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: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Cowboy-Rib-Eye