Tuesdays with Donnie

I never read the book, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” It sounded sort of depressing. Plus, I have my own more festive, culinary version. I have Tuesdays with Donnie!

Donnie & his saké on a Tuesday evening.

Donnie & his saké on a Tuesday evening.

It all started one particular Tuesday, when I ran into Don and Monica Schneider at school. They’re two of our favorite people, and we hadn’t socialized with them in awhile. “I know it’s Tuesday,” Don said, “But do you guys wanna do dinner tonight?”

We did.

I’m often “in town” on Mondays and do my shopping, and as a result we typically have Japanese food on Tuesdays. Was that going to be okay? I asked the Schneiders, and they let me know it was going to be more than just okay.

A couple such Tuesdays came and went, and whamo! We had a new tradition!

One of my favorite things about Donnie is that he is a man of abundance. He likes the good things in life, and likes them in generous quantities. Donnie has taken to hitting the Japanese markets in advance of one of our dinners as well. So that when an appointed Tuesday comes along, he presents his dazzling spread of purchases — Kobe beef, monkfish liver, salmon eggs, uni, Spanish mackerel, halibut — to go with whatever I’ve gotten.

And then I cook, slice and assemble.

Grilled miso porterhouse with yuzu garlic dipping sauce

Grilled miso porterhouse with garlic yuzu dipping sauce

I’ve always been partial to the Japanese style of grilling meat. I found a rather ordinary-looking porterhouse on sale at the grocery store one afternoon, and brought it home to do a faux dry aging. It was ready on a Tuesday, one of those Tuesdays, and I decided to try something different with it. So I marinated it in a mixture of miso paste and sake, then grilled it over high heat, sliced it thinly off the bone and served it with a garlic yuzu dipping sauce. It was the perfect meaty foil to exquisite and delicate petals of raw fish and herbal microgreen salads.

*    *    *

It was Tuesday. We had just gotten back from Mexico — staying at the Schneider’s house near Puerto Vallarta, in fact — and I got a text from Monica:

“Are we on for dinner tonight?”

Eight straight days of margaritas and sleepless mosquito nights, and we needed a week off — although we missed our friends and it made sense to see them given our time at their Mexico home. Plus I had a nice bottle of tequila for Donnie. But I deferred to the following week. I hadn’t had time to get to the Japanese market anyway…

But 5 p.m. rolled around, we sat down to eat a simple dinner, and part of me regretted having said no. A few weeks off and I missed the culinary extravagance and warm communal spirit of our Tuesdays with Donnie.

*    *    *

Grilled miso porterhouse with garlic yuzu dipping sauce
serves 4

1 porterhouse steak, 1.5 to 2 inches thick, about 2 lbs.
1/4 cup red miso paste
1/4 cup sake
grapeseed oil
lite soy sauce
chanterelle mushrooms (optional)

dipping sauce:

1 tbsp. lite soy sauce
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp. yuzu (or lemon) juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. grapeseed oil

Combine the red miso paste, sake, grapeseed oil and lite soy sauce in a small bowl, and mix until smooth. Spread over your steak and marinade for 1-2 hours before dinner.

Make the dipping sauce: combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and mix vigorously to emulsify. Set aside.

Heat your barbecue grill to the hottest setting, and grill the steak about 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare. (Less if using a thinner steak.) Remove steak to a cutting board drizzled with grapeseed oil and sprinkled with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

If you’re using chanterelle mushrooms, toss in a little grapeseed oil with a sprinkle of salt, and roast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes while the steak is resting.

Slice the steak off the bone in thin, bite-size pieces. Re-assemble on a serving dish around the bone (see image above), and top with roasted chanterelles. Serve with dipping sauce and steamed rice.

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. glennis
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 03:00:10

    That porterhouse looks awesome!! We just had an on-sale porterhouse last night (shopping at the same stores?), and we followed your lead, grilling it and then slicing it up on the board with herbs and olive oil. Delicious!


  2. Lori
    Oct 24, 2013 @ 16:20:50

    I made this last night and it was awesome!! (I had my doubts, since I started with a questionable rib eye half-covered with freezer burn.) I really need to find out where you and Glennis shop for meat!


    • scolgin
      Oct 24, 2013 @ 21:55:14

      That was a crappy Vons porterhouse, Lori. That’s the point — you can make mediocre meat great! But we will share where to get the good steaks if you want…


  3. Lori
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 01:49:18

    That’s fantastic, I’m gonna start stocking the freezer with whatever’s on sale at Vons.


    • scolgin
      Oct 25, 2013 @ 01:53:28

      Let’s go shopping together and I’ll show you the best stuff to get! The quality is good, and they’ve got an epic meat clearance section!


  4. Lori
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 03:45:49



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