Ask the Chef: Barbecue Basics 3
A brazen red, orange and yellow sunset followed by a low, full moon across the sky signals the beginning of the end for sun worshipers. As the days become shorter and the nights become longer, the inevitable happens. End of summer is drawing near, fall is approaching, and Barbecue parties begin to slowly fade away. But, if you have one last BBQ shin-dig left on your calendar, you are in luck! If you have been following Wine Oh TV’s Ask the Chef series on summer-time BBQ’s, Chef Tracy gives us a few final tips to making your last summer BBQ sinfully delicious. Steak is one of the more popular meat dishes in the United States and most menus feature rib eye, t-bone, or filet mignon as a choice and the difference between excellent and yuck is miles apart. Wine Oh TV’s Lindsey Roffey, sits down with Chef Tracy Flores one last time for some tips on how to create the perfect BBQ steak.
I’m not a big steak eater and I’m having some guests over that love a big, juicy steak. Can you give me some quick tips on how to pick out the right piece of meat at the grocery store?
Chef Tracy: I love a good rib eye steak. The key to buying a good rib eye is the marbling or the white fat that runs throughout the meat. The better the marbling, the better the steak! Also, look for USDA on the package. Words such as “Select” or “Rancher’s Reserve” are typically not your best bet. Also, make sure the white square or bone in the middle is small, about the size of a quarter.
OK, I have my steak, now what? Do I just throw it on?
Chef Tracy: No, all steak should be seasoned, just like chicken! Get a bottle of Cajun spice at the grocery store and some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Take the steak out of the package and give it a few turns with EVOO and sprinkle it with the Cajun spice. Turn your gas BBQ on very high and let it heat up. Then put the steak on the BBQ and turn it down to low and close the lid.”
But my guests all requested the meat to be done differently. Some have requested medium rare, well done, and medium well. How do I know the difference?
Chef Tracy: Easy! The best way to check it is to touch it. If you don’t know what you are feeling for, look at your palm. Touch the softest part of your palm. That would be how it should feel if you want your steak rare. Touch the harder part of your palm. That would be how it would feel on the well-done end. Everything in the middle would be medium.
A few of my guests don’t like steak. Anything similar that I can serve them?
Chef Tracy: I love Muscovy duck. That best way to BBQ duck is to sprinkle it with a little cardamom and cumin. But first, cut off the silver skin on the meat as it can get too tough. Then remove the fat and keep the skin on. Sprinkle the spices and salt and pepper on only one side as the flavor can get too intense, then throw it on the BBQ and cook it until desired tenderness. Slice it and serve it on individual plates.
Chef Tracy’s Madeira Marinade
2 ½ cups orange juice
2 ½ cups Sweet Madeira Wine*
2 ½ cups soy sauce
1/3 cup garlic, minced
2/3 cups brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a shallow baking dish. Marinate in the refrigerator.
Lindsey’s Wine Tip
Madeira wine comes in four different styles ranging from dry to sweet. To know what you are buying, you have to look at the bottle. In order from driest to sweetest, look for these words: Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, & Malmsey. For more information on Madeira, Click Here!
About Chef Tracy: Executive Chef Tracy Flores has over thirty years experience in the kitchen. She currently is the executive chef at Castlewood Country Club. You can read more about Chef Tracy here.
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