Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rib Eye with Gorgonzola and Hazelnuts

I don't cook steak very often since I don't eat a lot of red meat.  That said, every once in a while, I crave steak.  Perhaps it harkens back to my college days when I subsisted off substandard salad bar and ramen because the "meat" served in the cafeteria was of dubious quality and cooked beyond recognition.  Whenever my parents came to visit I wanted STEAK every night.  I'm sure Outback made a killing during Parents' Weekend. 

This recipe is from The Wine Lover Cooks with Wine, which is a great book if you like using wine as an ingredient.  This steak dish also lets me eat blue cheese, which is one of my favorites.  The original recipe called for Roquefort cheese, but the store was out of it and I bought some blue cheese instead.   I also topped it with hazelnuts instead of walnuts.  It's served with a side of jalapeno roasted potatoes, which are simple to make!

The wine sauce has a great flavor, and the cheese goes very well with it.  It's also a good match for the potatoes.  Looking back, I don't know if I needed to keep them separate in a bowl, the sauce was good on them!  

The cooking times provided by the recipe were not sufficient for the steak I bought, I used a meat thermometer and grilled the meat until it reached 135 degrees (medium rare).  I'll provide the times in the recipe, but if your steak is thick, definitely use a meat thermometer.  I seared it first in the pan, and then left the drippings for the sauce. 

Rib Eye with Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese, and Red Wine Sauce
Slightly adapted from The Wine Lover Cooks with Wine
Serves 2.

Steak rub:
2 tsp mixed peppercorns
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 boneless rib-eye steaks at room temperature (my store's steaks were gigantic, so I bought one and cut it in half).
1 Teaspoon olive oil or roasted garlic olive oil

splash of olive oil or roasted garlic oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3/8 cup red wine
1.5 c cup low-salt beef stock
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1.5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Kosher salt

Garnish - add as much of each as you want.
Crumbled bluecheese
Coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
Minced fresh chives

* To toast hazelnuts, heat a small pan over medium or medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, toss in the nuts and heat them, shaking the pan occasionally.  When the nuts smell toasty, empty them onto a plate.  Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!

1) In a mortar or spice grinder, combine spices in the spice mix. Grind
thoroughly.  Coat the steaks thoroughly with oil, then rub with the spice mixture.  I used roasted garlic olive oil and it was definitely worth it. 
2) Original recipe instruction: heat a heavy sauté pan or skillet over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the steaks to the dry pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and sear the steaks on one side for 4 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for 3 minutes on the second side for medium-rare. (I seared the steaks on both sides in the pan, and then Dave grilled them until they were cooked properly). 
3)  Make the sauce.  In the same pan over medium heat, heat some olive or roasted garlic olive oil (if there aren't enough drippings in the pan).  Sauté the shallot and tomato paste for about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and gradually stir in the wine, stock, and balsamic vinegar. Cook to reduce the liquid by about a third. Strain the sauce and whisk in the butter and salt.
4)  To serve, place the steaks on a plate and top with sauce.  Top with cheese, nuts, and chives.

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