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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Meat Dreams are Made of This...

Sometimes you just have a craving for meat, and for me, it’s usually at the most inopportune moments….I know what you’re thinking, and no this blog is not going that direction (sorry to anyone who’s disappointed)

The carniverous mood struck me the other day as I was perusing the latest facebook and instagram updates from Bon Appetit, Savuer and the like on my phone. It’s a terrible thing, to steal a quick glance at your phone in the middle of the work day, only to be met with mouthwatering images of food you only dream of enjoying as you think about trudging through the mind numbing hours ahead… Miserable - no torture - is how I’d put it, and let me be honest, when I say quick glances, I mean neurotic, often frenzied, newsfeed refreshes all day, every day (guilty!).

Enough about my productivity issues, the point is, I take a lot of inspiration for our weekly dinners from my iPhone assisted, work-day-dreaming. Once I get past the initial frustrating reality that I can’t simply quit my job and cook all day, the time spent in the office allows me plenty of opportunity to mull over how I might augment or enrich the dishes when I am finally able to make my attempt. I play with spices or potential accoutrements in my head, jotting down ingredients on dozens of post-its that my boss must think are some cryptic to-do list at this point.

As was the case on Monday, when I spotted a simple recipe for grilled romaine salad with bacon and blue cheese. Well, as any sane person would do, given these simple ingredients, I immediately thought of steak. I decided at 9am, I would pull the two gorgeously marbled strips I knew we had in the fridge and do my take on steak and salad, all on the grill. For the remainder of the work day I constructed the rest of the dish, and worried about plating, and how the light might be for the eventual instagram shot.

I think my hours of agonizing over ingredients paid off…the meal was a hit with all the guys in the house, not least of which was Harry, who was practically frothing the moment the bacon started sizzling ! (you had to know he'd get a mention)

I hope you can find some inspiration yourself, and you'd better not be reading this at work....

Strip Steak w/ Grilled Romaine Salad, 
Blue Cheese Bacon Vinaigrette & Cayenne Candied Bacon

  • 2 Strip steaks, brought to room temperature and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 head of romaine
  • 1 Cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 lb thick cut bacon
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Heat a pan over medium flame, and once hot, place bacon in carefully to avoid splatter, cook bacon, turning over every few minutes
  • Combine brown sugar, cayenne, and molasses and add in small amounts as you turn bacon, being sure to coat each slice.
  • As you cook the bacon, pour off the fat periodically into a heat safe mug (be very careful this is hot and messy)
  • Mean while, season the strip steaks with salt and better, and cut the head of romaine in half.
  • When bacon is about 1/2 way done, place lettuce and steaks on the grill. Place lettuce heart down (that's the center).
  • Once lettuce begins to show a slight char, remove from heat and place on serving plates.
  • Once strips have been turned, combine 1/4 cup reserved bacon drippings with 1/2 cup blue cheese, and 1/4 cup white wine vinegar - whisk together until cheese melts and you have an emulsion.
  • At this point the bacon should be done, remove from the pan, let it sit on a paper towel to crisp for a moment or two, then chop into small pieces.
  • Your strips steaks should also be done and allowed to rest while you chop the bacon.
  • Plate strip steak with charred lettuce, drizzle everything with bacon vinaigrette, and top with the remaining blue cheese crumbles and bacon.

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