- Brush cut-side of lettuce with olive oil, then grill, cut-side down, over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from grill. Drizzle with salad dressing and add a healthy dusting of parmesan. Serve.
I am adding this recipe to my blog with mixed emotions. The first emotion is disappointment insomuch that it took me 68 years to figure out the very best way to cook Alaskan King Crab Legs. The second emotion is elation for having discovered the very best way to cook Alaskan King Crab Legs. It is absolutely astounding what a little bit of smoke does to the delicate sweetness of king crab meat.
Costco is by far the cheapest place to buy king crab legs. They typically run from $24.99 to $29.99 a pound. That's a bargain compared to the $43.99 I had to pay at Lunds last weekend. King crab is easy to prepare. It is cooked and flash-frozen right when it is harvested, so all you have to do is thaw it and reheat it.
It's grilling season and I am always in search of the Holy Grail...a dry-aged, USDA Prime, bone-in ribeye...about 1-1/2 inches thick and tipping the scale at around 20 ounces. It's not easy to find dry-aged beef in a grocery store....Lunds/Byerlys are the only ones that carry it on a regular basis in the Twin Cities. But dry-aged beef is actually quite easy to source online.....for roughly the cost of a kidney or one year's board and tuition at an Ivy League college.
Dry-aging beef is indeed an expensive proposition. First, you need to have a special temperature/humidity controlled room where the air is constantly flowing around the meat. And it takes a lot of time...those steaks are in that room for 30 to 60 days. By exposing the meat to air, moisture is pulled out and the natural enzymes break down the muscles, making the beef more tender.
As the steak dries out, the fat portion retains more water than the lean portion. Accordingly, the fat becomes more pronounced and as we all know, fat = flavor. Bacteria formed in the aging process produces a robust flavor profile that gives dry-aged beef it's extraordinary taste. It's much like aging a cheese...the meat becomes very rich and intense.
There's another aspect that contributes to the high cost of dry-aged beef. The steak that comes out of the aging locker is smaller than the one that went in. Moisture loss shrinks the steak and often the surface mold must be scraped away. So that 20 ounce steak I want to grill probably went into the storage room weighing about 24 ounces.
It would be nice if you could dry age your beef at home. But few of us have a temperature/humidity controlled environment that provides constant air flow. But there is a way to enhance the taste of your beef at home through a process called dry-brining. It's really easy to do and you just need your refrigerator to make it happen.
The first step is you have to start with a quality steak. It needs to be USDA Prime. That ensures that there will be enough fat where the moisture can be drawn from the muscle and concentrate in that gorgeous marbling. The second step is to season the steak only with salt. You will need to use Kosher salt, using less than you normally would when grilling, as the salt flavor will also get concentrated as the steak sits. You need to put the steak on a screen so that the air can flow all around the steak and then let it sit in your fridge, uncovered, for three days.
I like to buy my USDA Prime steaks at Costco, where they are a heckuva bargain. So for not much money and a little bit of time, I can get a dry-brined steak that starts to get close to a dry-aged steak.....and for just $15 a pound...whereas scoring a dry-aged steak in the wild will cost $30 to $80 a pound.