Smokin’ Cowboy Rib-Eye Steak with Spicy Onion Rings

Many, many year ago, Hubby and I took a road trip, just the two of us, to New Mexico. I can’t remember the last time a road trip, or any vacation for that matter, didn’t include Kiddo. This was one of those “we are a couple, right?” kind of trips. Just the two of us, doing whatever we pleased. While in Santa Fe, we had an unforgettable steak dinner at Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe. Hubby and I both adore spicy foods, and New Mexican cuisine is out-of-this-world delicious. You haven’t truly experienced heat on a plate until you’ve dined in New Mexico!

A year or so later, Coyote Cafe opened a restaurant in Las Vegas. In the middle of the glitzy MGM Grand stood a New Mexican adobe building with high ceilings, traditional wooden vigas and Terra-cotta walls. Owner Mark Miller has duplicated his Santa Fe restaurant and its signature modern Southwestern cuisine smack dab in the middle of a casino. Needless to say, Hubby and I wasted no time making a reservation for dinner as soon as possible. Much to our delight, the food was perfect – just as we had remembered it to be in Santa Fe.

Unfortunately, Las Vegas is a glittery tourist destination, and not necessarily a culinary one. Within six months, the awesome steak with butt-kicking heat and spicy deep fried onion rings had been altered to tone down its sizzle. Diners, unfamiliar with New Mexican cooking, had complained about the amount of spice. Others, more familiar with Chef Miller’s knowledge of and passion for all kinds of peppers, left the Las Vegas restaurant scratching their heads – what had happened?  The establishment, last I heard, has closed its doors. That is a shame.

This recipe is one I clipped a while back as a way of savoring that perfect Mark Miller Santa Fe steak supper. I’ve made a few alterations, based on ingredients more abundant where we live. Just as soon as we get settled in the new place, Hubby and I are going to grill up these awesome spice-rubbed steaks as a way of saying “We’re home”. Can’t wait!

Smokin’ Cowboy Rib-Eye Steak with Spicy Onion Rings
Spice Rub for Steak
1⁄4 cup smoked paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground Hot Mexican Style Chili Powder
1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground dried Poblano Chili
1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground chipotle Chili
1 1⁄2 tablespoons sugar
4  16-oz. bone-in rib-eye steaks

In a medium bowl, whisk together smoked paprika, salt, ground chilies, and sugar. Put steaks on a parchment-lined baking sheet; rub with the chili mixture. Refrigerate steaks overnight.

Build a medium-hot fire with mesquite charcoal. Make sure grate is clean and lightly oiled.

Grill steaks, turning once, until medium rare, about 12 minutes. Serve with onion rings.

Spicy Onion Rings
1 small yellow onion, cut crosswise into 1⁄8″-thick rings
1 cup milk
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon Hot Mexican Style chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon White Pepper
Peanut oil for frying

Cut onion into thin rings. Place rings in a bowl of milk and let soak for 20 minutes. While the rings are soaking, pour Peanut oil into a 4-quart saucepan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk flour with seasonings and spices. Set aside until ready to use.

Working in batches, lift onion rings from the milk, shaking off any excess milk. Toss rings into the seasoned flour to coat, then drop rings into the hot oil. Fry onions until crisp, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Remove rings, drain on paper towels. Set aside until ready to serve with steak.

Rings can be placed on the side, or piled on top of the steak when serving.

Original Recipe:

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Green Chimichurri Sauce Revisited

I’ve been sifting through my seemingly endless assortment of recipes. As I’ve mentioned before, Hubby has a birthday coming up. Less than a month to get my ducks in a row and settle on the perfect menu – from appetizers to desserts. One of the things I love about this sort of intense planning is that you discover dishes from the past, and fondly remember how delicious these forgotten gems were.

I’ve shared the Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce before – way back in May 2015. It’s been a while since both the share and the last time we’ve made this dish. Shortly after my original posting, we had dinner with family and my brother-in-law served his grilled steaks with Chimichurri sauce. What a coincidence!

