Last week we attended our first wine tasting in town. I am not sure if I was more excited to taste a variety of Sonoma red wines, or be able to sample really great cheeses that the guests would be bringing. I later found out it was both! As I pondered what to make for an appetizer, I quickly knew how much I loved blue cheese and beef. That pairing alone brings me down to one knee, crippling me in the intense flavor. It could be one of my favorite flavor combinations. As I figured blue cheese would go well with one of the red wines, I also wanted to add a bit more to an appetizer, and therefore shocking guests in the robustness of the thinly sliced smoked steak.
If you are looking for a real crowd pleaser, try this crostini out. It costs a bit of money but it is a really decadent appetizer, and one that everyone was raging over.
Let’s get started.
Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]
- 1 rustic baguette, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 lb New York Strip, smoked, cooked medium
- 1/2 cup of Cambozola Blue Cheese, room temperature (Cambozola is like a blue brie)
- 1/2 cup of spinach leaves, optional
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 cup of Cherry wood chips, soaked in water for at least one hour
Begin by seasoning your steak on both sides, generously, with salt and pepper. Let the steak sit at room temperature as you heat up your grill. Lately I have only been working with charcoal as I think the flavor adds a bit more flavor to the grill. So however you are grilling, whether it be charcoal or gas, get the grill to a medium to high heat to get a nice sear on the steak. Sear the steak on one side, cooking for about three minutes, then flip, add in the soaked wood chips, cover, and cook an additional four minutes. You are looking for about 140 degrees for the steak. When you have reached that temp, I typically use my finger to check doneness by pressing on the steak. A meat thermometer can be dangerous as it will let out all of those delicious juices.
When the steak is done, remove from the grill, place on a plate, tent with some aluminum foil, and let it REST for about 20 minutes.
During the rest time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Brush olive oil onto the top of each sliced baguette and place onto a large baking sheet.
Place into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they are a light golden brown.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Rub the garlic clove onto each crostini and sprinkle just a pinch of salt and pepper onto each one.
Take your blue cheese and add a bit to each crostini.
Slice your steak very thinly, across the grain. Try a piece and promise to wait to each another piece before serving your guests.
Add a slice of steak on top of each cheese covered crostini. Top with a spinach leaf. Serve.
I cannot tell you how the reaction was when I served these. Everyone love them. People were eating four or five of them, and seeing that there was plenty more to eat, that was a positive thing! So try these out for your next party and I guarantee everyone will be talking about them. Enjoy.