TGI Friday’s Menu:Jack Daniel’s sauce Yassy’s Version

 If you ask my
husband what kinds of dishes he likes best, answer will be grilled
steak. It is either thick cut of juicy medium rare fillet, or thinly
sliced flavorful flank steak.

 I cannot cook up fillet all the time but,when I do,my husband gets very excited and enjoys every bite of it.

 Needless to say, Palette gets excited thinking she might get tiny tiny nibbles out of it. She has a good nose so, she comes to kitchen running when she hears me opening up the beef steak package.

 She is a smart Corgi. She never tries to stand right next to me to see what I am doing while I am cooking, but rather, she knows from her experience that she gets yummies when she is on “down” position. Therefore, once she reaches to the destination,she stays like a sphinx with her eyes on the prize.

 She knows that I usually trim the steak before seasoning, and grilling the steaks, and I will have some itty bitty pieces I could share with her.

 When she down-stays with “sphinx” style, she sometimes get a small pieces of steaks. I toss the piece of rare steak toward her, and she catches it in the air pretty nicely. She is very good at catching things She loves that rare treats.

 When we go to grocery shopping, we have a grocery list.

 Do you make one too? If not, start making list of what you need to buy. That way, you know what you need to buy,and less likely buying things that are not really needed,a.k.a. impulse buying. Therefore, it is one good tip I could give you to save a cost on the grocery bill.

 One other thing I do is to make a weekly menu plan,based on what you already have in your pantry,freezer,and fridge. This way, you would cut the grocery bill quite a bit,plus you would probably have less “waste”.

 Also, since you would most likely buy less cost-wise, you can spend the money on good quality meat.

 I used to cook up steak with various kinds of cut from NY strips,Rib eyes, Fillet, Flank steak etc.. but now if I cook steak, I will use either flank steak or fillet.

If you are to get fillet, make sure to pick the piece of fillet that the cut is
even and round as opposed to the fillet that got uneven
fillet (the fillet that has one side is thicker than the other) or
uneven thickness of steaks in the package or round shape with some chunk
of meat attached which normally get trimmed off.

 This smaller untrimmed meat chunk hanging to the other part of fillet is what I normally trim off.

 If you think you cannot trim off that piece of hanging meat, use the butcher’s twine and tie it together so that hanging piece will stay with the rest of the steak during the cooking process.

 If you want 2 fillet, you can get fillet with the same even
thickness,and you can point at what you want in the tray,and often
times,I find fillet at the butcher shop is well trimmed and nice round shape that you would
expect it to be.

 Even thickness ensure the same cooking time and,you would less likely
to overcook one of the steaks, or uneven cooking with the same steak
(one side of the steak is over cooked).

 Plus, in the case of the butcher shop we go to, they tie with the butcher’s
twine so it keeps shape while cooking and, you will get nice steak for
your meal.

 Even if you will get New York strips,or Rib eyes, pick the one with
even thickness of the steak that are not one side is thicker than the
other to ensure the same cooking time.

 Also,if you cook up rib eyes etc.. ,pick up the steak with nice pink-red color.

 You may sometime find packaged meat with greyish color in the steak at
the grocery store.

 As time passes by, since meat is exposed to the air for
so long, it changes its color to grey from pink-red,and sometimes, you
will find accumulated blood in the package.

 If you see discolored steak with accumulated blood in the package,it means,it is the old package.

 One other thing to look at is the marbling of the steak.

 Marbling should be thin streaks line of fat,and it should be
distributed evenly. You would find thick line of fat in the steak
sometimes, and they are connective tissue and the steak will be tough and

 When it comes to steak menu, I think, best of the best so far among the restaurants we have been to, is bacon wrapped filet mignon from Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

 They use the center cut beef tenderloin, and wrap the fillet with applewood smoked bacon, and serve them with sides.

 What I like about their dishes is that, their filet is always consistent in texture, flavor, and shape, and we never leave the restaurant disappointed with this dish.

 Always even cut steak,and they are not greasy at all,and very tender and juicy filet.

 If there were one thing they could improve on, it will be the bacon.

 It adds nice smoky flavor to the steak and it is tasty but,the bacon is flappy and I think if they use much thinner slice of bacon or par-cook the bacon a bit before wrapping it around the steak, to make it to crispy bacon around the steak,that will be super. 

