Saturday, July 17, 2010

Steak with Gorgonzola, Mixed Grilled Veg, and King Crab (or, fancy dinner that's really easy)

Okay so this one SOUNDS fancy ... and it is.  But it's dead-simple to make.  Promise.  All you need is a BBQ, ingredients from your local grocer, and about 30 minutes total time (from prep to plate!).  Serve this on a warm summer evening, dine al fresco with some friends, a delicious barolo or zinfandel, and revel in just how wonderful life can be - especially with a delicious meal.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 4 steaks - whichever cut you prefer (I opted for a sirloin)
  • 2lbs of frozen Alaskan king crab legs (they occasionally go on sale, so just buy 'em than and keep them frozen until you want to make this meal!)
  • 1 small piece of gorgonzola cheese (Boursin would make a good alternative)
  • 1 small yellow zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 small spanish onion
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes (these are a lovely treat - they only come out once a season but have a nice mild garlic flavour ... try 'em!)
  • about 15 or so crimini mushrooms
  • balsamic glaze (if you can't find a glaze, which is just thicker than regular balsamic, use the regular stuff)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
Preheat your BBQ on medium-high (if you have a thermometer, then to about 400 degrees).

  1. Cut the vegetables up into bite-sized pieces, keeping them at equal size so they cook at the same time.
  2. Toss in a bowl with a good drizzle of olive oil, a good squeeze of balsamic glaze (or around 1tbsp regular balsamic vinegar), and a healthy pinch of salt.  These will take longest to cook, so throw them on the BBQ in a vegetable basket (the one with holes in it), stirring them occasionally.  They should take about 15 minutes to cook, or until your desired doneness.
  1. First, prep the garlic butter.  All you need to do is mince the garlic (I used a grater) into a small bowl and place the butter in with it.  Microwave for about 45 seconds or until the butter is melted.  Keep warm.
  2. The crab legs can be done one of two ways: steamed in tin foil on the BBQ, or steamed in a pot with about 2" of water - just depends how much space you have on your BBQ.  If doing the BBQ method, wrap them in foil and follow the directions on the package for doneness.  They won't take a very long time - about 7 minutes or so (from frozen).  You can test them by feeling the meat of one of the ends of a leg - it will be opaque and firm but not dry / hard.
  1. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper.  When the vegetables are about 8 minutes from being done, put your steaks on the grill (the veg can always sit with some foil over them if your steaks are thick and need more cooking time).  Note: don't man-handle your steaks.  Leave them alone.  Flip them once only (if you want the cross-hatch grill marks, check out this video), and feel them (you can use the finger test) to tell you how done they are instead of cutting into them and releasing all those awesome juices.
  2. The steaks should take about 4 minutes per side, or until your desired doneness.  In the last minute or so, put a dollop of gorgonzola on each steak to let it start to melt.  Let the steaks rest for a couple minutes before serving.
So all-told, it goes like this: prep the veg and get them on first, then steam the crab about half way through the veg cooking time, then put the steaks on about 8 minutes before the veg are ready to come off.  Plate it and serve with the garlic butter, and lotsa napkins!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast pizza is an incredibly simple dish made of all the traditional breakfast ingredients ... only as a pizza.  I know.  Genius.  Since I usually make it at the cottage, I don't go to the trouble of making the dough (though pizza dough is quite easy - see one of my earlier pizza recipe posts).  What you put on it is totally up to you.  I happen to have a love affair with bacon and with cheese, so those are two prerequisites for my b-fast pizza.  But, if you prefer to go veg, with smoked salmon, with back bacon or hell - even macerated fruit with mascarpone and maple syrup - go for it!