Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Steak au poivron

I worked my last shift at the Coop today, and I'll miss shopping there. The garlic scapes are in, so I bought a big bunch (they're the new ramps, don't you know) along with some flatiron steaks, red bell peppers, and all the other things we needed. So for today, the 4th of July, in addition to updating this neglected blog, I dutifully fired up the grill and got busy. First, when I got home, the steaks went into a marinade of Nama Shoyu, rice vinegar, Nam Pla, Jo's ginger dressing, water to cover, and then into the fridge.

The peppers went on the grill until nice and charred, then into a covered bowl to steam and rest. Scapes chopped and tossed in browned butter with salt and pepper- sweet, crunchy, and great. Onion, garlic, cracked pepper, and herbs sautéed, then cognac flamed, then yogurt cream stirred in and bubbled. The skillet came off the heat while I peeled and seeded the peppers, saving their juice, and then they, their juice, and the sauce all went in the blender. Strained through a seive and finished with truffle salt, it was sweet, tangy, velvety, and peppery.

Pooled on a plate, with sliced meat, scapes, and grilled summer squash, this sauce had summer lightness wedded to subtle structure and richness; I opened a 2000 Gaja Magari which is an interesting fusion of Tuscan Brunello notes (tar, cherries) with Barolo-like tannins and a hint of licorice. It's almost like Barolo by way of a super-Tuscan. I kept it in the fridge to compensate for the muggy heat, and it worked, but only now is it opening up to its full self.

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