Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Bloody Trinity: A Dish Inspired by Dexter and the Color Red


This upcoming Sunday, June 30th, will mark the final season premiere for one of my favorite television shows. The 8th season of Dexter will be its last, and I'm so sad to see this amazing show leave the airwaves.


I was lucky enough to actually work at Dexter during my years in "the industry." The 3rd season (with Jimmy Smits as Miguel Prado) was when I spent my time there, and although it wasn't my favorite season to watch (that award goes to season 4, featuring John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer), it was a memorable experience, to say the least.

Posing with Jimmy Smits

It wasn't my favorite show to work on, but of all the projects I've undertaken, it was definitely my favorite of all of them to watch! So for very personal reasons I've decided to create a special meal in honor of this fantastically dark show starring Michael C. Hall as everyone's favorite serial killer :)


Coincidentally, this month's challenge for the Creative Cooking Crew has us showcasing monochromatic plates of food. We were asked to choose a color and feature is prominently. I can't think of a better color than RED to not only face this culinary challenge, but make it unmistakably Dexter.


I also decided to weave in characteristics from my favorite season of the show into the dish. Since season 4 features the Trinity Killer, I decided to include three red components to my dish, each featuring classic red ingredients, and thusly name my dish "The Bloody Trinity." Yeah, I went there. I have a dark side too, and I'm showing it off with this dish!

Checking out some evidence!

A beet and goat cheese risotto is the anchor of the dish, featuring a root vegetable that literally bleeds red when you cut into it. Additionally, rare beef is sliced and presented with the risotto and finished off with a red wine reduction (resembling blood, perhaps?). Add a glass of vino and you're ready for Sunday night!

Hanging out in the bullpen :)

Unfortunately, my beef cooked a bit past rare so it was more pink than red, but it was still juicy and delicious! Also, the plate I selected curved up at the sides, and whatever sauce I poured around the edges just dripped back down the plate, leaving purplish streaks.


Brilliant in theory, but the look of the dish was a bit off from what I intended. The flavor was all there, though! Between the meaty and juicy beef and the somewhat sweet and tangy risotto, it was a great match!


Thanks for 7 great seasons so far, Dexter. I'm looking forward to seeing how everything wraps up! Four days and counting until The End...

Sitting at Laguerta's desk. If you do watch Dexter, you will understand why I picked this picture as the last one in the post ;-)

The Bloody Trinity (Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto with Rare Beef and Red Wine Reduction)
Serves 4

Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto:
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bunch beets (4 medium beets), beet roots peeled and cut into 1/4-to-1/2-inch pieces, greens chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
About 5 cups beef broth or stock, heated to a simmer
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Red Wine Reduction:
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
1/2 cup beef broth or stock
Kosher salt
1 T. unsalted butter

Beef:
1 pound (or more, if desired) steaks of a lean and tender cut of beef such as filet, strip, sirloin, etc
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, as needed

To make the risotto, head the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the onion and beet roots. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, and then add the wine and balsamic vinegar, stir to combine until the liquid evaporates and then begin adding broth a ladle at a time.

After each addition of broth, stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed before adding more. Continue adding broth, seasoning occasionally with salt and pepper throughout the cooking process, until the rice is almost al dente. At this point, add the beet greens and the goat cheese and stir until the green have wilted and the cheese has melted into the risotto. Add more broth if the risotto seems dry (it should be free-flowing).

To make the red wine reduction, add the shallot, red wine, and broth to a small saucpan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the mixture to about 1/2 cup liquid and then strain out the shallot. Return the sauce to the pan and season with salt. Whisk in the butter and serve immediately.

To make the beef, season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a skillet over high heat and add the steaks. Sear on both sides until the beef is cooked to your liking (an internal temperature of 125 degrees F would be rare, while 130 degrees F is closer to medium rare). Allow the beef to rest for a few minutes before slicing thinly on the bias.

Serve each portion of risotto with several thin slices of beef and a drizzle of red wine reduction.

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