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 Rib-Eye Steaks with Jack Daniel’s Grilling Glaze

Oh my goodness – here it is the end of June, and this is my first posting of the month. I should be ashamed – neglecting the one thing (besides my family) that gives me any pleasure. It’s really hard to create a post when you are reduced to cooking one day a week. I suppose I could have re-blogged a few recipes from last year – Grilled Chicken Ranch BurgersBest Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake that Ever Came out of a Box or for a complete menu of recipes Patio Entertaining with an Italian Flair – For Father’s Day or Just Because would have been nice, with a variety of recipes to choose from. I so wanted to come up with a few new recipes or some fresh ideas for Father’s Day. It just wasn’t in the cards.

Yeah, it’s been one heck of a crazy June in the Event Rental Business. Lots of weddings, graduations and this year we were a part of the massive set up for the Senior Golf Tournament. The days spend at work have been long – and stressful pulling everything together. Sundays have been the one night a week that I’ve actually found the time to cook for my family. We’ve done fast food, take and bake, frozen grocery store prepared meals and even resorted to those roast chicken dinners you can  pick up at the deli counter of your local market. More nights than I care to count, at the end of a fourteen-hour day, we’ve skipped dinner entirely, opting to collapse in bed only to start early the next day. I know – not healthy. Not good for anyone.

This recipe has been in my file of “Try Soon”. Hubby and I aren’t drinkers – we like a nice wine with a meal, but beyond that, we really aren’t drinkers. So recipes that call of shots of whiskey tend to be pushed to the back of the file. It’s hard to justify springing for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s simply to cook with and nothing more. This past week, the cost had very little impact on the weekly shopping budget. For the last several weeks, we haven’t spent much on groceries – the “planned” meals have simply moved from one week to the next. Breads and fresh produce have been the only real expense. Somewhere along the line, we realized we were buying fresh produce only to toss it because it wasn’t so “fresh” anymore. So there was a change in plan – every day I wrote down a list of fresh produce that would be needed for dinner. The plan was to shop for fresh ingredients on a daily bases. Yeah, a pain, but not wasteful. And that was a good thing since we ate a home cooked meal once a week. Everything else was frozen. The freezer has never been put to better use.

So last night was special – grilled steaks, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed squash. Yeah, that’s what I call making up for all those skipped meals.

Here are a few quick tips to help everything come together smoothly.

  • Start preheating the oven to roast the garlic first.
  • Make marinade and get the steaks into the refrigerator to start the marinating process. By now, the oven should be heated for the garlic.
  • Pop the garlic into the oven, begin roasting. While garlic roasts, mix up all the ingredients for the glaze.
  • If desired, strain grilling glaze for a smooth finish just before serving.

Grilled Rib-Eye Streaks with Jack Daniel’s Grilling Glaze
4 Rib-eye Steaks (8 oz each, ¾-inch thick) or 4 New York Steak Strips
2 Limes
½ Cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Olive oil or cooking spray for grill

1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup water
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced white onion
1 tablespoon Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 tablespoon crushed pineapple
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

FOR STEAKS: Slice limes in half, rub fresh lime on steaks. Rub salt into steak. Squeeze lime juice into bowl. Whisk in Jack Daniels, garlic cloves and black pepper. Allow steaks to marinade for several hours in refrigerator. Don’t let the strange color of the meat scare you – the lime juice will start to “cook” the meat with its high acid content. The steaks will cook up beautifully.

Remove steaks from refrigerator and allow to continue to marinade while coming to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes.

While steaks come to temperature, prepare grill. Wipe or spray grill grate with olive oil or cooking spray.

Remove steaks from marinade. Pat dry and brush with grilling glaze. Grill to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side, turning only once.

Remove steaks from grill, transfer to round plate (stack if necessary) and cover with stainless steel bowl inverted. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving. (If you don’t have a stainless steel bowl, cover serving platter with foil).

Serve steaks with any remaining grilling sauce on the side for “dipping” if desired.

FOR JACK DANIEL’S GLAZE: Preheat oven to 325-degrees.

Cut about 1/2-inch off of top of garlic. Cut the roots so that the garlic will sit flat. Remove the papery skin from the garlic, but leave enough so that the cloves stay together. Put garlic into a small casserole dish or baking pan, drizzle olive oil over it, and cover with a lid or foil. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 45.

