Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Espresso Steaks

So. I've been away...not from my home really...but from my kitchen a lot lately, and for that I am sorry, dear readers. To make it up to you, I will be posting a few things this week and know for certain that my co-bloggers will be doing the same.

Today we're going to talk about a meal that is on the sweeter side, at least by my palate's leanings, but that may be because I combined these two items together. Feel free to separate them and pair with different partners, like the sweet potatoes with chicken (should've done that!) or the steaks with regular red potatoes. Anyway, for starters, you want to slice your sweet potatoes (2 large potatoes makes plenty), almost as if you were making little rounds. Not too thin though because they need to not fall apart during cooking. Then you want to coat them with olive oil, cinnamon and chopped shallots, about say 1/2 cup, and throw it all in a pyrex dish. Bake that at 350, and check on them to shift the potato slices around, for close to 35-45 minutes. Though if they start to get mushy, pull them out!

Now at the same time you want to create the rub for your steaks, speaking of which, a thinner cut here without a bone is better so look for the round cuts of tenderloin. Best part, those are typically the less expensive cuts and this rub makes them seem a lot more 'decadent' than they really are. So what you want to do is mix ground black pepper (1 tsp at the most), 2 tbsp brown sugar and 3 tbsp of ground espresso. Yes, you can use coffee if the espresso fairy hasn't visited your kitchen lately, but it does lose a little flavor. Simply dredge the steaks in the mixture until they are pretty well-coated on both sides and let those sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes so the rub sticks.

Once the potatoes are far enough along, you want to get a pan ready to sear these steaks - I used my cast iron skillet. Get that extremely hot and then pour in a little olive oil and toss those steaks in. You really want the middle pink and the outside charred, so you need to keep a close eye on these. It should take about 5-6 minutes per side, maybe less. Walk away for five minutes and I promise you'll lose the pink since they are thin cuts. While that is sizzling away, get those potatoes out of the oven and heat up a smaller teflon frying pan and then dump the potatoes into the pan with whatever oil is left in the pyrex dish. This sort of crisps the potatoes just a little bit...but if you think it is overkill, skip it!

PS- we totally had a salad with this and I should've added it the plate above for color contrast. Oh well.

- Melissa

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