Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Charcoal Grill and Me: Black Pepper-Crusted Grilled Ribeye with Blue Cheese-Pecan Butter

Lazy summer days; where did those days go? How many of us can recollect actually getting a lazy summer day? I know the first day of Fall is not suppose to be until September 22nd but I am just not ready to welcome another season when I have not thoroughly enjoyed the present season!
I have so many grilling projects for warm days...hardy grillers can grill in all weather climates...I really am not seeing myself standing up to my kneecaps in snow grilling rib eye steaks. Maybe the scenario is what a person is suppose to aspire to "or" maybe the scenario is for people in warm climates year around "only".
Using Mesquite briquettes, the king of steaks: the ribeye, was grilled to perfection (medium-rare for me) with a coating of freshly cracked black pepper, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and a thick slice or two of butter enlightened with blue cheese, crushed pecans and a taste of fresh lemon juice.
Black Pepper-Crusted Grilled Ribeye with Blue Cheese-Pecan Butter
(adapted from Grill It! by C. Schlesinger and J. Willoughby)
4 servings
The Meat:
1/3 c. freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 c. kosher salt
1 T. red pepper flakes
4 boneless rib eye steaks, about 1 inch thick (12 - 14 oz. each)
2 T. olive oil
(Be careful with putting to much olive oil on the steaks as the oil causes fire flare-ups!)
The Butter:
1 T. chopped pecans
1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese (cheaper to buy a block of good blue cheese and crumble yourself)
1 t. fresh lemon juice
Toast the pecans: Heat the oven to 350 degrees (180C), spread the pecans over a shallow baking pan, and cook, checking frequently, until golden (5 - 10 minutes). Allow to cool.
Combine the butter, blue cheese, pecans, and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix well. Pile the butter mixture onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap, form it into a rough cylinder, and wrap it up. Refrigerate until firm. (This butter will keep in the refrigerator for a week , or frozen for several months.)
Build a fire in your grill. When the coals are ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is hot, you're ready to cook.
Combine the black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and mix well. Rub the steaks all over with oil and coat generously with the spice mixture, pressing gently to be sure it adheres.
Put the steaks on the grill over the hottest part of the fire and cook, turning once, until very well seared - about 6-8 minutes per side for rare. To check for doneness, poke the steaks with your finger to test their firmness; if you're unsure, make a small cut in the thickest part of one steak to be sure it is just slightly less done than you like it.
While the steaks are cooking, cut the chilled blue cheese butter into 1/4 inch slices. As soon as the steaks come off the grill, top each steak with a slice or two of the butter, so it starts to melt as you serve the steaks.

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