Because I live in California, the backyard bar-b-que is ubiquitous entertainment for most of the year. Even in the central valley when it is extremely hot for a good part of the summer, the cool delta breeze kicks in in the afternoon and makes cooking and eating outside just tolerable. When you weigh the benefit of not turning on the oven for fear that the oven and the air conditioner will overload your 100 year old circuits and you will have to swelter inside, the choice is obvious.
I am always on the lookout for great ideas for outdoor grilling and how to make something special out of a simple grilled meat. As you all know by now I watch a lot of Food Network TV. It is pure entertainment usually. I am, like many of their viewers, sitting on my couch watching with no real motivation to act on what I see. But every once in a while I get inspired. Paula Deen was cooking with one of her sons the other day and they were making a recipe they serve in their restaurant in the south. It sounded good AND pretty easy. I had most of the ingredients on hand so I thought I would give it a try. It consists of a perfectly grilled, perfectly seasoned steak, topped with a warm berry glaze made with red wine (which is convenient as you would probably HAVE to open a bottle for this meal anyway) and then topped with bleu cheese crumbles. The warm glaze melts the cheese and the gooey blend is AMAZING with the steak!
This berry glaze uses an assortment of berries and to be fair the Dean’s used fresh berries. Since I decided to make this spur of the moment I wanted to use what I had on hand and since I am the Queen, I always have Oregon Fruit on hand. I think you should too because it offers you so much versatility when you don’t have fresh, local berries in the fridge. Because I used three different varieties of Oregon Canned Fruit the recipe makes alot. That got me brainstorming about what else this glaze would be good for. I think a drape of this glaze over a block of good bleu cheese with some rustic crackers would be a fabulous appetizer to take to someone else’s bar-b-que.
I was talking to some of my co-workers about this recipe and Kurt, the plant operations manager (and a truly great back yard chef in his own right) suggested using our canned Berry Combo. GENIUS! This item is in limited distribution though so if you want to pick some up try your local Kroger, Winn Dixie, WinCO or Amazon.com. The recipe will give you both variations.
Get social, invite someone over, maybe someone you want to impress. This will definitely do it!