Steak with Tomato Relish over Polenta


I’m not sure what it is, but I have a new found respect for tomatoes.  I still don’t like when they burst in your mouth, but I’ll admit there is a place in this world for them outside of ketchup and marinara sauce.  As a result I’ve been adding tomatoes to recipes I never would have before, and this recipe is all new.  Who knew that red meat and tomatoes had such a natural affinity?  I try not to eat red meat a lot, but when I do this one is my new found favorite.

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Steak with Tomato Relish over Polenta

For Polenta:
1 tbs evoo
2 tbs vegan butter
1 garlic clove
5 c chicken broth
3/4 c corn meal
salt and pepper

For Steak with Tomato Relish:
1.5 lb flank or skirt steak
1 pint grapes tomatoes
1/2 c shallot
1 garlic
2 scallions
1 tbs worcestershire sauce
1/2 c red wine
salt and pepper

For the polenta heat olive oil and vegan butter in a large pot.  Once warm add garlic, let cook for 1 minute then add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Slowly whisk in corn meal, let cook for 40 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and add water to keep a somewhat loose consistency.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Season steaks with salt and pepper then add to skillet.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove to cutting board, cover with foil to keep warm.  In the same skillet add grape tomatoes, shallot, garlic, scallions, salt, and pepper to taste; let cook for 2 minutes.  Add worcestershire sauce and red wine, cover with lid and cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove lid and using the back of wooden spoon burst all tomatoes and cook for an additional 2 minutes then remove from heat.

Slice steak thin then serve over polenta and top with tomato relish.


Coffee Rubbed Strip Steak


When most people think of cooking in the summer they think of grilling, but you don’t need a grill to make great steaks.  With just a simple frying pan you can achieve a great crust just like you would from a grill, and who doesn’t have a frying pan?  Just add a burst of flavor like this coffee rub to add some great flavor and the rest is simple, 3 minutes per side and a little rest before slicing.  Sound easy?  It is.

Food 048

Coffee Rubbed Strip Steak
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs ground espresso
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ginger
2-1/2 lb strip steaks

In a small jar add chili powder, ground espresso, brown sugar, oregano, cocoa powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and ginger.  Close jar and shake to combine.

Season strip steaks with 1 tsp seasoning each, set the rest aside for later use, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Preheat olive oil in a grill pan over medium high heat.  Grill steaks for 3 minutes per side then remove from heat to cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Take Two on Fajitas


i hate leftovers.  no let me rephrase that, i hate eating the same thing twice in a row.  if i have leftover chicken i’ll make quesadillas, chicken pot pie, soup, etc.  i will not eat the chicken in the same way i did the first time.  chicken is the easiest protein to change into a different dish.  but what do you do with steak?  last night i made steak sandwiches on a baguette roll with a blue cheese, sour cream, and maynnaise spread (another ina garten recipe).  that was pretty good, but my favorite thing to do with left over steak is to make steak faijita pasta.  it’s a recipe that i refer to as my rachael ray special because i combined two of my favorites (steak and faijitas) like she commonly does (buffalo chicken calzones anyone?).  all favorites aren’t primed to be put together, like bacon and peanut butter, but most are worth a try.

steak fajita pasta

Steak Faijita Pasta
1 serving of pasta, recommended farfalle (bow tie)
1 serving of leftover steak, sliced thin into bite size pieces
1 tbs oil
1/4 c green bell pepper, sliced
2 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c onion, sliced
1/4 c corn
a few shakes of taco seasoning
reserved pasta water
1/4 c monterray jack cheese

cook the pasta according to package instructions.  while the pasta cooking heat the oil in a saute pan (choose one big enough for all the veggies and pasta combined).  once the oil starts to smoke/ripple add the peppers, mushrooms and onions and season the veggies with salt and pepper.  once the veggies have started to soften, 5 minutes, add the corn then add the taco seasoning and a laddle full of the pasta water.  once the pasta has finished cooking, add the pasta to the veggies and toss together.  finally top the pasta with some monterray jack cheese.


  • most pasta works, but lean towards ones that say “rigate” on the box.  this means it has lines that will allow the sauce to stick to the pasta.  or in my case i just love farfalle, so that’s what i used.
  • any colored sweet pepper would work.  they give slightly different flavors (red being the most sweet).
  • the directions call for pasta water because, once the pasta starts to cook it releases starches.  we’re using those same starches to thicken the pasta sauce. so don’t use tap water!