Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New York Steaks with Gorgonzola-Walnut "Butter" and Minted Tabbouleh

This is from my new book, the Wine Lover's Cookbook. And when I read this recipe, I knew it had to be one of the first ones I tried. It had me at "Gorgonzola Butter". Yum.

The Gorgonzola "butter" would also make a great dip/spread on its own. I couldn't find white-wine Worcestershire, so I used regular that I had on-hand. Tasted fine to me. And I absolutely cheated on the tabbouleh and just went with a box. Lame? Maybe. But it's off-season for tomatoes and mint, so I wasn't about to go drop the money for sub-par ingredients. I'll try the full recipe again in the summer.

We paired this with a young - 2005 - medium-bodied Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Then we did a tasting. We sipped the wine solo first to get initial tasting notes. Like most cabs, it was tannic, brash, fruit landing like a sledgehammer on your palette to the point where you can't discern which fruit you're tasting. Not an easy sipping wine by any stretch of the imagination!

The instant we took a bite of steak with the "butter" and then a sip of wine? It was a completely different beast. Softer, rounder, tannins much less pronounced. You could taste less of the fruit, more of the earthier aspects like oak, tobacco. A wonderful wine.

And just when you think you've got the number on this little beauty, you have some of the tabbouleh with the wine. Suddenly you have a mouthful of juicy, sweet cherries, blackberries! The tannins are almost completely gone, simply contributing to the fresh, crisp finish full of mint and eucalyptus.

New York Steaks with Gorgonzola-Walnut "Butter" with Minted Tabbouleh

4 New York steaks (2 - 2-1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (1/2 tbsp dried)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

8 oz Gorgonzola cheese, cut into small chunks
1 tsp white-wine Worcestershire
2 tsp green peppercorns
1/4 cup lightly toasted walnut halves
1 1/2 tbsp minced chives
6 drops Tobasco

1 cup bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup seeded, diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
3/4 tbsp chopped roasted garlic
3 tbsp minced green onions
1 tsp sweet paprika
kosher salt and ground black pepper

Place steaks in a glass dish. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper. Marinate in refrigerator, covered, for 2 to 3 hours. Remove steaks from marinade when ready to grill.

To make the "butter", combine all ingredients in a food processor
or blender and process for about a minute until mixed thoroughly. Can be refrigerated but be prepared to serve at room temperature.

To make the tabbouleh, place bulgur wheat in a large, nonreactive bowl. Bring stock to a boil. Pour hot stock over bulgur wheat. Cover with foil and let stand about 30 minutes or until stock is absorbed into bulgur. Mix in tomatoes, mint, chives, garlic, green onions, paprika, and oil. Season to taste. Set aside.

Prepare the grill. Grill steaks for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked to desired doneness. Shortly after turning, sprinkle a mound of Gorgonzola butter on steaks and allow it to melt slightly while the steaks finish cooking. Serve with tabbouleh and additional Gorgonzola butter on the side.

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