Monday, June 18, 2012

Dinner Fit For a King

Ok, so maybe my husband isn't a real King but that doesn't mean he can't eat like one!  Yesterday for Father's Day I whipped up some amazingly delicious eats.  It was so much fun!  I haven't really cooked like that for so long because of how poorly I felt from little P-Nut.  But thankfully I have been back to my old self and I was chomping at the bit to get back in the kitchen.  What better occasion than Father's Day to spoil my husband and do some serious cooking!

I started off the day with breakfast in bed.  Sweet-spiced french toast was the perfect start to the day.  Accompanying the traditional toast batter of eggs and milk was cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, sugar and even some maple syrup.  For an added brightness of flavor I zested some orange straight into the batter.  It was a wonderful combination.  Baby Boy also got in on the cooking action helping me scoop out the spices and dumping them into the bowl.  My first time having him help me in the kitchen.  It was so much fun and it made it even more special for Dad that his son helped make breakfast too!

Breakfast was nice and all but the real star of the day was dinner.  I think you know this about me already, I am obsessed with the FoodNetwork.  I have been for years and years.  Watching cooking shows has been a pastime of mine since I was 20 years old.  Although I have many favorite chefs I would have to say my all time favorite is Giada De Laurentiis.  Her recipes are so simple, packed with flavor and healthy for you.  I have made more of her recipes than any other celebrity chef and I've even entertained with a number of her recipes.  I just love her!  So, let's get cooking!

Last night I made: Giada's Grilled Rib Eye with Tomato and Poblano Chili Sauce and my own Grilled Romaine Salad with a Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing.  For a starch we had beef rice from Rice-a-Roni because it is yummy, cheap and easy.

Grilled Rib Eye with Tomato and Poblano Chili Sauce



  • 2 large poblano chiles (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 8-ounce rib eye steaks (each about 1-inch thick)
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing


For the steaks: In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch, salt and pepper to blend evenly. Rub a generous 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoning mixture over each side of each steak to coat. Arrange the steaks on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. (This was a new technique for me.  I've never put cornstarch on top of a steak before grilling it.  It really did help to get a great crust!)

For the sauce: Place the chiles directly over a gas flame or place on a grill until blackened on all sides and softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Place the roasted chiles in a bowl. Cover and let them steam, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Peel the chiles. Cut off the stems, cut the chiles lengthwise in half and scrape out any seeds. Roughly chop the chiles.

Combine the oregano, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper in a mortar. Grind with a pestle to a coarse powder.  (I've been dying to use my mortar and pestle.  This used to be my grandma's so it was fun to get to use it!)

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the herb mixture and stir until fragrant and the oil is bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and the chopped poblanos.

Bring to a simmer, whisking to blend. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a ridged grill pan (preferably cast iron) over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Brush the pan with oil. Cook the steaks until the bottom is crusty, about 5 minutes. Flip the steaks over and cook again until the bottom is crusty, but the center is still medium-rare, about 4 minutes longer.

Transfer the steaks to a platter or individual plates. Let stand 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce alongside.

Seriously.  Make this TONIGHT!!!  The steak has a lovely crust but is still super juicy inside and the tomatoes offer a nice warmth of flavor with the poblanos giving a nice kick of spice. {insert Homer Simpson's drooling sound}   

Grilled Romaine Salad with a Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing 

Cut the romaine heart in half, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on the grill for about 2 minute per side.  You want to get nice charred grill marks.  That is goodness, do not be afraid!
For the dressing you will need:
Extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, course ground dijon mustard, salt and pepper

There isn't an exact recipe on this one.  I started with 1 tablespoon of mustard, 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar, and I whisked in the olive oil until I was pleased with the consistency.  Then add salt and pepper to taste.  I did end up adding a few more dashes of vinegar to mine.

We put grape tomatoes and some peppered bacon bits on our salad.  This was also a gigantic portion and in hindsight we probably could have shared one.  But it was Father's Day and I was making "Big Man Food!"

So there you have it!  I'm back people.  :) 

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