Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Appetizer

This is the appetizer that I made on Friday night when Alexis' boss came over for dinner. 


The recipe is ripped off from inspired by Chris Lilly's Barbecue Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Basil Stuffing from my favorite barbecue book Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book (great book, buy it!).  I helped him prep that recipe for a cooking class he was conducting a few years ago so the basic idea for this recipe was a no-brainer for me.  The main difference is my version uses plank grilling instead of traditional indirect grilling and an Asian flavor profile.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Appetizer
Inspired by Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book by Chris Lilly

Ingredients
  • 1 lb shrimp 16/20 count, peeled, deveined and butterflied
  • 8 slices thin bacon, cut in half*
  • 1 Tbsp McCormick's crystallized ginger*
  • 4 large leaves fresh basil, stemmed and cut into quarters
  • 1.5 Tbsp Dizzy Pig Tsunami Spin*
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cedar plank* 6" x 15", soaked in water for 1 hour
For the Sweet Tamarind BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sweet soy sauce*
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce*
  • 4 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat a charcoal fire to 400F (Medium-High) for a direct heat cook. 
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Season the shrimp with some of the pepper and Tsunami Spin.
  4. Roll a piece of crystallized ginger in a quarter leaf of basil.  Stuff into the butterflied shrimp and wrap with bacon.  Place tail side up on the cedar plank and gently press down on the base of the shrimp to stabilize it so it will stand.  Repeat with other shrimp.  Sprinkle the entire plank with any leftover seasoning.
  5. Place the plank on the grill, close the lid, and grill for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the plank from the grill, dip each shrimp into the Sweet Tamarind BBQ Sauce, place back onto the plank and return the plank to the grill.  Cook for 3-4 more minutes.
  7. Remove plank from grill and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce.
Notes
  • Thin Bacon - use the cheapest, thinnest bacon you can get.  Thick bacon will be not done before the shrimp is fully cooked.
  • Crystallized ginger - This is a key ingredient.  Don't try to substitute ground ginger.  You might be able to get away with using a sliver of fresh ginger but I haven't tried it that way.
  • Tsunami Spin - This is a great Asian style rub from Dizzy Pig for chicken and seafood.  If you don't have it available, you could just experiment with a mix of turbinado sugar, salt, five spice, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, and some celery salt.  Or heck, just use some salt and pepper, it'll still be good!
  • Plank - I used Fire & Flavor brand planks.  For the pictured shots, I cut one in half since I was doing a half order of the recipe.
  • Sweet soy sauce.  This stuff is fantastic.  It is not even close to the same thing as soy sauce.
  • I used Draper's Smokin' Sauce
Roll the stuffing up like this.
This is a half order of the recipe.  Assembled and ready to go onto the grill.

Sauced and back onto the grill.


[Standard Disclaimer]  I received no direct compensation for this post.  I have received compensation and free products from McCormick's earlier this year. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Plank Grilled Potlatch Salmon

We had Alexis' boss over for dinner last night.   It is her birthday this weekend and Alexis wanted to brown nose do something special for her.  The main course was plank grilled potlatch salmon.

I like plank grilling for several reasons.  
  • It makes for a great presentation when you serve the meal.   
  • It is easy to over cook fish.  The window between "cooked" and "overcooked" fish is very small, especially at high temps on a grill.  Using a plank gives you a little bit of a buffer and gives you a bigger target.  
  • It is also a good way to get a little smoky flavor if all you have is a gas grill. 

It used to be that if you wanted to plank grill, you'd have to go to a specialty store to find food grade wood planks or order them on line and wait, wait, wait for them to arrive.  In the past few years, I've noticed grocery stores have started carrying the planks, which is where Alexis bought ours (Fire & Flavor).  You can also get them from a lumber supplier as long as you can guarantee they are untreated wood.  Personally, that's not a chance I want to take so I spend the little extra to make sure I'm getting food grade planks.


