Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Adventure For Your Taste Buds

Good evening everyone! We hope everyone had a happy and healthy 4th of July holiday. Maggie and I traveled back home to northern Iowa and visited my parents for the weekend. Family, fun and good weather made for a very enjoyable weekend. It was a little hard to force ourselves back into the 'work' mode today. The one thing keeping us going is knowing that we've got a short week coming up. We're only cooking through Wednesday, and we only have to work until around 2pm on Thursday - then it's off to enjoy another birthday weekend. (Mine this time!) That certainly makes the Monday Tuesday morning alarm a little easier.

Let's dive right back into cooking this week with a new recipe - one that could even lend itself to the grill if you so choose.

The Recipe: Roasted Strip Steaks With Pebre Sauce & Avocado
Original Recipe Found On: Eatingwell.com

What You'll Need:
(Serves 4)

For the pebre sauce:

1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Sweet Onions (Vidalia or Wall-Walla)
1 Medium Tomato (Seeded & Diced)
1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Chopped Serrano Peppers (Omitted in our version)
2 Tablespoon Red-Wine or Cider Vinegar
1 Clove Garlic (Minced)
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

For the steak:

3/4 Teaspoon Paprika
3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
3/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
2 X 8-10 Ounce New York Strip Steaks (Trimmed)
2 Teaspoons Canola Oil
2 Avocados (Pitted, Peeled)*

*Once again, we opted to use 'Wholly Guacamole', which essentially is mashed avocado without all of the extra fuss of pitting and peeling a whole avocado.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Begin preparing the perbre sauce by combining the onion, pepper, cilantro, garlic, vinegar & 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined. Store the sauce in the refrigerator while you prepare the steak.

Begin preparing the steaks by combining the paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and oregano in bowl. Use this seasoning blend to cover all sides of the steaks. Make sure all surfaces and edges of the steak are evenly covered in the rub.

In a large (oven safe) skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Place the steaks into the skillet and cook until the outsides are golden brown (roughly 2 minutes per side). Next, place the skillet into the 325 degree oven and allow to cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. This will result in a medium-rare steak. Add about 2 minutes per 'doneness' stage you want to move the steak up to. For example, a medium-well steak (2 stages (medium, medium-well) above medium-rare, would need approximately 4 additional minutes).

Cooking the steaks on the stove top and then moving them into the oven achieves two things. First, you get a nice, golden outer crust on the steak while quick cooking them in the skillet. By moving them to the oven to finish cooking, you allow the (relatively) low temperature to slowly cook the steak. This preserves the natural juices of the steak, which would seep out (or evaporate) out if you cooked the steaks on the skillet the entire time.

If you're attempting this dish on the grill, you'll have to employ a '2-zone' system. Cooking the steaks directly over the heat will achieve the same 'quick sear' that the skillet cooking stage achieves. Next, move the steaks over to one side of the grill without direct heat (turn off one burner, leave one area of coals open etc.) by allowing the residual heat to finish cooking the steaks, you can still preserve the natural juices of the steak while still achieving the great grilled flavor.

Move the finished steaks to a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. Allow the steaks to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting. This allows the natural juices to settle back into the center of the meat.

While the steaks are cooling, mash the avocados (if you're using whole avocados) and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl.

Slice the steaks thinly and serve with the avocado and pebre sauce. Enjoy!

The Results:

One region that has never disappointed us in regards to steaks is South America. From the chimichurri steak to this amazing pebre steak, each variation of a South American recipe results in two things - a great sauce that absolutely delights you're taste buds and a delicious, tender and juicy steak that is full of its own natural flavor. Simply put, this is one fantastic way to dress up a standard menu staple. Give it a shot, the whole family is sure to love it!

That's all we have for you tonight. Maggie takes to the kitchen tomorrow night with a brand new dish of her own. Stop back in the same time tomorrow evening to see what Maggie has cooking. Until then,


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