Wednesday, July 14, 2010

beef skewers with horseradish dipping sauce, watercress and cucumber salad, potato and prosciutto kebabs with green goddess dressing

Ever since I saw Anna and Micheal Olson at Inniskillin, I realized how her 'Fresh' book is perfect to work through as well. It applies so well to Niagara's seasonal produce that I'm taking a bit of a release from Everyday Food and incorporate Anna Olson's collection as well.

Last night's dinner was pretty much a weekend stunner of a meal. I wish we could have had this on a Saturday night, but it was a real treat for a Tuesday.

Everyday Food's Beef Skewers with Horseradish Dipping Sauce, Watercress and Cucumber Salad and from Anna Olson's 'Fresh', Potato & Prosciutto Kebabs with Green Goddess Dressing.

This meal illustrates how Everyday Food has it's own set of issues compared to Fresh.
I went to R&J Meats, a butcher a block from my house for the meat. The recipe asks for Flat Iron Steak (shoulder top blade) and the butcher had to go over a few different meat options that might be similar to what I was asking for. This has happened a couple times because the Canadian beef industry and it's standards differ from the U.S. I ended up with sirloin, a much pricier cut of beef, but felt it was worth it because these kebabs are all meat.

Now on to my issue with Fresh. When assembling the Potato & Prosciutto Kebabs, both Nuno and I were puzzled by the technique for skewering them. The explanation in Fresh wasn't clear and there wasn't a photo to help guide us. The other issue I have with this recipe is that the skewers spend only a couple minutes on the BBQ, and that is not enough time to cook the red onion. I enjoy onion on a kebab when it's soft and caramelized, but these skewers just didn't allow time for that to happen without charring the proscuitto. I also found that buying lean proscuitto is only good if you are eating it as-is. If your going to cook it into a meal a bit of fat marbleization is a good thing.

Watercress was very difficult to find. I shopped at the largest grocery store, Superstore, looking for it and even they didn't have it! It must be out of food style right now. Luckily Harvest Barn carries it! They also carried all the herbs I needed for the Green Goddess Dressing. I was very much looking forward to making the dressing and keeping it around for my veggie snacking. And if I didn't travel around enough for this dinner, I also purchased my prosciutto at Pupo's (Welland grocery store I was raised on). My mom discovered that they carry the leanest and most delectable prosciutto, cut on-site of course.

Some notes about this meal:
• I discovered that watercress is so peppery, it's almost a bit too pungent for my taste. I'd rather just eat arugula.

• The beef kebabs were nothing short of incredible! Easy and tasty. The horseradish mayo, well, you haven't lived till you pared beef and horseradish - but I'm sure you know that already.

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