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Hail to the Chiefs: Tasty Tips for Celebrating President's Day

Posted by Man Crates on


Ah, the three-day weekend. Life always looks brighter when there’s one on the horizon. Particularly in the winter, when the nights are long and the wait time for the next big holiday is basically unbearable. Luckily, three weeks into February, we’re blessed with a much-needed long weekend and reason for celebration: President’s Day. Citizens rejoice at the arrival of this holiday: Mattress and car sales abound; Sunday brunch can be as long, fattening and as boozy as you want it to be; Alarm clocks can be ignored Monday morning; Also, patriotism.

Meat Rubs for Cooking and Grilling
This President’s Day, do right by your country and host a party awesome enough to make Washington’s dentures chatter. Read on for recipe suggestions, inspired by our Mount Rubsmore all-American seasonings, then gather some friends and throw an epic party. Hey, it’s the American way.

GEORGE SRIRACHINGTON

This zesty chili will heat up your President’s Day celebration as well as any meat you choose to use it on. It’s spicy and sweet, just like our first president. At least that’s what Martha said. Hey, now!

Spicy Steak Tacos

George Washington may not have eaten tacos himself, but who cares, you don’t need to do everything like him. It is safe to say, however, that if he was able to eat these tacos, he would certainly sing their flavorful praises.

What to use

Tacos

  • 2 tbsp. George Srirachington
  • 1 ¼ lb. sirloin steaks cut 1-inch thick
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Salsa

  • 2 avocados cut into chunks
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 2 limes juiced
  • Salt
  • 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 chopped jalapenos

How to use it
Cover both sides of steaks with George Srirachington. Grill or broil steaks on each side for 5 to 6 mins. (for medium rare). Remove from grill and let meat sit for 10 mins., then carve into thin slices. Place the steak, warm tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, lime and salsa in serving dishes and let everyone build their own tacos. For salsa, mix avocado and onion in a bowl and add lime juice and salt. Mix in cilantro and jalapeno. Makes 12 tacos.

PRO-TIP: Employ the Taco Mania Crate, one of the most delicioso gifts for men, and its corn flour, tortilla press and tortilla warmer for hecho a mano tortillas.
Taco Gift Crate

Spicy Beef Chili

Chili is a perfect meal for celebrating President’s Day since National Chili Day falls just a few days after (Feb. 23). How about that? And this recipe will help you raise your chili game to presidential heights.

What to use

  • 1 lb. ground beef chuck
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ shallot, chopped
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. George Srirachington
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 16-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 16-oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

How to use it
In a medium pot, brown the chuck with the thyme and garlic, then remove, drain and set aside. In the same pot, heat oil and add onion, garlic, shallot, bell pepper and jalapeno, and sauté until about 8 mins. Add George Srirachington and cook while stirring until spices begin to stick to the pan. Add wine and let liquid reduce to about half. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, then stir in beans and beef and simmer over medium low heat, partially covered, for about 1 hour. Serves 4-6.

Crusted Pork Chops with Potatoes and ShallotsIn politics, pork refers to the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured to bring money to a representative's district and is typically used in a derogatory fashion to attack opponents. That has nothing to do with this recipe. Enjoy!

What to use

  • 3 tbsp. George Srirachington
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bone-in pork loin chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound small red bliss potatoes, quartered
  • 2 shallots cut into quarters

How to use it
Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine George Srirachington and 2 tbsp. oil in a small bowl. Season pork with salt and pepper and place in a resealable plastic bag. Add George Srirachington mix, seal bag, shake to coat and let sit at about 30 mins. Heat remaining oil over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet. Cook chops about 4 mins. on one side until golden brown. Add potatoes and shallots to skillet, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat in pan juices. Cook another 4 mins., tossing vegetables occasionally, until pork is golden brown on the other side. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast about 10–15 mins. until potatoes are tender and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops reads 135° F. Let pork chops rest 5 mins. in skillet, then cut meat from bones and serve with potatoes, shallots and juices. Serves 4.

