Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Upgrading Food

For obvious reasons, my head just hasn't been into blogging the last few days, and the last thing I expected to be doing was recipe blogging. But I made an interesting discovery last night that I thought you'd all enjoy.

One of the things we had to do last night in preparation for tonight's trip to San Diego was clean out the fridge -- there was stuff in there that would have been fine for a few more days before we ate them if we were home, but would have spoiled while away for 6 days.

One of them was a buffalo tri-tip that I had thawed Sunday before receiving word of my Grandmother's worsened condition. I decided to do my best with it and make my buffalo (not Buffalo) Steak Sandwiches. The problem is, the grill has been in hibernation and wouldn't fire up. No problem -- I used our electric griller/Pannini maker/Waffle maker. I know, the meat doesn't get that smokey quality, but here's what you can do that's almost as cool:

This variation on the recipe requires an electric grill or a grill pan -- something with a solid surface and raised grill lines, not an open wire grill.

First, start with a good dry rub. I'd recommend 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, 1/4 cup kisher salt, and herbs and spices to taste. I use cumin, cayenne, parika, ground sundried tomato, ground Mexican oregano, mustard powder, onion and garlic powders. The dugar is important for later.

Let the meat stand for about 2 hours before cooking it. Rub the skillet or griller with olive oil and cook the tri-tip to taste (IMHO, if it isn't pink, it's burnt). While the meat is resting, deglase the surface of the griddle with 1-2 tbsp of red wine and 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar. Allow the deglaze to reduce, take your sliced ciabatta bread and lightly drizzle the cut surface with olive oil. Place face down on grill. Cook for 1 minute or until the bread is hot and has soaked up some of the reduction. Continue on with the rest of the original recipe.

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