Monday, November 1, 2010

Espresso Yourself Steaks & Spinach Mashed Potatoes

"Hey, can we use the video camera?" is a question that should always cause a parent to go check what his/her kid(s) are doing.

That's Trevor performing a "high velocity inspection" of our street's leaf pile. With his football season ending this past weekend, he has had too much time and energy on his hands. It's like he's been drinking espresso or something.

Speaking of espresso, after participating in Joanne's Recipe Impossible challenge last week, I still had a box full of leftover goodies courtesy of Marx Foods. (Hint hint - get over there and vote)

One of the ingredients was "espresso sea salt". I recalled the Red Eye Steaks recipe that Curt of Live Fire Online used to take him to the regional semifinals in this year's Berringer Great Steak Challenge, which used brewed espresso. I knew right away I wanted to pair that with some of the dried pasilla and aji chili peppers and use it for a beef rub.

Espresso Yourself Ribeye Steaks

2 ribeye steaks
1 tsp Marx Foods espresso sea salt
1 tsp dried chilies, ground
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil

Mix all of the wet rub ingredients together and smear onto the steaks. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Set up your grill for direct heat at 450-500f.

A tip for getting good grid marks is be patient. The air temp may be hot but it takes your grill grate longer to get to the same temps. Once my Big Green Egg hits my target temp, I still wait another 20-30 minutes to let the grates load up with heat energy.

Grill the steaks for 8 minutes, flipping and turning 90 degrees every two minutes. This should get you to an internal temp of 125f for medium rare. My Craycort cast iron modular grate knows how to have it's way with a steak.

Let your steaks rest on a raised rack for 10 minutes.

Want a different side dish for your steaks? Take your favorite mashed potato recipe and add 1/2 cup of fresh baby spinach per serving. That may sound like a lot but spinach wilts down and loses most of it's volume.

Just heat 1 teaspoon of bacon fat in a pan over medium high heat and wilt the spinach for 2-3 minutes.

Chop and blend in to your potatoes as you mash them.

After eating a bite of the spinach mashed potatoes together with a small bite of steak, I thought, "This tastes like eating the whole steakhouse in one bite!"

What did I think of the rub? I probably went a little too light in applying it but I wanted the espresso flavors to be subtle. The recipe above is adjusted to reflect what I'd do next time, by increasing the salt and peppers. But the espresso gave it a nice twist and the mild fruity flavor of the chilies kind of reminded me of a mole sauce.

I haven't done a game of Versus in a while so here we go - tell me your preferences in the comments:
Coffees vs Energy Drinks