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Happy Table. Healthy Family

February 21, 2015

As the weather seems to grow ever colder, it is only natural that we gravitate towards the warmth of indoors after a long day at work or school. On these cozy nights there is tendency to seek out additional comfort in our food, a little extra butter here some more cheese there. I am pretty sure most will agree that nothing really warms the bones like a hearty home-cooked meal, but it’s important to remember that helping your family establish healthy eating habits now will create a foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating. There are some easy ways to do this, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind.

Some immediate quick fixes can be as simple as swapping out white rice for brown or whole grain bread for white and choosing deli meats without added nitrates. These little things really do add up, and before long they will become second nature.

Studies have shown that families that make it a point to sit down at home and eat together are at a real advantage, and not just nutritionally. Families that make it a point to do this are generally spending less time at fast food joints and restaurants. Preparing a meal at home gives parents complete control over the meal, they know where the food comes from, what is in it, and how much is being served. Understanding where your food comes from and sensible portion sizing is essential to healthy eating.

Some of you are probably thinking that yes, this is obvious, and in a perfect world this is how every meal would be. Trust me, I know the struggle of preparing myself a meal after a long day of work, and I am a food enthusiast! In order to help with that fatigue, here a few things to keep in mind:

Meal Prep: Think ahead! Take time over the weekend to plan out your meals for the week and set you and your family up for success. Make a grocery list of balanced meals consisting of a Protein-Vegetable-Starch combo and dedicate one day to prepping and preparing meals for the week that can be refrigerated or frozen and served on a moments notice.

Pressure cookers & Croc Pots: Learning how to use these will free up a lot of time that you would normally spend in the kitchen. These can be approached with a kind of set it and forget it attitude and recipes abound! It really doesn’t get much easier than that!

Mix it up: Compliment your home cooking with nutritious prepared foods. We take pride in offering these at The Meat House. It is important to be aware of what you are buying. When you are educated about your food choices buying prepared foods allows you to save time while still providing your family with completely nutritious meal.

Sitting down at the table together as a family is a win-win. What could be better than sharing happiness and health with those you love the most?

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Baby It’s Cold Outside

February 16, 2015

Keep the ease, lose the freeze.  Here’s how to make your favorite steak without your trusty grill. We’re pan cooking up a delicious strip steak inside the warmth of own kitchen, so don’t let your snow covered grill be an excuse.  Think of this cut as a tenderloin’s big brother- definitely related, but more mature.  Strip steaks are particularly tender and delicious, and also more suited to serving a large portion. You really can’t go wrong with a strip steak.  So let’s get started, here is what you will need:

Ingredients

  • 4 10oz strip steaks
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (if you want to be really decadent upgrade your butter to Truffle Butter)
  • 3 tbsp. chopped parsely
  • 3 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1 finely chopped Shallot
  • 4 tbsp. Olive Oil

*Recipe serves four.

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Now the fun (and easy) part!

1. Combine your salt and pepper to taste and give your steaks a generous rub (both sides).  You are going to let these babies rest at room temperature for about 25-30 minutes.

2.  Next, take all those chopped chives, shallots, and parsley and fork together with the softened butter in a medium sized bowl.  Throw a little salt and pepper in there too for good measure. Cover and set aside.

3. Take a 12″ cast-iron skillet and put over medium-high heat  with 2 tbsp. of the olive oil (optional).

4. When your pan is nice and hot, add your strip steaks. Pan sear for two minutes on each side. Then, in a pre heated oven at 400 degrees, finish in the oven for 7 Min.(In the cast iron skillet) No Need to flip. Rule of thumb: when your steaks reach an internal temperature of 125 degree they will be medium rare.  Heat less for rare, more for well done.

5. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Strip steaks.

6. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the butter (how could we?).  When you are ready to plate your steaks smear each with 2 tbsp. of the herbed butter.

Complete this dish with Twice Baked Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, and Burgundy Wine Mushrooms.  Round off the meal with a bottle of Pinot Project or Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon. You can thank us later.

