Sunday, November 20, 2011

Espresso Crusted Ribeye with Bacon Balsamic Spinach

I have been wanting to experiment with espresso spice mixes ever since my trip to Florida.  It was there that I spent an hour in a gourmet spice shop that had all kinds of homemade spice mixes and the espresso steak rub smelled divine.  Determined to make my own, I created 4 different spice rub mixes and rubbed them on 4 small ribeye steaks.  Two of them were completely Paleo without sugar or grains and the other two had a bit of brown sugar to offset the bitterness of the espresso.  There were 2 obvious winners and I will share both with you.  I paired this rich steak with a simple sauteed spinach with balsamic and bacon.  The meal was fabulous and I assure you that I will be making this one again.  Which spice rub will you be making??

The rich espresso steak compliments the sweet and salty bacon balsamic greens

Sweet Espresso Steak Rub (Won 1st place):
2tbs ancho chile powder
1 1/2tsp instant espresso powder
1/4c packed brown sugar
1/8tsp cinnamon
1/8tsp allspice
1/2tsp ground pepper
1/2tsp salt

Peppery Paleo Espresso Steak Rub (Won 2nd place):
1tbs ancho chili powder
2tbs instant espresso powder
1/2tbs dry mustard
1/2tbs salt
1/2tbs pepper
1/2tbs coriander
1/2tbs oregano
1tsp chili powder

2-4 large rib-eye steaks, about 1" thick
10oz fresh spinach
2 slices bacon, chopped
2tsp minced garlic
2tsp olive oil
2tbs balsamic vinegar
sea salt to taste

1. Preheat your grill to medium high.  Mix your spice rub in a bowl until evenly combined. 
2. Rub the spice rub over your room temperature steaks (they cook better if they are not cold).  Grill until desired doneness, maybe 4-5 minutes per side for medium.
3. Meanwhile, make your spinach:  cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat.  When done, pour out oil leaving only about 1tbs in the pan.  Add a touch of olive oil if desired.  Add your garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Then add your spinach, cooking and stirring until the leaves begin to wilt.  Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until all greens are wilted and sauce is reduced.  Add salt to taste.  Serve with grilled steak.

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