The challenge that drove me to drink…

by zydecopaws on April 18, 2011

The April 4-ingredient challenge got moved up a bit this month due to Easter being next Sunday. This month the ingredients were:

  • Ribeye Steak
  • Polenta
  • Rutabaga
  • Frozen Strawberries

If there is a way to ruin ribeye steak, it would be to pair it with rutabagas. I remember eating rutabagas when I was very young and that there was a reason I avoided them as an adult. With that thought in mind, I knew that this would be a real challenge in more ways than one. Oh, and what is with that whole frozen strawberries thing?

After much thought (and some serious surfing of the Internet) I settled on making a meal that consisted of Cajun ribeye steak kebabs with grilled polenta and rutabaga puree. The frozen strawberries went into strawberry smoothies for the wife and kids, and strawberry daiquiris for the cook.

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The picture above is what I ended up with on the second plating attempt, and was much more appealing than what I plopped in front of us the first time. Among other things, I was attempting to incorporate an Easter theme into the meal, but without a lot of success. The original grilled polenta was shaped as bunnies and (supposedly) eggs.

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Unfortunately, they didn’t survive rough handling on the grill. It probably would have been better if I had put the diffuser ring in upside down and lifted the grill to be even with the top of the BS Keg.

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The polenta tasted pretty good; I modified a recipe found at the Whole Foods Grocery site (more extra-sharp cheddar and some cayenne pepper in addition to the other ingredients) and stamped them out with some cookie cutters. Then, instead of searing them in oil, out they went to the grill with the ribeye steak kebabs.

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The steak was cubed, drizzled with Worcestershire and soy sauce, dusted with Cajun seasoning mix, and stuck onto skewers. Total cooking time for the kebabs was a whopping 6 minutes, and by far and away was the star of the meal.

Since I mentioned it, I might as well show you one of the better pictures of what the original plating looked like.

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Try as I might, none of the plates with the bunnies turned out to be picture-worthy, so you’ll just have to live without seeing any of those.

As for the rutabaga puree (rutabagas cooked in a bit of olive oil for 45 minutes with cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and salt, then boiled for 5 more minutes in a cup of water, and finally pureed in the food processor until very smooth), the wife seemed to like it, the kids hated it, and although I found it edible, it’s unlikely to be served again in this house anytime in the near future.

I’m not sure what next month’s challenge ingredient are yet. But at least I had that strawberry daiquiri to get me through this month’s meal and this blog post. Don’t forget to check out the other brave souls who took on this month’s challenge and see what they came up with.

About this month’s “On Our Grills” 4 Ingredient Challenge Bloggers

The BBQ Grail
The BBQ Grail website was created in 2007, initially to document the author’s quest to find the perfect backyard BBQ experience. Since that time The BBQ Grail has become one of the more popular BBQ blogs on the internet and is listed on as one of the top BBQ blogs.

Bob’s Brew and ‘Que
Bob started Bob’s Brew and ‘Que in August of 2009 with the intent of sharing his views on food and drink. Originally focused on BBQ and Homebrew, it was inevitable that the influences of his upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area and it’s wealth of ingredients as well as his heritage as an American of Japanese ancestry would help focus his blog, as it has his approach to food and drink.

The Dutchess Cooks
After years of cooking, grilling, baking and reading other people’s blogs, she thought “why not start my own blog?” And she did, in 2010, but after a short period of time a blog wasn’t enough and the she started her own website. In her own words: “It’s not my goal to publish or come up with fancy and difficult recipes: just good and delicious food with an international twist! Straight from my plate to yours!”

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