Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bobby Flay Challenged Me to a Grilled Ribeye Showdown, and I Totally Won...............Wait, This Sounds Far-Fetched.....

So my friend, Bobby Flay, heard that I was the guy to beat when it came to grilled meat, so he challenged me to a Throwdown! .......You know, that show where he makes people think they have made it into the big time by getting their own Food Network show, and then surprises them by saying "It's just a joke! You don't get a show! And also, I'll be making whatever specialty you have spent your career perfecting a lot better than you in front of a live audience and millions of TV viewers, whereupon it will be judged superior to yours, and you will be left thinking of yourself as a miserable failure! Surprise!!!!!!!"

Okay, so Bobby Flay DIDN'T challenge me to a Throwdown. He DID, however, personally call me with a recipe for the chili oils he uses on Iron Chef America so that I could spice up tonight's dinner from The Jacked Up Grill...........

That's not true, either........It wasn't a call, it was a Tweet. Tweets are the things on Twitter, where famous people send me messages using lots of punctuation I don't understand like # and @. But they don't pay Bobby Flay to use proper English, they pay him to cook food, so I forgive him.

It's fess up time. Bobby didn't Tweet me a recipe, but I did send him a Tweet asking for one. I'm sure he'll be getting back to me eventually, though, since I'm sure he reads The Jacked Up Grill.........

The Honest Truth is as follows:
I watched Iron Chef America, and Bobby Flay used some fancy oils, and I tried to replicate them tonight, and they tasted good.
That was hard..........

I went to my new favorite source of Grilltastic Awesomeness, Whole Foods today for inspiration on what to cook for dinner. I would be dining solo, since the 8+ month pregnant Pregga Legga Ding Dong can't eat after 3pm without turning into a Gremlin.....Er, I mean without having terrible heart burn all night. So, since I only had my own palate to please, I decided to get creative.

For my protein, the Dry Aged Beef section of the meat cooler was speaking to me........Dry aged beef is much much more tender and flavorful than simple refrigerated beef, so I was really treating myself already. The bone-in ribeye I chose was on sale (thankfully), and it was ridiculously marbled, and had been dry aged since August 6th. It was a sight to behold.
I wanted the steak to have some kick to it, so I dry rubbed it with ground cayenne pepper, chili powder, kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
My goal tonight was to match the caliber of food they come up with on Iron Chef, including complexity and presentation. So, I pulled a Bobby Flay, and decided to dress the meat with a red chili oil and a green herb oil.
The green oil was an easy one. I went with my own recipe for chimicurri, only varying by straining it, so that it was thinner than my usual sauce.
For the Chili Oil, I mixed about 8 red chilis given to me by a little old lady at work (her words, not mine) in the blender.

Red Chili Oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 small red chilis
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves (from the Jacked Up Grill's own herb garden)
salt to taste
Add all ingredients into a blender, puree until smooth. Strain, and pour strained oil into squeeze bottle.

To accompany the meat, I charred a handful of the green and red peppers on Meat Blaster and served them along side a small arugula salad. For the salad, I made a simple vinaigrette with aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a few pink peppercorns I couldn't resist picking up while at Whole Foods. I topped the salad with a few slivers of a special kind of salami called Soppressata. It is full of fat and hot peppers, which makes it the Me of salamis. I crisped these up in a skillet and topped the salad with them for a salty touch.

I threw the super steak down on Meat Blaster for about 8 minutes per side along with the random peppers, and the smell was incredible.

When it came time to plate, I realized a few things.....
1. To make food good, I need some things I don't have. (white plates, bigger plates, better lighting, a decent camera (i use my iphone), a sense of perspective, any shred of photography skills, etc)
2. When drizzling with bright colored herb oils, less is more.
3. I have no idea how to properly compose a dish.

However, despite my shortcomings, this was a successful preparation of high end ingredients, and it tasted great. I felt really bad that Preggy Potter couldn't enjoy it, but I did offer to let her smell my breath. She declined.

So, as soon as Bobby Flay responds to my Tweet, I will edit my recipe for chili oil, but until then, I recommend this one to any of you who are looking for a way to spice up your grilling.
Until next time!
P.S. Follow me on twitter @thejackedupgril

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