Sizzle into Summer: Steaks 101

May 16, 2008 10:03:16 AM PDT
Chris Rook, corporate chef for Morton's The Steakhouse, shares some grilling tips and a recipe for warm steak salad. Grilling Tips:
  • Size Does Matter! Steaks are best for grilling when they are at 1" to 1 ½" thick. The Ribeye, New York Strip and T-Bone steaks are best for grilling, these cuts of meat are very flavorful and will not have a tendency to dry out on the grill.
  • Steaks should always be are room temperature before grilling
  • Seasoning is very important; always add a little bit of seasoning before placing the steak on grill. Even if it is just salt and pepper, a little seasoning is better than none at all.
  • Stick a fork in it? Never! When grilling steaks, one should always use tongs or a spatula to turn a steak over. Sticking the steak with a fork when checking for doneness or to turn it over is a bad idea. By doing this, the steak will lose juice, therefore drying out the steak.
  • Heat is very important! Make sure that the grill is anywhere from 600-800°F and keep it at that temperature for 30-45 minutes before starting to grill. High direct heat when grilling steaks is almost as important as the meat itself.
  • Palm Test: Determining how done the steak is can be really easy, it all lies in the palm of your hand.
    • For a rare steak: Squeeze the pad at the base of your thumb. It should feel spongy and offer very little resistance.
    • For a medium steak: Press on the middle of the palm of your outstretched hand. It should feel firm and snap back quickly.
    • For a well-done steak: Squeeze the base off your small finger. It should feel very firm, with almost no give. However, cooking beyond medium will sacrifice the flavor and tenderness of the meat.
  • Grilling a Ribeye steak: Be careful of flare-ups with this specific cut of meat because they are more marbled than others, the fat can have a tendency to flame.
  • Grilling a Filet Mignon: Filets are typically some of the most tender selections of beef available. Due to this fact is it very important not to over cook this type of steak, it typically should never be cooked beyond medium rare. The longer a filet mignon is cooked the more it loses flavor and also becomes tougher.
  • Grilling a Strip Steak: It is similar to a ribeye in how it is grilled, but this cut is not as marbled so it will not have tendency to flare up when in direct heat. Strip steaks are perfect for those mouth-watering grill marks that steak lovers look for.
Warm Steak Salad
(Serves 4)
  • Sm. Head Fresh Spinach, washed & torn
  • Sm. Head Romaine Lettuce, washed & torn
  • Sm. Head Iceberg Lettuce, washed & torn
  • 1 ½ cups Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Clarified Butter
  • 12 - 2 oz. Tenderloin Medallions
  • 3 tsp. Sesame Seeds, toasted
  • 1 -2 Red Onion, large (sliced 1/8" thick to yield 20 slices)
  • Oriental dressing (see recipe below)
Place spinach, romaine and iceberg lettuces in large bowl. Add mushrooms. Set aside. Slice tenderloin medallions in half lengthwise into six pieces (should yield 24 pieces). In sauté pan over high heat, melt butter making sure pan is very hot. Add medallions and sauté or grill both sides quickly to medium rare (about 2-3 min.). Toss lettuces and mushrooms with Oriental dressing. Divide evenly onto four plates.

Divide medallions evenly onto salads and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Arrange red onions evenly on top of medallions. Serve immediately.

Oriental Dressing (Yields 18 oz.)

  • 1 ½ tsp. Fresh Ginger, finely minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. Fresh Garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup White Rice Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Soy Sauce
In a bowl, mix all ingredients together with wire whip. Pour into covered storage container. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. Let stand 24 hours to enhance flavor.

For more information visit www.mortons.com.


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