Friday, August 14, 2009

Smothered Ribeyes

Several years ago I was the Executive Chef/Manager of a small upscale Southwest style Restaurant. The owner would tell me that a sure fire way to sell more of a special was with the menu title... Duh, we all know to make things sound better to sell better, but one of the key words for my demographic was "smothered" you know "Chili Rellanos stuffed with Chicken and Chihuahua Cheese Smothered in a Fire Roasted Tomitillo Sauce." An easier use was something like "Smothered Ribeye Steak... Lightly Seasoned, Grilled to Perfection and Smothered in Seasoned Chutney with Tomatoes, Onions, Fresh Bell Peppers and our Southwest Spice Blend." For some reason the owner thought that sounded better than "Ribeye Steaks that nobody wanted three days ago with a bunch of leftover vegetables dumped on top."

He could be uptight sometimes, since then every time I see smothered anything on a menu or especially as a "Special" I think of that and kind of laugh. Anyway, as funny as it can sound in the restaurant setting it is a reality that most of the time when we cook we have items left over that don't go into the dish and we have to use them somewhere or they will end up in the back of the fridge moldy and unrecognisable in a while. My family, like most of yours, has felt the current economic issues, so throwing away food that can be used just isn't something I want to do. I used some ingredients from past posts to top my steaks. Ribeyes are one of my favorite cuts of beef, they are tender and have a flavor that holds up well with other food on a plate. Also it is usually well marbled so it stays moist when cooked with dry heat.

The toppings on this Ribeye are:
1 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 Can of Tomatoes (the first half I used in the black beans)
1 Red Bell pepper Julienned (for the Julienne post a few days ago)
2 cloves Minced Garlic (made for a post yet to be published)
1 small Onion Julienned
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

I put the Olive Oil in a Sauce pan (not one of my favorite pans because I just cooked it all on the grill) then added the Garlic and Onions and cooked those until transparent. Then I added the Bell Pepper and Sauteed until it was all tender, moved the pan to a cooler spot on the grill and added the Tomatoes and Cayenne Pepper. I let this set on the grill top for about 20 minuted before I put the steaks on. Once the Steaks came off the grill I topped them with the... I will call it Southwest Tomato Chutney. Really it tasted bright and fresh and I can have the slightly smug feeling of being frugal.

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