Plank Grilled Potlatch Salmon
Potlatch seasoning adapted from Bobby Flay

Ingredients
  • 2 lb salmon filet 
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp clarified butter
  • 1 cedar plank, 6" x 15" soaked in water for 1 hour
 For the Potlatch
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp dill
  • 1/8 tsp roasted cumin
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/8 tsp dried lemon peel
Instructions
  1. Preheat charcoal grill to medium heat (350f).
  2. Slice half of the lemon into 1/4" slices.  Juice the other half.   Mix the potlatch seasoning together.
  3. Put the butter, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp of the potlatch seasoning in a small sauce pan.
  4. Place empty plank on the grill for three minutes.
  5. Season both sides of the salmon with potlatch.  Flip the plank and place the salmon on it.  Top with the lemon slices.  Close the grill lid and cook until the salmon is done, about 20-30 minutes*.
  6. During the last few minutes, put the sauce pan on the grill to melt the butter.  Stir together.  
  7. Serve salmon with the seasoned butter on the side.
Notes
  • Most fish is done at an internal temp of 120-140f.  Dense flesh fish like tuna and salmon can be done at 120f.  I like around 130f for my salmon.  You can also tell by looking for the meat to flake easily at the thickest portion.  Test early and test often.
I did two versions, one with potlatch and one with Dizzy Pig Raging River.

Fold the thin tail section under to it is as thick as the rest of the filet, for even cooking.

Serve quickly.  Fish has a uniform muscle layer and does not require a "rest" like other meats.
We liked the potlatch seasoned fish better.  Or they did...I don't eat fish, I'm a strict meatatarian.  I also made a berry sauce to go with it straight from a cookbook recipe but it was terrible and never saw the table. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Giveaway Winner: Raichlen's Best Ribs Ever

Today is the day Steven Raichlen's new book, Best Ribs Ever, hits the stores AND it's the day we announce the winner of a the book, signed by America's Grill Master himself. 


I plugged all the twitter and comment entries in to Random.org and the winner was....


I'm pretty sure that's the first twitter post to win a giveaway here.  Congrats Chris @cjsorel !  I've sent you a direct message on twitter, send me your address and enjoy the book!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Small BBQ-Grilling Tip: Lettuce

Sorry, this post is not about this.

Good but too spicy and too much of an acidic kick on the rice.

This is a recipe I have in development, a beef rib with chimichurri rice.  It's close but not ready yet.  So this post is about lettuce.

What?  Yeah, lettuce.

Grilling "season"* is upon us and soon backyards across the country will be firing up with the smell of charcoal, the sounds of laughter, and bare feet in tall green blades of grass.  Burgers will be sizzling on grills and one of the standard toppings is lettuce.  A sad, plain leaf of lettuce.  

Here are two SMALL tips that I think make a big difference in the end.

Shred it:  A leaf of lettuce usually sticks out on all sides of the burger, daring you to reach in for a bite.  You have to go at it like a spider monkey.  Instead, place half a head of lettuce on the cutting board and then slice into long, thin slivers.  

Season it:  A HUGE difference.  Season your shredded lettuce with salt and pepper (or get crazy with a rub) and toss.  I know, seems like a small deal, you already seasoned the burger right?  But humor me and try two identical burgers except one having plain lettuce and the other with seasoned lettuce.  

These are the little kind of things that make a difference.  People aren't going to take a bite and cry out, "Sweet mother of burgers, is THAT seasoned and shredded lettuce on this burger?!?!?"  They won't be able to pinpoint it, they'll just notice it is a great burger. 

This also works for lettuce for tacos or anything else. 

More food pron from this weekend:
Poor shocked piggy, you should have stayed inside, I warned you.

The beef ribs and pork ribs finished in close to the same time, about 4 1/2 hours.

The seasonings for the beef ribs were things you'd find in a chimichurri sauce, oregano, garlic, parsley, red pepper, and acidic liquids.

The pork ribs were very good but nothing new. 
*Grilling "season", ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha......whew, I tried to say that with a straight face. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hoagie Cheese Burger

People often comment that I must burn through a lot of coal since we grill so often.   I got a new shipment this morning.

Okay, I lie.  I was just out shooting photographs this morning and saw this.

