Slowly and consistently as the months progress towards summer our weather here in Portland is turning around. Last weekend was the first chance I had to break out my barbeque this year. Grilling is the first way I learned to cook and it's subsequently the first thing I refer back to. If I'm ever wondering how I should do something in a kitchen I'll consider how I would do it on a barbeque first. The simplicity of an open flame is something that the rudimentary cave man inside of us all can easily relate to. Living in a condo/apartment isn't entirely conducive to the grilling lifestyle most of us try to maintain. I am sadly relegated to a small charcoal grill where every square inch of cooking space is valuable. I envy those of you with the opulence of space. I appreciate what I have, but it would be an easy and accurate accusation to say I've planned entire camping trips solely because I wanted to cook over an open flame. As the sun was slowly starting to wane towards the West Hills I set up our barbeque and this is what I threw together:
1 New York steak (or Ribeye)
1 Bunch of Asparagus
1 Chopped shallot
7 slices of Sopressata
1 bunch of Rainbow Chard
3 tablespoons of butter sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
I usually end up buying huge steaks that most people can't eat by themselves. Split the large steak into as many servings as is reasonable. People's definition of reasonable seem to vary so you should generally trust your own instincts. When the steak is still cold add a coat of salt and pepper to both sides. You shouldn't put the steak on a cold grill. Wait until your charcoal or your gas has heated up your grill to an adequate temperature. While your grill is heating up you should take a long sheet of aluminum foil and lay it out flat. Add the chard in a row all along the bottom. This is going to be a bed of chard. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may even want to consider some garlic powder or garlic cloves if you're a garlic lover. At this point you should start cutting thin slices of butter and interspersing them throughout the chard. The butter is going to add flavor to it and keep it from drying out. You can use Olive Oil if you prefer. Take your asparagus and chop or snap the ends off of the bottom. I like to use three at a time. Take three pieces of asparagus and wrap them with the sopressata. Put the folding ends on the bottom so it stays together, and lay them into the bed of chard. You can use a toothpick to hold them all together if you like. I wouldn't put them too close to the pieces of butter though. The fat from the sopressata is going to soak into the asparagus so you won't need the butter for them. You can also use prosciutto or any other cured ham. Salami could even work. When that's all done you should put your chopped shallot across the entire thing. If your piece of aluminum foil isn't long enough to fold over itself then add an equivalent sized sheet across the top. Roll the corners and the edges into themselves. Try to make sure everything is inside of your aluminum foil before you do this. I forgot the shallots and had to redo it. You need to make sure your seals are tight. There is going to be liquid forming at the bottom when it's cooking and you don't want it to spill onto your fire. This is going to be melted butter and you want your chard to soak in it. It's delicious.
The steak should only be flipped once and should cook roughly for about 9 minutes on each side. This all depends on the thickness of your steak. Right before you think you should flip your steak is when you should put your vegetables on the grill. They're going to take less time than your meat. There's a way to tell if your steak is done without cutting it open. Poke the center of your steak with tongs or with a fork. If the consistency feels the same as the consistency of meat in between your forefinger and your thumb, then it's medium rare. If the consistency of the meat feels like it's the same as the pad of your thumb then it's well done. If you are wanting it rare then you can probably figure out that the less time it's spending on the fire, the more rare it's going to be. When you're approaching the end it doesn't hurt to open up your aluminum foil to check it out a bit.
When you feel like you've gotten everything cooked to the point you want it. You should remove it from the grill and plate it. Now eat!