Chimichurri Sauce in a condiment sauce from Argentina that is used on grilled meats, much like the way Americans use A-1 Steak sauce on a T-Bone, except this sauce has more versatility. Chimichurri Sauce is not just reserved for steaks or grilled red meats. It can also accompany grilled chicken, pork or even as a side to grilled fish such as Sword Fish Steaks.

Typically Chimichurri is made from finely chopped parsley, oregano, minced garlic, olive oil and white vinegar. In Latin Countries outside Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, the dominant flavor comes from the use of chopped coriander leaves, more commonly known as Cilantro. Although usually served in its green form, like Enchilada Sauce, it does have a red version. Bobby Fey of the Food Network fame has a wonderful spin using skirt steak served with both the green (as a marinade) and red sauces (as a finishing sauce). Like so many dishes floating about, there are a variety of takes on what makes a Chimichurri recipe “authentic”. In my opinion, they are all authentic – be it to a country, a region, a city or a particular family. Chimichurri is something that has been around for hundreds of years, so who is to say what constitutes an original, authentic recipe?

Like the recipe, how one serves and consumes their Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce varies. While I enjoyed mine as a thinly sliced steak, Hubby and Kiddo wrapped theirs in warm tortillas, with more sauce and a dash of sour cream. Kiddo adds crumbled Feta to his wrap. Bottom line is that this dish is easy to make and a joy to eat.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Green Chimichurri Sauce
Ingredients: Flat Iron Steak
1 Flat Iron Steak, about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds
1 Tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning

Ingredients – Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves (about 1 cup before chopping)
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves (about 1 cup before chopping)
2 Tablespoons Roasted minced garlic
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Teaspoons White or Red wine vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil

Take the steak out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking, rub with steak rub, and let it come to room temperature.

Wash cilantro leaves and parsley leaves and dry with paper towel or spin dry in salad spinner. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, finely chop the cilantro, parsley, and garlic.  Transfer mixture to a glass bowl.

Add lemon juice, wine vinegar, and seasonings. Whisk to combine.  Slowly whisk in olive oil. Let sauce stand at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes for flavors to marry. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Build a fire in the charcoal grill, heating grill to medium-high heat. Clean grate and wipe with a little oil to prevent steak from sticking.

Place Flat Iron Steak on the grill at an angle. After about 3-4 minutes, or when nice grill marks start to form, rotate steak 45 degrees using tongs and continue to grill for about 3-4 minutes more on first side.

Flip steak over, again at angle and repeat grilling on second side. Continue to grill until cooked to your liking. Flat Iron Steak should be cooked no more than medium rare, for about 12 minutes, depending upon thickness of the cut.

When steak is done to your liking, remove from grill, tend and let rest for 5 minutes to allow juices to settle. Slice steak thinly across the grain. Serve hot, with Chimichurri sauce drizzled down the center. Serve remaining sauce on the side to add as desired.

Super Easy Citrus Tequila Flank Steak

Are you having a lazy weekend? Lord knows, we are! For supper last night I wanted to whip up something packed with flavor without a great deal of effort.  Last weekend was a whirl wind of cooking. While the food was awesome and I love spending time in the kitchen with my wonderful crew (aka Hubby and Kiddo), it was time to slow down a bit.

While at the market, I came across a convenient package of liquid marinade in the spice aisle. Although the package was clearly marked “for chicken”something told me it might be equally nice with Flank Steak. Follow your instincts – that’s always been my motto. Most of the time, its sound advice. Rarely do my instincts fail me – especially in the kitchen. My guys loved the marinated Flank Steak, without bite one left over. I loved the easy of preparation. And the flavor – wow! Lime, orange and lemon juice – the predominate sensation being the lime.

We grilled up the steak as one big slap of meat. It was delicious. The marinated meat would also be great to grill up as flank steak kabobs with boiler onions and chunks of red or yellow peppers.

Super Easy Citrus Tequila Flank Steak
2 lbs Flank Steak
1 Package Frontera 3-Citrus Garlic Marinade
3 Tablespoons Tequila
Zest of 1 lime

In a glass casserole dish or other non-reactive container, lay out the flank steak flat.

In a small bowl, empty contents of liquid Marinade. Add tequila, whip to blend. Add zest of 1 lime.

Pour marinade over steak. Turn and coat well on both sides. Cover dish with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or longer for deeper flavor. The steak will begin to “cook” in the citrus juice, and that’s okay.

