Entertaining for a special occasion becomes less intimidating when you know exactly what to cook. Armed with knowledge of the numerous beef cuts and USDA grades, consumers can be prepared to host family or friends for an extraordinary evening in any occasion. This article will provide you with information to make you a smart beef shopper.
(BPT) - Hosting dinner for a special occasion can be stressful. Whether you’re gathering with family for the holidays or making something new for friends, you want to deliver an entertaining evening and impress your guests with a pristine meal that everyone enjoys. A delicious beef cut is the focal point of a dinner that will treat guests to a night they will remember.
Beef is a traditional choice for many special occasions, including preparing a nostalgic favorite for the family or creating a meal from one’s cultural heritage. Guests of all ages identify beef cuts as a delicacy.
Cargill surveyed consumers to learn more about their perceptions of beef and when beef is on their plate. Among American beef shoppers who were asked about beef cuts (such as steaks, roasts, etc.):
Consumers view beef cuts as a savory entrée and want that luxury on their plate at special occasions. Selecting the perfect cut for a specific occasion can be a challenge, though.
Sterling Silver Premium Meats outlines the wide variety of beef cuts and details what each one brings to the table. Tenderloin steak is lean, yet succulent, with a fine buttery texture. Filet mignon is cut from the tenderloin and serves as a stellar main course, perhaps as a mushroom filet, at a small gathering. Tenderloin can also be incorporated into a sophisticated mac and cheese recipe or a petite tender flatbread.
Ribeye is one of the best-known steaks and a favorite at steakhouses everywhere for being rich, juicy and full-flavored. Prime rib steak comes from the same section as ribeye, but the cuts are larger since they include the ribeye and the bone.
If you want a portion friendly entrée, short ribs are rich in tenderness and flavor, and are easily divvied up among the guests at a party. There are tons of recipes for short rib meals and appetizers including: smoky tomato braised short ribs with polenta, chipotle-braised short rib tacos, mini ancho short rib tamales and short rib sliders.
Skirt steak is tender and flavorful too, and it’s perfect for the grill. An indulgence that’s just as enjoyable as an individual steak as it is in stir-fry or fajitas, skirt cuts can create many different delectable dinners.
For a more affordable meal, ideal for large gatherings with families and friends, serve brisket or roast beef. Brisket incorporates some variety into the eating experience and is best when roasted slowly at a lower temperature. Add a puree to your plate for a complete slow braised brisket meal. Pot roast is economical and versatile. It can be tenderized by cooking in liquid for hours or cut into cubes for stew that can be shared by a big group.
Most consumers responding to the Cargill survey also said that USDA grades are important to them, but many shoppers lack an understanding of how to use the USDA grading system as a guide when purchasing beef.
While surveying the meat case at the grocery store, consumers can scan for the USDA grades on packaging. For a high-quality cut of meat for a special occasion, shoppers should grab a Prime cut, which has amazing tenderness, juiciness, flavor and fine texture. USDA Select grade beef offers a leaner protein source with slight amounts of fat and marbling. The Choice grade features moderate marbling and flavor and is a little less lean than Select cuts.
Entertaining for a special occasion becomes less intimidating when you know exactly what to cook. Armed with knowledge of the numerous beef cuts and USDA grades, consumers can be prepared to host family or friends for an extraordinary evening in any occasion.
Wondering what to cook for an upcoming holiday gathering - or just a family meal? A beautiful beef roast is a feast for the eyes and the stomach, sure to impress guests of all ages. With a few expert tips and tricks, you'll be sure to serve a perfectly cooked roast packed full of flavor. Here's a "how to" guide to make you a roast expert!
(BPT) - Wondering what to cook for an upcoming holiday gathering? A beautiful beef roast is a feast for the eyes and the stomach, sure to impress guests of all ages. With a few expert tips and tricks, you'll be sure to serve a perfectly cooked roast packed full of flavor.
Roasting tips from the pros
No matter which cut of beef you select to serve, there are some tried-and-true tricks chefs use to get the juiciest, most delicious results. The pros from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. and the Beef Checkoff are the experts on all things beef and offer these tips for the perfect holiday roast.
