Category Archives: Steak

Free-for-All Friday: Blue-Cheese Crusted Steak with Crispy Smashed Potatoes

It’s rare that I crave meat, but lately, a really good steak with blue cheese has been on my mind — creeping into my thoughts, ruining my productivity. I can only take so much tofu before I need something with built-in flavor.

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And the notion that you need to go out to devour a decadent piece of beef is absurd. You can make it in your kitchen in about half an hour. Promise.

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Vegans and vegetarians, don’t look away just yet! There’s a side-dish recipe buried in this post just for you!

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Happy cooking, friends. Liven up your weekend with this dish. Indulge. Eat and be merry.

Blue Cheese-Crusted Steak

Serves 1, but easily doubled

Ingredients

  • Your favorite cut of steak (I went for the ribeye)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (or your favorite steak seasoning)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2-oz blue cheese, crumbled and at room temp
  • 1 Tbsp. bread crumbs or panko
  • 1 tsp. chopped parsley
  • Leaves from 2 stems of fresh thyme

The How-To

  1. Set the oven to broil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the blue cheese, bread crumbs, parsley and thyme. Set aside for later.IMG_6845
  3. In a cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until pan is hot.
  4. Meanwhile, season the steak (and make sure the chill is off the meat. Take it out of the fridge 20 minutes or so before you want to cook it).
  5. Once the pan is hot (sprinkle some water on it if you’re not sure. The water should sizzle), add the steak and cook on one side for two minutes, or until nicely browned. Flip the steak and add the blue cheese crumble mixture on top, slightly pressing down.IMG_6852
  6. Transfer the skillet to the broiler, allowing the cheese on top to get brown and bubbly. This will help finish the steak to a nice medium doneness. It should take about 5 minutes under the broiler.
  7. Let it rest before digging in. It’s hard, I know, but it’s also worth it.IMG_6857

Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes

Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 12-15 red, yellow or purple potatoes (about 1-inch in length). Fingerlings work well.
  • 2 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup EVOO

The How-To

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan (preferable in one layer) and cover with at least one inch of water. Add 2 teaspoons salt to the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook the taters until they are tender, about 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a sharp knife or skewer. They should be cooked through, but not overdone.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, set up a double layer of clean dishtowels on the countertop. As the potatoes finish, remove them individually from the water and let them drain for a minute on the dishtowels.
  4. Fold another dishtowel into quarters and, using it as a cover, gently press down on one potato with the palm of your hand to flatten it to a thickness of about 1/2 an inch. Repeat with all the potatoes. Don’t worry if some break apart a bit; you can still use them.IMG_6841
  5. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and line with a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer the flattened potatoes carefully to the baking sheet and let them cool completely at room temperature.
  6. Sprinkle the potatoes with 3/4 teaspoon salt and drizzle the olive oil over all of them. Lift the potatoes gently to make sure some of the oil goes underneath them and that they are well-coated on both sides.
  7. Roast potatoes until crispy and deep brown around the edges, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly-chopped parsley. Serve hot and alongside your steak.IMG_6846

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Cooking with a New Ingredient

First off, let me apologize for my absence.  I’ve been in the middle of a move and oral surgery, so cooking, let alone blogging, have been far from my mind the past three weeks.

But the good news is, I’m back and ready to share a couple new recipes and experiences with you all!

I’ve been extremely bored with the food I cook lately, so I decided to shake things up and cook a recipe that had a lot of components, and a lot of work to it.  Fine Cooking, my favorite food magazine not just for the recipes in it, but for the techniques it teaches you, had a recipe for Margarita-Marinated Skirt Steak with  Grilled Tomatillo Salsa in their July 2009 issue that both sounded and looked good (pictures ALWAYS entice me to cook something, which is why I need to really step it up and start taking pictures of my own food and posting them here.  Hopefully that will encourage you all more to cook them).

I had never cooked tomatillos before, but I was ready for the challenge.  Tomatillos are called green tomatoes in Mexico, and are part of the same family as tomatoes.  However they’re much smaller and much more acidic.

I also had no Cointreau on hand, or Triple Sec, so I used the juice of a fresh Valencia orange, although you do need to be careful when using citrus in a marinade.  The citric acid can actually start cooking the meat if it’s left in the marinade too long (Ceviche method).

Tomatillos can be extremely bitter, so it’s best to boil or grill them before using, to mellow out the flavor.  And, IMHO, any fruit or veggie is great grilled.  The recipe instructed me to grill the tomatillos (after peeling and washing them.  They’re somewhat like garlic, with a thin, papery skin that leaves a sticky residue on the fruit and your hands) til they had grill marks and were almost falling apart.  I did as told, but found when it came time to dice them up for the salsa, they were a bit too soft to get a nice dice.  Next time, I would grill them for a little less.  I realize this might alter their flavor, but I don’t mind a strong citrus essence.

The marinade was awesome–I will definitely use again, both on skirt steak (which is tougher and needs a marinade in order to be tender and savory) and even chicken.  Alcohol-based marinades always come out good, I’ve never met one I didn’t like :D

If you’re feeling ambitious, and hungry for some great summer-time grill food, try out the recipe by clicking the link above.  It looks intimidating, but you will not be disappointed!  I can’t wait to use tomatillos again.  They’re color is just so amazing!

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