Campfire Potatoes Recipe

Along with the Cajun Flank Steak we had for dinner tonight, we made Campfire Potatoes. We found the recipe on the side of the bag of Yukon Gold potatoes. I wasn’t very keen on the onions, but it looked OK otherwise.

Ingredients:

  • 24oz Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to high heat (around 600).
  2. Slice potatoes thin.
  3. Slice onion.
  4. Spread potatoes and onion slices in the pan.
  5. Cut the butter into pieces and spread them out in the pan.
  6. Mix cheddar cheese, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and sprinkle over the potatoes.
  7. Add chicken broth and cover with foil.
  8. Cook on the grill for about 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Campfire Potatoes - Recipe

I had never worked with Yukon Gold potatoes before. I was surprised at how small they are compared to normal baking potatoes.

Campfire Potatoes - Slicing

We sliced the potatoes with a mandolin set at 1/4 inch. That gave us a lot of slices from that one bag of potatoes.

Campfire Potatoes - Prep

Originally we were going to put the potatoes on foil but we found that they were easier to work with in a foil pan we had leftover from our FootBall Food Frenzy.

Campfire Potatoes - Ready to ServeThe potatoes cooked for about 35 minutes and then we let them stand about 5 minutes. They were very tender. It was a little hard to tell that there was any cheddar cheese on them when they cooked.

Cajun Flank Steak with Campfire PotatoesSo I decided it would be a good idea to add a little cheddar on top after everything was plated. The potatoes were very tender, but I didn’t really care for the onion taste they had. I avoided the onion slices themselves. I can’t say I liked them, but I didn’t entirely dislike them either although I didn’t finish them all. I think I might be able to work with these to come up with something I would like better. Linda suggested using a Spanish onion. I might try that as well as adding more cheddar cheese.

Burger with Irish Whiskey Onions

Since the onions on the Irish Steak surprised me, I figured I would give them another try, but this time on a burger. My wife, Linda, normally has caramelized onions on her burger and when I said that I wanted to do them up like on the steak, she was more than willing.

I started up the burgers on the grill like I normally would. Meanwhile back inside, I sliced and diced some onions and started them in our cast iron pan. I added a little olive oil and butter, seasoned them with black pepper and salt, and cooked them on medium-high heat for around 10 minutes. Then I turned off the gas and added a little Jameson Irish Whiskey. Turning off the gas is a good idea to prevent anything from flaming up if some of the whiskey splatters or spills.

Unlike the steak, the burgers never cooked in the onion whiskey sauce. I brought them in from the grill when they were cooked to our liking. Linda put a bunch of onions on her burger. I was much more cautious. I only added a little bit. I didn’t want it to ruin my meal if I didn’t care for them. One thing I noticed was that the onion sauce didn’t have quite the same dark color it did with the steak. It was a little dark, but not as much. I think that might be because some of the juices from the steak helped darken it and add flavor to it.

I so had my burger with a little bit of onion sauce, cheese, and ketchup. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. Linda said I should have added more onions to really get the flavor. I might try that next time. Then again, it might be better to cook the burger in the cast iron pan with the onions. I’m not sure either one will make a difference. Burgers might just need to stay the way they are. Some things just shouldn’t be messed with.

Irish Steaks Recipe

I have never found an onion I didn’t want to spit out of my mouth – until now.

My wife found this recipe last week and we decided to try it out over the weekend. She has always been telling me that onions are sweeter when they get caramelized. I tried one of her onions before and found it way to slimy and disgusting, but those were sliced onions. This calls for chopped onions. I also thought the addition of whiskey might make the onions easier to take. I tweaked things slightly, but here is the official recipe. Read below for my changes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 4 ounce beef top sirloin steaks
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup Irish whiskey such as Jameson®
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf

Directions

  1. Heat vegetable oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until butter has melted.
  2. Cook and stir onions in butter and oil until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Push onions aside with a spatula.
  3. Rub steaks with cut sides of garlic clove.
  4. Place steaks in the skillet, leaving the onions to the side, and cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned but still lightly pink inside, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat. Slowly pour Irish whiskey into the hot skillet be careful, whiskey fumes are flammable.
  6. Mix browned onions into whiskey and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  7. Sprinkle steaks with salt, black pepper, and parsley
  8. Turn steaks over in whiskey pan sauce to coat both sides, and serve drizzled with sauce.

via Irish Steaks Recipe – Allrecipes.com.

