook it, remember the longer it’s in there the more awesome flavor it absorbs.  The last is for a steak sauce you can put on top of some beautifully grilled filet mignon.  I know you are going to open the link and be confused by the fact that it is blueberry.  Trust me, it is beyond delicious.  The best steakhouse in Florence, Italy specializes in this blueberry steak sauce and it is the BOMB.  I don’t use that word lightly so trust me.

Dry Steak Rub

Steak Marinade

Blueberry Steak

Pregame/Gym Playlist

So I know this is late because summer is officially over, but I’ve been feeling some songs recently and wanted to share.  In my mind a pregame mix and gym mix are basically the same things.  You get pumped up, you rage, and hopefully you do some sort of physical exertion.  I like to construct these playlists in a progressive manner.  The first couple songs are pop-ish and get you going.  As you progress, they get a little harder and by the end they are full on rage machines.  Now throw this on during your next pregame/gym adventure and get weird with it.

Chicken on Chicken

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So, last night my buddy hit me up with some questions about how to pan fry chicken.  This is one of the most essential things to have in your culinary repertoire because it’s an easy way to swiftly cook up some dope dinner.  Also, repertoire is a hard word to spell, I had to look that shit up on google.  Back to the point, pan frying chicken always depends on the thickness of the breast.  I usually cut the breast in half and then pound it with a mallet until it is nice and thin.  Make sure you put the chicken in between some plastic wrap before you pound it so chicken juice doesn’t go flying all over your kitchen and you don’t accidentally give yourself salmonella.  A thin breast cooks faster, more evenly, and has more surface area for breaded goodness.  What you want to do first is heat up a pan with a combination of butter and olive oil.  While that’s heating, season your chicken breast with salt/pepper and dip it in a scramble egg/milk mixture.  Make sure the egg has dripped off before you throw that bad boy in some bread crumbs.  Now, the new craze is to use panko, a japanese style breadcrumb, and I’m into it.  Panko is light, tasty, and adds a different texture to the breaded chicken.  So take your eggy chicken and throw that bad boy in the panko and make sure it is evenly coated.  Place the panko crusted breast in the pan and cook it until it is nice and golden brown on both sides and the chicken is producing a clear juice.  If your breast is a little thicker, brown the outside and then place it into a 400° F oven for a couple minutes to finish cooking it.  Cooking your chicken is only half the battle though.  It may be delicious, but the breast is a bland dinner on its own.  Here are two different easy sauce recipes that make for a delicious ass dinner:

http://www.bakeatmidnite.com/2012/03/chicken-marsala.html

http://feastureyes.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/chicken-with-lemon-and-capers/

I always like a thicker sauce so I add a little extra heavy cream into my concoctions.  If I am feeling healthier, I substitute the heavy cream with some greek yogurt to make the sauce nice and creamy.  Now usually this is where I would end a post, but I’m going to switch things up and also add some music.  Music is key to the culinary experience because it makes the cooking process fun, so here are some dope tunes to jam out to while whipping up some yummy chicken.

A little breakdown of this short playlists for those interested: The first song is by Stavroz, a deep house act, and takes a while to get going but is really great when it gets there.  They have a great saxophone throughout the song that really compliments the beat and envelopes the listener with its smoothness.  The second song, My Type by Saint Motel, is a feel good song with some catchy ass horns.  Next we have a sped up blues song produced by Rob Shulz that has a great guitar riff and soulful vocals.  The song that raps up this short playlist is by Penguin Cafe Orchestra and is just a catchy tune without any vocals.  It’s great background music to nod along to while cooking.  Now get going and cook up some tastiness.

Shakes

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Let’s talk shakes.  They are delicious, creamy, and sometimes healthy.  During the summer, every food blogger offers up their favorite magical weight loss shake.  I hate seeing these recipes pop up with their strange combination of tofu, kale, or whatever the new health craze is.  Shakes are not the key to losing those extra five pounds that have been lingering since Christmas.  Nothing works better than eating right and exercising, so get off your lazy ass and run or do some pushups.  Now that I’m done ranting, I can offer up an easy way to make awesome shakes.  In my opinion, the shake is all about consistency.  Nothing is better than a smooth creamy shake, and nothing is worse then a watery shake with chunks of ice floating in it.  Chances are you didn’t succumb to the guy at Costco showing off his super fancy Vitamix 2000 that cost $500, so instead you bought a standard blender.  This is not a problem because the key to making awesome shakes is not in the blender; it’s the fruit.  Freezing the fruit before blending it is the secret to your shake being the dopeness.  Freezing the fruit allows your shake to be cold and adds an element of frothiness to the consistency.  With frozen fruit there is no need for ice, which means no chunks.  Personally my favorite shake is something my friends have dubbed the Mac Attack.  It is a combination of bananas, peanut butter, and milk.  It is super simple and extremely delicious.  You can also add some chocolate protein in there to make it a post-workout protein blast.  Now go freeze some fruit in anticipation for your next shake and then go run or something healthy like that.  You know, cause I said so.

