A Perky Steak and a Sexy Wine

steak with a coffee spice rubSince I regaled you with my Healdsburg trip last week, I thought it only right that I share a recipe to go with one the wines we purchased on our mini-vacation.

I chose Wilson Winery’s “Carl’s Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley.” It’s such a lovely, well-balanced Zin — actually, quite a seducer with its smoky, white pepper nose and coffee, chocolate, and plums on the palate. Mmmm. I wanted to make a dinner that would complement this Casanova to the utmost, and because of its lovely tannins and inky fruit, I knew a steak would do nicely.

But not just any ol’ steak. I wanted something that would help bring out all of those wonderfully rich flavors in the glass, something that could be just as provocative on the plate.

Steak with a Coffee Spice Rub

serves 2
1 ribeye steak, cut into two equal pieces
1/2 cup freshly ground coffee (I used a light roast Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
Pinch of salt

Combine coffee and spices. About an hour before cooking, rub the coffee mixture over the steaks, then toss everything in a sealed bag for a nice, even coating. Keep in the fridge until ready to cook.

Preheat a cast iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle the griddle with grape seed oil and carefully lay down the steaks. Cover with a large lid and cook for 3-5 minutes, then turn over with a pair of tongs. Lower the heat, replace the lid, and cook another 3-5 minutes, until medium rare.
Serve with sweet potato fries that have been cooked just long enough to brown at the ends, creating a caramel crisp edge.

Steak Over Arugula

steak-on-arugulaA candlelit dinner with soft music, just the two of you… you want to be at the table, enjoying your significant other’s loving gaze, not sweating in the kitchen. I hear you. I’m the same way.

When you have a quick dish in which the flavors meld into each other in a pleasing way, it only adds to the ambience of the evening. When you find a wine that compliments everything to the point that those candle flames glow a little brighter – well, you know you’ve got a winner.

I poured a Sangiovese from Montoliva Vineyard and Winery to go with dinner, the 2008 Estate Reserve Sangiovese to be exact. It accentuated the peppery flavors of the arugula and was perfect with the steak and parmesan and was even a good compliment for the second green thing on the plate – roasted broccoli with Cypress Grove’s Purple Haze chevre. The pairing ended up being a smack-your-lips delicious combination and would be a lovely addition to any Valentine’s Day plans. Plus, the meal is light enough, it will leave you room for a dessert of your choice.

Steak Over Arugula with Roasted Broccoli

serves 2
1 New York steak
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
2 handfuls of arugula
a few shavings of Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
4 oz chevre

Preheat griddle over high heat.
Pat salt and pepper into both sides of the steak. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the griddle and place steak onto the griddle. Cook for about two minutes. Flip steak over, turn down heat, and cover with a lid, cooking for another four to six minutes, until an indentation left by a finger slowly bounces back. (Medium rare.) Take off heat and let rest for a couple of minutes.

While steak is cooking, scatter broccoli on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and put under the broiler until florets begin to brown. Scatter with the chevre, crumbling it as you go. Return to the broiler for a couple more minutes, until the cheese begins to brown.

Scatter arugula on two plates and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grind some black pepper on top. Slice steak into thin strips and lay on top of the greens. Scatter Parmesan on top. Side with the roasted broccoli/chevre combination and serve right away.

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