; Supermarket Serenade: I've got no kitchen blues

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've got no kitchen blues

My kitchen was demolished today. It’s been a long time coming. The Smithsonian called. They want my 1980’s kitchen for an exhibit titled “1980’s Tile Countertops-A Retrospective of Just Wrong”. I hated those counters.

(That's my favorite blues guy Robert Cray...favorite song of his to cook by? Too Many Cooks)

So without a kitchen there probably won’t be a lot of cooking going on (that has its pluses and minuses). If it can’t be cooked on a grill, waffle iron or quesadilla maker (lo-o-ve my quesadilla maker) it’s not happening. But, we’ve gotta eat. So I will try to discover supermarket finds that can be prepared without a kitchen.

Today I’m making grilled steak wraps.

It's hard pulling dinner together without a kitchen and it seems I'll be singing the "no kitchen blues" for about two weeks. So to start off with I'm making blue cheese the find for today. I think blue cheese and beef pair beautifully together; it seems to have a tanginess that compliments the heartiness of the beef… and let’s face it blue cheese on a burger rules. Not all blue cheeses are created equal though.

· Semi-Soft – smooth and creamy in texture like Saga Blue or soft but a little crumbly like Point Reyes Blue Cheese or Maytag Blue. These cheeses are usually wrapped in foil in the supermarket.
· Firm – sturdier in form and texture with a somewhat nutty flavor, like Stilton. Firm blue cheeses will usually be wrapped in plastic wrap or sold in a “wedge” at the supermarket.

For these steak wraps I will be using a Maytag blue cheese that I found at the cheese shop in Whole Foods. It is a semi-soft style of blue cheese. But feel free to experiment with different blue cheeses. I like how nicely Maytag blue cheese melts. If you don't use all the cheese that you purchased for the wraps, my favorite thing to do with leftovers is to melt it in a small saucepan over medium low heat, add a touch of cream and then drizzle it over a mound of potato chips for a wowee, yummy side.

Grilled Steak, Spinach, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Wraps

1 large red onion, peeled
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. skirt steak (or your favorite grilling steak)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
oil to brush the grill
4 whole wheat tortillas or wrap bread, warmed
2 cups fresh spinach, thinly sliced
8 ounces Maytag blue cheese

Preheat a grill to medium high heat.

To prepare the onions, slice the onion into thin slices and place onto a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Add the butter, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Seal the packet and place directly on the grill rack

Grill the onions until tender, about 45 minutes. Turn the packet occasionally to prevent the onions from burning.

Season the steak with half of the salt and pepper. Lightly brush the grill rack with oil and place the steak directly on the grill rack. Close the grill cover and cook the steak for 6 minutes. Turn the steak and cook for an additional 4 minutes for medium rare or cook until your desired doneness. Transfer the steaks to a cutting surface and let rest while preparing the wraps.

Divide the spinach between the four tortillas arranging along one side of the tortilla. Using a knife spread the Maytag blue cheese down the other side. Carefully open the onion packet, then divide the onions between the four tortillas, layering them on top of the cheese and spinach. Carve the steak into 1/2 inch thick slices and fan over the onions. Roll the tortillas around all the ingredients. Cut the wraps in half before serving.

Yield: 4 wraps


Prudy said...

Those wraps look yummy. I'm cuckoo for blue cheese, especially with beef. Good luck with your kitchen project.

Jenny said...

Wow Veronica,
I've been out of town, this recipe looks terrific! I wish I had one right now for dinner, my fridge is empty!

Lys said...

That looks fabulous. Will have to put that one on the agenda. For me, I can't really enjoy a burger unless it's got the addition of blue cheese :) Blue Cheese, much like Parmigano Reggiano and Asiago Cheese are staples at my house.

Emiline said...

Mmm...steak! It's what's for dinner.
Good luck with your kitchen. I'm always curious about what other people's kitchens look like. Ours is small, and it has apples everywhere.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

You are going to become an even more awesome cook during the demolition! Necessity is the mother of invention!
Yea for you! Post pics when it's done!

Tracy said...

I love the blues, but I don't know that Robert Cray song. I've got to look it up.

I have also been without a kitchen -- ok, just the sink and just for a day -- needed to call Roto Rooter -- $275 -- ouch! I hate being without my kitchen. My solution was to take my kids to McDonalds.

I hope you post before and after photos of the kitchen!