Friday, March 18, 2011

Carnage du Jour - 16 March 2011 (plus Sauce-age!) [Updated]


Steaks are fairly simple things, aren't they?  Typically they are - and rightly so - and so they were again this time. What wasn't terribly simple was the accompaniment to the nicely broiled strip steaks.  Oh, and since there was a nice pile of shrimp from an earlier shrimp cocktail platter, they had to get heated at the last moment and piled on top of the steaks. [The shrimp are the update.  How could I have forgotten those beautiful shrimp sitting on top of my steak?]

Swiss chard is always great, and this was particularly fresh and tasty from the steamer (stalks in first to soften a bit, then the rest of the greens - don't toss the stalks, they're at least almost the best part!).
Still, what starch to go with?  Potatoes?  Pasta?  Rice?  How about grilled cantaloupe instead?
Brilliant, no?
Brilliant, yes!

A good-sized cantaloupe (probably really a muskmelon, as we don't get real cantaloupes much in the States) was seeded and cubed, then dusted with a bit of white pepper.  Into the very hot grill pan (how do people cook without one of these?) with some canola oil they went to develop some nice grill marks and begin to soften even beyond their nice ripe softness.  They were awfully tasty as is, but what's better than grilled fruit with something to drizzle on it?  (Answer: not much.)  So a quick sauce (which will definitely be repeated!) was created.
About a tablespoon of nice aged balsamic vinegar went into a quarter cup or so of honey, along with about a half tablespoon of dijon mustard and a sprinkling of beau monde (another go-to seasoning at Cleveland, by the way).  When they were fully mixed, it was little short of spectacular, really.  It worked perfectly on the melon, but as it got on the chard and steak, we discovered that it was simply delicious on each of those elements as well.

Definitely worth repeating, and soon.