There’s a whole lotta shoulder shruggin’ goin’ on!
Indeed, while preparing for a night of trivia mayhem, the expectations were admittedly starting off low. You see, I have found, by experience mind you, that the information that I choose to keep bottled up in my noggin is generally not the information that trivia night successes are made of. Touché trivia nights, touché.
And because I have made my peace with that fact, I tend to concentrate on the food portion of these events, figuring that if nothing else, I will eat well. And let’s be honest. A man with a satisfied belly will be much more confident in his pie-in-the-sky answer than that of the man munching only on popcorn and pretzels. That’s just science, folks.
And so, on this afternoon, before the evening of said trivia night, the ssssizzling sound of a marinated flank steak being thrown on a red-hot grill was welcomed.
The meat had been generously rubbed with stone ground mustard, and then put into a Ziploc bag containing olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. A glorious combination, by my standards.
Once given an extra good shaking of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, the flank steak is seared on all sides and surfaces, over direct, high heat, somewhere around four to six minutes a side. While searing, I brushed the steak with some of the remaining marinade.
The flank steak is then brought up to the desired doneness, which in these types of cuts, should be somewhere in the rare to medium-rare range. I took this beauty off the grill and let it rest for a bit.
I gently sautéed a jar of roasted red peppers in a cast iron pan with a garlic clove. These had already been soaking in oil, so I just wanted to get a little more heat and blister on them.
The peppers have a date with several cloves of bourbon roasted garlic. They’re all going in a blender for a whirl, until they’re creamy and spreadable.
The bright color and fresh flavors, combined with the outstanding aroma, makes this mixture just right for brushing on the bread. And speaking of the bread. Quality bread, sliced to your desired thickness, brushed with olive oil, and toasted over the coals.
Each piece of grilled bread is then slathered with our roasted garlic and red pepper puree.
The final assembly of these appetizers is hurried, especially since the time to leave is approaching, so the flank steak was cut in very thin slices, against the grain, and then chopped into smaller pieces. We’re all about ease of eating at this event. You know, one hand for eating, one hand firmly holding the accompanying beverage of choice, which by the way, can also give one a false sense of knowledge, if you know what I mean.
Spread the steak cuts on the bruschetta, and then sprinkle with crumbled feta, and/or blue cheese. Both are excellent choices with steak.
The bites were intriguing and flavorful. The puree base was an explosion of garlic and sweet roasted red pepper. The flank steak, bathed in the acidity of the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, was perfectly countered by the creaminess of the blue cheese and feta crumbles.
The trivia questions were bouncing around in the back of my head while I enjoyed the different textures of the bruschetta. Something about a kids show in the eighties. Perhaps a one hit wonder band from the late seventies. And then the history question with names and dates only recognizable by the table of teachers that all came and sat together. Answers were foggy and questionable at best, but there was one question that I was firmly convinced that I answered correctly.
Are you gonna go home hungry tonight?
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired