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Fourth of July Surf 'n' Turf with Red and White American Wines

beef chardonnay food & wine grill recipes holiday lobster montana rae pinot noir recipe red wine summer season white wine Jun 30, 2022

The 4th of July is my absolute favorite summer celebration! Since it's often a gathering with more going on than just food and wine, I like to craft a spread that's easily shared while everyone enjoys the pool, yard games, or a fireworks display. It's not the time for a formal sit-down meal so instead, I invite you to join me in creating a Surf ‘n’ Turf feast that everyone can graze on as they enjoy all the fun activities that go along with the occasion.

The spread features Aspen Ridge Natural Angus New York Strip Steak marinated overnight in barbecue sauce and then coated in one of my favorite beef rubs for the Turf component. For the Surf piece, I went with tender lobster tails butterflied and drenched in a delicious seasoned butter mixture, the flavors of which tie the beef and lobster together seamlessly. I cooked both land and sea on my pellet grill on the patio. The aromas that filled the air made the perfect addition to the festivities!

I served this family-style on a nice grazing board with crispy potatoes, green beans, and seasoned drawn butter. I recommend prepping all your sides ahead of time, so the board is ready to assemble as soon as the steak and lobster come off the grill. Once the steak and lobster hit the grill, you'll want your full attention there until they are finished. You can reheat anything you need to when the beef is resting.

The NY Strip steak I chose from Aspen Ridge Natural Angus Beef is USDA Choice graded, Certified Humane®, and has no added hormones or antibiotics. Aspen Ridge is transparent about the way their beef is raised which is something I’m constantly looking for and it really shines through in the flavor and texture of each cut. You will find Aspen Ridge products in Safeway and Albertsons stores around Colorado. Just look for the aspen leaf on their logo!

When the beef came off the grill, I let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it thin so people could easily grab a piece from the grazing board. For the lobster tails, I recommend selecting smaller tails and buying more of them, one or two for each person. I prefer the small tails because they are more tender than the big ones and you get more bang for your buck if you’re serving a larger group.

If you've never butterflied lobster tails before, don't be intimidated. It takes a little practice, but you'll get the hang of it! Using a set of heavy-duty kitchen shears, cut a slit lengthwise in the top of the shell, stopping just before you hit the start of the fan at the base of the tail. From there, use your fingers to pry the meat loose and pull it up on top of the shell, being careful not to pull it away from the base of the tail. Check the tails over and rinse off any shell fragments and anything else you don’t want to eat. Once they are all prepped, place them on a dish and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.

Red and White American Wines

I paired this feast with a duo of delicious, beautifully made American wines. For a white, I chose an unoaked Chardonnay from Corvidae Winery in Washington State. I love the bright citrus flavors this wine adds to balance the richness of the seasoned butter and smokey flavors from the barbecue sauce. The wine refreshes the palate and keeps everyone coming back for more! If you're not usually a Chardonnay drinker, this is a style worth exploring. If you do enjoy an oaked, slightly buttery Chardonnay, I think that style would be just as well-suited. Look for something from Sonoma's Russian River Valley for an opulent pairing.

For a red, I chose a gorgeous single-vineyard Pinot Noir from Rondure Wines. In the world of Pinot Noir, this is a bit bolder than some of the super-light expressions of this grape you'll find out there. I like that it has a fuller body and more intense flavor to accentuate the flavors of the meal. This wine was made using a very old winemaking process called capas, a technique winemaker Arthur O'Connor learned during a ten-year stint working in Spain. Today, he makes this beautiful Pinot in the same way, and I find it to be incredibly expressive of the natural essence of this grape variety. It doesn't overwhelm the lobster, which some reds absolutely would! If you'd like to try a different style of red, a Syrah or Malbec from Washington State would be ideal.

