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Steak with roasted garlic gorgonzola butter and baked onion rings
January 9, 2010, 8:12 am
Filed under: Cook, Eat | Tags: , , , , , ,

Update: I made dinner and let’s just say I’m never making baked onion rings again. They lacked the necessary moisture and crunch that I’ve come to associate with onion rings. The compound butter for the steak turned out to be absolutely delish, and I’m so glad I have leftovers to spread on toast or mash into potatoes another day. End update 9:11 pm.

I couldn’t sleep today. I passed out around 10 pm and woke up at 4, unable to sleep another wink. So I started thinking about what I would make for dinner tonight, and began taking mental inventory of ingredients I had on hand: steak and gorgonzola cheese. I’ve had a couple steaks sitting in my freezer for a few weeks now, and I also have some leftover gorgonzola from a salad I made over Thanksgiving, which has been surprisingly robust and remains unmoldy to this day. (I take care to wrap all my cheese in a paper towel, and change out the towel every week.) I am desperate to use both ingredients, so I typed “steak gorgonzola” into the Epicurious search box on my G1 and this recipe for Rib-Eye Steaks with Gorgonzola Butter and Crispy Sweet Onion Rings popped up. Brilliant! Like my mother, I always have garlic and onions on hand; I don’t think any proper Korean goes without. As such, I already have all the ingredients (or passable substitutes) except for the buttermilk, and that can be remedied easily.

But then I read that the onion rings need to be deep fried, and that’s just not going to happen in my tiny, poorly ventilated Manhattan apartment where the smoke alarm goes off when I so much as use the toaster. While I have made it a habit to set up a box fan blowing directly up into the smoke alarm whenever I cook, I have a feeling that deep frying might set off the alarm no matter what, and while I prefer fried onion rings, I really don’t want to have to open the windows and the doors and fan frantically with the outside temperature running at a nippy 20 degrees.

I like the idea of using buttermilk batter instead of the usual egg, so after some online sleuthing, I found that the most well-reviewed buttermilk baked onion ring recipes called for a breading of crushed potato chips or saltines. I don’t have any chips right now, but I do have Saltines and bread crumbs, so here is my Steak with Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter and Baked Onion Rings recipe, adapted from the Epicurious, Food Network, and Cooking for Engineers recipes.

Steak with Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter and Baked Onion Rings (Serves two)

Ingredients

Roasted garlic gorgonzola butter
* 1 head of garlic, top 3/4 inch cut off to expose cloves
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 ounce crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Baked onion rings
* 1/2 cup buttermilk – or use an egg, beaten – the buttermilk didn’t do so well
* 1  large onion
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs
* 1/2 cup crushed Saltines – do this in a food processor; the larger crumbs won’t stick
* 1/2 cup all purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 can cooking spray

Steaks
* 2 8-10 ounce steaks
* 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparation

For roasted garlic gorgonzola butter (can be made up to 2 days ahead; keep chilled):
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place garlic on piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil. Enclose garlic in foil. Bake until garlic is very soft, about 1 hour. Cool. Squeeze garlic cloves out from papery skins into medium bowl; mash garlic with fork. Mix in butter and gorgonzola cheese. Season with touch of salt and pepper. Transfer gorgonzola butter to sheet of plastic wrap. Using plastic wrap as aid, form butter into 1 1/4-inch-diameter log, wrapping plastic tightly around butter. Chill until firm.  When ready to serve the steaks, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and place one pat on each steak. (Reserve leftover butter for another use – will be great on potatoes or with bread.)

For baked onion rings:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel onions and cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Separate into rings, reserving ends for another use. Place flour into a large bowl. Take onion rings and toss to coat. Pour the buttermilk into another bowl. Shake excess flour off onion rings and add them to the buttermilk bowl with, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper; toss to coat. Empty the flour bowl, and crush Saltines over the former flour bowl and mix in with the bread crumbs. Line baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Take onion rings one by one, shaking off excess buttermilk batter and dipping in Saltine/crumb mixture to coat completely, and set each ring on the baking sheet. Place baking sheet in oven at 425°F for 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes.

For steaks:
Allow steaks to come to room temperature half an hour prior to cooking. Brush steaks with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high and sear steaks, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet into broiler, about 8 minutes for medium rare. Serve with garlic gorgonzola butter and baked onion rings something else.

This recipe took me 2 full hours to think/write out. It was good, but I’ll skip the onion rings and go with mashed potatoes next time.

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