“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace but it’s a start.” – Anthony Bourdain
Greetings and welcome back to Uncle Tom’s Corner. Super Bowl LIV is over, the ads were underwhelming, the half-time show was met with mixed reviews, the game was exciting and the chicken thighs I grilled were spicy and sweet but not too much of either. The impeachment is a matter of history and now its on to bigger and better things…like cooking for Valentine’s Day!
Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday you may or may not have time to fire up the smoker for an all-day cook and, really, pulled pork or ribs says a lot of things but I don’t know that romance is one of ‘em. It’s difficult to get too worked up over someone who has barbecue sauce smeared all over their shirt/blouse or face…or is it? If he or she drives monster trucks barbecue sauce may be the ultimate pheromone. I know I have yet to stumble into any barbecue groupies on the barbecue trail or at any of the competitions. To my discredit I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t recognize a groupie if a dozen of ‘em tripped over me. I’ll get back to you on that one.
If, on the other hand, culinary delights are the mainstay of your Valentine’s Day observance how about some grilled surf and turf. Grilled lobster tail with a New York strip and a nice bottle of wine might be just what the pitmaster ordered before settling in to watch The Notebook. Or a video of Silence of the Lambs.
For starters here’s a recipe for grilled lobster:
- 1/4 c. melted butter
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp. freshly chopped chives, plus more for garnish
- 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2(8-oz.) lobster tails
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, lemon juice, zest, chives, parsley, garlic, and salt.
- Using kitchen shears, cut top of lobster shell from meaty portion of tail. Using a knife, cut halfway through meat down the center, without cutting all the way through. Insert a skewer lengthwise through the lobster to keep lobster from curling up when cooked.
- Brush all over with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill flesh side down until lightly charred, about 6 minutes. Flip lobster and dollop a spoonful of butter mixture on flesh side. Grill until just cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
- Remove lobster from grill and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Serve with lemon wedges.
For the steak: Realizing that this might be considered a travesty I’m going to recommend preparing the steak in a cast iron skillet rather than the grill (gasp!).
- 2 1 to 1 ½ in. thick New York strips2 tsp. olive oil or safflower oil
- Sea salt or hickory smoked salt
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic sliced thin
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- Remove steaks from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature
- Heat the side burner of the grill to medium high, place the cast iron pan on the burner, add the olive oil
- While the skillet is heating brush a thin coat of olive oil on both sides of the steaks and season with salt and pepper
- Add the butter and sliced garlic to the pan and allow the butter to melt
- When the oil in the skillet is shimmering (but not smoking) add the steaks
- Give the steaks several minutes to develop a nice sear on one side.
- Turn ‘em over and repeat.
- Occasionally spoon the garlic-infused butter over the steaks.
- For a nice medium-rare using an instant-read thermometer pull the steaks at about 135⁰
For the more outdoorsy types how about some pizza and beer?
Here’s a recipe for surf and turf and you get to choose the beer.
Surf n Turf Pizza
- Pick up a couple of a pre-made and pre-formed pizza crusts
- For the pizza topping: 1 (10-12 oz) dry aged ribeye
- Chili-infused oil
- Your favorite steak rub
- 8 oz bay scallops
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 oz pecorino cheese, fine grated
- 2 oz provolone cheese, fine grated
- Fresh Italian parsley, minced, for garnish
- 1 (28 oz) can Ciao San Marzano Tomatoes
- 3 tbsp prepared horseradish
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Zest of one lemon
For the garlic sauce:
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 cup half & half
- Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp 1/3 cup parmesan, fine grated
For the cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a 12” Cast Iron Skillet and reduce over medium low heat to desired consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the garlic sauce, combine the garlic, half and half and Italian Seasoning in a Lodge 8” Cast Iron Skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat but maintain a simmer. Whisk in the parmesan. Reduce to desire consistency.
Fire up your grill and place a 10” cast iron skillet on the grates to heat.
Rub the steak with a layer of the Chile infused oil. Season with your favorite steak rub. Place the steak in the hot skillet and cook to an internal temperature of 120ºF. Remove the steak from the skillet.
Melt the butter in the hot skillet. Add the scallops and a shake of your favorite steak rub. Cook just until opaque. Remove from the skillet.
Spread a layer of the cocktail sauce on the pizza crust. Top with the steak and scallops. Top with the cheeses and a drizzle of the Chile infused oil.
Bake the pizza until browned on the bottom and sides, rotating the pizza every 30 seconds. When the cheese is melted and dough is browned, remove the pizza from the oven.
Uncap a couple of cold ones, top your Surf n Turf Pizza with minced parsley and serve hot.