 Some other restaurants offer fillet as well in their menu but, some offer uneven cut of fillet, some offer chewy, tougher fillet, some offer under cooked/over cooked fillet, and some offer greasy fillet,which you can see the grease puddle on the plate and they are not appetizing.

 I like the filet from Firebirds Wood Fired Grill best,but I find that they tend to have issue of salt with some of their dishes.

 For example, I did not care for chile rubbed steak with key lime butter and chile rubbed salmon with crab and spinach fondue,drizzled with a tomato vinaigrette because it was super salty.
 With steak
, even if I cut them into paper thin slice,it was like eating a block of salt.Same goes with Chile rubbed salmon.I tried to dilute the saltiness with their bread, but it was super salty.

 I have tried their Meatloaf,French dip sandwich also, but they were also salty dish.

 If you visit their restaurant, try Seared Ahi Tuna,Chicken Quesadilla,Spinach Salad, Smokehouse burger,Bacon wrapped Filet mignon, or Wood Grilled Salmon (ask to have the salmon with Ginger mustard Aioli.The sauce is very good). These are all greeat menu without too much saltiness in the dish. These are the disheses that I enjoy a lot.

 Here in the states, you can find “steak” menu with variety of sauce at the restaurants.

 Do you have your favorite steak sauce?

 Back home in Japan, our meal is based around rice with several kinds of side dishes,which may, may not include meat in them, and having steak on the plate as star of the dish at home was a new concept to me.

 However,having living in the states long enough to enjoy steaks with all sorts of sauce, I have found one steak sauce that I like a lot.

 It is Jack Daniel’s sauce from TGI Friday’s.

 When I first visited the restaurant, the steak with Jack Daniel’s sauce was one of the very first dishes I have ordered at the restaurant.

 Their steak was okay. I liked the flavor of the sauce although it did not taste like true Teriyaki sauce, and it was a little sticky sweet for me.

 Probably because the flavor of the sauce was somewhat similar to what I was getting used to:Teriyaki sauce.

 When I tasted it, I thought it taste different from true Teriyaki sauce from Japan, and tasted like they did use brown sugar just like other food TV shows use and call it “Teriyaki sauce”.

 We do not use brown sugar in Teriyaki sauce back home.

 However, one thing I liked about the sauce was it got pineapple flavored,and it was something new and unique to me,plus I liked the addition of alcohol-whiskey, in the sauce.

 As you know,I am from Japan;the origin of Teriyaki sauce dish. I ate many kinds of Teriyaki dish back home but, I do not think we had the sauce similar to Jack Daniel’s sauce;the one with pineapple sauce although you might find Teryaki sauce with lemon juice in it.

 Looking at the freezer, I had 1 fillet and half flank steak.

 Therefore, I thought why not try recreating that Jack Daniel’s sauce, and drizzle that sauce over the sliced steak.

 Result was good.

 My husband wowed over the sauce,and really liked my improved version of Jack Daniel’s sauce. Since I do not like sticky sweet sauce, I have added Korean red pepper paste to bring up the level of “zing” in the sauce and,it came out good.

 As always, my husband liked the sauce very much,and drizzled it over the hot steamy white rice, and mixed it up and ate the Jack Daniel’s sauce infused rice.

 Since I had 2 different kinds of cut of steaks, I paid attention to each individual steaks but if you got a whole package of flank steak or different kinds of cut of steaks,different kinds of protein source, you can still make this dish the same way also.

 Only thing you need to do is to grill those protein source to your desired doneness,and slice it thin except seafood;shrimp,scallops, and fish fillet, and serve them over the sauteed vegetables.

 Protein source that has distinct flavor such as Turkey or Lamb probably not suited with this sauce.

 Sauteed vegetables gives the color that “pop” in the plate, and if you use different color of peppers etc..,it looks pretty.
 In this entry, I would share the recipe of “Grilled sesame steak with zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce”.

 To keep the sauce flavor similar to original version of the sauce, I used a bit of brown sugar.

