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Smoked Barramundi & Grilled New Zealand Grass Fed NY Strip Steak, With Smoked Strawberries!!!

leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 19, 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day Sweet Smoky Cookies!!!

And here’s to this special day’s romance and all that that entails!!!

I opted for a "Surf & Turf" bit of fare and fun – with two finds that just begged to be sampled - and from the FROZEN bin at Trader Joe’s even! Who knew?

And so, please enjoy!

And give every single person you meet today a hug! (I do this every day mind you, but Valentine’s Day is a great day for such too).

Cheers!!!!!! – Leah

I thawed the two items last night in my fridge...

I coated a perforated grill pan with grapeseed oil, and coated the barramundi fish with such too, and put a dozen strawberries - stems removed, around the fish....

I coated the New Zealand Grass Fed NY Strip Steak with grapeseed oil...

And got both the grill (for the steak) and the smoker (for the fish) ready, on high heat - old fashioned charcoal (grill) and hickory chips (smoker)...

And the fish and berries smoked for 20 minutes...

The view while out there smoking & grilling was, well, "winter."

Meanwhile, I got a raw spinach salad together...

Used a scissors to chop up some fresh chives... (I have a crush on chives by the way)...

And made a super simple but healthful, whisked "apple cider vinegar and Greek olive oil" dressing...

Black pepper and grey sea salt were standing by to go on at the table before eating...

The steak was grilled 2 minutes a side and 2 minutes on the fat rim, which, to me, ended up being two minutes too many, (as I love my steak COLD in the middle - not "medium rare," which this turned out to be, and not "rare" even, but I actually need it to be "raw/cold" in the middle, but with the fat all crisped up!

Next time therefore, I would cook it for two minutes on the fat side only, and then just let those flames sear the meat while it rests in that position, and take it right off...but we learn, right? How fun! It still was delicious!!!

I assembled it all (coating the spinach with dressing while the meat "rested") and then put olive oil over everything, and the grey salt and black pepper....

Now the first time I SMOKED strawberries, it was for my "Black Tip Shark Carpaccio" (as seen in the above 3 photos, which I therefore snuck in) and since I do that dish with RAW shark, and since it was my first time "smoking strawberries," I only smoked the strawberries for a few minutes, and they did SMELL so very wonderful but didn't change in texture much, as I feared they'd melt apart or something...

BUT, what I learned THEN, was that whenever "smoked strawberries" are involved, a Rosé wine is really needed! The match just accents one another and it's BEYOND-BEYOND amazing!

And so...


This time around, I smoked the strawberries with the fish and for 20 minutes which was PERFECT, but also paired today's Valentine's meal with a fantastic Rosé, by Regis Bouvier in France.

This is BONE DRY and lovely (for anyone who enjoys dry wines, as I do) but if you prefer sweet wine, then this isn't the one for you.

The name is easy to remember, as in "BOUVIER" like the breed of dog! Smiles. (I had a Bouvier, and so perhaps I think fondly by drinking this)??? But it's dry, and perfect for this meal! Beautiful stuff!

Now these 20 minute smoked strawberries are AMAZING!!! I now will do that to put with cheese and olives for company and snacks! A real sultry treat - almost balsamic-esque and just sensational! I adore these now!

The fish melted apart and was out of this world! That it had been frozen did not in any way ruin it! DELICIOUS!

The steak was pretty fabulous too - especially with the aroma of chives (have I said yet how much I love chives) and the smoked strawberries and savory grey sea salt, olive oil and pepper and SIMPLICITY and healthfulness of it all. 

The meat was just WAY WAY WAYYYYYYYYY overcooked for my taste, and so there is a fine excuse to "do this meal again" you see, as to get it right!

However, this was the best "surf & turf" healthy combo I've had yet, and it was terrific!

Happy Valentine's Day To You All! Go hug everyone whom you do meet! 

Cheers!!!!!!!!!!! - Leah

Last edited:


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 11, 2010
Happy Valentines Day to you Leah.......

Some years ago I used to know a gal that liked the raw center steaks. As most steak houses never caught on to "just warm it", she was seldom happy with what was served. So for her, I would take a frozen steak and cook the outside and then let it rest  for a couple of min until the inside finished thawing out. It took a little practice to get it perfect but once mastered, she was a happy girl.

I hope that will help you with cold raw centers.......

Have a great day.....


leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 19, 2013
Hi Brad and thank you tons and happy Valentine's Day to you!

Your idea is sensational!

Actually, FOAMHEART had also astutely shared that idea with me, (some "Bison & Barolo" threads of mine back I do believe, in that his neighbor - if mad-cow, or mad-conch isn't stealing my memory here - had wanted that same result and thus grilled frozen steaks or not entirely thawed steaks or something like this. Foamheart: Feel free to chime in! Smiles.

In any event, the humorous irony here, is that today's steak WAS frozen, and yet I had thawed it overnight.

Next time, I think I might just throw that on the grill solid???

In any event, THANK YOU for chiming in, and here is a huge Valentine wish sent your way!!!!!!!!

Cheers!!!!!! - Leah


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Mar 28, 2011
It looks amazing.

you got my attention  smoked strawberries  .

can you define the flavors the aroma the texture ?  

what a great feast .



leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 19, 2013
Thank you so much Ahron!

