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Santa Maria style Black & Bleu Caesar Salad
“This is called black and bleu because of the gorgonzola and the way I like my steaks grilled, black and blue,” says Chef Rick Manson of Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods in Santa Maria. He means “hard” (some might say burned) on the outside and rare (sometimes meaning raw) on the inside. But of course, this salad will be delicious no matter how you like your steak.
Wine recommendations: Try with a dense, full-bodied red wine. Good choices include Zaca Mesa 2006 Black Bear Block Syrah and the spicy Byron 2007 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir. If the salad has you thinking white wine, Longoria 2008 Cuvée Diana Chardonnay will fit the bill.
Chef Rick Manson of Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods, Santa Maria, CA
Number of Servings
For the dressing:
1 cup best quality mayonnaise
3⁄4 teaspoon anchovy paste, or 2 to 3 canned anchovy filets “smashed” into a paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the steak:
1 giant 2-pound rib eye steak
1 1⁄2 tablespoons Susie Q’s Santa Maria Style Seasoning, or to taste (or mix 1 tablespoon of salt, 11⁄2 teaspoon freshly
ground black pepper, and 11⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder together)
For the salad:
2 large heads of romaine lettuce, cleaned and cut into
1- to 2-inch pieces
2 cups croutons
3⁄4 cup freshly grated parmesan, or to taste
1⁄2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
2 tomatoes, cut into large dice
Make the dressing: Mix all of the dressing ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prep and grill the steak: Allow the steak to come to room temperature then rub the seasoning all over it. Over a medium-hot fire, preferably one burning red oak, grill the steak until the exterior is very brown, almost black, and very crusty, about 8 to 9 minutes per side. To check for doneness, nick the meat (no thermometers for this barbecue chef) on one side and look at the color. It will appear slightly rarer than it will actually be after resting. Remove the steak from the fire, and while it rests for 5 minutes, make the salad.
Make the salad: Place the romaine in a large bowl. Toss in the croutons, sprinkle in the parmesan and gorgonzola cheeses. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss well.
To serve: Place one fourth of the salad onto the center of 4 salad platters. Cut the steak into slices and place one fourth on top of each salad. Drizzle a little dressing on the meat and sprinkle once again with more parmesan.