A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

BEEFWIFE: Tenderloin Steaks with Arugula Salad and Sweet and Spicy Beets

I’m getting spring fever! Every chance I get, I’m sitting on the deck in the sun and looking in my garden for bulbs to come up. If I were planting a garden this summer (but I’m not), I might consider arugula. I’ve really developed a taste for this salad green. My copy of “The New Food Lover’s Companion” describes it as a “bitterish, aromatic salad green with a peppery mustard flavor” and a “source of iron as well as Vitamins A and C.”

I’m looking forward to enjoying this recipe from The Healthy Beef Cookbook, Tenderloin Steaks with Arugula Salad and Sweet and Spicy Beets. I made it this past summer for a light supper with the BEEFMAN then had the leftovers for lunch the next day. I think it might have been even better leftover as a little time gave the heat from the cayenne a chance to come up; nice ZIP!! I’ve included my notes in the recipe below.

Leave a comment here or on BEEFMAN's Facebook and tell me what tasty treat you’re yearning for this spring. I’ll draw one winner from the comments received and send you a copy of The Healthy Beef Cookbook!

Tenderloin Steaks with Arugula Salad and Sweet and Spicy Beets

Makes 4 servings; one hour prep and cooking time.

2 cups diced peeled beets (smaller beets will be tenderer)
1 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp. honey

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (also called Cayenne)

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. cumin seeds

4 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick, about 4 oz. each (we used flat iron steak, also called a top blade steak)

Salt, as desired

1 can (15 oz.) Mandarin orange segments, drained

6 cups arugula

Freshly grated orange peel (optional)

Combine beets, orange juice, honey and pepper in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 40-45 minutes or until beets are tender (less time if you like them a little crunchy). Drain beets, reserving cooking liquid; cool.

Heat beet-cooking liquid over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup; cool slightly. Whisk in vinegar, oil and 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside to use as dressing.

Press garlic and cumin seeds evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. (Now the BEEFMAN would tell you to sear the steaks on both sides and then move them off the direct heat and cover...low and slow for about 20 minutes. And be sure to let the meat rest at least five minutes before slicing.) Season with salt, as desired.

Toss beets, orange segments, and arugula in a large bowl; drizzle with dressing. Serve with steaks. Garnish with orange peel, if desired.

The Healthy Beef Cookbook provides these two additional tips: 1) to broil, place steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 16 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once; and 2) baby spinach can also serve as a tasty substitute for arugula.


Leslie (aka the BEEFWIFE)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ride the Rockies Lottery Results are Posted. WE'RE IN!

The Ride the Rockies 2014 lottery results have been posted! Click here to see if you or your family or friends got in. Be sure to enter only your first OR last name, but not both. I entered both the first time and it came up blank. My heart sank. Then I tried again with just last name and, viola, there is was!

There are four Williamses on the ride this year...

Then I checked for my buddy, The Hankster, and here's what popped up :)

...but only one "Hankster"!

I also see my Team Bar2Bar buddies, Robert "Woody" Woodworth and Paul "The Pilot" Mattson (as well his son, Till, and daughter Lea) all got in.

And three Mattson's :)

So both Team BEEF and Team Bar2Bar made the cut. It's going to be another epic adventure!

Did you get in? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Ride on!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The BEEFWIFE Bloggeth! Steaks with Cowboy Coffee Rub and Spicy Pico de Gallo

Me and the BEEFMAN
The BEEFWIFE Bloggeth? Well, I’m not sure about that but the BEEFMAN asked if I would write about some of the cooking we do at home. I’m a self-proclaimed foodie who enjoys entertaining friends and family with good food and conversation.

My food journey started in the Western Kansas kitchen where I grew up, included a turn in 4-H cooking class both watching my older sister’s class and participating in my own, and then as a newlywed, gathering my mother-in-law’s recipes to “make my man happy!” We ate well, but not very healthy. A lot of bread, butter, sour cream, cheese…YUM! After a number of years and pounds down that path, it was time to change how we ate.

My 4H "Fun with Foods" project book
Our changes included smaller portions, less fatty foods and less time on the couch (I’m still working on that last one). Weight Watchers emphasis on portion control was a big light bulb for me. I learned to be satisfied without filling my plate and then filling it again. Making ingredient swaps or finding recipes with lower fat content were both steps in the process (thanks to hints and inspiration from Cooking Light magazine and healthy at home cooks like Ellie Krieger).

As we’ve aged, our palate has expanded to include many foods that we wouldn’t eat (mushrooms) or were not exposed to (Brussels sprouts) growing up. Whether reading a magazine, looking at food blogs or watching the Food Network or the Cooking Channel, I now have a different eye for what appeals to me. We still enjoy foods that lean toward the decadent (no fat-free for me), but instead of every menu item, it’s a more balanced plate.

Sharing a meal around the table is one of my favorite things to do. Come on over and stay a while!
Leslie (aka the BEEFWIFE)

BEEF is a big part of our diet but after more burgers and steaks than I can count, it was time to find some new ways to enjoy it. The BEEFMAN brought home a copy of The Healthy Beef Cookbook  written by Chef Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House fame and put out by the National Cattleman’s Beef Association and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and I’ve used it as a springboard to diversify our meals.  [The Healthy Beef Cookbook is no longer in print, but a few new and used copies are still available on Amazon.com]

"Steaks with Cowboy Coffee Rub and Spicy Pico de Gallo" is one of the first recipe I tried. I served it with grilled sweet corn, black beans, and sliced homegrown tomatoes...yummy! After sharing recipe with a friend, she told me she served with mac-n-cheese topped with the pico. I’ve included notes from my experience in the recipe below (in red).

Steaks with Cowboy Coffee Rub and Spicy Pico de Gallo Really good!

Total prep and cook time: 25 mins (varies depending on how you cook your steak!)

Makes 6 servings

Spicy Pico de Gallo

1 cup chopped red onion

1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tsp. minced pickled jalapeno pepper slices

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

Cowboy Coffee Rub

1 Tbsp. freshly ground coffee beans I used a medium roast
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt or table salt

1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. coarse-grind black pepper

3 beef shoulder center steaks (Ranch Steaks), cut 3/4 inch thick (about 8 oz. each) I couldn't find ranch steaks so used strip steak the first time and flat iron steak the second time -- both work great.

1. Combine Spicy Pico de Gallo ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.

2. Combine Cowboy Coffee Rub ingredients in small bowl. Press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 9 to 11 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once. We always use our trusty Weber charcoal grill and the “direct heat to sear and indirect heat to finish” method for meats. Put all your coals on one half of the grill only. When the coals are white hot, sear the meat on both sides directly over the coals then just spin the grate around to the indirect side for the remaining cook time.

3. Carve steak into slices. We always let the meat rest at least 5 minutes before carving; this lets the juices settle back into the meat. Serve with Spicy Pico de Gallo.