Tag Archives: steak

Nick’s in the Sticks–Tuscaloosa, AL

I joined up with a friend from Dallas in Shreveport for a road trip to Tuscaloosa, AL. For hours he kept telling me that we needed to get to town in time to eat at Nick’s in the Sticks. It was a grueling drive, but worth every mile.

Normally, if I’m chasing food out of town, I’m chronicling my barbecue escapades. Those are fun adventures usually spend with my beautiful fifteen year old daughter, Alli.

Just so you know that as I stalk my next meal, it can be quite varied. The whole family is beginning to warm to the idea that life is a culinary adventure. We are planning on hunting fried chicken over Thanksgiving break in Memphis, TN.

Granted, we came for other business, but the lure of the kill steak quickly overshadowed our original intentions. I’m just trying to be clear that we came to Tuscaloosa for a reason other than eating as driving seven hours for dinner is just crazy. It may be crazy, but Nick’s just might be worth it.

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The lighting was so dim that I was unable to capture an image of my steak, but the warm, yellowish glow in the men’s room allowed me to take a picture of this ancient paper towel dispenser.

I enjoyed a succulent ribeye with onion rings. The onion rings were good, the steak was excellent, and the ambiance just whispered that you found a hidden gem.

This establishment definitely flies under the radar as my friend was introduced to it a couple of years ago by a local. Next time I’m in town I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to eat for dinner.

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Kale and Black Bean Fajita Soup

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Today has been rainy and dreary which has always been good days for soup. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I had black beans and skirt steak. I wanted to add some color, so I bought some kale and corn at the store.

Add some spices to give it a Mexican flair, and you have a hearty meal.

3/4 pound skirt steak
Olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper
Tony Chachere’s
Chili powder
1 12 ounce package mirepoix
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups kale, chopped
2 ears raw sweet corn, kernels removed
1 Serrano pepper
1 cup Chardonnay
1 teaspoon beef base
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I was out of oregano)
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/4 pound black beans, cooked

Pat steak dry and rub with oil, pepper, Tony Chachere’s, and chili powder.

Sear steak in hot cast iron Dutch oven.
Remove steak and set aside for later.

Add mirepoix garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.

Add kale, corn and Serrano pepper. Sauté until kale is wilted.

Add wine and reduce.

Add beef base, crushed tomatoes, water, chili powder, Italian seasoning (or oregano), paprika, thyme, cumin, and black beans.

Cover and simmer 45 minutes to an hour.

Cut steak against the grain into strips and add to soup or top each individual bowl.

Season to taste and eat with flour tortillas or cornbread.