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

While grill heats, remove steak from the refrigerator and let rest on counter to take the “chill” off the meat.

Remove from marinade, discard marinade.

Grill Flank Steak for about 6 minutes per side. Remember, flank steak can become tough if over cooked, so medium-rare is best.

Remove from grill, tent and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Cut into nice size strips against the grain and serve. If desired, serve with lime wedges for garnish.

Excellent with a big helping of Super Easy Refried BeansMexican Rice with Chunky Salsa and warm tortillas on the side.


New Mexican Grilled Flank Steak

New Mexico – such a beautiful state. So colorful, so wild, so western. Yet very cosmopolitan – Santa Fe’s art and  Albuquerque’s balloon-filled morning sky.

When we lived in Las Vegas (Nevada); we could travel anywhere in the world – if asked the question “Where are you from?” the answer “Las Vegas” needed no further explanation – unless we were anywhere in or near New Mexico.  There is a Las Vegas New Mexico, not to be confused with the Vegas strip.

The food of New Mexico has a Mexican influence; while remaining distinctively “New Mexican”. Go to a Mexican Restaurant; Sopaipilla is served as a dessert. Fried puffs of billowy pastry with honey and a dusting of powdered sugar. Dine out in New Mexico, and Sopaipilla comes with dinner. Depending upon the dish, you need that honey to put out the fire in your mouth.

New Mexican Grilled Flank Steak
Spice Rub
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

To make the spice rub: In a baking dish large enough to fit the steak, stir together all the ingredients.

Add the steak to the spice rub, turning to coat the meat thoroughly with the rub and pressing with your fingers to help the rub adhere to the meat. Cover the pan, place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour. The longer the better, up to 6 hours for the rub to really flavor the steak..

Flank Steak – Ready to Grill
1 flank steak (about 3 pounds)
Olive oil for the grill

When you’re ready to cook the steak, let it rest at room temperature while the grill is heating. Build a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high. Using a grill brush, scrape the heated grill rack clean. Lightly coat a paper towel with oil and, holding it with long tongs, carefully rub the oiled towel over the grill rack.

Place the flank steak directly over the flame or heating element grill and let it cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes. Rotate the steak 90° and let it cook, undisturbed, for another 3 minutes. Flip the steak and repeat on the other side so it cooks another 3 minutes undisturbed, is rotated 90°, and then cooks 3 more minutes. If you like your steak medium-rare, it should be done at this point

Although not recommended; if you like your steak medium or well done, transfer the steak to a cooler part of the grill for a few more minutes to cook to the desired doneness.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Carve flank steak against the grain into slices about 1/2 inch thick, pile the slices onto a platter, and serve immediately.

Great with warm tortillas, rice and beans.


Whiskey Marinated Rib Eye Cowboy Steak

Rib Eye Steak has awesome flavor all on its own. Season with salt and pepper, grill it up and there you go. The most prized cut of roast is the rib eye roast which is boneless and cut from the most tender portion of the rib section. Rib eye steaks are available either bone-in or out, the latter of which is extremely tender in comparison. The marbling of fat that runs through rib eye contributes to its flavor and tenderness. However; add some Whiskey and Molasses to the mix and you’ve got yourself a trail-blazing cowboy favorite. (Although some will argue that no self-respecting Cowboy would waste a drop of Whiskey on a steak!).

download (18)If you can get your hands on the Real Deal as far as a cowboy cut (you know – with that long bone “handle”) all the better. Don’t look for a 20 ounce Rib Eye in your local meat counter – this big bad boy needs to be cut by the butcher. If possible; pick up your steak in the morning to grill up later in the day. Maybe it’s me – but a freshly cut hunk of meat just seems to taste better than one wrapped in plastic wrap from your meat counter.

The real trick here is getting a fire that is sizzling hot. You will need a good grill to maintain a temperature suited for flash-grilling. Have everything at the ready. Open the grill, then toss the steak in. Try not to peer inside until the steak is ready to flip. Let’s face it, the moment you open the grill, the temperature is going to drop. Cook steak a minute or two longer after the flip.