I started off pretty much the same way. I chopped the onion up reasonably fine figuring that it would be easier for me to deal with the texture if it was all tiny pieces. Normally when I caramelize onions for my wife, I just use olive oil in a cast iron pan. The combination of butter and vegetable oil seems to really help brown them nicely.

I cut the garlic and rubbed it on the steak, but somehow I doubt this really adds anything to the dish. If your fussy eater is really cautious about what you use when you cook, I’d suggest leaving it out. I just used one large sirloin steak rather than several small ones. Instead of waiting to season the steak when it went on the skillet, I sprinkled Instant Gourmet and salt on it while I let the onion cook. I then added the steak to the skillet and browned it up.

I added 1/4 cup of whiskey and didn’t think it covered enough of the steak so I added another 1/4 cup and mixed in the onions. Be sure to keep the burner off when adding the whiskey or you might just end up with and unexpected flambe.

Once I added the whiskey safely, I turned the heat back on medium. Once it started simmering, I turned it down just a bit. I kept stirring the onions up in the whiskey too. Eventually, after about 5 to 10 minutes it had reduced down to a nice sauce.

I removed the cast iron pan from the stove and cut the steak down into 2 portions. The only thing I dislike about sirloin is that it is a little bit fattier than I care for so I did have to cut it up a bit to get enough meat to eat. I only put a little bit of the onion/whiskey sauce on my steak until I knew what to expect. I didn’t have high hopes.

To my surprise, the onions really did add a sweetness to the steak and they didn’t have that same slimy feel that the sliced onions usually have. I think finely chopping them made a huge difference in the texture. They were soft and mushy, but not slimy. I made sure to just put a little on each piece of steak so I didn’t get much of that mushy texture either. I’m not quite sure why the recipe calls for sirloin. I think the next time I make steak this way I’m going to try a London broil or maybe even a strip steak. They are a bit more lean.

I can’t believe I actually found a way to eat onions! It was totally unexpected. I never would have thought I’d be looking forward to trying an onion dish a second time (or first for that matter).

Are there any recipes that have surprised your fussy eater? Let me know and I’ll give them a try too.

Beware of Dog

I’m sure you’ve probably seen these signs at some point or another. They protect you because thieves are afraid of what’s inside the house. The same kind of thing applies to fussy eaters.

A fussy eater will often avoid certain foods because of what’s in them. I don’t like onions, so I’ll avoid foods that have onions in them. The same is true for garlic. However, there are sometimes exceptions. I don’t like tomatoes, but I will eat pizza which contains pizza sauce. I also eat ketchup which is primarily tomatoes. However, I don’t eat spaghetti with sauce. I have tasted spaghetti sauce and it is not the same as pizza sauce (as I’m sure any Italian mother can confirm).

In order to get your fussy eater to try something you are going to have to avoid the “What’s in it?” question. That’s easier said than done. It’s the first question I ask when given something new. This is where a certain level of trust helps. My wife Linda knows some of the things I strongly dislike. She won’t have me try something that contains them. So I have to trust her and not ask what’s in a new dish until after I have tried it. This works well with older fussy eaters, but may be more difficult with the younger ones.

A 15 Year Grudge

I can’t remember the exact year, but I was still in High School at the time. My family went out to McDonald’s for dinner. This was back when they first started to prepare burgers without all the fixings. Yes, some of you probably don’t realize that McDonald’s used to make everything their way. That’s why Burger King’s slogan was “Have it your way”. So naturally, I ordered a plain cheeseburger like I still do when dining out.

When I started eating my burger, it didn’t take long for me to find a piece of onion. Apparently, back then they just scrapped off whatever you didn’t want on your burger – and they missed some. I spit it out and refused to finish my burger. In fact, I refused to eat another McDonald’s burger for at least 15 years.

Even now I am very careful to make sure they understand my order and I check it before I take a bite. This is especially true for drive-thru orders from any fast food establishment.

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