Archive for the 'veg' Category

Grilled Steak with Gremolata and Warm Potato Salad

Steak with gremolata 3 585x814 Grilled Steak with Gremolata and Warm Potato Salad

If you live somewhere where there are actually things growing out of the ground already, lucky you. Here in Calgary, there are still small glaciers on most streets and in yards, but this weekend the temperature finally crept up past zero. Way up past ten, even! Hello, barbecue. It’s been awhile.

Steak with gremolata 4 Grilled Steak with Gremolata and Warm Potato Salad

Last week I had lunch with a local rancher (one who supplies our Calgary Co-op stores with beef that’s born and bred in Alberta), and was given a gorgeous T-bone steak to take home, which we used as an excuse to fire up the grill (which since October has been subbing as an outdoor freezer). When you get a taste of spring, even when there’s still snow on the ground, you gotta jump on it.

Gremolata steak Collage 1 Grilled Steak with Gremolata and Warm Potato Salad

Christoph the rancher says that when you have a steak like this, it doesn’t need anything but salt. I tend to agree. But I had a jar of gremolata in the fridge – a gift from Earl’s Tin Palace to celebrate their post-flood re-opening just last week – which being a mixture of garlic, lemon, parsley and olive oil, is the perfect accessory for a simply grilled steak. (I may not know how to dress myself, but I have an idea of how to accessorize food.) In fact, you can make a pretty fab potato salad by dousing warm potatoes with gremolata, then a big glob of mayo; the gremolata brightens it, adds that hit of acidity that’s usually obtained with pickle brine, and decorates it with bits of green. Springy!

Steak with gremolata 1 Grilled Steak with Gremolata and Warm Potato Salad

As for the steak, you don’t need a recipe so much as basic instructions on how to cook one. Once you’ve selected your steak and have decided it’s destined for dinner, pull it out of the fridge so that it can start cooking from room temperature. If it appears wet, pat it dry with a paper towel, and shower it generously with salt – I add freshly ground pepper, too. I like to cook ours in a cast iron skillet or on the barbecue – either way, get it smoking hot before you put the steak on, then leave it for 3-4 minutes – don’t fiddle with it or move it or (gasp!) squish it – until it develops a nice bottom crust. Flip it over and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side, then set it on a plate and let it rest for 5 minutes. This will make an inch-thick steak medium-rare; you can adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Steak with gremolata 6 Grilled Steak with Gremolata and Warm Potato Salad

For the potato salad, I cut russets – only because russets were what I had, but I don’t mind them in a potato salad – into big chunks, covered them with water and brought them to a simmer. (This was faster than baking them, which would have been pretty divine too.) Once they were tender I drained them and tossed them, still steaming, with a generous pour of gremolata and a fairly enormous spoonful of mayo. Salt and pepper, if it needs it, and bingo – potato salad that I like even better served warm, especially alongside a steak.

To make your own gremolata, all you need is lemon, garlic, parsley and olive oil, and a means to mash it all together. The stuff is brilliant to have a jar of in the fridge, and once you get hooked on it, you’ll find plenty of uses for it – anything from steak to fish, drizzled on fresh bread, you get the idea.


Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, roughly or finely chopped
a glug or two of good olive oil

Stir, whiz (in the bowl of a food processor) or mash everything together with a mortar and pestle, adding enough olive oil to create a loose sauce; store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week. (The gremolata will improve in flavour after a day or two.)

button print gry20 Grilled Steak with Gremolata and Warm Potato Salad

March 10 2014 | beef and preserves and veg | 10 Comments »

12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

Grilled Sweet Potatoes 1 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

Sweet potatoes: I’m a fan. Also: butter, and maple syrup, and orange – getting them all together on one plate makes me happy. The warm orange-infused maple butter, which takes all of two minutes to get going in a small saucepan, could be drizzled over split roasted sweet potatoes, but grilling them adds a slightly charred, smoky flavour that seems well suited to fall and winter, even though grills tend to be summer appliances.

Whether they’re labeled yams or sweet potatoes, go for the smaller, longer ones, so that they don’t take forever to cook through to the middle. All you need to do is toss them in a pot whole and cover them with water – you bring the lot to a boil and let it go for about half an hour, until the potatoes are tender. This part can be done ahead of time, if you want to get a head start on dinner, or have minimal prep work once the roast or turkey is out of the oven.

sliced sweet potatoes 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

So the tender sweet potatoes are sliced into thick slabs, then grilled – I brushed these with a little oil first – send your husband outside (he may need a jacket) if you don’t have a super sleek indoor grill (I don’t) – and if you do happen to have one, they’ll grill on both sides, and you won’t even need to hover with tongs. They’re already cooked, so you just need some nice char marks. Four minutes.

grilling sweet potato 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

At some point, lob a chunk of butter and a few glugs of maple syrup into a small saucepan and grate some orange zest in as it comes to a simmer; don’t add juice, or it will wind up too runny, and you want the maple butter to stay on your potatoes. Trust me.

sweet potato syrup 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

London Drugs asked me to help get the word out about their selection of kitchen appliances for the holidays, and I’m happy to, having stopped in on many occasions for an emergency hot plate/deep fryer/coffee grinder. I love that you can do all your Christmas shopping at the drugstore, and pick up things like a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Rose’s Lime Cordial (they have an awesome selection of British imports) along with your toothpaste and toilet paper.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes 2 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

This recipe is well suited to the Tfal Optigrill – a gadget I don’t have, but will be cooking with at an event next week – it’s like a panini press extreme, able to do things like burgers and chicken and even steaks – with a cooking sensor that gauges the thickness of whatever it is you’re cooking. Which isn’t quite as important when you’re doing slabs of sweet potato.

And London Drugs has offered up a $100 gift card so that one of you can go shopping – for yourself or someone you love a lot – and pick up a fun new kitchen toy. Something fun and gadgety, like an Actifry, or classic, like the aforementioned stand mixer, or festive, like a Breville Waffle Maker (want!), or fancy, like the brushed stainless steel Cuisinart Countertop Steam Oven, or newfangled, like a Breville Fast Slow Cooker (electric pressure cooker). So many fun kitchen toys, so little time.

To enter to win the $100 LD gift card, leave a comment here. I want to know what you’re making for the holidays!

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

Sweet potatoes can be boiled in advance and then kept in the fridge in their skins until you’re ready for them – a quick turn on the grill and they’re ready in under 5 minutes.

3-4 small-medium dark fleshed sweet potatoes
olive or canola oil, for brushing
¼ cup butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
finely grated zest of half an orange (a teaspoon or so)

Put the potatoes whole into a large saucepan or small pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until just tender when poked with a knife. Pull them out of the water and set aside until they’re not steaming hot. Meanwhile, heat the butter, maple syrup and orange zest in a small saucepan until melted and smooth.

Cut them, with their skins on, into thick slices or lengthwise into quarters. Brush with oil and cook on a preheated grill, turning with tongs, for a few minutes, or until char-marked (and heated through if you cooked them ahead). Serve the grilled potatoes warm, drizzled with maple butter.

Serves 6.

pixel 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter
button print gry20 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

November 15 2013 | on the grill and veg | 141 Comments »

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