Thursday, June 30, 2005

Am I Bleu?

W4D had steaks already defrosting on the counter when I came downstairs yesterday so I went ahead and marinated them all day in the fridge Usually, W4D aka The Lubricator, wants a big steak and I like a four ounce filet but he's trying to cut down portions so I was pleased with his choice.

I didn't have much to go with steaks except a half pound of fresh mushrooms. Mushrooms are so good for you and they have hardly any calories. Petite Filet Mignons smothered in lots of mushrooms always works for me. I also found two little zucchini in the crisper. Zukes are another low cal veggie that is fast and tasty.

To add some color to a boring brown dinner, I decided to make a Bleu-Blue Salad. First I oiled the greens and put them in the fridge to get the bowl cold. Use high quality extra virgin olive oil and add just enough to make the greens glisten. Toss well and place in the fridge. I usually even leave the utensils in the bowl since I like them icy cold as well.

Crumble up some blue cheese and let it get to room temp. Rinse and pick through some blueberries. I used Rabbiteye Blueberries that my neighbor offered if I would just pick them. Dry the blueberries gently with a paper towel. Get out some walnuts and break them into crumbles. I keep nuts in the freezer so I always have an assortment for cooking or garnish. Keep the greens in the fridge and the other ingredients on the counter. Now your Bleu-Blue salad is ready to assemble in a matter of seconds.

Heat some sweet butter, not too much, just a pat, in a skillet and when the foam subsides, drop in your mushrooms. I like them whole if the serving of meat is large and sliced if the meat serving is small. (proportion, you know) Sautee' on high flame for about two minutes, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and shake and flip until the liquid is evaporated and absorbed. The whole process takes about 4 minutes if you use high heat. I never use a spoon or stir anything I can toss or flip in a pan.

Your grill is sizzling hot and prepared so grill the steaks nicely medium rare or to your liking. (We grilled in the rain yet again last night) Petite filets like these only take about 3 minutes on each side. In the meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté the zucchini sliced lengthwise, flat side down first. On a good hot fire, this will only take a minute until they turn golden brown. Now, I generously sprinkle the zukes with fiery ground red pepper as I like these veggies with a kick. Green side down, add a little salt and turn down the flame to very low while you wait to lift the steaks.

Toss your greens with a little balsamic or raspberry vinegar and put on your salad plates. Add your bleu cheese crumbles, walnuts and the blueberries. Assemble your Bleu Blue Salad so it looks something like this:
BleuBlue Salad 1 BleuBlue Salad 2

Plate the meat and veggies making sure to drizzle all of the au jus from the plate where you lifted the steaks from the grill. I don't fuss. I just get it on the plate quickly for by the time I've cooked it, I am eager for dinner.

Petite Mignon

While I am making the plates, DH pours the wine. W4D likes to pick out the wine and since I have rarely met a wine I don't like, fine by me! This Napa wine from 2001 was quite nice with undertones of violets, fruit and oak. The Lubricator finds some very nice little California wines and I am always happy when I see him lugging in a case of new finds.

Lodi Merlot


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