Friday, April 20, 2012

Ribeyes with Shallot Rings and Cornfetti

It is staying lighter later as the days grow longer and I love it.  The sizzle of steak on the grill on a warm evening is music to my ears.

When it comes to grilled ribeye steaks, I believe the simpler the better.  The more you try to do to a ribeye with marinades, injections, and sauces, you lose it's beefy luster.  I usually prefer just salt and pepper, MAYBE do something different for a rub, and then grill about 4 minutes a side over a hot (450-500f) charcoal fire.  I like to pull mine off the grill when it hits an internal temperature of between 125f and 130f.

But there are a handful of serving treatments that I will occasionally use with a grilled ribeye just for something different.  These are ideas that compliment the beef, not cover it up or hide it.    I might combine one or two of the following.
  1. Board Dressing - I got this idea from Adam Perry Lang's books.  Simply put some quality olive oil, salt, pepper and a mix of herbs on the cutting board or plate and top that with the steak.  
  2. Plate with dry rub - Pretty much the dry version of the above.  I sprinkle a little beef rub on the plate, top with the steak and then when the steak is cut, the juice mixes with the rub for a kind of instant au jus.
  3. Compound butter - One of my favorite techniques, just a little adds a lot of flavor.  Very flexible because you can choose the herbs and seasonings in the butter to match or compliment your other dishes.
  4. Crumbled salty cheese - Briny cheeses like feta, blue and cotija bring out the beef flavor to me.  They have a bit of umami to them that enhances taste instead of covering it up.
  5. Crispy onion or shallot rings - Who doesn't like a good onion ring?  Shallots are the perfect size for making miniature rings to top the steak.  That is what I did tonight.
I used fried shallot rings and the dry rub on the plate for this steak.

It's easy.  Just slice one shallot per steak into 1/4" rings.  Dredge them in seasoned flour, eggwash, and back through flour.  Fry them in 350f oil for 3-4 minutes, until golden and crispy.  

I needed a quick side dish but didn't have many fresh veggies so I went pantry diving and came up with this dish that we dubbed "cornfetti".   You can make this during the 10 minutes your steak is resting if you get everything set up in advance and preheat your pan.


  • 14 oz can whole kernel corn, drained well
  • 1/3 cup fresh roasted red pepper, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, sliced into 1/4" pieces
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick's Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp bacon fat, reserved
  • 1 Tbsp cream or half and half
  1.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.  Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
  2. Add the drained corn and roasted red pepper to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes tossing or stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  3. Add the bacon crumbles, salt, and Southwest seasoning, toss or stir to mix well for 1 minute.
  4. Add the cream.  Toss or stir to incorporate and let cook for one last minute.
  5. Serve warm.
Crispy, crunchy, & so good.  These would be good on burgers too.

Cooks treat - When I trim the lip off of the ribeye, I put the lean parts on a skewer for a "taste test" while the red pepper roasts for the corn dish.


BBQ Lovin' Black Bear
It's Spring and the bears are on the move.  That's part of living in East Tennessee.  Since April 11th, a black bear has been prowling the grounds of Stan's BBQ in Greeneville, TN.  As of tonight, he has continued to evade the TWRA traps, even cleaning one out.  Hopefully they catch and relocate him soon, because bears that come into the city for too long don't fare too well.  
Photo from

I really can't blame him.  One of our offices is in Greeneville and every time I visit there, I try to stop by Stan's BBQ for lunch.   The first time I was ever there, I asked the waitress what kind of smoker they had.  She invited me back through the kitchen to see their smokers and I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the kitchen.  The staff have always been friendly and knowledgeable about their menu items.  I usually get a Carolina style pulled pork & slaw sandwich with a small order of BBQ beans, but everything my guests have had has been good too.   
If you are ever passing through the area, give them a try.   Just watch out for "da bears" (Chicago accent).