Yes, this whole meal was a treat!

On strawberries, please know that I am not even a zealous 'fruit fan' in that I would never, not even in the name of Valentine's Day, say "Let's eat some strawberries!"

I'm not into sweets - not chocolate, not sweet wine, not sugary anything. I love SALT!

So that aside, I "drink my sugar" in that I drink wine daily with my dinner, and I also eat half of an enormous papaya (the size of a Dachshund dog) seeds and all, each morning after having had my coffee. (That is my breakfast).

Otherwise no fruits.

BUT, my "smoked strawberry" doings, now have me very smitten with that ritual and I will take that (and OK, I do love figs and dates, from time to time) but take the smoked strawberries, and pair it with cheese, and olives, and then Rosé wine, to serve as 'snacks' for company (and for me) as it is really special.

OK: The smell is smoky and obscure but in no way of burning fruit. I would say "tropical perfume meets cigars."

The texture is solid and yet begins to fall apart once in your mouth. You don't see it coming, as the strawberry is in tact, did not melt, and yet once you bite in, it does ooze apart fantastically and just sort of spurt its natural juices and the smoky essence and it's beautiful.

The taste is very alluring in that at first there is a tartness, and then a semi-sweet or "Balsamic-Bitter Dark Chocolate" sophisticated hint of "sugar" without seeming out of place with the meal.

I had grey sea salt over everything, black pepper too, and olive oil once more around and across the whole plate - strawberries included - and so that contrast, of the specs of salt, pepper, seductively exploding strawberries and yet not overwhelmingly so, and then the OIL (my favorite ingredient each day) just really was lovely.

The strawberries are now a go-to, perhaps several times a week even, who knows, as they were sensational. Enjoy!

Cheers! (And happy Friday to you)! - Leah


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Another stunning meal, Leah. When I was cooking on board ship in another lifetime, there was a guy who would take a 1 inch raw steak and throw it on the grill for seconds. It was grey and cold. Too much for me. A suggestion if you want real char while still raw in the centre, try putting a cast iron pan or grill directly on a bed of coals for 10 to 15 minutes. A drop of oil dropped on it should start smoking immediately. Throw a 1 inch steak on it and it should char in under a minute a side.

I love the idea of the strawberries and your choice of wine. 


leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 19, 2013
Thank you Disco!!

That sounds promising, as do some frozen suggestions.

It's so funny that "the story of my meat eating" is continually that I cannot get my steak raw enough and yet with the cooked fat.

I actually went back to Trader Joe's and got another frozen Grass Fed New Zealand strip steak, as to retry this meal sometime next week and get the raw part perfect!

Thank you for your great suggestion! And yes, the berries and wine are a match I'd recommend indeed!!!

Cheers and happy Valentine's weekend to you both!!!!!!! - Leah


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 26, 2011
Great meal.Interesting for me to see Aussie fish next to NZ beef in New Hampshire . I eat my beef medium rare ,lamb same.
Still really hard for me to get my head around the snow. Roast lamb here,sweet potato & bok choy. NZ Pinot Noir Te Waipo a bottle of Leasingham bin 61 Shiraz from back in 2001.

leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 19, 2013
Thanks Mate! Yes a nod to your part of the world and from the snowy coast of New Hampshire no less!!!

I've decided that I'm just not going to mess around with the grill on this one, since it overcooked it tons, and instead will be making Steak Tartare Monday with this "grass fed New Zealand" meat, and will certainly put that on my blog, and also probably post it on this site due to a secret "smoked component" that I like to put on the plate as garnish!

Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, cheers to the new week ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Leah


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 4, 2013
Hmmm.. I did miss it, can I blame it on Valentines day? Well of course it looks delicious too. All of your plates do!

You know I saw a Mexican chef do fajitas like that. He build some beautiful glowing coals and then just threw my meat in the coals. Friend told me not to get upset he always did it that way.....LOL What can I say I thought I was being treated like an ugly American....ROFLMAO!

Anyway, it immediately seared/sealed the tenders and gave it a really nice charred taste. Much like they do their cactus and peppers. It was pretty good when I calmed down. LOL It was one of those fancy smancy places and he only cooked one at a time so they were on and off those coals pretty dang quick. Place was kind of like a Mexican Benihana's.

leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 19, 2013
Oh Foamheart that's just hilarious! Great stories!!!!! I love this site!

But yes, this dish was fun, but I think Monday's Steak Tartare may be a better use of this same brand of meat. (I just can't stand meat that is cooked too much). Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, thank you indeed, and happy new week ahead!!!!!!!!

Cheers!!!!!!!!!! - Leah


Master of the Pit
Joined Jan 7, 2013
Plating skills second to none.  Meal looked wonderful, but can't take my steak cold in the middle,  You rock!

leah elisheva

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 19, 2013
Thank you so much Bear55!

Yes, I prefer cold food, and raw food, to a "nice hot meal" on any day! Perhaps I was a mermaid or lion in a previous life? (Half of each, I do believe). Smiles.

Here's to a fabulous Sunday!!!!!!!!!

Cheers!!!!!!! - Leah

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