Step 1: Use tools of the trade
Before you start, consider investing in an ovenproof meat thermometer. This is particularly important when roasting larger cuts. Unlike an instant-read thermometer, an ovenproof meat thermometer stays in the roast while cooking. This helps you avoid opening the oven unnecessarily and poking multiple holes in the roast, causing you to lose some of the juices.
Step 2: Select your cut
When cooking for four people or fewer, it is best to purchase a steak. For larger parties, a traditional bone-in roast is a popular option. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a roast that has one rib for every two people. To save time in the store, you can even call your meat counter in advance to order the exact size roast you need.
Step 3: Preheat and prep
It’s important to set your oven to the appropriate temperature for your roast. For a bone-in Ribeye roast, 350 F is generally recommended, but make sure to check your recipe for specifics. While your oven preheats, season the roast according to your recipe, then sear. While it's possible to develop a crust on your roast through slow roasting, you may get tastier results by searing it over high heat at either the beginning or the end of the roasting time. Most recipes will specify whether and when to brown the meat, but when in doubt, a quick sear before popping the roast into the oven won't hurt.
Step 4: Go low and slow
When placing the roast in your roasting pan, preferably on a roasting rack, you want to place the beef on the rack fat-side-up and bone side down (if your cut has bones). Using a rack improves air circulation and promotes even cooking. Once your roast is in the pan, you’ll want to insert your ovenproof meat thermometer with the tip centered in the thickest part of the roast, avoiding the bone, if the cut you select has one. Cook as recommended, being sure not to overshoot your target temperature as it will continue to rise after pulling the roast from the oven.
Cooking times vary depending on both the cut of meat and your desired doneness. For example, if you're cooking a bone-in Ribeye Roast for four to six people at 350 F, you can plan for a cook time as short as 1 hr 45 min for medium rare, targeting an internal temperature of 135 F, or as long as 2 hr 45 min for medium, with an internal temperature of 145 F. For specific roasting time guidelines for a bone-in Ribeye Roast, as well as other cuts, you can visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.
Step 5: Let it rest
Once you pull the roast from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil (this is called tenting) and let it rest. It is important to let your roast rest so the juices have time to re-absorb into the meat ensuring a tender, juicy roast. Larger roasts need more time to rest, often as long as 15–20 minutes. Those few extra minutes provide a great opportunity to make an au jus from the reserved beef drippings and plate side dishes.
Step 6: Carve and serve
The most important tool for properly carving your roast is a sharp knife. And, if you're using a meat fork to help carve, try not to pierce the roast to hold it in place. If you want to avoid this risk altogether, you can use the back of the fork instead or simply opt for tongs. If you have a rib roast, cut each slice along the rib bone. And remember to always cut across the grain for maximum tenderness.
Haylie Duff shares best tips for quick and healthy family meals.
(BPT) - It can be a struggle to prepare a nutritious meal the whole family will enjoy. Finding time to spend around the table during back-to-school season can be particularly challenging, but not impossible.
Actress, chef and mother of two Haylie Duff has a few expert tips and tricks for crafting nutritious meals on a time crunch.
1. Use pre-made ingredients to reduce prep time.
Keeping the fridge stocked with pre-made ingredients is a simple time saver. Adding ingredients such as pre-cut vegetables or hard-cooked peeled eggs to on-the-go snacks or family meals is an easy way to boost the nutrition of a recipe without all of the prep work.
2. Plan a meal-prep day each week
Preparing meals ahead of time to pull from the fridge or freezer and pop into the oven will help save time and reduce stress. Setting aside a couple of hours once a week to plan and prepare meals can make the school week more relaxed. Plus, planning means more time around the table with loved ones during mealtime.
3. Add slow-cooker recipes to your weekly routine
On busier days, let a slow-cooker do all the work. You can make tasty recipes, such as roast chicken with steamed veggies, a quiche or a healthy pasta dish. Simply put the ingredients in the slow cooker and fire it up. In the meantime, you’ll have more time to spend playing with the kids or helping them with homework.