This year I am happy to be participating on the Johnsonville Big Taste Grillers Blogger Panel.  It was a natural match since we have been customers of Johnsonville's Mexican chorizo and Italian sausage links for longer than I can remember.  Straight out of the gates, Johnsonville surprised me with a new product - Italian Sausage Patties.   
 
 
Yes, Italian sausage burgers!  I know, right? 

I did the most obvious thing to them.  I threw grilled peppers, onions and provolone cheese on them!  Your eyes will say "burger" but your mouth will say "Italian sausage hoagie".
 

Hoagie Cheese Burger
source:  www.nibblemethis.com
serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 6 kaiser rolls
  • 6 Johnsonville Italian Sausage Patties
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into rings
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into rings
  • 1 sweet onion cut into rings
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing

Instructions
  1. Preheat a charcoal grill to medium low (300f).  
  2. Toss the onion and peppers in the Italian dressing.
  3. Place frozen patties on the grill and cook for 15-18 minutes until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 160f, flipping a few times during the process.
  4. Meanwhile, 8 minutes into the cook place the onions and peppers on the grill.  Flip at about 12 minutes into the cook.
  5. In the last minute, top the burgers with cheese.
  6. Remove and serve on the kaiser rolls.  

Let's discuss the elephant in the room first, frozen burgers.  I usually make my own burgers and to be honest, I was worried these frozen ones might have a cardboard or hockey puck texture.  Absolutely not, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste and texture.  

I felt a little funny about the idea of using a frozen burger patty.  But Alexis made a great point.  I have no problem keeping Italian sausage in the freezer to use in meat sauce for spaghetti, so why would it be weird to keep it frozen as burger patties?  I'll keep a batch of these in the freezer.  They will be handy when...
  • I just want to grill 1 or 2 burgers
  • I want a burger on the spur of the minute and have not ground beef in the fridge
  • or I want that knock your socks off Italian sausage burger flavor 
If you like sausage dogs, you will definitely like these sausage burgers.  Alexis and I thought they were great as written, Trevor liked his just as a cheeseburger without the peppers and onions.  The mildly spicy sausage burger, grilled veggies, and gooey cheese came together for a easy and tasty burger.

As far as pricing, they were comparably priced to frozen beef burger patties.  The burgers are 1/3rd pound sized and come 6 to a box. 
A few simple ingredients....

Great excuse to use my Craycort grill grate veggie wok insert. (see link in sidebar)

A very easy lunch that was packed full of flavors.

Here are some shots from our photo safari this morning.  They are kind of food related.  We were on a detour due to construction when I saw this door that caught my attention.  I have a thing for the personality of older, distressed buildings.


We pulled over and I started taking pictures of the building. 



Turns out the place is Knox Stove Works, a business that has made Mealmaster wood/coal fired stoves since 1905. 

I didn't even know that anyone still made stuff like this! Funny how detours that annoy you end up leading to a cool discovery.

[Standard Disclaimer] I have a relationship with Johnsonville and received my samples for free.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ribeyes with Shallot Rings and Cornfetti

It is staying lighter later as the days grow longer and I love it.  The sizzle of steak on the grill on a warm evening is music to my ears.

When it comes to grilled ribeye steaks, I believe the simpler the better.  The more you try to do to a ribeye with marinades, injections, and sauces, you lose it's beefy luster.  I usually prefer just salt and pepper, MAYBE do something different for a rub, and then grill about 4 minutes a side over a hot (450-500f) charcoal fire.  I like to pull mine off the grill when it hits an internal temperature of between 125f and 130f.

But there are a handful of serving treatments that I will occasionally use with a grilled ribeye just for something different.  These are ideas that compliment the beef, not cover it up or hide it.    I might combine one or two of the following.
  1. Board Dressing - I got this idea from Adam Perry Lang's books.  Simply put some quality olive oil, salt, pepper and a mix of herbs on the cutting board or plate and top that with the steak.  
  2. Plate with dry rub - Pretty much the dry version of the above.  I sprinkle a little beef rub on the plate, top with the steak and then when the steak is cut, the juice mixes with the rub for a kind of instant au jus.
  3. Compound butter - One of my favorite techniques, just a little adds a lot of flavor.  Very flexible because you can choose the herbs and seasonings in the butter to match or compliment your other dishes.
  4. Crumbled salty cheese - Briny cheeses like feta, blue and cotija bring out the beef flavor to me.  They have a bit of umami to them that enhances taste instead of covering it up.
  5. Crispy onion or shallot rings - Who doesn't like a good onion ring?  Shallots are the perfect size for making miniature rings to top the steak.  That is what I did tonight.
I used fried shallot rings and the dry rub on the plate for this steak.

