Monday, February 9th, 2009 - "Fighting vainly the old ennui" - as I write this I hear Jamie Cullum's voice singing that phrase from the Cole Porter song "I Get a Kick Out of You". And after two weeks of being bombarded by thousands of of pink-and-red heart-themed ads for everything from tires to premium membership at Marketing Profs, I find myself battling a Valentine's Day ennui. Which is not good for an online wine retailer. I should be jumping into the fray, unleashing my own barrage of cupid-born messages.
I'm still a big fan of celebrating love in all its various and sundry forms, as long as the celebration is sincere. But really, how many red-heart-infused ads can we see before the words "I love you" fail to conjure the sense of excitement that is their birthright?
So today's posting contains no heart images. No flying babies with bows and arrows. No doilies. No pink or red typeface. Just the news that West Coast customers who order by noon on Wednesday will still receive wine in time for weekend festivities, whatever you have planned.
And what better way to express your love for someone than through a languorous evening of great food, wine and conversation? In that spirit, I've copied here a recipe from my February shipment to club members. It compliments a wide range of red wines, and warms the coldest of hearts on a winter night.
This recipe was inspired by Govind Armstrong at “Table 8” in Los Angeles. If you’re like me, you'll worry that smothering a steak in salt will yield tough, dry meat similar to beef jerky (or shoe leather, but then I repeat myself). Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. By forming a hard barrier, the salt seals the meat's juices inside. You then crack open the salt crust and discard it before carving - sort of a low-cost version of clay pot cooking that rewards the home chef with a moist and tender steak.
The spice rub takes a leaf from the playbook of our pulled pork recipe that was so popular last summer, producing another meal you’ll long remember. Add a great bottle of pinot and a loved one and this just may form a perfect winter memory.
2 Bay leaves, crushed
1 Tbsp whole peppercorns
2 tsp Whole coriander seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp dried rosemary (or t Tbsp chopped fresh)
½ tsp dried crushed red pepper
1 ½ Cups (plus 1 tsp) coarse kosher salt
2 large Porterhouse or T-Bone steaks
Mix the first seven ingredients well. Transfer 2 Tbsp of the mixture to a spice grinder and grind well – to a fine powder, then mix in 1 tsp of the salt, keeping this ground mixture separate from the whole spice mixture. Rub the finely ground spice mixture all over the steaks, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.
Preheat your oven to 475. Mix the remaining “whole” spice mixture with 1 ½ Cups kosher salt in a medium bowl. Add a scant ¼ Cup water and stir to moisten the spices. Unwrap the steaks and place them in a large roasting pan, then pack the salt-spice mix over the top and sides of each steak, leaving the bottom (pan-side) unsalted.
Roast for about 25 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 130 degrees. Remove from oven and place on a cutting board, cover loosely with a tent of foil and let sit for 8-10 minutes.
When ready to serve, crack open the salt crust and discard. Turn the steaks over (to the more tender, un-salted side) and slice into ½ inch thick slices.
Enjoy with loved ones old or new.
Cheers! Quote of the Day: ~ Hawkeye Pierce, in the TV show M*A*S*H
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Dave the Wine Merchant
"Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely."
Quote of the Day:
~ Hawkeye Pierce, in the TV show M*A*S*H
I Need Your Vote! VOTE DAILY!
. Help me continue this free blog by taking 5 seconds to vote here!