Grilled Sesame steak with zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce…

Ingredients for grilled steak:

1 Beef tenderloin steak (Fillet) 8 oz
12 oz Beef Flank steak
Extra virgin olive oil
McCormick Grill mate Steak seasoning
Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce* (recipe follows)

Ingredients for Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce:

1.5 tbs soy sauce
3 cloves garlic grated
1 tbs grated onion
tbs Mirin* (recommend Morita brand)
2 tbs sake* (recommend Gekkeikan brand)
1 tbs white sugar
1/2C pineapple juice
1/3C dark
brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
1/8 tsp Kochujun
(Korean red pepper paste)

2 tsp Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
Ingredients for sauteed vegetables:

1/2 red onion sliced
1/4 red pepper sliced
1/4 green pepper sliced

Morton’s Natures Seasons
1 tbs Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce*(recipe follows)

<Grilled sesame steak with Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce>

0. 1 hour before the actual cooking time, take the meat out to let it come to the room temperature

1. Make Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce (recipe follows)

2. Pat the steak dry with paper towel and,sprinkle steak seasoning both sides

** Wet/Cold steak would not make nice sear on the steak

3. Drizzle Extra virgin olive oil in the skillet and wait until you see the steam coming off from the skillet

** You would need screaming hot skillet for the nice good sear on the steak

4. Cook 4 minutes,flip and cook 4-5 more minutes

5. Take temperature of the steak

** For medium rare steak, take the steak out from the skillet when your meat thermometer reads 125F to 130F

** For medium,130F-135F is the temperature to take the steak out from the skillet.

** Temperature of the steak continues to rise while steak is rested about 5F-10F more

*** How to finish cooking very thick beef tenderloin ***

When you have very thick tenderloin (1″ thick or more), you may find that after certain time cooked in the skillet, the outside of the steak starts burning but steak is not at the right temperature to take it off from the skillet.

What you can do about i t?

One thing you can do is to cook the steak on the oven safe skillet,and after about 8-10 minutes on the stove top and still steak is at lower temperature than you want it to be, simply preheat the oven at 350F and put the skillet in the oven to continue cooking them.

With our oven, from my experience, 1 minutes at 350F oven usually brings up about 10F each time so, I usually set the timer accordingly and make sure to give even cooking time on each side.

If you needed 4 minutes in the oven roughly, I will set the timer for 2 minutes,and take it out and flip and put it back into the oven again and set the time for 2 minutes to finish cooking.

Giving equal cooking time in the oven can ensure even color in the meat; nice red/pink center will be at the center not close to top or bottom.

6. Put steak onto the plate and cover it with foil.Let steak rest for 15 minutes.

** If you slice steak without it being rested, you will have very dry steak

7. While steak is resting, start working on the vegetables* (recipe follows)

8. Slice steak at about 1/4″ thickness,and place them on the bed of sauteed vegetables, and drizzle Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce over it,
and grate the toasted sesame seed over the plate

9. Serve the dish with extra Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce as dipping sauce.

Makes; 2 – 3 servings

<Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce>

1. In the sauce pan,add 1.5 tbs soy sauce, 3 cloves of garlic grated, and 1 tbs grated onion, and cook them at medium low heat until it gets fragrant

2. To that, add 1 tbs Mirin (Japanese rice wine),2 tbs sake, 1 tbs white sugar,1/2C pineapple juice, 1/3C dark brown sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed, 1/8 tsp Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), and let it simmer to dissolve all the sugar into the sauce and thicken a bit


** You can find this Gekkeikan sake at packaged sushi station or at wine section.


** You can find Morita brand Mirin at Asian stores or at local grocery store International food aisle..

** Gochujang
is Korean hot pepper paste.You can find them at the International food
aisle at local grocery store,or at Asian store.Here is how it looks like.


In a pinch, you can substitute with Indonesian pepper paste “sambal” (recommends Oelek brand),also available at International food aisle.

3. Add 2 tsp Jack Daniel’s Whiskey into the sauce,stir, adjust the taste and turn off the heat

Makes:About 8 -9 tbs sauce

<Sauteed vegetables>

In the skillet,add 1/2 red onion sliced, 1/4 red pepper sliced, 1/4 green pepper sliced and season them with Morton’s Nature’s seasons and stir

2. When vegetables got softer, add 1 tbs of Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce and stir and serve it as the bed for the steak


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Apr 18, 2013 | Comments are off | Uncategorized

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