No, I'm not sure why I titled this post that way... just a passing fancy, I guess.
So, in case I haven't mentioned it before, we had a major windstorm pass through the Puget Sound (Washington) area on Thursday, and apparently, it caused the worst power outages ever!
Jessi and I lucked out, only losing power for six hours (from midnight Thursday night until 6 am Friday morning). My parents weren't quite so lucky... they didn't get their power back until about mid-afternoon today (Saturday). My brother Jeff is unluckiest of all... so far as we know, he still doesn't have power!
Which is, of course, why Jessi and I invited him to come down to our place for dinner tonight (we would've invited his wife, Kristi, but she's in Vegas with her best friend this weekend). Actually, Jessi did the inviting. She also invited the rest of my family who was suffering from loss of electricity to come down to our place and enjoy our heat, working television, and take advantage of our working hot water heater to get a shower (and also to get a home-cooked meal). Nobody else in the family elected to take her up on the offer, though.
What's really weird is that originally, we were supposed to be having this couple we met at our training for foster parenting come over for dinner, along with their three kids... but they were also without power, and so were visting in-laws up north of Seattle or so, and had to cancel out on coming over.
Which meant that we had six steaks in the refrigerator that had been marinating since Friday night, and we only cooked three of them for dinner tonight (yes, I know we had invited five people plus the two of us originally... and we were going to try to get more steaks or optionally, have pizza for the kids, but then we got the call they were cancelling).
The steaks, by the way, were the best steaks I've cooked in a long, long time... and these steaks were purchased from Grocery Outlet! In case you don't have one in your area (or if you do, and don't know what it is), Grocery Outlet is kind of like Big Lots in a way... except for groceries. They have stuff that was overstocked at other grocery stores, or was being cleared out, or whatever... food that's perfectly good (and name brand stuff, along with store brands), but priced way below standard grocery store prices. The box of steaks we got had six steaks for something like seven dollars. We've also bought an 18-pack of soy burgers (that are very tasty) for six bucks (which is amazing... typically, you'd only get maybe eight soy burgers for that price at Safeway or other stores). Since they opened a new location near us, I try to get there at least once a week to do the majority of our grocery shopping.
Now, I won't say that these were the highest quality steaks I've ever purchased -- and I have purchased steaks at Safeway that cost me more, but didn't turn out so great -- but I can readily identify what made these so juicy, tasty and tender.
My secret? Dale's Marinade.
Now, I'd used Dale's before, when I was living in Wisconsin. My first wife's father lived in Tennessee, and when we went to visit him for the first time, he used this marinade on the steaks we had for dinner, and we liked it so much we bought several bottles to take with us. Next time we went there, we bought a case of the stuff.
When I moved back to Washington, I was down to three bottles, and they were all gone before I met Jessi... so she'd never tried it before.
Only problem was, I couldn't buy it in Washington (heck, I couldn't buy it in Wisconsin, either). I could have ordered it from the Dale's website, but I never did (because I'd have had to order so much to make the per unit price acceptable, given postage costs).
But they had it at Wal-Mart. How long they've been carrying it, I don't know. But I insisted we get it to marinate the steaks.
If your steaks tend to be dry, or chewy, here's my method: The night before you're going to cook them, put your steaks in a zip-bag (or a shallow baking dish, if you don't have any zip-bags) along with enough Dale's to cover on one side (it'll vary depending on how many steaks you're marinading as well as what you're putting them in -- I think I used a half cup for the six steaks we marinaded in a large baking dish). Let them marinate like that in the fridge overnight, and the next morning, turn them over and put them back in the fridge.
To prepare them, if you don't have a grill to use, put the oven on broil. When it's warmed up, broil for about four or five minutes, then turn over and broil for three or four minutes more (you may need longer depending on how hot your broiler setting gets, and how well-done you like your steaks).
I don't do anything else to the steaks... no tenderizing needed!
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