Ray’s the Steaks is my favorite steak place in the D.C. area. When I was last there, I had the Brazilian Strip steak with spicy piranha sauce and roasted wild mushrooms with truffle oil, porcini-fresh herb puree and golden sherry. Recipe #4 is an in-home adaptation of Ray’s.
Pan Seared Ribeye:Alton Brown + Truffled Mushrooms (me) + Chimichurri: Simply Recipes
1 boneless rib eye steak, 1 1/2-inch thick
Canola oil to coat [used olive oil]
Kosher salt and ground black pepper [used Murray River sea salt]
Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature.
While doing this, start the mushrooms:
2 packets of gourmet mushroom blend
2 tsp truffle salt [did not have any sherry, fresh herbs or porcini]
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
Heat pan on medium, then put in the olive oil. Once the olive oil is warm, put in the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft. Put in the mushrooms, sprinkle with the truffle salt and let it cook on low heat.
Make the chimichurri while the oven continues to heat.
1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
3-4 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves (can sub 2 teaspoons dried oregano) [subbed cilantro]
2 Tbsp scallions [added this because I had scallions and wanted to experiment]
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar [used red]
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes [doubled this]
Finely chop the parsley, scallions, cilantro, and garlic (or process in a food processor several pulses). Place in a small bowl. Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings.
Back to Alton…when oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. [I forgot to do this and only had it on medium, because I was running around squawking and trying not to get meat juice on the olive oil bottle]. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste. Immediately place steak in the middle of hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving.
Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)
Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto plate. While the steak is resting, prep a quick red wine vinaigrette over romaine lettuce for a side salad.
Deliciousness: Why did I wait seven years to cook steak this way? I dig it and can’t wait to cook it again. The mushrooms turned out great too. The truffle salt was definitely worth the impulse buy! I am now obsessed with chimichurri and want to create more variations with red onion, capers, and oregano. Chimichurri is the savior for home cooks who don’t want to waste cilantro and parsley.
Ease of Preparation: The whole meal took about an episode of the Office to complete (prepping of ingredients, then the process for each of the four components). It helps to have a fellow cook to help you sprinkle the seasoning on the steak and time the 30-second and 2-minute intervals.
Leftover Staying Power: Projected five stars, but we ate it all, so I will not know until I make a double batch.
Adobo: Burnt Lumpia
(Adobo adapted from March 2007 Sunset Magazine Easy Chicken Adobo recipe + the Burnt Lumpia commenters)
1 Tbsp olive oil [did not have achuete oil]
1 tsp smoked paprika
8 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
6 cloves garlic, minced [added one more…I love garlic]
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns [added too many by mistake]
2 bay leaves
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and brown the other side, another 5 minutes.
Remove the browned chicken from the saute pan and place in a large bowl. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the drippings from the saute pan and return to low heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly brown and fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the soy and vinegar, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Return the chicken to the pan, along with any accumulated juices from the bowl, and bring to a gentle simmer. After the liquid reaches a simmer, cover the saute pan and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium, cooking for 15 minutes more or until sauce thickens to your liking. While the chicken cooks, occasionally stir and spoon sauce over the chicken. Remove the bay leaves and serve [with coconut cauliflower rice]. Drizzle chicken and rice with sauce.
1 head cauliflower, leaves and large stem removed, cut into chunks
1/3 cup (heaping) unsweetened coconut flakes [omitted]
1/2 Tbs fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp good-quality ground ginger [used the fresh]
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) [used 1 tsp]
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 cup roughly chopped scallions [used parsley instead, the scallions at the store were wilted]
2 tsp coconut oil (probably optional) [used this instead of coconut flakes]
Salt to taste
Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice. Set aside and wipe out food processor bowl.Put all remaining ingredients in the food processor. Blend until very finely chopped. [Boyfriend cut the cilantro and parsley himself]. Combine the mixture with the cauliflower. [Instead of cooking in the microwave, we pan-fried it with some of the chicken drippings. We accidentally burned it a little, hence the much browner color on the final plate.]
Deliciousness: 5 stars. This hit the spot and reminded me that I need to cook other Filipino foods with my mom and aunt (pancit palabok, pancit canton, pancit bihon, chicken sotanghon, lumpia, empanadas, embutido, leche flan etc.) so I can learn their cooking secrets.
Ease of Preparation: 3 stars. There is a lot of chopping and processing involved, so I am very grateful to my boyfriend for helping out with that. Even with the combined powers of two people, this took us over an hour to make. I used my Rachael Ray pan and my Le Creuset dutch oven, and I would have preferred to use a much wider pan for one batch.
Leftover Staying Power: 3.5 stars. I took some to school two days later, and the cauliflower rice didn’t hold up as well as I thought it would.
Ingredients & Modifications
- For the dressing:
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice [used lemon juice instead]
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar [omitted]
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more if desired [used more]
- For the salad:
- 1/2 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (or pre-washed) [used spinach instead]
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin bite-sized strips [used yellow pepper instead]
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded [omitted]
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced [used zucchini instead]
- 2 scallions, finely chopped [used onion instead]
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Prepare sauce. Mix into other ingredients. Eat.
Deliciousness: Five stars. Whole Foods had cooked shrimp on sale last week, and it was enormous and chompable. I liked the zing from the fish sauce and red pepper.
Ease of Preparation: Doable within one episode of Big Bang Theory. The chopping is the most time-consuming part; there was no waiting time because I put the shrimp & cilantro into the sauce while I chopped the veggies.
Leftover Staying Power: I took some to school for lunch the next day, and it held up quite nicely!
I made recipe #1 for a math party that I attended today. The party was a potluck, and the host asked guests to bring salad, dessert, or drinks. I decided to combine the dessert and salad by bringing this fruit salad from Epicurious.
2 cups diced peeled fresh pineapple
1 cup diced seeded peeled honeydew melon
1 cup diced peeled pitted mango
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh cilantro or mint
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients except sesame seeds in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Divide fruit mixture among wineglasses and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
I bought precut honeydew and pineapple to save time. I used mint instead of cilantro and cut the fruit very small, as reviewers recommended. I didn’t include sesame seeds. I forgot to buy limes, so I ended up using two tablespoons of pisco sour.
I also had thought I could use an orange bell pepper that I had in the fridge, but it was wrinkly, so I used a cara cara orange.
Deliciousness: 4 stars. The mangoes weren’t ripe, and I would have preferred the lime juice and a little texture from the bell pepper. I’m glad I didn’t use cilantro though–that would have been overpowering.
Ease of Preparation: Very quick–I finished it within two weddings of an episode of Four Weddings (~20 minutes).
The Final Product