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Great Grilling with Lean Beef

Beef is one of America's favorite foods to grill. It not only serves up great taste for grilling--it's also lean and full of nutrients. Today's beef is leaner than ever before, with 29 cuts now meeting government guidelines for leanness, and beef provides nine essential nutrients we need each day. Beef is an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B-12, selenium and phosphorus and a good source of niacin, vitamin B-6, iron and riboflavin.

In The Healthy Beef Cookbook, co-author and nationally acclaimed Chef Richard Chamberlain, owner of Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House in Dallas, shares his expertise for preparing delicious and healthy beef, helping people "go lean with protein."

"People love beef, but many don't know how to cook lean cuts," Chamberlain says. "This cookbook offers complete recipes--more than 130 delicious and healthy lean beef solutions that are easy to prepare for anyone."

With these simple recipes, you can fire up the grill and enjoy the beef you love that is good for you too.

Like the recipes you see here? The Healthy Beef Cookbook (Wiley, $21.95), created through a partnership with the nutrition experts at the American Dietetic Association and the beef experts at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, on behalf of The Beef Checkoff, is now available wherever books are sold and at www.amazon.com and www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Grilling lean beef is easier than you may think, thanks to these tips from Chef Richard Chamberlain:

--When grilling a "tapered" piece of beef, place the thinner end away from the fire to cook the meat evenly.

--Be patient ... too much turning does not cook beef properly.

--Turn steaks and roasts with tongs, not with a fork. A fork will pierce the beef and allow flavorful juices to escape.

--If you forget to marinate beef in the morning for a stir-fry or salad, simply slice into strips and the marinating time is cut to only 20 minutes.

Did you know your taste buds have a fifth taste, in addition to sweet, salty, bitter and sour? Known as umami (oo-MOM-ee) from the Japanese word for "delicious," this fifth taste is described as meaty and savory--or the flavor of beef. Pairing umami-rich foods--like beef--with tomatoes, wine, soy sauce, mushrooms, cheese, corn, spinach or beets can add an explosion of flavor the next time you grill.


Dijon-Wine Steak Kabobs with Mushroom Wild Rice

The delicious shiitake mushroom originated in Japan and Korea. Today they are grown in many regions of the United States.

1 pound boneless beef round tip steak, cut 1 inch thick
1/2 small red onion, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1 small yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise in half then crosswise into 1-inch slices
1 small red or green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Marinade:

2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons coarse-grain Dijon-style mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Mushroom Wild Rice:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups thinly sliced assorted wild mushrooms (oyster, cremini and shiitake)
1 6-ounce package long grain and wild rice blend

Cut beef steak into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally. Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Alternately thread beef, onion, squash and bell pepper pieces evenly onto skewers. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. For Mushroom Wild Rice, heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender. Remove and keep warm. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and butter. When rice is done, stir in mushrooms. Serve kabobs over Mushroom Wild Rice. Makes 4 servings.


Mushroom Merlot Burgers

The classic bistro flavors of mushrooms and wine truly enhance the flavor of this open-faced burger.

1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 large portobello mushrooms
4 slices French bread, cut diagonally 1/2 inch thick
2 ounces goat cheese (1/2 cup)
4 romaine lettuce leaves
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Sauce:

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
1/4 cup ready-to-serve beef broth
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

To prepare sauce, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add shallots; cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or until caramelized. Stir in wine, broth and thyme. Cook over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Combine butter and flour; whisk into sauce. Stir in salt and pepper. Cover; keep warm. Combine ground beef, parsley, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties. Set aside. Place mushrooms on grid over medium, ash-covered coals; grill, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. About 10 minutes before mushrooms are done, move them to outer edge of grid. Place patties in center of grid; grill 11 to 13 minutes to medium (160 F) doneness, until no longer pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning once. Place bread slices on grid; grill until toasted, turning once. Reheat sauce, if necessary. Spread 1/2 of cheese on toasted bread slices. Top each with lettuce leaf, mushroom and burger; drizzle evenly with sauce. Crumble remaining goat cheese over tops; sprinkle with parsley, as desired. Makes 4 servings.

Recipes and photos as seen in The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by American Dietetic Association and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. All rights reserved.

Date: 8/28/06


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