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Grilled Steak with Kona Spice Rub & Portobello Mushroom Mashed Potatoes

May 5, 2009

I’ve been slacking on the cooking front a bit. Not even my fault. My parents have been luring me out of the house (and the kitchen) for for a trip to Iron Hill (Raspberry Wheat Beer. Just sayin’) on Tuesday and then over to a birthday party for my kind-of brother yesterday.

And man, when you’re eating Jay’s food (the man makes some damn good ribs), it gets just that much more intimidating to get back in the kitchen. Which sounds to me like the perfect excuse to go out for dinner tonight…we’ll see.

But Wednesday, I did cook. And in honor of Lost’s 100th episode, I kinda went all out, or mostly out, and rocked some frickin amazing steaks. Seriously, I’m just going to stay it. Coffee + sugar + gorgeous chunk of meat is a frickin awesome combo.

The sauce was easy – freshly ground kona coffee, instant espresso, Dijon mustard, freshly grated ginger, ancho chili powder, brown sugar, and a few other spices, all blended together. The mustard did a good job of making it nice and paste-like so I could smear it over the steaks and then stick them in the fridge while I worked out my mushroom and potato dilemma.

Crust stuff – together to form a coffee-spiced-sugary glob.
Chunk of meat you say? Yes, have some. And then let sit.

The portobella and potatoes were recent finds from the Clark Park market last weekend and I was trying desperately to find a way to use these portabellos before nature thwarted me and make them less fungus and more mold. This challenge was amplified because while the husband is ok with some diced mushrooms appearing in dishes, something this big and prominent makes him nervous — and I really didn’t have it in me to dice up these portabello. They were just too darn purdy.

Seemed like a good reason to put Bittman’s The Best Recipes in the World into circulation, since I had borrowed it from the local library a few weeks ago and had been using it as a pretty paperweight ever since. So, I flipped through it and they had a recipe called “mashed potatoes and mushrooms.”

I can honestly tell you, I didn’t even flip to the page or read the recipe. It was decided. Pan-fry the portabellos in salt, garlic, and olive oil. Make amazingly delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Serve mashed potatoes on top of portabellos. Add chives so this isn’t the blandest looking side dish ever.

Ok, the chives did little to fully alleviate the bland appearance (you get no picture because even the picture was pretty on the bland side), but it tasted great! The creamy potatoes went really well with the extra-meaty flavor of the portabellos, and the boy was all happiness munching it with his (perfectly – if I don’t mind sayin’) grilled steak.

Grilled Steak with Kona Spice Rub
& Portobello Mushroom Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4

1 steak per person (we really like Delmonicos for this)
olive oil

Spice Rub

1/2 cup (preferably) freshly ground kona coffee
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ancho chili powder
1 tblsp instant espresso
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
1 tblsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp ground coriander
Kosher salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Rub the steaks with a little bit of olive oil, and then apply 1 tbslp of the spice rub to each side of the steak. Cover and allow to sit for at least 1/2 hour.

When you’re ready to cook, remove from the fridge and let the steaks come back up to room temperature. Prepare pan or grill – cooking time will vary depending on thickness and cut of steak. I’ve learned the hard way that when you sear these guys (either on the grill or pan-seared), there will be smoke. The steaks aren’t burning – it is just smoke from the spices in the rub.

Portobello Mushroom Mashed Potatoes

4
large potatoes
4 medium portabello mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned
1/2 tblsp olive oil
1/2 cup marscapone
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter, room temperature and cut into small pieces
4 garlic cloves, sliced
salt to taste


Set pot with water to boil (enough to cover slices of potatoes). Peel and slice potatoes and add to water as it’s starting to boil. Boil potatoes until they are tender and easily broken in half with a fork.

While potatoes are boiling, add 1/2 tablespoon to a medium-size saute pan over medium-heat. Add sliced garlic and saute until aroma releases (30-45 seconds), then add 1-2 portabellos at a time, cap-side down without crowding pan. Sprinkle with salt, and flip to fry other side. Continue until all caps are down, remove pan from heat, and place portabellos to the side. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Once potatoes are boiled, strain, and using mixer, whip in heavy cream. Add heavy cream slowly and adjust amount to keep the potatoes lumpy (they’ll get a lot smoother as you add the marscapone and softened butter). Slowly add marscapone, butter, and sauted garlic (from the saute pan). Continue to mix, until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Put mushroom on the plate, cap-side down, and scoop potatoes onto the cap. Serve with steak.

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