Saturday, January 30, 2021

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Growing up, the most reviled side dish my mother would serve was brussels sprouts. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe she boiled them. I knew I was in for a horror of a dinner when the odor wafting throughout the house smelled like something that crawled out of a dead goat's butt.

Fast forward 60 years and a little invention called the air fryer have turned brussels sprouts into a most revered delicacy. Gone are the mushy, boiled baby cabbage nightmares of my youth. The air fryer makes the leaves brittle and imbues the vegetable with a very serious crunch.

But just having a potato chip-like crunch is not enough. This Melissa Clark recipe adds slivers of garlic, which in fact the air fryer converts to garlic chips. But it doesn't stop there. There is a bath with thickened balsamic vinegar...a dash of soy sauce for your daily requirement of umami....and crowned with the juice of a fresh squeezed lime. Hasta la vista, baby...the goat has left the building!


1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stems

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of lime juice, plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce


  1. Set air fryer to 400º. Preheat for 3 minutes.
  2. Place brussels sprouts in the air fryer; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt. Fry for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  3. Sprinkle sprouts with garlic. Continue to fry until garlic is golden brown, 2-4 minutes.
  4. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer. When vinegar has thickened (about 2-3 minutes), remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons oil, lime juice and soy sauce.
  5. Transfer brussels sprouts to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Squeeze more lime juice on top to taste, then serve.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Seared Steak with Apple Salad and Horseradish Vinaigrette


This Kate Merker salad  is the culinary equivalent of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (which I believe to be the most magnificent piece of music ever written). There is something in the salad for everyone and the salad hits every single taste bud on your tongue. Actually it does not "hit" every taste explodes on the tongue like the chorus from "Ode to Joy".

There's the savory richness of the seared steak. The tart sweetness of green apple. The bitter and peppery snap of the watercress. And let us not forget the heat of the horseradish...beef's best friend. This is what's for supper tonight in the Gruggen household...along with a nice Cab and a piece of music by my friend, Ludwig. While it took a full three years of his life to write his Ninth Symphony, I feel joy that I can toss this meal together in about 20 minutes.


1 large ribeye steak, at least 1-1/2 inches thick, 1-1/2 to 2 pounds

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 scallion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced

1 bunch watercress, stems discarded


  1. Place steak on a plate at room temperature for 2 hours prior to cooking.
  2. Heat oven to 450°F. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (cast iron recommended) on medium-high. Rub steak with 2 teaspoons olive oil, then season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast steak to desired doneness, about 6 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; stir in scallion and horseradish.
  4. Add apple and cucumber and toss to combine. Fold in watercress and serve with sliced steak.

Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Air-Fryer Korean Steak Tips


As kitchen gadgets go, the Air Fryer has turned out to be incredibly popular. So much so that a prestigious  kitchen recipe and equipment expert, "America's Test Kitchen", has pumped out a fabulous new cookbook called "Air Fryer Perfection". While there is no question that air fryers turn out the most amazing French fries and tater tots, this cookbook clearly demonstrates the air fryer's prowess at turning out fantastic entrees, as well. This recipe calls for sirloin tips (also called flap meat). Purchase it as a whole steak and then cut it into uniform cubes.


1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

4 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons gochujang (if your store does not carry this, use sriracha)

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1-1/2 pounds sirloin steak tips, cut into 2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

3 scallions sliced thin on bias


  1. In a large glass bowl, combine oil, ginger and garlic. Microwave mixture for 30 seconds. Then whisk in honey, gochujang and soy sauce until smooth. Add steak tips, toss to coat and let bowl sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Arrange steak tips in air-fryer basket, spaced evenly apart. Place basket in air-fryer and cook meat at 400º for 7 minutes. Open fryer basket and flip sirloin tips over. Cook for another 7 minutes at 400º.
  3. Arrange steak tips on a serving platter, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions.

A NOTE FROM GROGS: Unfortunately, most items you buy have oven cooking instructions but not air fryer instructions. Here's an easy way to convert oven cooking instructions to your air fryer. Using the oven instructions, reduce cooking temperature by 25º and reduce cooking time by 20%. Remember to always flip the food halfway through.

Wine pairing: Zinfandel

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Swedish Meatballs in Cream Sauce


"Comfort food is the food that makes us

feel good...satisfied, calm, cared for and carefree.

It's food that fills us up emotionally and physically.

Finding comfort in food is a basic human experience."

Ellie Krieger

Few things in life say comfort like meatballs in cream sauce over buttered egg noodles. And the season and circumstances around us make me yearn for comfort. So this is what's for supper. I'm just going to put this Gretchen McKay recipe out there for you...and then I'm going to the kitchen to get cooking. Enjoy.


For the Meatballs

3 slices soft white bread, torn into pieces

1/2 cup whole milk, warmed

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 yellow onion , minced

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

For the Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups beef broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Place bread in a small bowl and cover with warm milk. Stir to combine, then set aside.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan or skillet. Cook onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer onion into a large bowl. To the bowl, add the soaked bread and all other meatball ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Mix by hand until ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Roll the mixture into golf ball-size meatballs, packing them firmly. Place the meatballs on an oiled sheet pan and then roast them in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove sheet pan from oven and set aside.
  5. Make the sauce: Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large sauce pan. Sprinkle in flour. Stir with a whisk until flour browns, about 3 minutes. Whisk in broth and heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer, whisking regularly, until sauce is reduced, about 5 minutes. Then stir in sour cream and mustard. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Add meatballs to sauce and gently stir to combine. Simmer meatballs in sauce until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Then spoon meatballs with sauce over buttered egg noodles and serve.

Wine pairing: Merlot

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs


I'm going to kick off year 12 of blog writing with a stupid simple recipe. I made this last night because I'm kind of tired of cooking after all of the holiday hoopla. It's a no-brainer recipe that simply requires you to brown some meat and dump some stuff in a slow cooker. Truth be told, you could even skip the browning part...but that would be at the expense of a lot of great flavor.

This recipe works easily with all 3 cuts of short ribs, be it English, Flanken or Boneless. Short ribs have a lot of fat and collagen and really become extraordinary when they are braised in a slow cooker. I served the short ribs with mashed potatoes. I cheated at the end and added 1-1/2 cups of the braising liquid to a packet of Knorr Brown Gravy Mix and I'm here to tell you that was an absolute, over-the-top flavor bomb!


4 pounds beef short ribs

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup red wine

3 cups beef broth

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 sprig fresh rosemary


  1. Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. When oil is shimmering, brown short ribs, about 3 minutes per side. Turn off heat and place short ribs in slow cooker.
  2. Deglaze pan with red wine, scraping the bits of fond off bottom of pan. Add to slow cooker with all other ingredients. Place rosemary sprig on top of short ribs and cook in slow cooker (covered) for 8 hours on low. Serve.

Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

Grogs and Goldie, 1956