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'Open Flame' Becomes surf-and-turf party

The Food Dude shares secrets and recipes from “Open Flame,” sponsored by American Propane.
by Dave Cathey Published: October 23, 2013

How does one improve upon surf and turf? By cooking it over an open flame with the help of some of the city's best chefs.

And that's exactly what we did for our latest “Open Flame” at American Propane, 7401 Broadway Extension. This surf-and-turf party was sponsored by Valerie Naifeh of Naifeh Fine Jewelry, 9203 N Pennsylvania Ave., who was a terrific host with help from Bruce Upthegrove of Republic National Distributing and his mad wine-pairing skills.

I started out the evening with a simple appetizer of bruschetta topped with smoked Lovera's Italian Sausage, onions and peppers. When cooking at an event with far more talented cooks, choose premium ingredients and simple techniques, and you'll be fine. The Krebs-born sausage is just the thing, and an hour in a 300-degree smoker with pecan chips turned out a juicy, pleasing result.

The chefs for the event included Chris McCabe, who recently was promoted to executive chef for all A Good Egg Dining restaurants, which include Kitchen No. 324, Red Prime Steak, Cheever's Cafe, Tucker's Onion Burgers, Iron Starr Urban Barbecue and Republic Gastropub. McCabe created a dish almost as simple as it was delicious. He took oysters on the half shell, topped them with lardon and stuck them over a delicate fire to allow the lardon to melt over the oysters. This was a phenomenal dish. The only hard part was opening the oysters, which cost fellow chef Bruce Rinehart a thin layer of skin from his palm.

Rinehart, owner/chef of Rococo Fine Dining and Wines, brought with him chef Sam Fitch, who oversees catering for the two-store concept. Together, they prepared London Broil and Grilled Halibut with Island Glaze, which proved a major hit among Naifeh's party guests. As usual, Rinehart regaled the crowd with flavor and style.

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by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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Here are a few of the recipes from the evening:

Flash-Seared Steak Tartare

8 ounces beef tenderloin

3 egg yolks

1 clove roasted garlic

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon sriracha

1 tablespoon finely diced shallot

English cucumber cut in ribbons


5 grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon lump caviar

Sea salt

Fresh-cracked black pepper

• Grill seasoned beef tenderloin to medium-rare (chill).

• Combine egg yolks, Dijon mustard, vinegar, shallots and roasted garlic in large bowl.

• Smash all ingredients together and slowly whisk in olive oil. (Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the aioli for your garnish.)

• Chop the tenderloin into fine pieces and toss with your aioli.

• Divide the tenderloin into 4-ounce portions, and wrap a long cucumber ribbon around the tartare, creating a “drum” garnish with a few grape tomatoes.

• Top the tartare with two or three bagel chips, top the chips with a small amount of aioli, and top the aioli with some lump caviar and sriracha.

• Garnish with chopped chives.

Seared Scallop Carpaccio

2 diver scallops

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

15 white grapes, peeled and halved

1 tablespoon diced shallots

1 fresh lemon

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup finely diced English cucumber

1 tablespoon, gold bell pepper, finely diced

1 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely diced

2 tablespoon basil

• Sear the scallops to rare-plus and chill.

• Toss together the diced peppers, diced cucumber, grapes, basil, vinegar, olive oil, honey and shallots until well combined, then chill.

• Slice the scallops into 4 or 5 very thin discs, present them in a slightly overlapping disc, drizzle with lemon juice and sea salt. Top with grape tomato relish and lemon zest.

• Serve with the tartare.

SOURCE: Jermiah Duddleston,

Uptown Grocery Co.

Island Glaze

1 cup molasses

1 cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup fresh-squeezed orange, lemon or lime juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sriracha

1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced

1 tablespoon shallots, finely diced

• Combine all ingredients and set aside.

• Rub your favorite cut of beef (in this case, we used London Broil) and halibut with salt and pepper.

• Coat each side with glaze and reserve remainder. Let meats marinate for at least an hour.

• Cook on a clean, hot, seasoned grill — brushing the glaze on each side as it is cooking to desired temperature.

SOURCE: Bruce Rinehart, Rococo

Smoked Sausage and Onion Bruschetta

1 pound Lovera's Italian Sausage (I prefer spicy)

1 yellow onion, unpeeled

1 sweet red pepper

1 flute of French bread

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half

Salt and pepper to taste

• Soak pecan chips for one hour in water. Build a 300-degree fire on a smoker. Shake excess water off chips and toss them in the fire.

• Top grill with sausage, onion and pepper and smoke 60 to 90 minutes, making sure the heat doesn't rise above 300 degrees or fall below 250.

• Peel smoked onion and slice into rings. Do the same with the red pepper, though the peel can stay attached if it wants to. Mix with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

• Slice bread into ½ inch-thick slices and toast to golden brown. When done, run the sliced side of the garlic clove around the ridge of each toast point, and top with smoked onion and pepper relish. Top each with a ½-inch slice of sausage.

• Serve immediately.

SOURCE: Dave Cathey

Final ‘Open Flame'

is set

Josh Valentine will be part of our final “Open Flame” of the year, coming up Monday. The finale will be a Bedlam Tailgating Showdown between teams of chefs representing the Sooners and Cowboys. Valentine will captain the University of Oklahoma side. Valentine, who finished third on the most recently completed season of “Top Chef,” will have to call upon the ferocity and competitive spirit he developed as a high school wrestler to best his mentor and friend Kurt Fleischfresser, who will lead the Oklahoma State squad.

Come out Monday to get a sneak peak and heaping helpings of gourmet tailgating fare at this Bedlam event, the results of which will be revealed to the public in November.

For ticket information, call American Propane at 843-6868.


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