Thursday, September 28, 2006

WCC #9 - An Ingredient From My Country

Even though I was the one that chose the theme for this edition of Weekend Cookbook Challenge - an ingredient from your region or country - I still had a hard time picking one. I changed my mind at least 5 or 6 times. I was thinking back bacon - which is also known as Canadian bacon. I thought about Saskatoon berries which bring back tons of memories of picking buckets of them when I was a kid. I thought about scallops - out East we have some of the best in the world. I considered cod tongues as my parents have just returned from a trip to Atlantic Canada where they ate them battered, panfried, poached and any other way they were offered. I even thought about doing something with Kraft Dinner because as you may know, Canadians have always been the worlds largest per capita consumer of KD.

But in the end I decided to stay close to my home and go with Alberta Beef.

In my opinion Alberta produces some of the best beef in the world. And I think I can taste the difference too. Even though we eat much less red meat (and meat in general) than we used to, sometimes nothing beats a good steak.

And it gave me an opportunity to use my barbecue cookbook I bought this summer at a used book store in B.C.:
The Complete Barbecue Book by Chancellor Press. To find a recipe for WCC was actually the first time I've opened the book since I bought it. Here's to hoping the weather is mild enough this fall and winter for lots of bbq-ing - this book has some super recipes.

I chose Peppered Steak Flamed with Brandy, and bought 2 delicious looking tenderloins.

My side dishes were also Alberta themed; at least in the way that they were grown in Alberta. Tomato slices from Whiskey Creek Tomatoes, which I think are the best tomatos to be found anywhere, and fried slices of baby pattypan squash. I was going to marinate the tomatos or do something with them, but they are so good they don't need to be played with.

Our final plate of food - the flaming was the tricky part - at least for me. I have a terrible habit of not always reading recipes through to the end so I have been known to mess up from time to time. Instead of lighting a spoonful of brandy and then pouring it on the steak, I poured the brandy on the meat then tried to light it. Doesn't work. My steak had an extra kick to it that only comes from an idiot (me) pouring brandy over the steak repeatedly until Scott intervened and actually read the directions. Bam! indeed.

Peppered Steak Flamed with Brandy
from The Complete Barbecue Book

4 servings

4 tenderlion steaks, about 6 oz each
1 tb finely crushed peppercorns (i used freshly ground pepper)
6 tb melted butter
2 garlic cloves minced
4 French bread slices, slightly larger than the steaks
4 tb brandy

Press both sides of steaks into the peppercorns and season lightly with salt. Combine the melted butter and garlic in a small bowl and brush the mixture all over the steaks. Grill the steaks until they are done how you like them. Just before they are ready, dip the bread slices in the remaining garlic butter and toast both sides on the barbecue. Place the toasted bread on a platter and top each with a steak. Pour the brandy into a heatproof pan or ladle and heat gently on the barbecue (i heated mine in the microwave at 10 second intervals until warm). Carefully set the brandy alight and pour it, flaming over the steaks. Serve the steaks as soon as the flames die down.

There's still time to send me your posts to take place in Weekend Cookbook Challenge! Email me a link at iliketocookATshawDOTca!


peabody said...

Oh you should have made something with Kraft dinner.
Whenever anyone asks me to make a traditional Canadian meal that is what I make them :)
Most are not amused, but I am.

Pepper said...

mmmm, Alberta beef. My dad raises cattle but could never eat his own animals. He said it was like eating an old friend. We were always buying meat instead of butchering our own beef. We kids took care of the chickens - the least favourite chore - and had no such feelings for them.

Mags said...

I love Alberta Beef. This reciipe sounds nice thanks for sharing.

Sara said...

Peabody - I know, maybe I could have done the KD as a side dish with the steak? Too late now...

Pepper - our friends husband grew up on a farm and he had a hard time with that too. His parents never did though!

Mags - thank you, and thanks for stopping by!