Chillin Rap Playlist

It’s the middle of summer and the sweltering heat is making me sweat like none other.  What better way to cool off then grilling poolside and listening to a chill ass playlist.  I enlisted the help of my brother in compiling this 72 song selection.  Hope you enjoy.

The Best Sauce Ever

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If you don’t recognize the scrumptious sauce pictured above then I feel sorry for you.  It is Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and it is the dopeness.  Normally, I love every and all application on this delicious sauce, but I recently went to a brunch where the restaurant just kinda threw it on the food.  I don’t consider myself a food snob or critic but I get annoyed when restaurants use Sriracha as a crutch.  It has a lot to offer so its much better to incorporate it into your food in some creative way.  With that premise, I bring you my top 5 favorite things to do with Sriracha.

1. Spicy Mayo

Have you ever been to a sushi place?  If yes, then you know what spicy mayo is.  It is by far the best thing to smother all over your sushi to make it taste awesome.  Surprisingly, it is super easy to make.  Just whisk together 1/2 cup of mayo, juice from a lime, and 2 tablespoons of Sriracha in a bowl.  It is simple as that.  Use this goodness on everything you normally would put mayo on and enjoy.

2. Sriracha Glaze for Shrimp

Nothing is better for a summer time BBQ then some good shrimp.  Here is a simple and easy recipe to use with shrimp for a BBQ (http://www.handletheheat.com/2012/08/sriracha-shrimp-skewers.html).  This recipe combines sweetness with a little kick in order to make some tasty shrimp.

3. Sriracha Chips

First off, I need to say that I think Lays messed up big time with their recent chip creations.  They finally made the choice to expand to new flavors and made a great selection.  Sriracha has so many fans, especially in their prime demographic, college kids.  I was so excited to go out and try the chips.  I hit up every supermarket in my area and turned up empty handed.  The suspense built until I finally found a bad tucked in the corner of a display.  I rushed home to try it, and was greatly disappointed.  These chips tasted nothing like Sriracha.  That’s when I went out in search of a recipe to make my own.  I found this one (http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-baked-sriracha-potato-chips/) and was very satisfied.  I have a few notes on the recipe to help you make better chips.  First, blend the sriracha and oil in a blender to make sure that they have been mixed as best as possible.  You don’t want one chip to be loaded with heat and the next one be bland  Secondly, make sure that you spray your baking sheet with cooking spray so they chips don’t stick.  Besides those two pointers, the chips are really easy to make and are delicious.  Much better than those nasty Lays.

4. Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce

Nothing is better than some great eggs benedict at brunch.  One way to kick it up a notch is to incorporate some heat into your Hollandiase sauce.  This recipe (http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2012/03/26/california-eggs-benedict/) is for some tasty eggs benedict with a kick.  Try it out an enjoy.

5. Put that stuff all over your Chinese food

I know I started this blog off by saying that I hate when restaurants just serve you straight Sriracha.  The only caveat to this rule is Chinese food.  I love dumping as much as my mouth can handle all over my lo mein.  It’s delicious, It’s awesome, and it just needs to be done.  

I hope this post shed some new light on the many ways you can use that magical red sauce.  Now go try some of these recipes for yourself

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June 18th is Finally Here

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Today three major albums dropped in the world of hip hop.  Although all three have leaked and I’ve been bumping them for a couple days, it is still a momentous occasion when big albums drop.  The three albums that dropped today are Yeezus by Kanye West, Born Sinner by J. Cole, and Watching Movies with the Sound Off by Mac Miller.  

The most hyped album of the three, Yeezus, continued in Kanye’s trend of pushing the musical envelope.  He enlisted the help of Daft Punk and other EDM producers to create a dark bass filled album.  With a title like Yeezus, I expected some really deep and profound lyrics.  Instead I got “I just talked to Jesus, He said Whattup Yeezuz?, I said, “Shit, I’m chillin, trying to stack these millions”” Every review I have read has either loved it or hated it, but I am somewhere in the middle.

Mac Miller’s album may be my favorite of the bunch.  He has a bunch of chill songs and I can just thrown on the album and have it as background music as I go about my day.  I just wish some of the songs where a little more upbeat.  One banger per album isn’t too hard to ask.  Speaking of which J. Cole needs to learn how to make a banger.  i don’t think he ever has.  I love his music, but there is only so much I can take some times.  He seems like he would be pretty depressing to chill with.  If he made a couple upbeat songs and a banger I would be way more into his album.

I couldn’t put together a playlist of my favorite songs because they aren’t on grooveshark yet, but I suggest you give all these albums a listen.