Saturday, October 4, 2008

DIY Fusion Dinner- Yuca, Soft Shell Crab and Kobe Style Beef

Finished Meal- Grilled Kobe Strip Steak, Salad

I don’t post on my own cooking, too messy to cook and shoot photos, however Pamela kindly photographed this adventure. I usually spend around $10/lb on a steak, to grill at home. Time for a change. I went to Naples, Fla's Jimmy P’s for an American Kobe-style wagyu strip steak, beautifully marbled at ~$20 a pound. True Kobe steaks are from Japan's black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle. Raised and procssed around Kobe, Japan, they are fed Japanese grains, sake and beer, and hand massaged daily. Some Kobe cuts are $300 a pound! American ranchers make a fine Kobe- style product, better suited for US tastes. While not as super marbled as the best Japanese Kobe, it's affordable for a splurge. I then got a lemon, yuca (cassava), avocado and salad fixings with mandarin orange slices at the grocery, for the side fixin's.

Kobe Style Strip Steak and Peeled Yuca- Ready to Please

Third and last stop at Swan River Seafood, for a fresh soft shell crab and an $8.25 lump crab cake. The cake, with virtually no filler, is what lump crab cake should be. Many restaurants have short stringy claw meat mixed with red and green filler with bread crumbs, and call it “lump”. I call them “liars”.

First came the appetizers, for a very hungry Pamela. I peeled, then boiled the yuca in salty water till soft in the center, about 30”. Plucked out the central stringy part, added salt and pepper, then butter/canola pan sautéed it on medium heat, till crisp and golden brown. It's better than a French fry, with the tender moist interior, and crisp, textured exterior!

Make a simple mojo marinade or dip with olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice or bitter orange, salt and pepper-a perfect yuca accompaniment. I then sautéed the crab cake and additional yuca, till browned and crisp. Next, after drying the soft shell blue craband flouring it, I pan sautéed it about 2 ½ minutes each side, till red. With the nutty brown butter/oil taste, and a spritz of fresh lemon juice, it’s a heavenly treat!

Sautéed Soft Shell Crab and Crab Cake The grill was preheated to 400 F. I generously sea salt and peppered the steak, and let sit at room temperature for 40". I smeared canola oil over it, grilled it for 2” to set grill marks, then moved it 90 degrees for criss-cross grill marks. After 2", flipped it over for 2”grilling, then left it on a cooler part of the grill for ~5 minutes, till it felt rare to just medium rare. It had a crisp dark crust, and smelled wonderful, from the rich marbling hitting the hot grill.

Plated it with the salad, added a roasted red pepper vinaigrette, and we dug in!
The Kobe-style steak was unbelievably tender! A crunchy crisp crust, and the lush marbling gave a melt- in- your- mouth tenderness. It would have cost $100+ for this quality steak in a steakhouse. We savored every luscious morsel. Next time-a good bottle of Pinot Noir to match!

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