Friday, September 24, 2010

Cowboy Steak with Coffee and Chili Rub

We don't drink coffee. We don't have a coffee maker in our house. I only go to Starbucks if I'm at an airport (mmm, oatmeal) or meeting friends who drink coffee.

I don't have a problem with coffee--I just don't like it.  I will be honest--part of me is scared of becoming addicted to caffeine.  Growing up, my dad required 2 cups of coffee each morning--and I mean required.  To this day, if he's a super grumpy bear in the morning, one of us reminds him to drink his "medicine." 

Naturally, we don't keep any coffee in the house--why would we?  Sure, there have been times where I'm tempted to buy it for a recipe (Cooking Light's "mocha fudge brownies", for example) but my thrifty side always talks the foodie side of me out of it...or it did, until yesterday.

When life is going as planned, I sit down for an hour and plan my meals for the next 2 weeks.  As I flipped through Ellie's cookbook, I noticed a recipe that used one of my favorite words in the title: RUB.  Now, I love to cook--and when I have nothing on my agenda, I'll happily spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinners and desserts for anyone/everyone.  However, I'm a sucker for quick and easy recipes because 85% of the time, dinner needs to be on the table ASAP.  Due to this, my go-to quick homemade recipes are rubs.  Dump a couple of spices in a bowl, rub it on some meat, slap it on the grill--and DONE!  When I came across this recipe in Ellie's The Food You Crave, I was instantly intrigued-and apprehensive.  Let's look at the title: COWBOY STEAK WITH COFFEE AND CHILI RUB--and I'll share my thoughts with you.

         *Cowboy: I live in Texas now--why not?
         *Steak: I like steak!
         *Coffee: hmm...husband hates coffee...this could be a deal breaker
         *Chili: YUM. We love ALL FORMS of chili...and this recipe calls for Ancho Chili Powder, which I have in my cupboard and only use for one specific recipe...
        *Rub: quick and easy!

The ancho chili powder is what sold me--but I still had reservations about the coffee. I went onto Food Network's website and read a few of the reviews for this recipe.  It either received raves or "yuck, the coffee was way strong."  Not helpful.  Several mentioned that they cut the coffee in half based on previous reviews (that I wasn't motivated enough to read) that's what I decided to do.

Here's how my night went:
         *5:15--mix rub, cut fat off steak

         *5:20--grill steak
                     make mashed potatoes

         *5:45--eat dinner

Here's the beauty of this recipe--it was ready in 15 minutes; we were waiting on the mashed potatoes (also an Ellie recipe) before we sat down.  I was pleased to see that within 25 minutes I could have my entire dinner on the table: steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, cantaloupe (and garlic bread for the husband).  Not bad!

Was this the best steak I've ever had in my life? No. It was good--but I've had better.  However, as far as "bang for your buck" is concerned--I mean, it took 15 minutes from start to finish--it was pretty darn good.

         *Quick and easy!
         *inexpensive ingredients (minus steak)
         *non-perishable ingredients--should all be in pantry
         *minimal clean up
         *plenty of time to make the rest of dinner while it's grilling

         *steak doesn't reheat well the next day
         *steak is more expensive than chicken

  • We grilled rather than cook on the stovetop
  • I used coffee instead of espresso, and only half the amount (I wasn't willing to shell out the money for espresso, seeing as it's going to sit in my pantry for a while)
  • I don't know my steaks. I bought what was on sale at the grocery store that had sirloin in the title--because I know sirloin is a leaner cut of meat--but perhaps my overall calorie count is slightly higher. 
  • Several Food Network reviewers recommended adding garlic salt/garlic powder to the rub, so we tried it with half of the rub.  We preferred the original recipe, even though we love garlic.

Cowboy Steak with Coffee and Chili Rub
Ellie Krieger All rights reserved

Prep Time:
  5 min
Inactive Prep Time:
  5 min
Cook Time:
  14 min
  4 servings


    * 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder, or other chili powder
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons fine ground espresso coffee
    * 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
    * 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 1/4 pound shoulder center steak (Ranch Steak), or top sirloin, about 1 1/4-inch thick


Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat it over medium-high heat. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the rub and coat the steak well on both sides. Cook steak for 14 minutes, turning once, for medium to medium-rare. Allow steak to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds and looks delicious! I love meals that come together quickly but still look impressive. And I love the idea of your blog! I have so many cookbooks, too, and you're inspiring me to start using all of them! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Always fun to find fellow cooks on the web! =)