Whiskey Marinated Cowboy Rib Eye Steak
19 to 20 oz. Angus Rib Eye Beef Steak
3/4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
10 round of cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons Molasses
4 oz. Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
2 tablespoons A1 Steak Sauce

Mix ingredients for marinade. Marinate your Rib Eye at room temperature for 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes to let the marinate soak in well.

Build a nice, hot fire in your grill (about 500 to 600 degrees). Throw steak on grill and cook about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. (You don’t want to go much beyond medium or the steak becomes tough). Cover and let rest five to ten minutes before serving.

To serve, cut steak away from the bone, then slice. You can slice into large hunks of meat or slice thinner, pouring any drippings from the dish over the steak

Serve this Cowboy Rib Eye Steak with any side dish, and you have a great dinner in a flash!

Basil-Stuffed Grilled Steak

This marvelous grilled steak comes from Taste of Home, as part of their diabetic-friendly collection. Part of the beauty of the stuffed-steak is that the recipe gives you options – fresh or dried herbs. Whenever possible, fresh is always best. However; there are times when fresh can’t be had. If the herbs at your farmer’s market are not in season or the produce section of the grocery store doesn’t have what you are looking for; go for the dry. The only MUST in the fresh department is the basil. Without fresh basil, the entire presentation would fall flat.

I like this steak simply because it is a big hunk of meat, sliced on a platter and served up like a tri-tip. The ends tend to be a little more cooked than the center; giving most people their choice of doneness without your Grill Master (in this case Hubby dear) trying to time various preferences.

September is here – the days are cooling off nicely. Mid-eighties is perfect for outdoor entertaining without having to wait until that darn blazing sun sets. Another month, and it is liable to be too cold to even think about  backyard barbecues, so we are taking every advantage now, while we still can. Besides, around Labor Day most of the markets have great deals on steak. Perfect time to stock up on beef.

Basil-Stuffed Steak
1 beef top sirloin steak (1-1/2 inches thick and 2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1-1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or pinch dried thyme
1 teaspoon olive oil

With a sharp knife, make five lengthwise cuts three-fourths of the way through the steak. Combine salt, pepper and parsley; rub over steak.

In a small bowl, combine the basil, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Stuff into pockets in steak.

Using heavy-duty string, tie the steak at 2-inch intervals, closing the pockets. Drizzle with oil.

Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 35-45 minutes or until the meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees; for medium 160 degrees – well-done is over cooked).

Cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Remove string before slicing.

Peppered Steak with Blackberry Sauce

What can I say? I’m on a roll – filled with all the lingering inspiration of Oregon’s Berry Season and a good grilled steak.  This combination of blackberries and a perfectly grilled steak is almost too pretty to eat!

We all need to get our grilling fix satisfied NOW. Here is it, August already. Before you know it, we will be gathering around the stew pots and big bowls of soup. I love this time of year, when the days are warm (if not down right hot) and the nights are pleasant.  Perfect for a little backyard entertaining, don’t you think?

Peppered Steak with Blackberry Sauce
Peppered Steak
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil (Crisco)
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
2 cloves minced garlic
16 ozs beef tenderloin (eye of round steaks trimmed of fat – 4 steaks 4 oz each)
Sea salt to taste
Coarse black pepper to taste

Mix lemon juice, oil, onion and garlic in large resealable plastic bag. Place steaks in marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate flat 6 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Remove steaks from marinade and season with salt and coarsely ground pepper. Let steaks sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Discard marinade.

When ready to grill, clean rack and spray with no-stick cooking spray or wipe with olive oil.

Build a nice fire..

Place steaks on prepared grill. Sear outside 2-3 minutes per side. Raise rack or lower coals and grill steaks about 8 to 12 minutes or until desired doneness, turning once halfway through cooking time.

Remove steaks, tent and let rest 5-10 minutes for juices to settle.

Blackberry Sauce
1/2 cup Seedless Blackberry jam (Smuckers)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup blackberries (fresh) for garnish

Cook jam, vinegar and onion powder in small saucepan over medium heat until jam is melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

To serve, top steaks with blackberry sauce. Sprinkle with fresh blackberries.

Serving suggestions: Asparagus or carrots and potato medallions.