Five years ago, I stumbled upon a book called Cook-Off Recipe Fever in America by Amy Sutherland. It details cooking contests and the contestants who enter these contests. It struck a chord with me and I decided to pursue this hobby. I love everything about this hobby from the creativity to the friends I’ve met. I’ve traveled all over with this hobby–from the streets of San Francisco to the plains of South Dakota to the bright lights of Broadway. It has also taught me how to step beyond the ordinary in cooking and create extraordinary dishes.
I can barely draw a straight line. I can’t keep the beat to even the simplest melody. My teenage boys can attest to the fact that I certainly cannot carry a tune. I express my creativity in the kitchen. Creating exciting meals for your family doesn’t take fancy training from a prestigious culinary school nor does it need to involve hours slaving over a hot stove. Taking common ingredients and turning them into extraordinary dishes is like solving a puzzle. It takes some trial and error. Be brave! Step out of your culinary comfort zone and become a COURAGEOUS COOK!
This is a dish is adapted from one I created for the National Beef Cook-Off. I won 10 grand in the finals!
Wild West Beef Tips with Smoked Gouda Grits
Smoked Gouda Grits:
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup quick-cooking grits
2-4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
Wild West Beef Tips:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces Portabello mushroom caps, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped red onion
1 (17 ounce) package fully cooked Beef Tips with Gravy*
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
To prepare grits:
In medium saucepan, bring water to a rapid boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Stir in butter and cheese. Continue stirring until butter and cheese are melted. Cover and remove from heat.
In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and onions. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add contents of Beef Tips and Gravy package. Stir to combine; cover and continue cooking 5 minutes or until heated through.