Archive for July, 2010
I have to admit it. I love beef. I don’t eat it very much and although, my love for all things pork will always reign supreme, somewhere deep inside there is a primordial need for salty cow meat. When beef is what’s for dinner, all caution is thrown to wind. Muffintops be damned. Arteries, take that. Crack a bottle of cab from the bottom shelf, it’s time to get m’beouf on. *Cue the beef for dinner jingle*
So this is the first dinner I made from the 80lbs of local beef I just bought – which at once elicited a caveman smile from me and an oh-no-you-din’t look from my forgiving and wonderful beautiful wife.
Pan Seared Beef Filet, Compound Herb Butter with Asparagus, Shallot Vinaigrette and Olive Oil Fried Egg
Long title, but fairly quick and easy to make. I seared the salt crusted filet in my trusty Lodge cast-iron skillet to a nice rare/mid-rare and topped it with some herb compound butter I whipped up using butter, salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary. The asparagus was roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and topped with shallot vinaigrette (shallots, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar). The egg was fried in olive oil just enough for the white to set leaving yolk still runny.
The olive oil fried egg was new to me. I had it at a local Italian place was intrigued to try it. The cool thing is that it’s easier and faster than poaching an egg, and because your using olive oil (and not butter) the white does not get brown edges.
[Ed. Note: This pic is horrible. My iPhone seems to have been tipsy that night]
Dinner on the grill. Fresh made pomodoro with Tomales Bay Mussels with a little hardwood smoke. Although there is a local ban here in the San Francisco Bay area on Mussels, we were surprised to see these featured at our local Whole Foods Market in Mill Valley. Is my fish guy trying to kill me? Probably…but as it turns out, not with these fine local mussels.
Normally, for shellfish like clams or mussels on the grill, I start by adding olive oil, onions, herbs etc and some kind of spicy pork (e.g. chorizo, andouille, tasso etc) to a grill safe dish. I get the grill started and cook the the mixture on direct heat until it starts to break down a bit. Add a little wine, some butter and the shellfish and you’re all set. I like the earthiness of hardwood smoke, so I usually add soaked chips right after I add the shellfish. Cover, then stir every few minutes until all the shells have opened up, crack a nice IPA or Chardonnay and you’re set for a delicious summer shellfish feast.
This time I wanted to experiment with actually cooking down a fresh tomato sauce on the grill. I started out with the ingredients for any quick pomodoro: fresh local tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes), crushed red pepper, fresh garlic, sea salt, oregano, olive oil, onions and white wine. I’m sure there were some extra pinches of this here and dashes of that there – but you get the picture. what I got was a deliciously smoky tomato sauce that really stood up to the briny mussles, the heat of the pepper and the acidity of the wine. In fact, I saved the leftover sauce that wasn’t sopped up with the garlic bread to serve over some fresh linguine the next day.