Monday, September 20, 2010

Coffee Rub Tri-Tip with Steak Fries and Zucchini

Chris is getting used to my camera being in the kitchen.  He laughs while I “plate” and sits patiently while I change the lighting.  I sighed, “not exactly what I was hoping for.”  “You HAVE to blog about just that, Noelle!”- Chris.  He was right.  I’m still learning.  It keeps me real in the kitchen.  No celebrity chefs here.

Back in June, Chris and I returned from camping with our youth group in Rocklin after a long weekend.  We were tired to the bone, as is to be expected after our fourth annual trip with the group.  All of those camping mornings began with good coffee.  One might say that anything tastes good when you’re camping, but when you’re in charge of 20 some odd kids, one can’t be too sure.  Anyway- we’re a fan of the French press, an item we made sure not to forget.  And we brought enough for all the adults helping out with the weekend as “payment” for the lack of sleep.

Naturally we had some left over fresh grounds when we got back.   God forbid we throw out good coffee.   Thus became our Coffee Ground Rub.  While some may go out to eat after a trip like that, we really rejuvenate with a good meal, cooked in, together.  We had read of rumors regarding a coffee ground mix, or marinades using fresh espresso.  So we tried it out.  So fabulous.  Great crunch.  Amaaaazing flavor.
So we went for it again last weekend.  We used a small Tri-Tip cut from Trader Joes, but I would love to try it on a good Rib-Eye paired with a peppery Primitivo. 

Coffee Rub:
3 small pieces of Tri-Tip, of whatever cut you like
3-4 table spoon fresh coffee grounds (not too fine if you want that crust)
1-2 table spoons of parsley finely chopped or dried
1-2 table spoons of dried minced onion
1 table spoon garlic powder
Generous salt and cracked black pepper

You can’t go wrong, the coffee really balances out the other spices.  I’m not a big “measurer” so if you like more of something, I’m all for it.

We’ve tried both grill pan and outside grilling.  I love the smokiness that the outdoor BBQ provides (plus Chris likes to brand our meat with his “R” brander- thanks Trudi!), but inside searing keeps a lot more of the juices in.  Chris used high heat, two flips, 4-5 minutes each side.  A lovely medium rare.Your choice J  Chris used high heat, two flips, 4 minutes each side.  A lovely medium rare.

Now for foodie failure.  My steak fries… how could I forget the oil?!  I can just hear the cardinal rule of good cooking “fat is not bad” singing from cooks of old!  The fries were eatable but begging for moisture.  So give your fries an extra dousing for me!

I boiled the russet potato for about 6-8 min to cook through slightly.  Then once cooled, I cut into wedges, ***ADD OIL HERE*** and sprinkle with bacon, parsley, garlic, a little cayenne pepper and salt.  I baked them for about 18 min at 400 until nice and crisp.

Then for the second failure… I wish you could have seen the play by play.  The zucchini was sizzling in olive oil/salt and pepper.  Those little guys are all about timing.  I hate zucchini mush, so just a quick sear.  I want a crunch to them.  While I got Chris’ off in time, I got distracted… Oh let’s see- how should I put the fries?  Oh that’s nice… there… what about this angle?... OH GOSH MY zucchini, still in the pan, were mush.  Thus, food blogger’s lesson #5: when cooking, keep it all about the food and don’t think about the camera until everything is off the heat!

But everything was OK, when we opened the pleasant surprise of the night: 2007 Rootstock Syrah.  $7 at Trader’s, the new wine guy recommended it to us.  It was a full bodied Syrah with grapes from Napa and Sonoma.  The long finish is what sold us- lingering vanilla and oak.  Who needs zucchini anyway?  A GREAT BUY!

1 comment:

  1. Coffee grounds, huh? I've heard of it, but have never tried it. I am intrigued. When I first started blogging, my husband thought it was "cute". Now, he tells me when his dinner is ready AFTER it's been photographed. He gets what I call the "trophy dish". I've gotten better at plating fast, because there are times when my husband and son are literally standing over me, the camera and food. Sometimes they run out of patience. Try my oven garlic fries, sometime. Very simple. Very good! I love TJ's for good wine deals. Lately, I'm all about Pinot Noirs.