Saturday, April 21, 2012

Braised Cuttlefish

This past holiday season, there was this interesting seafood item at work, that I just couldn't pass up. It was a whole frozen cuttlefish. I had never seen or even heard of this before. I asked one of my culinary teachers about it and he wasn't quite sure about it. Upon further investigating, finding a recipe was a little bit of a task as well. Finally, I found an interesting Greek recipe that sounded kind of good. So I figured, why not. Let's try this and see what happens. To make it more interesting, I made it at my parents' house during the holidays to share in this little culinary endeavor and get other peoples' thoughts.

I found the recipe at and it's a Greek dish called Soupies Krasates. It's a Braised Cuttlefish Recipe and it was pretty tasty! 

Cuttlefish are cephalopods. They are somewhat similar in taste to octopus and squid. They have 8 arms and 2 tentacles and are highly intelligent. 

Cuttlefish in it's habitat.

Cleaned Cuttlefish.
Me with the Cuttlefish before I cut it up.
All finished. I can assure you that it tastes WAY better than it looks!

In closing, this is a very eccentric dish and I don't expect people to run out and try it. But it's an example of seeing something new and different and not being afraid to try it. I was a little intimidated at first but I am glad that I took on the challenge.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meat School

Since I work in the Meat Department, I get all kinds of questions on what kind of meat people should use for different applications. So I thought I would share a couple things with everyone. I will keep sharing more over time, but since we are approaching summer, I will start with grilling. I get asked all the time what steaks are the best for grilling. My answer is always the same. It depends on your preference. My number 1 absolute favorite steak is a Ribeye Delmonico. It's a boneless Rib Steak that has lots of marbling and packed with tons of flavor and juiciness!

Ribeye Delmonico

The best steaks for grilling are Rib Steaks, Strip Steaks, T-Bones, Porterhouse, Filet, and Top Sirloin. If you are watching your calories and fat, and you desire a lean steak, go with either a Filet or Top Sirloin. Both will stay tender even though they are lean. If you went with an Eye of Round or Round Steak, you would be eating shoe leather.

People often wonder what the difference is between T-Bones and Porterhouse. My answer.. Basically nothing. Both cuts are cut from the same sub-primal., the loin. They both are made up of a Strip Steak and a Filet, seperated by a T-Shaped bone. The difference between the two cuts is that as the butcher cuts steaks off, the Filet side gets bigger and the Strip side gets smaller. So Porterhouse has a big Filet, small Strip. The T-Bone has a small to almost no Filet, and a much bigger Strip.

T-Bone, notice the small Filet on the left side of the steak.
Porterhouse, Notice the larger Filet on the bottom of the steak. 

This is just barely scratching the surface of meat. Butchery is a fascinating subject and there is so much to know. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask! 

Next lesson, grading beef.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Last Minute Easter Ham Idea!

Every time I make a ham, this is what I do! It turns out tasty and makes some great juice to make ham gravy. My mom makes ham gravy and the holiday wouldn't be complete without it!

No matter what size ham, the method is still the same.

You will need:

  • Fully cooked Ham - It can be Boneless, Semi-Boneless, etc.
  • 1 Fresh Pineapple
  • Thick Cut Bacon - I prefer peppered bacon.
  • Brown Sugar
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Toothpicks
  1. Preheat your oven according to Ham's  package directions.
  2. Peel and Chunk your Pineapple. Set aside.
  3. Place ham in your pan. If it has a flatter side, try and keep it to the top.
  4. Score the top of ham with a knife 1/8" to 1/4" deep in a diamond pattern.
  5. Place Brown Sugar on top and as far down the sides that the sugar will stay on. I put on a nice thick layer.
  6. Take your bacon and drape over brown sugar all over the ham.
  7. Take your cubes of Pineapple and stab them with toothpicks and stick into ham. This will secure the bacon down and hold the layer of brown sugar onto the ham. 
  8. Pour Pineapple Juice into bottom of pan. You want enough Pineapple Juice in the bottom of your pan so it doesn't go dry.
  9. Cover your ham and cook according to package directions.
Note: If you want to add a little more brown sugar on top of the bacon, you can. I sometimes do. 

Most of the time, the bacon gets picked off before the ham is even eaten! It is almost like candied bacon!

This is right before ham goes in the oven!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Boozy Chicken and Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I haven't been able to cook anything new up for you guys to try but I did make an AWESOME chicken dish today! I found a recipe for Boozy Chicken that has mushrooms, almonds, and an Amaretto Glaze. This is where I found the link: It was super tasty. The only thing I did different was add extra mushrooms. So if you want something different and delicious, take a look at that one. Sadly, I do not have a picture of this one. It didn't last long enough!

Another recipe I have tried, was a pizza crust made out of Cauliflower! Interesting and very good! Great if you are watching carbs. Check that out here: Definitely a fork and knife kind of pizza.

I topped mine with Turkey Pepperoni, Prosciutto, and Mushrooms!

Both of these blogs have some great recipes so give them a look and enjoy!