- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 8, 2004

My husband and son adore thick, juicy grilled steaks and are avid fans of blue cheese. So it didn’t take long for me to figure out that a main course pairing these ingredients would be a hit with these two dads this Father’s Day.

Michael, our son, has taken to fatherhood the way his own father did, with boundless enthusiasm and a natural ease, so I’m looking forward to planning a special menu in their honor.

I’ve chosen boneless sirloins, a favorite cut of mine, but other tender cuts — such as T-bones or porterhouses, rib-eyes, or even sliced tenderloins — would work equally well. The steaks are rubbed with a mixture of dried thyme, kosher salt and ground pepper, then cooked over an open fire until seared well but still pink inside.

Pats of blue-cheese butter (a blending of creamy blue cheese, butter and chopped chives) are placed atop the meat while still piping hot.

As a garnish, I am also going to grill skewered red onion wedges that are brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with the same seasoning used for the steaks. The cooked onions, softened but charred around the edges, make a delicious companion to the sirloins.

Blanched asparagus spears and a romaine and grape tomato salad will round out the side dishes for our celebration. A blueberry cream-cheese pie will end our menu. However, if you’re pressed for time, make a quick stop at a good bakery, where you will certainly find many sweet temptations baked for this important holiday.

Whether you are honoring a dad, a grandfather, a special uncle or even a friend June 20, there’s no more thoughtful present than a home-cooked meal.

Grilled sirloins and red onions with blue-cheese butter

BLUE-CHEESE BUTTER:

4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) creamy blue cheese, at room temperature (see note)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 tablespoons chopped chives, divided

STEAKS AND ONIONS:

2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1½ teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

3 (1-inch thick) boneless sirloin steaks, each about 11/4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat

3 large red onions (about 21/4 pounds total)

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil for brushing on onions, plus extra for greasing grill rack

4 to 6 metal skewers or wooden skewers (soaked for 30 minutes in water)

For the blue-cheese butter, break cheese into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl along with butter and 3 tablespoons of the chives.

Using a fork or spoon, blend the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. (Blue-cheese butter can be prepared a day ahead; bring to room temperature 30 minutes before using.)

For steaks and onions, mix thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Use half of the seasoning mixture to rub on both sides of each steak. Peel onions, then halve lengthwise and cut each half into 3/4-inch-thick wedges going through the root ends.

Divide wedges, and place them on skewers. Place olive oil in a small bowl, then brush onion wedges on all sides with it. Sprinkle remaining seasoning mixture over both sides of onions.

When ready to cook, oil a grill rack, and arrange it 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Prepare grill for a hot (high-temperature) fire.

When grill is ready, grill skewered onions, turning often, until charred around the edges and tender. Onions will take about 20 minutes. When done, remove from grill and cover loosely with foil. After onions have been on grill 10 minutes, add steaks.

Grill steaks until lightly charred outside and pink inside, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. (Internal temperature should be about 145 degrees.)

Halve each steak and arrange on a serving platter surrounded by onions. Top each steak with a generous dollop of blue-cheese butter, and sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve warm. Serves 6.

Note: Bleu d’Auvergne, a creamy French blue cheese, or a Gorgonzola works well in this recipe.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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