Corvidae Mirth Chardonnay

Winemaker's Notes:

"The 2019 Mirth Chardonnay bursts with notes of Golden Delicious apple and stone fruit on the nose, including pineapple, followed by a subtle floral note. Mouthwatering acidity compliments flavors of peach and tropical fruits on the palate, which has a nice minerality, a balanced mouthfeel, and a clean finish."


Rondure Sangiacomo Robert's Road Vineyard Pinot Noir

Winemaker's Notes:

"Over the years I have been particularly taken by the Roberts Road vineyard. The Petaluma Gap site delivers extremely bright and intense fruit. I chose the Pommard Clone, as I love the plum and berry fruits, combined with the rich textural qualities it exhibits.

This vintage offers a beautiful combination of clone and site. Aromas of ripe Santa Rosa plum and floral violet high notes, with hints of licorice and brie. On the palate, there is more Santa Rosa plum, raspberry, and mulberry followed by hints of licorice, brie, and wet tar. The wine is underpinned by generous silky tannins that create a wonderful textural experience in the mouth. It finishes soft, yet tight with dusty floral notes.

This is a living piece of art that benefits from decanting. Take the time to enjoy watching the flavors develop in your glass."

Give it a try! Click here to order from Rondure's online store

Barbecue Sauces & Beef Rubs

The sauce and rub you select for this recipe has a ton of impact on the flavor of your finished meal. Keep in mind that the lobster has a delicate flavor that can be easily overwhelmed by very heavy smoke flavors. I selected both barbecue sauce and beef rub from Kinder's for this feast because their products are USDA Certified Organic and the flavor combos they create seemed like the ideal match. For the barbecue sauce, I chose Kinder's Zero Sugar Cali Gold because I've been watching my sugar intake and the balance of spice and seafood-friendly ingredients work beautifully. For the rub, I chose the Kinder's Buttery Steakhouse option to complement the seasoned butter I'm serving with the lobster. A little goes a long way so keep that in mind!

A couple of other brands I love for barbecue sauces and rubs are Stubb's by McCormick and Gate's BBQ out of Kansas City. If you have a favorite that I need to try, please drop it in the comments below and I'll be sure to check it out!

Fourth of July Surf 'n' Turf

Quantities listed serve 2 people 


For the New York Strip Steak:

  • 1 16 oz Aspen Ridge Natural Angus New York Strip Steak
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Beef rub to taste

For the lobster tails:

  • 2 (8-10 oz) lobster tails
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • The night before you’re ready to cook, use the tines of a fork to poke some holes in both sides of your Aspen Ridge Natural Angus  New York Strip Steak. Then add the steak with your favorite BBQ sauce to a bag or dish and marinate it overnight, or for at least three hours.
  • Prep the lobster tails by cutting a slit lengthwise through in the top shell of each using heavy-duty kitchen scissors. Gently pry the meat from the inside of the shell using your fingers, being careful to keep it connected at the base of the tail.
  • Use a paring knife to cut a second lengthwise slit in the lobster meat to butterfly the tails and place them on a plate.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the lemon juice, paprika, garlic powder, salt, Old Bay seasoning, pepper, and parsley.
  • Pour about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture over each lobster tail. Keep the remaining butter mixture warm. 
  • Preheat your pellet grill to 450°F with the lid closed.
  • Remove the steak from the marinade and apply a liberal amount of rub to all sides.
  • When the grill is hot, place the lobster tails directly on the grill grates and set a timer for 15 minutes.
  • When your 15 minutes timer is up, leave the lobster tails where they are and add the steaks directly to the grill grates in the hottest part of the grill. 
  • Cook the steak for 4-5 minutes and then turn it over. Cook until the internal temperature of the beef reads 145°F on your meat thermometer and the meat on your lobster tails is white and opaque.
  • Serve with green beans, potatoes, salad, corn, and any other American favorites.

Happy Fourth of July Everyone! Please be sure to drop a comment if you test this out for your Independence Day celebration!

Cheers, Montana Rae and The Wine Ship Cru

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