4. Stock up on quality, versatile ingredients
It is so important to nourish children with top quality ingredients such as Eggland’s Best eggs, which are packed with superior nutrition compared to ordinary eggs at the grocery store. These eggs contain more than double the vitamin B12 compared to ordinary eggs, which helps transform food to energy to keep the entire family energized throughout the day. They also contain six times more vitamin D, 25% less saturated fat, more than double the omega-3s and 10 times more vitamin E.
For a make-ahead snack the whole family is sure to enjoy, try these Buffalo Deviled Egg Bites from the American Heart Association and Eggland’s Best.
Buffalo Deviled Egg Bites
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot wing sauce (lowest sodium available)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon finely crumbled low-fat blue cheese
1 tablespoon chopped celery
Eggland’s Best is a national supporter of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good movement and is encouraging consumers to try out the recipes available at recipes.heart.org.
Want a little help in baking cookies this holiday season - or any time of year? Here's some great tips from Inga Lam of BuzzFeed's Tasty!
(BPT) - When Inga Lam of BuzzFeed’s Tasty, the world’s largest social food network, gets going in the kitchen, she makes sure to consider all aspects of her baking process when creating the perfect treat. As a Tasty Creator, Inga is known for showing budding chefs how to sharpen their skills and live out their top-chef dreams by creating viral recipes that are easy to recreate at home. Below, you’ll find her tips to make holiday cookies that will stun this holiday season.
1. Check Your Temperature
To ensure top-quality results when baking, precise temperature is paramount. During prep, eggs and butter must be room temperature (unless the recipe calls for your butter to be melted) as this will guarantee proper spread and texture.
2. Tender Love and Cookie Care
Once the oven is preheated to the desired temperature, let it continue to sit a while longer to ensure that your treats are being cooked in the perfect baking environment. As the Official Oven of the Tasty Kitchen, LG ProBake Convection ovens make this task foolproof thanks to convection technology that evenly distributes heat on every rack. When finished baking, let your cookies rest on the baking sheet even before transferring them to a cooling rack. While warm cookies are tempting, let them properly cool to prevent breakage and loss of shape — perfection cannot be rushed!
3. The Art of Cookie Decór
While there’s no right or wrong way to decorate your cookies, start small and gradually build onto your designs — remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take away! Piping designs with icing is a fun and easy way to create a mix of textures and designs. Fun fact: sprinkles hide everything; so if you ever mess up, just add more sprinkles!
4. Capturing Your Cookie Candids
You’ve worked so hard on your one-of-a-kind holiday cookies, and now it’s time to capture your masterpiece. No professional camera needed; just whip out your smartphone and find the best spot in the house for natural light. Never use flash!
5. The Perfect Post
Everyone knows it’s all about the angles. Top-down is Tasty’s signature style, but shooting at a 45° angle is my personal favorite for showing the full scope of what I’ve made. Feel free to be playful, but always make sure the background is clear of obstructions. Showing your hands is a great way to show how you engage with your food, and don’t be afraid to stage a few props to create a fitting atmosphere for your dish!
To make your own Tasty cookies at home, visit lgtastycookieclub.com and receive your first LG | Tasty Cookie Club kit.
By incorporating versatile ingredients into your holiday cooking, you can make a vast array of tasty seasonal goodies. Add taste and visual appeal to seasonal dishes with recipes like Seared Salmon with Spinach and Grapes, Grape Caprese Salad Hors d’ Oeuvres, Grapes in Rosé Wine Sauce and Wild Rice Stuffing with Grapes and Hazelnuts.
A Grape Sensation
Delicious seasonal dishes for a happy holiday
(Family Features) By incorporating versatile ingredients into your holiday cooking, you can make a vast array of tasty seasonal goodies.
For example, California grapes are abundant throughout the holiday season and add taste and visual appeal to dishes of all kinds, such as Seared Salmon with Spinach and Grapes, Grape Caprese Salad Hors d’ Oeuvres, Grapes in Rosé Wine Sauce and Wild Rice Stuffing with Grapes and Hazelnuts. Plus, they’re an easy, fresh, healthy snack to keep on-hand for hungry guests waiting for the meal. With their natural beauty, grapes can also be used to create tablescapes and centerpieces for festive holiday settings.
5 Tips for Healthier Holidays
With filling meals and tempting desserts at every corner, it can be difficult to keep nutrition in mind during the holidays. However, these simple tricks can help keep you stay on track, while still enjoying the best that the season has to offer.