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Love is in the air, why not put some in your stomach? Some ideas for the Holiday…

February 2, 2015

Although sometimes its really hard to admit, more often than not we look back and think, “Mom was right”. Never was she more right then when she told us the way to his (or her) heart is through their stomach. So, this year when the saccharine holiday rolls around why not skip the clichéd Valentine’s Day restaurant scene? You will undoubtedly avoid one or two inevitable public displays of affliction. This year skip the drama and say “I love you” with a home cooked and heartfelt meal. Here’s a few classic and classy dishes guaranteed to tug at anyone’s heartstrings.

Beef Wellington- Prepare a meal fit for a King.  Ok, if we’re being technical a meal fit for a Duke.  This historically French dish called “filet de boeuf en croute” was reborn Beef Wellington in honor the Duke of Wellington and his prevention of a Napoleonic redux.  When monsieur Bonaparte returned from exile and reclaimed his throne in Paris the Duke of Wellington had a hand in exiling him permanently at the Battle of Waterloo. So maybe your sweetheart hasn’t dethroned an emperor, either way, you won’t be sorry.

Surf & Turf- They say opposites attract.  Chinese philosophy calls this yin-yang and it describes how these opposing forces are all interconnected to one another.  These dual forces surround us, look around; they can be seen anywhere; hot and cold, high and low, night and day, dark and light.  Look across the table from you, maybe you’re looking right at the yin to your yang.  Pay homage to your better half with this complimentary pairing of beef and lobster.

Chicken Cordon Bleu- Maybe you’re baby is a little mysterious, like the origins of this dish.  I will tell you one thing that there is no question about, a quality-breaded chicken breast stuffed with ham & Gruyere cheese.  It’s a pairing that goes together like Bonnie & Clyde without the tragic ending.

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The Meat House Guide to Great Grilling

August 14, 2014

The Heat is On!

How Knowing the Differences Between Direct and Indirect Heat Can Improve Your Cooking

Direct Heat

Direct Heat means that the source is directly under the food. Direct heat works great for small, tender pieces of food that cook quickly, such as hamburgers, steaks, chops, boneless chicken pieces, fish fillets, shellfish and sliced vegetables.

<       Preheat the grill with all burners on high.

<       Adjust all burners to the temperature noted in the recipe.

<       Close the lid of the grill and lift only to turn food or to test for doneness at the end of the recommended cooking time.

Indirect Heat

Indirect heat means that the food is between, not directly over, heat sources. Indirect heat works better for larger, tougher food that requires a longer cooking times, such as roasts, whole chickens and ribs. It is also the proper way to finish cooking thicker foods or bone-in cuts that have been seared or browned first over direct heat.

<       Preheat the grill with all burners on high. 

<       Adjust all burners to the temperature noted in the recipe and turn off the burner(s) directly below where the food will be placed.

<       For the best results, place the roasts, poultry, or large cuts of meat on a roasting rack set inside a disposable drip pan. Any drippings can be used to make gravies or sauces.

 

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Make It A Feast For The Family

July 23, 2014

As summer heats up and we move towards the heart of the barbecue season, now is the perfect time to invite the whole family over for a backyard feast. Here at The Meat House, we have the perfect package to cater to such an event.  Our backyard feast includes all aspects of the perfect family barbecue. The feast includes our scrumptious baby-back ribs, our delicious barbecue beef, and our hearty pulled pork. Additionally, you will get a plethora of our best sides, including our creamy macaroni and cheese, our perfect potato salad, our heavenly cornbread, and our fresh mixed green salad. Of course, no backyard barbecue would be complete without summer classics corn on the cob, and watermelon slices, which are also included. So whether you are celebrating a birthday, a graduation, or just the fact that you have a great family that loves to get together, make The Meat House your one-stop shop for barbecue necessities and send everyone home happy. Summer never tasted so good!!!

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Valentine’s Day Recipe: Lover’s Steak

February 11, 2014

Rows of stuffed bears line your pharmacy’s gift aisle.  Reese’s® cups come in the shape of hearts and your favorite candy is wrapped in hues of reds and pinks. While there are thousands of prepackaged and mass produced gifts to get your sweetie, we think there’s nothing more romantic than something homemade, in particular the gift of food. As famous New York Times restaurant critic Craig Claiborne once said, “Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”

Perhaps one of the most romantic things you can make for your signifgant other this Valentine’s Day is the Porterhouse Steak, also known as the “Lover’s Steak.” Made up of two prized cuts, the sweet tenderloin and the hearty short loin, this cut is ideal for sharing. However, if you have big appetites the Porterhouse can be served whole and left to take on.