It's easy.  Just slice one shallot per steak into 1/4" rings.  Dredge them in seasoned flour, eggwash, and back through flour.  Fry them in 350f oil for 3-4 minutes, until golden and crispy.  

I needed a quick side dish but didn't have many fresh veggies so I went pantry diving and came up with this dish that we dubbed "cornfetti".   You can make this during the 10 minutes your steak is resting if you get everything set up in advance and preheat your pan.

Cornfetti
source:  www.nibblemethis.com

Ingredients
  • 14 oz can whole kernel corn, drained well
  • 1/3 cup fresh roasted red pepper, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, sliced into 1/4" pieces
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick's Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp bacon fat, reserved
  • 1 Tbsp cream or half and half
Instructions
  1.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.  Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
  2. Add the drained corn and roasted red pepper to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes tossing or stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  3. Add the bacon crumbles, salt, and Southwest seasoning, toss or stir to mix well for 1 minute.
  4. Add the cream.  Toss or stir to incorporate and let cook for one last minute.
  5. Serve warm.
Crispy, crunchy, & so good.  These would be good on burgers too.

Cooks treat - When I trim the lip off of the ribeye, I put the lean parts on a skewer for a "taste test" while the red pepper roasts for the corn dish.

Grillicious


BBQ Lovin' Black Bear
It's Spring and the bears are on the move.  That's part of living in East Tennessee.  Since April 11th, a black bear has been prowling the grounds of Stan's BBQ in Greeneville, TN.  As of tonight, he has continued to evade the TWRA traps, even cleaning one out.  Hopefully they catch and relocate him soon, because bears that come into the city for too long don't fare too well.  
 
Photo from www.stansbbq.com

I really can't blame him.  One of our offices is in Greeneville and every time I visit there, I try to stop by Stan's BBQ for lunch.   The first time I was ever there, I asked the waitress what kind of smoker they had.  She invited me back through the kitchen to see their smokers and I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the kitchen.  The staff have always been friendly and knowledgeable about their menu items.  I usually get a Carolina style pulled pork & slaw sandwich with a small order of BBQ beans, but everything my guests have had has been good too.   
 
If you are ever passing through the area, give them a try.   Just watch out for "da bears" (Chicago accent). 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwich with Kickin' Slaw

About 7 years ago, every time that I was smoking barbecue, we would get a visitor.

"Sofa", a black lab, lived up the ridge from us at Penrose Farm, a beautiful sprawling horse farm.  She became a regular guest at our house.  She was my "barbecue buddy" and would just hang out while I smoked.  She would even spend the night sometimes.  But bright and early the next morning, she'd be at the door eager to head back to the farm to do her daily "chores" (it's a working horse farm).  Her favorite treat was the bone from a smoked pork butt. I think she came to our house not only for the food but also to get a break from all the dogs and horses at the farm.  We jokingly called her our "Not Our Dog".  

Sofa watching Trevor smoke ribs in 2009.

About a year ago, Sofa visited less and less frequently as her health declined in her advanced age.  Late last year her visits stopped altogether and I have missed having her around the grills.  Yesterday, the farm owner stopped by to let us know that Sofa had a peaceful passing yesterday afternoon. 

On to more cheerful subjects.  Lately I have been craving a spicy chicken sandwich and this is what I came up with for dinner last night.   I like using the boneless/skinless chicken thighs over breasts because they have more flavor and it's harder to overcook them.  Alexis was very impressed with these simple sandwiches and said it wouldn't hurt her feelings if I made them all week long. 



Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwich with Kickin' Slaw
Source:  Nibble Me This

Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 8 buns
  • hot sauce*
For the cajun bird rub
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
For the Kickin' Slaw
  • 3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced/chopped*
  • 2 Tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp celery, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp cajun bird rub
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix the Cajun bird rub together.  Reserve 1 tsp for the slaw.
  2. Place the cabbage, pepper, onion, and celery in a bowl.  Mix the remaining ingredients together for the dressing and pour over the veggies.  Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Preheat a charcoal grill to medium-high heat (400f).  Season the chicken thighs with the Cajun bird rub.
  4. Grill the chicken 4-5 minutes a side until they reach an internal temperature of 175f*.
  5. Brush the chicken with a light amount of hot sauce and serve on buns with the slaw.
Notes
  • Hot Sauce:  This sandwich was inspired by the way I used to have Backyard Burger make a chicken sandwich and they use a hot sauce called Miz Grazi's sauce that was hot and sweet.  Since I can't find that, I used Tiger Sauce and that was a pretty suitable replacement. 
  • Cabbage:  Use whatever texture you like.  I like a fine texture so I slice mine thin on a mandolin with a 1/2" cross cut so it's a combination of chopped and sliced.
  • Temp:  Take the temp in the thickest part of the thigh, not the skinny parts.

Instead of my normal "in process" cooking shots, I'll wrap this up with pictures of Sofa during some of her visits to our house.

Trevor and Sofa in our garage.  Dec 2005

BBQ isn't ready yet so Trevor is giving her some cheese.  Feb 2007


Sofa making herself at home in our bedroom.

Hanging with me in our guest room.  She WAS a guest.

Sofa in "the library".

Sofa started bringing a guest with her, Dually another dog from the horse farm.
She was a great dog (even if she wasn't ours), had a lot of love, and lived a dog's life.  God speed, Sofa.  You were the "best dog I never had".  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps

I have had a very stressful week at work and home.

One night I needed something that was simple to make.  I threw this together and it turned out very good.  It certainly didn't hurt that I got to take out some of my frustrations with a meat mallet!

I'll preface this by saying this is my spin on carne asada.  It's not an authentic recipe, but it was close enough for me.  As long as it tastes this good, who cares?  Besides, do you want to take issue with a guy who has a black belt AND a meat mallet?  ;)


Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps
Source:  NibbleMeThis
Serves:  4-5 servings of 2 wraps each

Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs sirloin steak
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp coarse chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 8-10 lettuce leaves*
  • 2 cups Spanish rice
Instructions
  1. Use a meat mallet to pound the steak to 1/2" thin.*
  2. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and cumin together for a marinade.  Place the thin meat into a gallon Glad ziptop bag.  Pour the marinade into the bag and massage around to mix thoroughly.  Let marinate for 1-4 hours.
  3. Preheat a charcoal grill to 450f (medium-high heat).  
  4. Remove steak(s) from marinade and pat dry.  Season with salt and pepper.  Grill for 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Rest steaks for 5 minutes and then slice thinly across the grain.
  6. Lightly spread 1/4 cup of the Spanish rice on each of the lettuce leaves.  Top with some slices of steak.  Garnish with whatever you like, diced onion, cilantro, etc.
Notes
  • I usually use Bibb lettuce when I can find it but tonight I used romaine heart leaves.
  • Cover on both sides with plastic wrap and lightly mist the wrap with water before pounding the meat.
I was going to use flank steak but sirloin was about half the cost.

Beef + Fire = Mmmmmm

Tasty and easy.

I served mine with Pintos a la Diabla - pinto beans in a sauce with de arbol, jalapeno and serrano chiles.  The beans simmered in this 3 chile sauce packs a nice heat, but it's not overwhelming.  Oh...it's not a dish I made up.  It's from Bush's Beans new line, Cocina Latina


Cocina Latina will be available in select markets, so you might not see it available in every grocery store (you can always contact Bush’s customer service with any questions).   

My family has tried them all, some as side dishes some as an ingredient, and they have been a hit.  My favorite of the line was the Frijoles Charros Machacados (smashed pintos with tomatoes, bacon, serrano peppers and did I mention bacon?).   They taste great with just chips, in a quesadilla, or as a side to any Tex-Mex or Mexican main course.  

