Now today I look back on that and laugh, but Valentines day is a special day to express your love for the one that you care about the most. So I thought that I would take a turn from writing on a restaurant this week, and challenge you to step in to the kitchen to do something special for the one you love.
One of my families favorite meals consists of marinated tri-tip, garlic mash potatoes, grilled asparagus, and fresh bread. We finish up with an awesome chocolate croissant bread pudding. Now while this may sound like a lot of work, I am going to help you by giving you some simple recipes that anyone can handle, even on the first try.
Don't let the name fool you, tri-tip just sounds fancy. My first encounter with tri-tip was in Southern California. We arrived at my uncles house 20 years ago, and I still vividly remember stepping in to his back yard where the grill was already working away. As he lifted the lid, the sweet smokey smell wafted our way, and I knew in an instant that it was going to be a great night.
Tri-tip is not as easy to find here in Michigan, but there are local butchers that are carrying it now. Tri-tip is a triangular shaped piece of meat that is most commonly cut into steak tips on the east coast. The primal name for it is the sirloin, and it is found between the short loin and the round. If you ask your butcher, they may also know it as triangle roast. If you can not find Tri-tip, tenderloin is a good substitute. I have also used eye of round, but did not like it as well. Here is the way that you can prepare it.
- 1 Tri-tip,
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Lowery's (or seasoning of your choice)
- 1 small bottle teriyaki sauce,
- salt and pepper
At least one day before, or as many as three days mix together spices and teriyaki in one gallon zip lock bag. If you use as season salt like lowerys, additional salt is not needed, but if not, you will need to add 1tsp salt. After all these ingredients are mixed together place the meat inside the bag and seal it pressing out as much air as possible. Place the bag in a sided dish (in case of leakage) and refrigerate. When your ready to cook pull the meat out of the bag and allow the excess marinade to drain off. If time permits, do this two hours in advance, so that the meat can come up to room temperature.
Grilling is the best preparation for this piece of meat. Set your grill to medium/low heat (under 300)and allow it to cook slowly. The sugar in the teriyaki will cause the outside to char, but inside will be wonderful. Cooking time will take anywhere from 45 min to 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of your tri-tip, but you are looking for an internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat to be 145. Do not cook this past medium! The smaller end will be medium well to well done and the large end will be medium, and this piece of meat is not good well done.
This recipe for mashed potatoes works great, and eliminates the need for boiling the potatoes in water. The removal of this boiling step makes an easier to prepare, more flavorful mashed potato.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Cooks Country Method)
- 4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 12 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and pepper
- Place cut potatoes in colander. Rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain thoroughly. This is a very important step to eliminate excess starch, which produces gluey mashed potatoes.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven, or heavy bottom pot, over medium heat. Cook garlic and sugar, stirring often, until sticky and straw colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rinsed potatoes, 1 1/4 cups half-and-half, water and 1 teaspoon salt to pot and stir to combine. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add remaining butter to pot and mash with potato masher until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining half-and-half until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
It is really as simple as the ingredients. To prepare your asparagus, wash the spears, then hold one spear between your thumb and forefinger at each end, and snap it like you were breaking a tooth pick. The place that it breaks will tell you where all the others need to be cut off. Keep the heads and discard the bases. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss until coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill over medium heat until tender . You can also saute these on the stove top if the grill is unavailable. Toss with a pat of butter before serving.
Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding:
- 2 boxes cook & serve vanilla pudding
- 4 cups whole milk
- 6 Croissants cut in 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups Chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate of your choice
- Heat oven to 350 and grease a 3qt baking dish.
- Whisk pudding mix and milk in a large bowl for two minutes or until thoroughly blended
- Arrange cut croissants in the prepared baking dish
- Pour half pudding mixture into the cubed croissants, and sprinkle 1 cup of chocolate chips on top. Stir the mixture gently but carefully. Try not to push the chocolate all the way to the bottom.
- Pour in the second half of liquid and sprinkle the remaining chocolate on top.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until bubbly on the outside. A knife inserted in the middle should come out clean.