Saturday, November 20, 2010

Black and Blue Steak Salad With a Twist

Contrary to online appearances this week, I have not disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Any semblance of a routine that I have was replaced with a bowl of upheaval and a side order of adjustment. Some of it was planned, some of it spontaneously erupted. But now the tumultuous waters are settling and I have surfaced for air.

Obviously, meals this week were confined to simpler things. Last night I wanted to time dinner for when Alexis got home after her first day at her new job. I thought I'd make her one of her favorites, black and blue salad.

Yeah I know that this "black and blue salad" has been done an infinite number of times by an infinite number of monkeys in an infinite number of kitchens. But in my defense, I don't think Bill Shakespeare could grill his way out of a paper bag.

Black & Blue Salad

1.5 lb flat iron steak

Marinade (source: I threw it together)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup marsala wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 spring rosemary, fresh chopped

Gorgonzola vinaigrette (adapted from Southern Living)
3 Tbsp gorgonzola cheese
2 Tbsp cold water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, coarse ground
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

4 cups baby spinach

1 leek, white part only, sliced on a bias in 1/4" chunks
1 egg
1 tsp Fire Ant Juice (or your favorite hot sauce but Fire Ant is more bettah and SHOULD be your favorite hot sauce....I'm just saying.)
2 Tbsp cold water
1/2 cup self rising flour

Mix the marinade and marinate the flat iron steak in a zip top back for a few hours.

Make the vinaigrette by mixing everything except the oil and then while whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil. Refrigerate.

Bathe the leek in the egg wash (whisk egg, water, and hot sauce together) and then toss in the flour. Place on a raised rack in the fridge. This will help the batter stick in the frying.

Prepare your grill to 450f (medium-hot to hot). For me, I'm using natural lump charcoal in a Big Green Egg and a Craycort cast iron grate. Don't just throw the meat on as soon as you hit your target cooking temp. Let the grill preheat for at least 10-15 minutes at that temp.

Remove the steak from the marinade and grill for 3 minutes.

Flip the steak and grill another 3 minutes.

Flip and grill another 1-2 minutes.

Flip one last time and cook another 1-2 minutes until the steak hits an internal temperature of 125f for medium rare (temp will raise slightly while resting).

While that steak rests, deep fry the leek rings at 350f until they turn golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Place rinsed spinach in 4 bowls and drizzle the vinaigrette over them. Slice the steak very thin and top each salad bowl with 4 slices of the steak.

Here's the twist. I like to twist each piece as shown in the picture to
1) highlight the medium rareness of the steak and
2) add some visual height to the dish.

Top with the fried leek and serve it immediately.

Note: If you have an infinite number of monkeys to feed, you should adjust the quantities a bit.

PS: If you have an infinite number of monkeys, your local codes enforcement department probably also wants to have a word with you.