Memphis In May
Although I like going to BBQ competitions and taking BBQ classes, I have never actually participated in a BBQ competition.  It is a HARD JOB and I didn't have the desire to put myself through what the dedicated BBQ competitors do.  That ends next month when I will be competing on a team at the world famous Memphis In May.  Memphis In May was one of the first contests I ever saw on TV and it helped pique my interest in the crazy world of BBQ.

My dabbling into competition BBQ is made possible largely thanks to Bush Beans sponsoring some specific posts on my blog this year.  (This isn't one of the posts but they did give me samples of the beans to try.)  Thanks Bush Beans!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Brunch Steak and Eggs Benedict

I am so full this minute and it has nothing to do with chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, or Cadbury Creme eggs. It is because of brunch.

One of Alexis' favorite breakfast meals is Eggs Benedict and I made a version of one today that was our favorite ever.   It earns the "to die for" designation.


Steak and Eggs Benedict.  The idea I had was to make it like leftovers from a night at the steak house.  Instead of the usual English muffin, Canadian bacon, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce, I used a toasted yeast roll, roasted asparagus, thin sliced ribeye, poached egg and Bearnaise sauce.  

It took a little bit of coordination to time everything to come together at the same time but is was worth every bit of effort. The velvety sauce went so well with the robust flavor of asparagus and the milder taste of egg and steak.

Steak and Eggs Benedict
Source:  www.nibblemethis.com
Servings:  4

Ingredients
  • 2 yeast rolls, split in half
  • 2 dozen spears asparagus, trimmed
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ribeye steak, leftover and cold, shaved into thin slices*
  • 4 large eggs, as fresh as possible
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup bearnaise sauce, homemade*
Instructions
  1. Make your Bearnaise sauce and keep warm.  I kept mine in an Oxo insulated cup like a thermos.  First I let the cup sit with hot water in it for 5 minutes to warm it up before using it for the Bearnaise sauce.
  2. Bring a large pan with 2-3 inches of water and the Tbsp of white wine vinegar to 150f on your stove top.  Preheat your oven to 450f.
  3. Break your eggs into 4 separate small bowls.  Gently slide each of the eggs into the water by pouring them out of their bowls at the water level.  They will sink with some of the egg whites making ribbons and things will look like something is going wrong.  It's not - don't panic.  Keep the water temp at 150f and cook for 15 minutes for a set yolk.
  4. Once the eggs go into the water, rub the asparagus tips with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on a roasting rack and pop them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Place the split rolls in the oven about 4 minutes later, cut side up and toast 4-5 minutes, until lightly toasted and crispy.  I had clarified butter out on the stove from the Bearnaise sauce so I brushed the rolls with some of that but it's not necessary.
  6. Everything should be done just about the same time.  Have 4 warm plates and top each with a toasted roll half, 6 pieces asparagus, several slices of the steak, a poached egg, and a some of the Bearnaise.
  7. Garnish with minced tarragon and serve warm.
Notes
  • The steak needs to be sliced very thin which should be easy with it being cold.  You won't heat it.  The thin slices will be heated by the hot asparagus and egg.
  • Bearnaise sauce - I use a slight adaptation of the hand made Bearnaise sauce recipe in Joy of Cooking (1997 version).   I consider it a zero calorie sauce.  Sure it's full of butter but the 45 minutes of whisking (ok I exaggerate) burned off any calories I might have eaten.
I grilled an extra steak Saturday night just for this dish and then hid it in the 'fridge so it didn't "disappear" during the night.

Another reason I made Bearnaise sauce...I have a butt load of tarragon already.

Cold steak slices easy and thin.  Think like lunch meat slices, that's what you want.

"To die for"
 April Giveaway Reminder
Don't forget to enter my April Giveaway, a signed copy of Steven Raichlen's newest book Best Ribs Ever - 100 Killer Recipes, which hits the shelves April 25th.

Big Wayner's BBQ Giveaway
Just noticed a giveaway for Draper's BBQ, one of my favorites.  Check it out over at Big Wayner's BBQ, open until 4/11.