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May 18: Lunchbreak - Chef Elizabeth Karmel Makes Grilled Antipasto with Soprano Sauce

Savor the Flavor Contest
Memorial Day May 31st - July 31

Grilled Antipasto with Soprano Sauce
Elizabeth's Tip: This versatile dish can be served as an appetizer or a vegetable side dish. Likewise, the smoky charred vegetables and rich garlic and anchovy sauce make it ideal to pair with St. Francis Chardonnay, but can stand up to red wine as well.
Grilling Method: Direct/Medium Heat

Soprano Sauce:
6 anchovy fillets, drained and finely minced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably from Tuscany
Sea salt, to taste

To make the Soprano Sauce:
Combine the anchovies, garlic and capers in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season further with salt if desired. Set aside.

1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons vinegar, such as a rich red-wine vinegar or balsamic
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a little more for each vegetable
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and each cut into 4 long slices
4 medium zucchini, each cut into 4 long slices
2 small radicchio, cut into quarters
1 medium eggplant, cut into 4 long slices; then each slice cut in half widthwise
3 small bunches green onions, trimmed
1 pint small, ripe cherry tomatoes, tossed in a bowl with a little oil
1 - 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, cilantro, basil, or Italian parsley
4 lemons, cut into wedges
Kosher salt

Combine the oil, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of salt in a blender. Process until smooth. Lightly coat cut vegetables with this mixture. Sprinkle with salt.

One by one lay the vegetable slices and green onions on the cooking grate over Direct/Medium heat. (Do this in batches if necessary so the grill is not crowded.) Cook about 5 minutes. Turn the vegetables over and baste with the vinaigrette. Cook 3 or 4 minutes longer; as soon as vegetables are done, remove from grill and transfer to a platter: the zucchini, radicchio and green onions should be done first; the eggplant will take a little longer and the sweet potatoes will be the last to cook through.

When all the other vegetables are done, place the tomatoes onto the cooking grate to mark and warm through, about 2 minutes. Place onto the platter with the other vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley, decorate with lemon wedges and serve at room temperature with Soprano sauce.
Serves 6

Pecan Planked New York Strip with Choice of Two Compound Butters

PAIRING TIP: Enjoy with St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon ¦¡ a full-bodied Sonoma County style Cabernet Sauvignon with a rich mouthfeel, moderate tannins with flavors of black cherries, dark chocolate and spicy oak make this a delicious pairing.

Grilling Method: Combo/Medium Heat Sear and Plank¢â Technique

4 New York strip steaks or other favorite steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, coarsely ground
olive oil
blue cheese and pecan butter
or red wine compound butter
Chopped parsley, optional

Red Wine Marinade for Beef and Lamb

2 cups St Francis Zinfandel, Merlot or Cabernet or favorite red wine
1 cup water
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oi
l2 Tablespoons coarse kosher salt (Morton) or sea salt
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh or dried rosemary leaves
1 Tablespoon dehydrated garlic

Blue Cheese and Pecan Butter

1/3 cup Roquefort cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans

Special Equipment: 2 Grill Friends¢â Pecan Organic Grilling Planks

Preheat gas or charcoal grill for a combination of direct and indirect grilling-the combo method. You will use both methods for the Sear and Plank¢â technique.
In a sink or container large enough to hold the planks, immerse the planks in water for 30 min. or longer (you may need to weigh it down). Allow meat to come to room temperature about 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.
Just before grilling, brush both sides of the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place steaks directly on the cooking grates over direct heat and sear, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to soaked planks (2 per plank) and turn off the burners in the center of the cooking grate (directly under the food) for indirect grilling. Place planks in center of grill over indirect heat and close lid. Close lid and allow steaks to cook about 6-8 minutes for medium rare; internal temperature should read 140¨¬F.
Remove the steaks from the grill and allow to rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Top each steak with a slice of the Blue Cheese Pecan Butter and sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
Serves 4

Red Wine Marinade for Beef and Lamb
Combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl (glass or stainless-steel) and whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Alternatively, dissolve in warm water and then add the rest of the ingredients; make sure the marinade is cool before using. The marinade will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes 3 1/2 cups
Blue Cheese and Pecan Butter
Combine cheese and butter and mix well. On a piece of plastic wrap, drop butter in spoonfuls to form a log. Roll butter in plastic wrap and smooth out to form a round log. Roll log in pecan pieces to cover the outside. Re-wrap and twist ends. Refrigerate until firm and easy to cut into pieces, about 2 hours. Leftovers can be stored, wrapped tightly, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Grilled Banana Split Sundae with Homemade Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
Pairing Tip: Try with St. Francis Chardonnay
Grilling Method: Direct/Low Heat

4 firm, but ripe, bananas, unpeeled
1 Tablespoon honey
8 small scoops best-quality vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1 cup chocolate ganache, below
Best Quality Vanilla Ice Cream (or favorite flavor)
Whipped cream, optional
Chopped toasted pecans or walnuts Maraschino cherries, optional

Slice bananas in half lengthwise and crosswise so each banana yields four pieces. Set aside. Coat honey on cut sides of bananas. Let bananas sit for 5 minutes.
Place bananas cut-side down on a clean cooking grate over Direct Low heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Using a pair of long-handled tongs, turn over and let cook 5 more minutes or until the skin pulls away from the banana.
Arrange 2 banana halves without skins on each serving plate. Top each serving with 2 scoops of ice cream. Ladle 1/4 cup of hot fudge over each sundae. Sprinkle each with 1 Tablespoon of chopped nuts, whipped cream and place a cherry on top.
Serve immediately.

Side note: For a lighter alternative, try grilling pineapples, pears, or apples and dip them in the chocolate ganache for a delicious, healthy treat.

Chocolate Ganache
Pairing Tip: Serve this with a glass of St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon, its rich dark chocolate and black cherry flavors makes this dessert a lip-smacking hit.

6 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, preferably Sharffen Berger
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 cup liqueur (such as Kahula, Frangelico; Dark Rum or Bourbon)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the ganache up to 2 days in advance. Chop chocolate bar into bite-size pieces or measure chips. Heat cream to almost boiling, add sugar and stir to combine. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Whisk vigorously until melted, and cream is completely incorporated. Add liqueur and vanilla, stirring constantly until mixture is cool the touch. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside or refrigerate.

Note: If refrigerated, it will need to be brought to room temperature and warmed before serving.
Serves 8

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