Remove garlic and let it cool until you can handle it. This should take about 15 minutes. As the garlic cools, spread the bulb open to allow for faster cooling.

Combine water, pineapple juice, teriyiaki sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. Stir occasionally until mixture boils then reduce heat until mixture is just simmering.

Squeeze the sides of the head of garlic until the pasty roasted garlic is squeezed out. Discard remaining skin and whisk to combine. Add remaining ingredients to the pan and stir.

Let mixture simmer over medium-low heat for 40-50 minutes or until sauce has reduced by about 1/2 and is thick and syrupy. Make sure it doesn’t boil over.

Let glaze sit until ready to use, stirring occasionally.

Traveling Dinner Party – Part 6 – Red Meat Course

A great deal of debate went into this next post. We have reached the 6th, 4th or 3rd Course of the night, depending upon how many courses total are to be served. This is the 1st Entrée in both the ten and eight course supper; the main Entrée in a six-course dinner party.  It is the larger of the Entrée courses; typically meat, fish or foul is served with one or two vegetable selections. (The exception to serving a vegetable with the 1st Entrée would be if the 2nd Entrée is a vegetable only course). Rather than offer up a few meat; a few fish and a few foul recipes only to repeat meat, fish or foul again later, I’ve decided to break things up.

For Fish or Sea Food Ideas; please refer to Traveling Dinner Party – Part 4 – Fish Course. Any of the dishes NOT served during the Fish Course can be offered here as the 1st Entrée. If fish was served; this Entrée could be scallops or shrimp or visa versa.

So as to not overwhelm everyone (especially me); I’ve decided to limit myself to meat dishes here. (Later postings will offer foul and vegetable Entrée selections). In days gone by, venison or game were included as part of the meat selection. If you have access to such wonderful meats (I’m jealous!), feel free to offer them.

That said, let’s get to cooking. . .

This first recipe was chosen simply because it’s done in a slow cooker. At some point in the evening, people may need to dart off to start the next course. By utilizing a slow cooker; a lot of the work will be done ahead of time. (You could also consider a stew such as French Beef and Red Wine Stew on Garlic Mashed Potatoes or a more casual dish such as African Craved Beef Stew with Fries and Crusty Bread).

Balsamic Roast Beef
1 boneless roast beef (chuck or round roast, about 3 to 4 lbs)
1 cup beef broth
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Place roast beef into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast beef and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)

Once roast beef has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and then ladle about ¼ – ½ cup of gravy over roast beef.

Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.

Suggested Vegetable: Olive-Oil Braised Red Onions with Bay Leaves


While this might not be the best selection, it does make a fabulous presentation. It’s just a matter of timing and distance traveled between courses.

Lavender Marinated Grilled Rib-Eye with Tarragon Butter
Lavender Marinated Rib-Eye
1 teaspoon dried lavender (William-Sonoma)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt plus a pinch
2/3 cup Champagne vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 or 2 Turns Freshly ground black pepper
2 (1-1/2-inch-thick) bone-in rib-eye steaks (about 2 lb.)

Before making the marinade; the Champagne Vinegar needs to infuse with the Lavender. To accomplish this, simply crush the lavender with a pinch of salt, then add it to the vinegar. Allow the vinegar to steep for at least 5 or 6 hours. Once steeped; the vinegar will keep in the refrigerator up to a few weeks.

To make the marinade, whisk the lavender infused vinegar with olive oil, thyme, remaining salt and a little fresh ground pepper.

Reserve some of the marinade for basting. Place steaks in a non-reactive baking dish or zip-lock bag. Pour remaining marinate over the steaks, refrigerate and let marinate over night.

Tarragon Butter
½ cup (1 stick) Butter, softened
1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic blanched, pressed or minced (3-4 cloves)
1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced

Cream butter in small bowl using a fork or electric mixer. Gradually blend in other ingredients.

Roll butter into a cylinder in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. Butter will keep for several days in the refrigerator or several weeks in the freezer.

When ready to use, remove from refrigerator or freezer. Slice as needed into thin rounds (2 or 3 per steak depending upon size). Set aside until ready to use; refrigerate or freeze remaining butter for another use.