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Aside from being very tender, this cut is known for its shorter cook time, due to less collagen, relative to other cuts. This makes it a favorite among restaurants and at home chefs who want to make something special, but not spend hours over a hot grill or stove. For this Valentine’s Day, we put together a recipe that combines classic steak seasonings, with a rich compound butter to elevate both the flavor and presentation.

Porterhouse Steak with Paprika Parmesan Compound Butter

Cooked Porterhouse

Ingredients

Steak

  • 2 3-inch-thick porterhouse steaks
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Butter

  • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 4 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. Place steak in shallow baking dish. Whisk oil, garlic, thyme, salt and rosemary in small bowl to blend.
  2. Pour half of marinade over steak. Turn steak over; pour remaining marinade over steak. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. (If marinating more than 6 hours, turn occasionally to distribute marinade)
  3. In the meantime, mix all butter ingredients in small bowl until blended. Place butter mixture on plastic wrap and roll up like cookie dough, in a long cylinder shape, leaving about an inch on ends to tie. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead, but will only take about an hour to harden.)
  4. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Remove steak from marinade; shake off excess and let sit for about 30 minutes before grilling. Place steak on grill and cover.
  5. Grill steak about 15 minutes per side or until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of steak reads 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare.
  6. Transfer steak to platter; cover to keep warm. Let stand 5 minutes.
  7. If sharing, cut meat away from bone. Cut each meat section into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Slice butter into 1” thick discs, remove plastic wrap from edges and top steak with butter, allowing it to melt slightly before serving.

Another top tip when cooking the Porterhouse is to always keep the bone in while cooking. The bone will conduct heat, allowing the meat to cook more evenly and of course adds even more flavor to this tender, buttery cut. Pair with your favorite fresh vegetables and a hearty red wine and you’ll have the perfect 5-star Valentine’s Day meal in the comfort of your own home. Remember we provide the steak and recipe, you provide the romance – card and flowers not included.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

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National Snack Food Month

February 6, 2014

When we hear “snack”, visions of orange Cheez-Its® and perfectly sandwiched Oreo’s® dance in our head. Whatever your snack of choice, it’s a part of our day to day routines that most of us can’t get away from. However, that may not be a bad thing. According to many popular diet plans including South Beach, Paleo and more, snacking is an essential part of a well-rounded diet plan. In fact, most of these plans recommend snacking every few hours to keep metabolism high – as long as what you’re snacking on is portion controlled and healthy! (Hint: Oreos® don’t count)

So what classifies something as a “snack”? Snack foods are typically made to be portable, quick and satisfying. Many prepackaged snack foods are designed to be less perishable, durable and more portable than prepared foods. At The Meat House, our favorite snacks encompass some of these things, but we prefer do it fresh. Whether it’s perfectly compact stuffed jalapeños or chips and salsa- we’re all about snacking.

In fact, with most locations carrying local fresh salsa, it’s a great option for incorporating healthy snacking into your routine. Not only is it great for curbing cravings in-between meals, it can also be used in some of your courses. Pineapple salsa pairs nicely with our cilantro lime turkey tips or consider a Southwest style omelet with bacon, Mexican cheese and topped with salsa for an extra burst of flavor and texture.

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Another nutritious, filling snack are nuts. The mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber help you feel full and suppress your appetite. Not only are they great for an easy grab and go snack during the day, but nuts can add great texture to some of your favorite proteins. If you have a blender or food processor, try grinding nuts to a fine, breadcrumb like consistency and coat chicken or turkey breasts for extra crunch without the carbs. We have a great recipe for this on our website here.

Picture sourced from Laura’s Sweet Spot.

Picture sourced from Laura’s Sweet Spot.

Keep in mind that most of our stores carry a variety of fresh fruit and produce that can also be snacked on and incorporated into your favorite meals. One of the best parts about finding “multitasking” snacks is that you can save on grocery costs, by using ingredients in multiple recipes and reducing potential waste. If you need more healthy and easy snacking ideas, be sure to talk your local butcher. Each Meat House carries hand selected local products, to bring you the most delicious and fresh products. Happy snacking!

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