Ranchman’s Steak Butter

steak butter 1


The start of school signals the end of summer at our house. I know many of you have children already back in school, but with two college students, this is my week. I went to a football scrimmage last week to kick off this “fallish” time of year. I know the calendar will not agree with me for weeks, but I am ready for everything that comes with the start of another school year. Cooler weather, sweatshirts, football, and no more mowing!!

As I start a new schedule, I am excited about something new. I am going to share my email address with you for two reasons. One, so that you can submit questions. Any questions you have about my recipes or cooking in general. I will do my best to help you out in this department. Two, Occasionally, I want to feature a READER RECIPE.  Submit your favorite recipes and tell me a little bit about you, your life, your kids, etc. Then read Not Just Sunday Dinner and watch for the occasional READER RECIPE.  I look forward to getting to know you and trying your excellent recipes!  Let’s get started, email me today at notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com.

This week’s recipe is an incredible steak butter! I first tried steak butter in Kansas City several years ago and have been hooked since. Forget the steak sauce, this is all you’ll need. The fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon juice make any steak mouth-watering! This recipe makes enough to share with a friend or freeze. Don’t limit yourself to only topping steaks, though, try it on chicken and pork too!

AAA Amye Signature for blog

Ranchman's Steak Butter
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. plus 1 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  1. Toast garlic in 2 tbsp. butter in a small skillet. Heat just until turning brown. Be very careful not to burn it. Set aside.
  2. Place 1 lb. butter in a medium bowl. Add minced thyme, minced rosemary, salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. Add melted butter and garlic to butter/herb mixture, blend.
  4. Divide butter in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and form 2 logs. Refrigerate to firm.
  5. After grilling your steak place ¼-inch thick disks on each steak. Serve.
(Can be kept in freezer up to 1 month.)


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Seafood Gumbo

seafood gumbo recipe

With vacation season upon us I am missing Florida!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my home state of Georgia, but the warmer weather has me longing for long walks on the white sandy beaches and fresh seafood.  After a recent visit to the Gulf coast, I have had a craving for seafood gumbo. Fortunately, my freezer was stocked with most everything I needed. This gumbo is loaded with succulent shrimp, oysters, crab and crawfish. Crawfish are freshwater shellfish that are commonly raised in freshwater ponds.  However, you will find them listed under seafood at most restaurants.  If you don’t care for crawfish, you can replace them with additional oysters, crab, or shrimp if you prefer.

This gumbo has a kick to it; if you are sensitive to heat you may wish to adjust the seasonings to your taste. I like my gumbo slightly thick and usually have extra filé to have on hand, just in case I need it. It is best to add the seafood about 20 minutes before serving, as to avoid overcooking. Serve your gumbo over steamed rice with plenty of garlic bread.

Seafood Gumbo
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. diced yellow onion
  • 1 c. celery
  • 1 c. diced green bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 c. chopped green onions, divided
  • 1½ gallons water
  • ½ lb. fresh or frozen okra
  • 1 (10-oz.) can Rotel
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ c. Old Bay Seasoning
  • Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic
  • 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 2½ lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (70 to 90 ct.)
  • 1 lb. crab meat
  • 1 pint fresh oysters
  • 2 to 3 oz. Pure Ground Gumbo File
  1. Make a roux in a large heavy pot over medium heat: Add oil to pot and heat over medium heat, add flour, it will sizzle when it's at the correct temperature. Use a whisk and stir constantly. Stir until it reaches the color of peanut butter. DO NOT BURN!!
  2. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and ½ c. green onions. Cook until ingredients are cooked down.
  3. Add water, okra, Rotel, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 1 hour. Add seafood and continue to cook on medium for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Taste for seasoning. Add file to thicken.
  5. Stir in remaining green onions and simmer a few more minutes. Serve over rice in bowls.



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Chicken Pie


chicken pie

I remember my grandmother’s chicken pies.  They were simple, with no vegetables and a biscuit like crust, and oh so delicious!  Bo (that’s what we called my grandmother) would often make them to take to “dinner on the ground” at church.  What I wouldn’t give to have one of her chicken pies today!

Honestly, I haven’t made many chicken pies over the years.  Savannah and I love them but Wes and Greg did not care for them until recently.  However, do you remember me telling you about a wonderful $1 thrift store cookbook find a couple of weeks ago?  I posted the Brown Sugar Pie from the book.  Well, this is another recipe from the same cookbook!  It is truly turning out to be a treasure!  The name of the book is A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson, and it could be the best $1 I have ever spent!

