Saturday, March 5, 2011

Random Willynillyness Cooking Presents: Surf & Turf

I had no idea what I was going to make for Sabroso Saturday. But while at the grocery store, I saw some beautiful steaks and then some shrimp so I thought okay: Surf and Turf.

Surf and Turf is not that special or difficult to make. But I thought I would share my thoughts on making a perfect steak. I have to admit a few years ago, I couldn't cook a steak to save my life. I could never figure out how to make it the temperature people wanted it.

Tom likes his steaks medium rare. I used to like my steaks well done until I realized that they taste much better a little more rare. When you have your meat well done, it loses a lot of flavor.

My dinner was Steak, Garlic Shrimp and mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are easy peasy. I make really good mashed potatoes because I am not afraid to use the butter and cream. You have to, no question. If you don't know how to make mashed potatoes, I am sad for you and you should never ever be in the kitchen.

I boil my potatoes and mash them. Of course, before mashing them, you should heat a little milk, cream or half & half with some butter and then add it slowly to reach the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Done. Sometimes I get crazy and add some cheese to the potatoes or cook the potatoes with garlic cloves for added flavor.

The shrimp are easy. Since we live in the boonies, we only get frozen shrimp around here. It's not too bad. I start by heating some olive oil in a pan. I add red pepper flakes. This is so the oil gets infused with the flavor. Once the oil is screaming hot, I added the shrimp and warm them through since I used pre-cooked shrimp. I then added tons of minced garlic, salt, black pepper and a pat of butter. I then take them off the heat so they don't overcook. Done!

I love cooking my steak on the grill outside but it's freaking ass cold so I have to use my George Foreman grill. I love it. I think it does a better job then the grill because it is easier to control the temperature.

I start by taking the steaks out and leaving them at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. I learned on the Food Network from endless chefs that the last thing you want is to place a cold piece of meat on the grill. It will be all WTF? and seize up. If you put it on the grill at room temperature it relaxes and cooks.

After the steaks are at room temperature, then I add a dry rub. I use the English Prime Rib Rub I bought at Penzey's Spices. This stuff is the best spice rub EVER! It is amazing.

I heat the grill. Again make sure the grill is hot before you put the steaks on so you can sear in the flavor. The tricky part is how long to leave them on. I can't tell you. It really depends on the size and thickness of the steak. But what I can tell you is that you need to learn how to feel for the doneness of the meat.

How did I learn? By trial and error. Also, I watched a lot of Food Network shows and picked up tips. It is really hard to cook the perfect steak. You can time it but sometimes that will not work. I learned that the only way to get the perfect steak is by touch. By touch, you say? Yes, by touch.

I once saw on a TV show that you can judge the doneness of the steak when you touch the steak and how it feels. Yes, that sounds really weird but it works. Here is a link that shows how to gauge the doneness of the steak. This method really works.

If you do it enough times, you will never overcook or undercook a steak again. I tell you that I can go work on the grill line of any restaurant and no one would ever know I am just willy-nilly chef. I am that good at telling now. After you grill the steaks and have them to the temperature you want, you take them off the grill and let them rest. This is also something I learned from watching endless hours of cooking shows.

You do this with any piece of meat you cook. The reason is that the meat then has time to rest and the juices get redistributed throughout the meat. If you take it off and cut it up immediately it will seize up and the meat will be tough. Trust me on this.

That's it. that was how I make our Surf & Turf dinner. I have to say that it was delicious. The steak was perfectly cooked and spiced. The shrimp were garlicky and delicious. The potatoes were so creamy and yummy. Dinner was perfect. You can change the Surf to lobster or crab as well. It doesn't have to be shrimp. I usually like making crab legs.

This meal is the best thing ever. It's easy to make and perfect for any occasion.


  1. You're missing something GREEN on that plate! Hehe. Just messin' with you. That really does look delicious. I love reading your posts because it's like you're talking right to me.

  2. That looks delicious! I also love my George Foreman grill. It's amazing to see how much fat comes out of the meat! Oh and I would mail you the Mocha mini Muffins if I could ensure they wouldn't get "smushed" in the box. Yes, Smushed is a word. Lmao :)

  3. Mariana is funny. I always say the same thing about something "green" but to be honest, that plate looks like something I would eat at home.. lol I know we are bad with eating no greens. Oh and I love surf and turf. YUM

  4. Aha, but if you have a salad before the meal, you get your greens!

  5. GREEN? I agree with Caro, salad is enough green. If we ever made this at my house I could make broccoli, hand it over to her while I eat the super spicy shrimp. That's fair, isn't it?

  6. Yummo! So glad you join Sabroso Saturday and shared this yummy meal.

  7. That meal looks delicious! I love steak and mashed potatoes!

  8. I've never had the surf and I don't eat the turf (childhood trauma on a farm, I'm okay with chicken and bacon though) but I'd house those potatoes!