Find more holiday recipe inspiration at grapesfromcalifornia.com.
Seared Salmon with Spinach and Grapes
Nutritional information per serving: 449 calories; 36 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 23 g fat; 45% calories from fat; 4.3 g saturated fat; 9% calories from saturated fat; 100 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 1,120 mg potassium; 1.6 g fiber.
Grape Caprese Salad Hors d’ Oeuvres
Nutritional information per serving: 44 calories; 2.5 g protein; 1 g carbohydrates; 3 g fat; 64% calories from fat; 11 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; .07 g fiber.
Grapes in Rosé Wine Sauce
Nutritional information per serving: 250 calories; 0 g protein; 49 g carbohydrates; 0 g fat (0% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat (0% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 55 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.
Wild Rice Stuffing with Grapes and Hazelnuts
Nutritional information per serving: 166 calories; 5.4 g protein; 21 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat; 40% calories from fat; 1.4 g saturated fat; 8% calories from saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 126 mg sodium; 2.6 g fiber.SOURCE:
California Table Grape Commission
Over time, many families tend to return to the same holiday favorites, from ham and mashed potatoes to pies and cookie classics. This season, you can add a twist to tradition with these globally inspired desserts: Rugelach or Mexican Wedding Cookies.
Holiday Desserts from Around the Globe
(Family Features) Over time, many families tend to return to the same holiday favorites, from ham and mashed potatoes to pies and cookie classics. This season, you can add a twist to tradition with these globally inspired desserts.
Rugelach, for instance, is like a cross between a croissant and a cookie featuring walnuts for a nutty flavor and crunch with ties to Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. If you’re looking to steal the show at cookie exchanges, Mexican Wedding Cookies provide a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.
Both treats include California walnuts, which have an agricultural history deeply rooted in tradition and can stand alone as a tasty snack or offer an opportunity to level up dishes from appetizers to desserts.
Find more holiday dessert ideas at walnuts.org/holiday.
Recipe courtesy of California Walnuts
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Recipe courtesy of California Walnuts
The “classic” deviled egg includes a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise, sprinkled with paprika. However, chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with various flavor twists for recipes like Easy Deviled Eggs, Smoky Deviled Eggs, Fiery Deviled Eggs, Avocado Deviled Eggs, Mediterranean Deviled Eggs and French’s Party Deviled Eggs.
6 Deviled Eggs Recipes Perfect for Easter and Beyond
(Family Features) Deviled eggs, also known as stuffed eggs, first appeared in American cookbooks in the mid-19th century, but the origin can be traced back to ancient Rome where eggs were boiled and seasoned with spicy sauces, according to the History Channel. Today, deviled eggs are a staple during Easter, and according to the American Egg Board, more than 100 million dozen eggs were sold last year during the week of Easter alone.
The “classic” deviled egg includes a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise, sprinkled with paprika. However, chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with various flavor twists, including ingredients like seeds, bacon, hot sauce, avocado, pickles, dill, crab meat and more.
Celebrate this classic Easter recipe along with five new flavor variations from the experts at McCormick and French’s. For more deviled egg recipes and Easter inspiration, visit McCormick.com and Frenchs.com.
Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your second family with festive, fun recipes such as Leftover Turkey Taco Crescent Ring, Slow Cooker Red Wine Hot Chocolate, Chipotle Corn Pudding and Pecan Pie Brie that stray a bit away from traditional fare.
A Friendsgiving Feast
Sides, drinks and leftovers perfect for sharing with friends
(Family Features) Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your second family with festive, fun recipes that stray a bit away from traditional fare.
These recipes for a caramelized Brie and a chocolatey red wine from the McCormick kitchens are also sure to please. If your party falls after the big day, put those turkey leftovers to good use with a cheesy turkey crescent ring perfect for feeding a group of friends.
Find more recipes to share with friends this season at McCormick.com.
Chipotle Corn Pudding
Prep time: 10 minutes
Slow Cooker Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Prep time: 5 minutes
Pecan Pie Brie
Prep time: 5 minutes
Leftover Turkey Taco Crescent Ring
Prep time: 25 minutes
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