Tuesday, May 21, 2013

HELP! Shark! Improve MK's Recipe Give-Away!

Now that I have your attention...

This is my first  EVER blog give-away. 

Drum roll, please...

The super lovely (inside and out) and talented Kristina Vanni, editor and owner of Cooking Contest Central, the web's premier site for those who love competitive cooking, offered MK's Fabulous Food Adventures a great deal; one FREE one year membership to CCC for any follower to whom I want to bestow the prize. 

Now comes the hard part. Since I can't make the decision on my own, I decided to run a MINI cooking contest*, sort of... 

You are going to help me perfect one my recipes -

My recipe is for  "Greek Shark Steaks;"  My latest culinary  masterpiece which plated beautifully but didn't turn out to be all that.  Really.

Yeah, I missed something,  folks.  Something big.  The fish was very "chewy," and it was missing an ingredient. I just can't figure out what went wrong or what I needed to add.

Now, it's your turn!

So here is your mission, if you choose to accept it: 


Your task is to read my recipe (below) and to figure out two things:

(1)  A different cooking method or different procedure to keep these economical steaks from drying out.

(2) One ingredient you would have added, which I forgot, but would have made this recipe "pop with flavor."


For those of you who have been following this blog since it was "Just for Cooking," you know that hubby, Dan, and I have our wonderful "Test Kitchen Saturdays."  We try out our recipes on each other and then enter some into cooking contests. 


Truth is, my hubby, Dan, is kicking my butt in the contest arena.  After a couple of small contest wins, Dan set out for the big time.  He was a finalist in the Beringer Great Steak Challenge, which aired on the Cooking Channel last year.  Dan was also the grand prize winner in the Gnarly Head rib contest, and he was recently a first prize winner in the Ritz/Emeril's contest where he won this great indoor grill.

My point is - contesting can bring great things.  I too was in the first ever Beringer Great Steak Challenge (regional).  You can read about other contests on my page above.

Cooking contests not only bring the chance of a nice prize, but you will meet some of the nicest people you've ever met. 


Between today and June 2 at Midnight (EDT), you can submit one (1) entry.

IMPORTANT:  If you are friend on my personal FB page, you cannot submit the entry there as Dan will see it.

Submit all entries to:

(1) Go to the Face Book fan page icon on my blog (below to your right), click on it, like my fan page and submit your idea in a post on the wall

(2) Follow me on Twitter @MKwrites2 (submit your ideas in the Tweet)

(3)  Email your submission to Writersrus2@aol.com.  If emailing, please write give-away in the subject line.

ADDED:  Since I don't take comments directly on my blog, you can also submit them on the GOOGLE PLUS thread I started on this.

Dan has tasted my recipe.  I will "blindly" submit the ideas to him.  He will pick the entry with the best combination.  Family and friends, feel free to join in as it's just for fun.  No favoritism.  He won't even know who submitted what.

Only one prize will be awarded.  Once notified, you will need to provide me with a valid email address so I can send you that actual voucher for your free subscription. It will contain additional instructions on how to get your discount.

May the best home cook win!


Serves 2:

1 lb shark steak
2 tbs. lemon juice, divided
1/4 tsp. anchovy paste, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
2 tbs. organic buttery spread
1/2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. chopped Greek olives
1/2 tbs. capers, rinsed
Pinch crushed red pepper
Grape seed oil for brushing the grill pan and the fish
1/2 tbs. Greek seasoning
1/2 cup chopped tomato, seeded
Fresh chopped mint
Fresh chopped parsley
lemon wedges or lemon rounds


Rinse shark steak.  Add half of the lemon juice, half of the anchovy paste, and a tbs. of the wine into a bowl and whisk together.  Pour over shark steak.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour. 

When ready to prepare, remove shark steak from container. Pat dry and discard marinade.

Preheat grill pan to medium high.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the rest of the lemon juice, the anchovy paste, wine, and half of the butter along with the olive oil.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, until the mixture reduces by 1/2.  Whisk in the rest of the butter.

Add the olives, capers and the crushed read pepper to the sauce.

Brush the grill pan with the grape seed oil as well as the fish.  Season both sides of the fish with the Greek seasoning.  Grill for four minutes first side, two minutes the second side. 

To plate, add half of the fish to each plate.  Top with tomatoes, sauce, mint and parsely.  Serve with a lemon wedge or lemon round.

Well, that's my recipe. It sounds good, but how could I make it better? 

Good luck. 

More about CCC:

Home to 4 of the Pillsbury Bake-Off $1,000,000 winners!

-Cooking Contest Central is the largest website and online community dedicated to cooking and recipe contests.

-An annual subscription is $25. Members receive access to contest listings, member forums, winning recipes archives, contest alert newsletters, the opportunity to enter "members only" recipe contests, and the option to join the CCC Food Blogger Network.

For more information, visit:  Cooking Contest Central

*Note: You must be 18 years or older to participate.  Prize was donated by Cooking Contest Central.

Blogger was not compensated in any way by CCC; only one voucher was provided to be used as a give-away.

NOTE:  I was asked to extend the deadline as the due date conflicted with a holiday weekend.  ;.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Easy Pub BBQ Sauce

Center Cut Pork Chop
Basted with My Easy Pub BBQ Sauce. 

Summer is almost here.  That means for those of you up north, you are likely cleaning the grill and getting it ready to go for Memorial Day.  For those of us down south, if you are like me, you grill pretty much all year round.

Tonight I have a little advice for you -- Don't EVER buy barbecue sauce.  No, I have nothing personal against Jack Daniels, or any other sauce maker for that matter.  There are plenty of excellent BBQ sauces on the market.  Yes, I do buy salad dressing and steak sauce from time to time.  But homemade BBQ sauce is just so darn easy to make.  And I am about to show you that. 

My point is -- You've probably invested enough in the other condiments in your refrigerator that it will take to make this recipe -- the sauce manufacturers will forgive you.  Homemade BBQ sauce is so much more delicious. 

BTW-  I recently found out that I love red ale.  I am working my way down the list at World or Beer... slowly but surely, with hubby Dan's help.   We are actually in the 100 club now, but I like this picture of us better. 

"Vanity, you are a food blogger."

But back to why we are here!

Here's all you need to do:


Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbs. yellow mustard
2 tbs. Heinz 57 ® Steak Sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 cup Irish Red Ale
1/2 tbs. onion powder
1 tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar


Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about two hours over low heat, uncovered, until sauce is thickened to your liking.  Whisk occasionally.

Note the color change as the sauce reduces and thickens.

Told you it was easy, but you didn't believe me, did you?  You were a skeptic.  Come on... be honest with MK.

See you soon!

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