The gravy in this pie is spectacular!  The addition of sage and thyme are simply delicious.  Sage can be a bit overpowering, but this 1/2 teaspoon is perfect for this size pie!   I dare to say, this pie may even be better than Bo’s.  I have changed the original recipe slightly to better suit our taste.  This recipe, like Bo’s, does not have peas or carrots.  I made individual pies but you can make one big pie.  I added a sprinkling of frozen peas and some cooked carrots to Savannah’s pie.  You may notice that two different crusts are pictured above.  I used puff pastry, brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with salt and pepper for a couple of my individual pies.  For the other pies I made a biscuit crust and added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of everything seasoning, brushed with egg wash and sprinkled additional everything seasoning on top.  Use your favorite biscuit recipe or make half of the Homemade Biscuit recipe, also found on NJSD.  Add 1 1/2 tsp. of the everything seasoning blend to the biscuit mixture (recipe below), and roll to between 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.  (We love everything seasoning on omelets, pretzel dogs, rolls, and biscuits!)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Pie
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. rubbed sage
  • ½ tsp. dried leaf thyme, crumbled
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 c. hot chicken broth
  • 5 to 6 c. bite-size pieces cooked chicken
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Puff Pastry or Homemade Biscuit Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cook chicken as desired. Set aside to cool, then pick off bones.
  3. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are limp.
  4. Blend in the flour, salt, sage, thyme, and pepper, then whisking hard, slowly add the hot broth. Cook, whisking all the while, for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Set the skillet off the heat, cool for 15 minutes, then fold in the chicken.
  5. Beat egg with 1 tbsp. water, set aside.
  6. Scoop the chicken mixture into individual dishes or one 9 x 13-inch dish. Brush the edge of dish with egg wash. Ease the crust of your choice over the top of chicken mixture. Allow crust to overhang the sides slightly. Brush with egg wash (you will not use all of the egg wash), sprinkle with salt and pepper or everything seasoning. Cut a few slits in the crust to vent.
  7. Slide the pies or pie onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
  8. Cool the pie/pies for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Everything Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. dried minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. dried minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  1. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.


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Venison Steaks in Sweet-Sour Sauce

It’s no secret that I live with two men who love to hunt.  They expect me to cook up something wonderful with what they kill so I am always on the hunt for new recipes.  To be honest, I will not eat all cuts of wild game meat and when I do I prefer a sauce on it.  The sauce just seems to help cover up any wild taste that it may have.

This is a great recipe from Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin.  It was really easy and quick too, which I loved!  I used the back strap for this recipe and it is a recipe I will definitely make again!


Venison Steaks in Sweet-Sour Sauce
  • 1 venison loin or large tenderloin (about 1½ pounds), trimmed of fat
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ c. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. hearty red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  1. Cut venison into 4 steaks and using a meat pounder, pound the steaks gently until each is about ¾-inch thick. Rub the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme. Arrange the steaks in a single layer on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours before cooking.
  2. Mix the ketchup, jam, soy sauce, and water together in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. When you are ready to cook the steaks, heat the oven to 160 degrees.
  4. Heat the peanut oil and 1 tbsp. of the butter in a large heavy skillet until hot. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper, place them in the skillet, and sauté over medium-high heat for 2 to 2½ minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to an ovenproof plate, leaving the drippings in the pan, and keep warm in the oven while you make the sauce.
  5. Add the shallots to the drippings and sauté for about 20 seconds. Add the vinegar and wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1½ minutes. Add the jam mixture and mix well, then stir in the remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Boil for 10 seconds, then strain through a fine strainer.
  6. Place a steak on plate, coat the steaks with the sauce, and serve.
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Summer Squash and Ricotta Pie

We plant 2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini plants every year in our garden.  This typically gives us all of the squash we would ever want plus some to share.  This isn’t the case this year because of the rain.  In fact, our plants are yellow and they look like they may die.  Therefore, I’m treasuring the few squash that I am able to harvest this year.

Here’s a recipe that uses zucchini and yellow squash.  It’s fresh, delicious, and the presentation is beautiful!  Serve with a green salad and you have a meatless meal.

I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust for easy preparation.  Also, I buy the big wedges of aged Parmesan cheese at the store.  I then pulse in the food processor several times until I have small pea size pieces or smaller.  I store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator to have on hand for various recipes.


Summer Squash and Ricotta Pie
  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ c. ricotta cheese
  • ½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lg. egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 lg. egg white
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine olive oil, zucchini squash and garlic in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper, and egg, stirring to combine.
  4. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14-inch circle. Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange zucchini and squash slices alternately, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture. Sprinkle squash with kosher salt. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp. water and egg white. Brush dough edges with egg white mixture.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
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