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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steak and Sides

Once the weather starts getting nice, we fire up the barbeque.  Ted is a master on the grill, and he largely takes over making the main course during the warm months.  It's like a vacation for me because all I have to do is the prep work, make all the side dishes, and clean up.  Okay, so it's not quite a vacation, but at least I don't have to scour the broiler pan.  Listen, I take what I can get.

Today, while not summer like, it was sunny and dry.  These are two key components for grilling as far as I'm concerned.  Ted isn't quite hardcore enough to grill in the snow, but he has been known to barbeque in the rain under the cover of our large umbrella positioned precariously over the grill.  Nonetheless, it was sunny and a perfect day to start the "grilling season" and so we did.

I'm going to begin by telling you that while Ted is a really good griller, I'm no Bobby Flay.  I have absolutely no need to make roasted potatoes on the grill nor do I think I need to bake a cake there either.   What I do really love though, are grilled meats and fish, and that's where Ted really shines.  He can cook a steak like nobody's business -- seared and crusty on the outside and perfectly pink on the inside.

So, we started the season with grilled steaks, and they were perfect, as always.  It's not quite caprese weather, so I made a wedge salad, which is my current favorite salad anyway.  A baked potato finished it all off.  The only thing missing was a fruit pie but I was feeling lazy and the summer fruit isn't really ready for its close-up yet.

I think we're doing well.  It's only March and I'm feeling like the lazy days of summer aren't all that far off. Let the grilling begin!

Recipe:  The Wedge Salad
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Serves 4


2 heads iceberg lettuce
1 large beefsteak tomato, diced
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, cooked crisp and drained, crumbled (optional)
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken


Combine the blue cheese, buttermilk, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a medium size mixing bowl.  Using the back of a fork, mash the mixture together to form a thick paste.  Drizzle in the olive oil, stirring continuously with the fork until the mixture is creamy.  Add the buttermilk and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut the head of lettuce into 4 wedges.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the dressing over each wedge.  Garnish with a diced tomato and crumbled bacon.  Serve immediately.

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