Monday, June 14, 2010

Grilled Polenta and Spicy Ribeye

Before I get to the rest of my post, I am looking for a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake recipe for this if you've got a great one, let me know!! Anyway....

We really don't eat a lot of steak in my family. On Christmas, we have steak fondue, and occasionally during the summer, the grill sizzles with some sirloin. I, however, love steak and when my parents were out of town, I made some and it was a hit for all my best girlfriends: me, myself and I. We all loved it, and wanted to share it with the parents.
Tonight, the recipe (originally from Cooking Light) incorporated some things I've never used before, and it was a wonderful combination that I will absolutely try again.

You can tell from this picture that the flavors are just so layered. Here is the polenta, steak, avocado and queso fresco. The steak is flavorful and juicy; the polenta is crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle; the queso was salty and added a great texture; the avocado was creamy, mild, and a perfect addition; the lime juice and cilantro added a fresh burst to tie it all together. 

I'm sorry, vegetarians, because this one isn't for you... but the steak rub and the polenta could probably be transferred to another recipe! Anyway, here goes.
What ya need:
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-pound steak (we used ribeye) trimmed
1 (18-ounce) tube of polenta, cut into 8 slices-- I would cut the polenta even smaller, if I did this again
1 ripe peeled avocado, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
1/2 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
Lime wedges for garnish

What ya do:
1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, chili powder, and pepper; rub evenly over both sides of steak. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan and let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
2. While steak rests, brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil over both sides of polenta slices; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add polenta to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Arrange polenta slices on each of 4 plates; divide avocado evenly among servings. Top each serving with about 3 ounces steak, 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, 2 tablespoons queso fresco, and 2 tablespoons salsa. Serve with lime wedges.

Everyone devoured this. It was actually very easy too, and all the cooking occurs in one pan. You can't beat that!It would probably be absolutely delicious on the outdoor grill, but Virginia summer nights are temperamental, and well, we had a downpour here. Well, that's all I've got tonight. Take care and happy eats!


Drick said...

you just made mu night - the layer of flavors are out of sight .. love this one, it's a keeper

GreenGirl said...

I don't have a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake recipe, I made few days ago a chocolate-peanut butter cake, maybe it will give you an idea
Your steak looks great

FrenchPressMemo said...

Lovely post. Here's my 2 cents- make your polenta. It is not hard - at all. Make it, set in a pan to cool, cut it to desired sizes and grill it up. I personally have a polenta addiction- I am Romanian and grew up on polenta and I am aware of the many variations you can create when you make your own-you can boil it in chicken stock or a water thinned milk; you can add minced garlic, onions, or shallots- or all; you can complement the flavors with bay leafs, thyme, or red pepper flakes. So many options! Thanks for sharing!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I have very limited experience with polenta but if I were to make it, grilled would definitely be near the top of my list. Oooh, and with steak. Solid pairing indeed :)

Monet said...

I'm a bit wary of polenta...I don't know why because I love how it tastes, I just have never had a good experience it making it at home. I'm inspired to try again though!

Alex said...

Well aren't you just little miss popular.

Cooking with Kait said...

This looks wonderful. What a great combination of flavors and textures.

Magic of Spice said...

Such wonderful flavors...good stuff!