It’s official. As of this week, my HOA announced that we are a grill-free community. It’s been in the works for a while, and now that it’s confirmed.. I’m a little sad that my grilling days will be limited moving forward.
A treat in my new grill-less state, I had an opportunity recently to hone my outdoor cooking skills with a group of Denver bloggers. Hosted by the Colorado Beef Council and Sprouts, it was an amazing evening full of grilling tips, insight on how to shop for the best in beef, and a lot of hands-on in the kitchen.
Between us friends, I shop at Sprouts a LOT. There is not one, but TWO locations within about 5 miles from my house. Their fresh produce, their beautiful proteins, and their focus on healthy foods keep me coming back for more. Their hosting local blogger events is such a treat, as I always learn something new about my favorite grocery store. This event was no exception, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned!
Did you know…
- There are specialized meat cutters at every Sprouts location? You can ask them questions about cuts of meat, have them cut your selections/fresh grind meat, and have them make special cuts!
- Using a food saver is one of the best way to store your beef for freezing! Removing the air from the container assures it stays as fresh as possible during it’s time in the freezer.
- Never freeze your beef in the container it comes in, unless you have the butcher wrap your selections specifically for freezing – – you can ask them to do this for you!
There is nothing I love more than having a chance to hear tips from the experts. The team at the Colorado Beef Council not only taught us a lot about the different cuts of steaks that were available, but they also gave us access to their amazing kitchen as well as a rundown on how to plate dishes to make them appealing and attractive to the diner. Check out this gorgeous plate the chef put together as a demo. Beautiful!
You guys… the next part of the meetup was HANDS DOWN my favorite.
They let us loose in the test kitchen to make our own dinner. (OMG!) In a less competitive, less stressful version of Cutthroat Kitchen, we had about 35 minutes to make our dinner using beautiful beef and veggies from Sprouts.
The Colorado Beef Council team encouraged us to branch out and try a cut of beef that we don’t typically use, if we were feeling adventurous. Knowing I usually choose a filet/tenderloin, I chose a New York Strip to prepare as part of my masterpiece.
And then, I saw this spread…
This was the MOST fun. To the left of all these fresh herbs, you would have seen a beautiful array of cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, and all sorts of other veggies. I didn’t walk in with a plan of what I’d be cooking… but one formulated quickly as my tray filled with ingredients to make a colorfully beautiful dish.
I quickly claimed a wedge of cauliflower, shallot, grape tomatoes, and asparagus. I also piled on some microgreens and a little chives for garnish. And with that, I headed to the prep stations.
The experts gave us access to all sorts of rubs, spices, and sauces… but I went with simple flavors: salt, pepper, and olive oil to season everything I made. The steak was seasoned and grilled to perfection. I sauteed the asparagus with seasoned sliced grape tomatoes and some minced shallots. Lastly, I sliced that beautiful cruciferous cauliflower into a steak… and threw it on the grill with its NY Strip counterpart.
Just look at those grill marks…
When it was time to plate my dish, I chose a rectangular plate and love how it turned out. And, the flavor was divine.
The event hosts set up a light box to capture all of our beautiful plates, and here’s what mine looked like right before I devoured it. It’s amazing how good lighting impacts food photography. Remind me to pick one of those up at some point.
In the end, it was a deliciously beautiful night. Thank you so much Sprouts and the Colorado Beef Council for sharing all of your wisdom and for hosting our group of Denver bloggers.
Disclaimer: I received compensation from Sprouts; however, all of the opinions and comments about the program are exclusively my own and do not necessarily represent that of the brand.