How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Dos Nuevas Recetas that we invented ourselves

It has been over six years since we started this blog. We usually find our recipes within our collection of cookbooks, although lately we have be finding more on the interwebs. Last week, however, we collaborated on a meal in which each of us created a new recipe, with one shared ingredient. Pam made a pasta-berry salad; James' innovation came in the way of a new steak rub.

I had found a thick, grass-fed sirloin that I wanted to use as a main course. I set it on a plate, and pierced it several times on each side with a fork. Regular readers will know that I frequently prepare a rub based on something I learned from our friends at Equal Exchange -- a mix of black pepper and ground coffee (fairly traded and organic, of course). In this case, I used home-roasted, hand-ground coffee from East Timor by way of our other friends at Deans Beans. Something I learned the first time I used this combination is that the amount of pepper and the amount of time resting with the rub should both be limited, so that the pepper does not begin to pre-cook the meat. In other words, it is possible to over-do this. But using about 1:4::pepper:coffee and resting for 20 minutes or so seems to work well.

Just before grilling -- on the Big Green Egg -- I added a couple of ingredients to the steaks. First, I sprinkled each side lightly with Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Then I pressed fresh blackberries into each side, using a fork to get them stuck a bit better. This was a bit messy. I then grilled at about 450. One problem with the coffee rub is that it masks the steak, so there are no visual clues to doneness. I should have used the Thermapen, but instead ended up putting it back on the grill once I had divided it. No harm done.

We had decided to use bow-tie pasta in some sort of side dish with the steak, and Pam remembered that we had previously made some mighty fine fruit-and-pasta dishes (see Pasta with Grapes and Strawberry Pasta). We had just made a trek to Trader Joe's and bought blueberries and blackberries, so we decided try inventing a new recipe. The cooked pasta (about 2 cups) was mixed with a handful of each of the berries, along with a sliced banana. Pam made a dressing by mixing about 6 of each berry, a tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of blueberry balsamic vinegar (from L.O.V.E. Oil and Vinegar Emporium), and 2 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves in a blender. The dressing was tossed with the berries and pasta. An eye-pleasing, as well as palate-pleasing dish, and it turned out to be a perfect complement to the steak rub...
Love will keep us together.
But blackberries tied this meal together.
Final verdict: this meal was just a bit different, delicious, and fun to make. And of course it paired well with Malbec.

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