Are we even allowed to talk about eating surf an turf these days? Too 70’s? Something a bit retro about it, and maybe not in the groovy way that Target uses to make buying detergent more exciting. It isn’t hard to put together (I won’t even say ‘make’), the ingredients aren’t hard to find (but so important), and it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill. But damn, it’s good when you do it right. I’ve written before about Valentine’s Day dinners, but this year I wanted something that wouldn’t keep me in the kitchen all afternoon. I had to head out of state on a work trip the next morning, and just wanted something simple and a bit over the top. The secret to a good S & T is picking the right parts, and then making sure there is plenty of butter. In order to properly facilitate these requirements, I procured a large quantity of Alaskan king crab legs and some all-natural beef. Not quite grass-fed, but close enough for Anchorage. At this end of the supply chain, anything not from the major beef producers is a bonus.
Since it’s Valentine’s day, and hopefully you’re already dining with your sweetheart, it’s just fine to just blow off the diet and dip everything in buttery goodness. We decided that we needed three types. T needs garlic butter for the crab, we both required blue cheese butter for the filet, and it’s hard to go wrong with dipping crab in just plain salted. Along with meals like this comes the difficulty of fully accepting that at some point in my life I’m probably going to be either
My mother would call this mindset hopeful, albeit perhaps naive and too accepting. My father would look over his glasses at me in serious disapproval, until my ways are changed. Anyway, the secret to making good flavored butter is heat, but not enough of it to actually scald, burn, or even brown the stuff. For the garlic type (how many non-specific nouns can I use before I have to type b****r again?) I take a few finely minced cloves and gently sweat them over medium low heat until they start to give up any liquids. Add a cup of butter and melt, folding over with the garlic until they are well incorporated. At that point I stick the pan outside, since I live in Alaska, it’s usually winter, and generally bloody cold up here. To make blue cheese, roasted garlic, herb or other similar types, melt the butter first and add crumble cheeses or smushed up roasted garlic. A little pepper and parsley are rarely a bad idea. Cool to a workable consistency and pour onto a sheet of wax paper. Roll into a tube, twist the ends closed and cool until solid. Slice and use to top grilled veggies or meats, good bread, whatever.