Spiced Rubbed Skirt Steak with Chimichurri

We cannot tell a lie—the flavor levels reached with this combination of spice rub and chimichurri sauce is unbelievable. Kind of like that story about chopping down the cherry tree, which didn’t happen. But this meal is for real.

What to use

Steaks

  • 2 ½ tbsp. George Srirachington
  • 1 ½ lb. skirt steak
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Chimichurri

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3-4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup minced cilantro
  • ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped oregano
  • ¾ cup olive oil

How to use it
Sprinkle George Srirachington over steak and drizzle with oil. Let stand, turning to coat evenly with oil halfway through, about 10 mins. Heat grill to high and lightly oil grates. Place steak on grill and cover. Cook, turning once, until meat is desired doneness (4-6 minutes for medium-rare). Combine vinegar, salt, garlic, shallot, red pepper flakes, cilantro, parsley and oregano in a food processor and process until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. While machine is running, add oil in a steady stream, again scraping down sides as needed and to combine. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve steak drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Serves 4.

THOMAS JEFFERSALMON

Our third president—a.k.a., Long Tom (he was 6 ft. 2), and the Sage of Monticello, among others; also, a ginger—had a serious thing for fish. It was a staple at Monticello and Jefferson even constructed fish ponds on his property to hold and breed fish. That’s dedication. Seafood devotees can channel their inner Jefferson and rejoice in the flavors this spice mix will impart on their meals.

SBLTs

The S stands for salmon, but it could just as easily stand for super. This upgrade to the usual BLT unites land and sea creatures in a fantastic fashion that Jefferson himself would be proud to eat.

What to use

  • 1 lb. salmon
  • 2 tsp. Thomas Jeffersalmon
  • 2 slices of bacon cut into thirds
  • 2 sliced tomatoes
  • Lettuce of your choosing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. horseradish
  • 6 buns or rolls

How to use it
Cook bacon until crispy and fat is rendered and remove and let drain on paper towel. Preheat the broiler in your oven and place the top oven rack close to the broiler. Cut salmon into squares that fit buns and cover both sides with Thomas Jeffersalmon. Place on a broiler pan and broil for 5 mins. on each side. Mix mayo with horseradish until smooth, spread on buns, place salmon, a slice of bacon, a tomato slice and lettuce on bun. Makes about 6-8 sandwiches.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Spicy Avocado Salsa

Thomas Jefferson never needed an excuse to make a delicious fish meal, and neither do you. In fact, you can make this one just for the halibut! Rimshot! We’ll be here all week.

What to use

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 halibut fillet
  • 1 ½ tsp. Thomas Jeffersalmon
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 limes, halved, for serving

How to use it
Place peppers on the burner of a gas stove over high heat or on a grill to blacken, turning peppers as each section puffs and turns black. Let peppers cool then cut in half and remove seeds. Add to a blender along with avocado, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup cilantro, lime juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and 3 tbsp. water and blend until smooth. Put grill pan over medium heat. Season halibut with Thomas Jeffersalmon and 3 tbsp. olive oil and add to pan. Cook about 4 mins. each side until cooked through. Remove from grill and cut into small pieces. Divide fish evenly on tortillas. Place 1 tbsp. Each onion and cilantro over fish. Top with tomato, salsa and lime juice. Serves 8.

Crispy Cod Sticks

These are not the fish sticks of your youth. These are fresh, flavorful and have the presidential seal of approval.*

What to use

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb. bass fillets, sliced crosswise into ¾ inch strips
  • 3 tbsp. Thomas Jeffersalmon
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil

How to use it
Place eggs, breadcrumbs and flour in 3 separate shallow bowls. Season fish with Thomas Jeffersalmon. Dredge fish in flour, shake off excess, then coat with egg, letting excess drip back into bowl and finish by coating with breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Heat ½ cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook fish until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 mins. per side. Add ¼ cup oil between batches. Place fish sticks on paper towel-lined plate to drain and season with salt. Makes 4 servings.