When ready to grill, remove steaks from the refrigerator. Pat dry and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Allow steaks to come to room temperature before grilling. If salting, let steaks rest on the counter at least an hour for the salt to do its thing and the meat to re-absorb its own juices.

Build a fire in the grill for both direct and indirect grilling. Once coals are hot in the chimney starter, bank them to one side of the grill.

Grill the steaks over the hottest part of the grill, rotating them occasionally to create a crust, until well browned on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and sear the other side.

Move the steak to the cooler part of the grill, cover, and cook, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade, and grill for about 8 to 12 minutes for medium rare.

Remove steaks to carving board, top with butter and tent to keep warm. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

To serve, cut into strips, fan out on a serving platter and pour any juices and melted butter that may have accumulated over steaks.

Serving Suggestion: Baked potato topped with Tarragon Butter, if desired.


The Chimichurri Sauce can be made a head of time, and the Flat Iron Steaks take no time at all to grill up, making this well suited for the evening. Guests can gather around the grill, visit and sip a nice wine while the steaks cooked.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
2 Flat Iron Steak, about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds each
2 Tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning

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 minced garlic
3 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup olive oil

Remove steaks from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. Rub with steak seasoning and allow to come to room temperature.

Wash cilantro leaves and parsley leaves and dry with paper towel. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, finely chop the cilantro, parsley, and garlic. Transfer cilantro mixture to a bowl.
Add lemon juice, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Stir to combine.

Add olive oil and whisk until well-blended. Let Chimichurri sit at least 30 minutes for flavors to marry.

To grill steaks, build a nice medium-heat fire. Place steaks on the grill at an angle. After about 3-4 minutes, there should be nice grill marks. Turn steaks at a 45-degree angle and continue to grill for about 3 more minutes.

Turn steaks over, again at an angle, for about 3 minutes. Once marks are achieved, turn at a 45-degree angle and continue to grill for about 3 more minutes.

Remove steaks from grill, tent to keep warm and allow to rest for 5 minutes. To serve, cut into thin slices across the grain. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve.

Suggested Vegetable: Summer Squash Medley Sautéed with Garlic-Dill Weed


If this recipe looks familiar; it was featured as part of my Mother’s Day Menu 2 back in May. Steak Oscar is one of my all-time favorites simply because I adore Filet Mignon, grilled shrimp and asparagus – what’s not to love? Steak Oscar contains all these, and a lovely Tarragon Hollandaise sauce as an added bonus! Truth be told, for a moveable feast, this might be a bit much to pull off, but hey – it’s worth a look at least.

steak oscarSteak Oscar
Tarragon Hollandaise
3 egg yolks
Juice of 2 lemons
2 sticks butter, melted and slightly cooled
Dash of kosher salt
Cayenne pepper, as needed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

Add the egg yolks to a blender or a food processor and blend. Add the lemon juice and blend for several seconds. With the blender on, slowly drizzle in the melted butter. Turn off the blender, add in a little salt and cayenne and whip it again until combined. Add the chopped tarragon and pulse. Set aside.

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 2-inch-thick Filet Mignon (about 6 ounces each)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Generously salt and pepper both sides of the steaks.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When the butter melts, add the steaks to the skillet and sear on both sides until a really nice color, about 1 minute per side.

Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the steaks. Cook until medium rare, 4 to 5 minutes. Cover loosely in foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

NOTE: We plan to grill the steaks on the barbecue.  Since the menfolk will be doing the cooking, I wanted to give them a cooking method they were most familiar with – and my hubby is a grilling master.

Roasted Asparagus:
12 medium-sized asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Roast for 5 to 10 minutes.

2 tablespoons butter
12 jumbo Prawns(16- to 20-count), shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute until pink and dark golden brown. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Set aside.

To Assemble the Steak Oscar: Place each filet steak on a plate and place three to four asparagus spears on top. Pile on some sautéed shrimp and drizzle on some hollandaise Sprinkle on the parsley and serve.

Suggested Vegetable: Boiled Baby New Potatoes.


These are just a few suggestions if serving beef as an Entrée. If nothing else, I hope I have somehow inspired you to reach new heights.

If your theme is childhood memories, this would be a good time to grill up some burgers and fries.

No matter what, have fun! It’s a party, after all.


Happy cooking.  If you “like” what you see, please let me know. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.