*Not really.

PRO-TIP: Nothing beats freshly caught fish for making truly fresh fish sticks. The lure set in the Bass Whisperer Crate, one of the best fishing gifts for men, will have fish just dying to go home with you. Rimshot, part two.

ABURGERHAM LINCOLN

Honest Abe once said, “An under-flavored burger is simply un-American.” Ok, that’s totally false attribution, but the sentiment is real. Don’t let your country or your meat dishes down. Use this spicy spice and be the hero your ground beef has been waiting for.

Best Beef Burgers

What more can you say about burgers? Quite possibly the greatest handheld human invention , they never fail to please. And while some think you can’t improve on the original basic burger, adding a little Aburgerham to the mix definitely makes this a next-level burger.

What to use

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. mustard (regular or Dijon)
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Aburgerham Lincoln
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef

How to use it
Whisk egg in a bowl. Add all flavoring ingredients into egg, then mix in beef and using your hands or a fork. Shape mixture into burgers about ¾ inch thick. Place burgers on grill and cook about 6-8 mins. each side until a thermometer reads 160° F. Place into a warm bun add toppings as desired.

Turkey Meatloaf Redux

Everyone likes to speak about Lincoln’s honesty, which is fantastic, but what people sometimes forget is that one of his greatest qualities was his open-mindedness. He was the kind of man that listened to reason and was open to change. Now, meatloaf has kind of a bad reputation due to its unfortunate association with 1950 frozen dinners and mystery meat. But can we hold its tasteless past against it? Can meatloaf not change? Lincoln would give meatloaf another chance. And so should you.

What to use

  • 3 cups chopped white onions
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 ½ tsp. Aburgerham Lincoln
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tsp. tomato paste
  • 5 lbs. ground turkey breast
  • 1 ½ cups plain bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup ketchup

How to use it
Preheat oven to 325° F. In a medium pan over medium-low heat, cook onions in olive oil until translucent, approximately 15 mins. Add Worcestershire sauce, stock, tomato paste and mix well. Let cool. Combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, onion mixture and Aburgerham Lincoln in a bowl and mix. Shape into a loaf on sheet pan. Spread ketchup on top. Bake for 1½ hours until internal temperature is 160° F and meatloaf is cooked through. Serves 8-10.

Cheesy Sliders

As if burgers weren’t already easy to eat, we now have the slider. This burger may be half the size of its meaty forefather, but it’s still got all the flavor of a full-sized meal.

What to use

  • 12 pieces of bacon
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. Aburgerham Lincoln
  • 12 slider buns
  • 12 slices cheese of your choosing

How to use it
Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until soft. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add ground beef and stir to break up meat and sauté until cooked through. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire and Aburgerham Lincoln. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from stovetop and drain excess fat. Cover a baking dish with cooking spray, place the bottom halves of buns in dish, top with beef mixture, place bacon and a slice of cheese over each, then cover with tops of buns. Bake about 15-20 mins. until cheese melts and everything is warmed through.

THEODORE ROASTEVELT

“Telescope Teddy,” our 25th Commander in Chief, took meat eating very seriously. In 1906, he signed into legislation the Meat Inspection Act in response to the “Embalmed Beef Scandal” (as disgusting as it sounds) that basically reformed the meatpacking industry and forever changing the way the U.S. deals with food. A man who enjoyed his meals, TR would definitely approve of this spice rub’s flavor reforms.

Strip Steak with Arugula and Parsley Salad

That Teddy Roosevelt was a fan of steakhouses should surprise no one. The guy liked a good meal. This good meal incorporates many things Roosevelt enjoyed—meat, flavor, NY. Go ahead, eat like Roosevelt. It certainly worked for him.

What to use

  • 2 10 oz. boneless New York strip steaks
  • 2 tbsp. Theodore Roastevelt
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. shaved Parmesan
  • 1 cup flat parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

How to use it
Season steaks with Theodore Roastevelt. Grill 7–9 mins. turning several times until lightly charred for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board, let sit for 15 mins. and then thinly slice.

Toss arugula, onion, Parmesan, and parsley in bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil and toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle steak with oil and season with salt and pepper and serve with salad. Serves 4.

Steak Fajitas

It’s easy to imagine Teddy Roosevelt eating a jam-packed steak fajita. Well, it’s kind of easy to imagine him eating anything, it seems like he had a hearty appetite. Still, he would’ve enthusiastically tucked into these fajitas, no question. You will, too.

What to use

  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 ½ tbsp. Theodore Roastevelt
  • 2 lbs. skirt steak, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • ½ head cabbage cut in half
  • 1 white onion, halved
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • Warmed flour tortillas

How to use it
Purée garlic, lime juice, oil, and Theodore Roastevelt in a blender until smooth. Transfer marinade to a resealable plastic bag and add steak. Seal bag and turn to coat; chill at least 4 hours. Drizzle cabbage, white onion and scallions with 4 tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 4 mins. for scallions and 10 mins. for cabbage and onion. Cut cabbage, scallions, and onion into bite-size pieces and toss in a large bowl with red onion, lime juice, cilantro and remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Remove steak from marinade, season with salt and pepper, and grill about 3 mins. per side until medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board, let rest 5–10 mins. and slice. Serve steak with veggies and tortillas. 8 servings.

Spiced Steak Salad

Sometimes it’s nice to have a salad. No, really. Still not convinced? Throw some meat into it. That should do the trick.

What to use

  • 1 shallot sliced and separated into rings
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tsp. Theodore Roastevelt
  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into 1 in. wedges
  • 1 lb. hanger steak
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup cilantro mixed

How to use it
Toss shallot and vinegar in a small bowl and let sit for 5 mins. Whisk in ½ cup oil, then season vinaigrette with salt and pepper and set aside. Brush zucchini and corn with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill 10-15 mins., turning regularly, until tender and charred in spots and let cool. Cut kernels from cobs. Season steak with Theodore Roastevelt and grill 5-7 mins. per side, until medium-rare. Let rest and then thinly slice against the grain. Toss arugula, basil, cilantro, zucchini, corn, steak, and vinaigrette in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Primo Prime Rib

If you’re looking to go in big for President’s Day—and why shouldn’t you? What else do you have to do in February?—a prime rib is the way to do it. It shows you love your presidents and that you love to eat a good meal, which is probably a trait of presidents, so maybe eating this makes you presidential. Worth a shot, right?

What to use

  • ¼ cup Theodore Roastevelt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 5-lb. beef rib roast

How to use it
Rub oil over meat, sprinkle Theodore Roastevelt evenly over meat, and rub in with fingers. Place meat fat side up in a large roasting pan and make six 1 in. knife slits into the fat side. Roast beef in a 350° F oven for 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ hours for medium-rare (135° F). Transfer meat to a cutting board, cover with foil and let stand for 15 mins. before carving. Serves 5-6.

Be the host with the most...knowledge

Now that you’re equipped to satisfy your guests’ hunger, we’ve also got some nuggets to help you satisfy their thirst for knowledge. Memorize these facts and walk around your party like a grand historian.

Crowd-dazzling fact #1: Celebrated on the third Monday in February, President’s Day was originally established in 1885 to honor George Washington’s day of birth.

Crowd-dazzling fact #2: It is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. The more you know. Anyway, the holiday was traditionally celebrated on February 22, which was Washington’s day of birth.

Crowd-dazzling fact #3: One of George Washington’s nicknames was “The American Fabius” for his Revolutionary War strategy adopted from a Roman dictator who avoided large battles to engage in small ones. Other nicknames include “The Father of His Country” and “Shecky.” Just kidding on that last one.

Crowd-dazzling fact #3: Washington’s Birthday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day in 1971 after it was moved as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which aimed to create more three-day weekends, and to also honor Abraham Lincoln (The Grand Wrestler! The Rail Splitter!), whose birthday was Feb. 12. It is now considered a day to celebrate all presidents, both past and present.