Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bistecca Fiorentina a la Vicki

Traditionally, Bistecca Fiorentina is made with porterhouse or T-bone steaks.  But recently, I had a version of Bistecca Fiorentina at a restaurant on the UWS called Celeste (which incidentally, is a great restaurant - aside from the cash only policy) made with a seared well-marbled ribeye over arugula.  Now I typically enjoy NY strips (aka shell steak) more than ribeyes and what do you know - I just happened to have two beautiful bone-in NY strips sitting in the freezer.  Sometimes life is good.  And while I don't have a grill to cook my steaks, I have a nice cast iron skillet, which I am convinced might very well be better.

I love a nice medium-rare steak.  I mean, I love a good steak in general, but for me medium-rare is totally the way to go.  When I was at college I worked at a steakhouse and nothing bothered me more than when people would order a beautiful steak and then ruin it by cooking it well-done.  Well-done?!?!  Why bother paying good money for a piece of gnarled shoe leather?  But that's just me.  My mother, like most Asians, is a lover of all meats cooked to at least medium-well.  Oh well.  What can you do?  At least I talked her down from ordering her steaks well-done to medium-well.

In a concession to healthy-eating, which isn't much of a sacrifice since I really do love a good arugula salad, I have started serving steak salads instead of big hunks of meat with potatoes, or another starch.  I like to at least pretend that way that I am eating healthy.  It's just a salad, right?  When I am in the mood for steak salad, I generally make Steak with Parmesan Butter, Balsamic Glaze, and Arugula.  It is a recipe that I pulled from Bon Appetit a few years ago and genuinely enjoy, but this time I wasn't in the mood for the sweet balsamic glaze.  And in a nod to being healthy, I decided to forgo the Parmesan butter as well.  But, since I am nice, I will post both recipes and you can decide which recipe to try!  My recipe is a little simpler and lighter, the other is sweeter and a bit more complex.  Take your pick!
Recipes after the jump!

Bistecca Fiorentina a la Vicki

2 bone-in NY strip steaks, about 1 1/2 inch thick
1 tsp vegetable oil
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 1/2 cups baby arugula
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
pinch grey sea salt for garnish
1 tbsp shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano 

Take steaks from fridge, rinse, and pat dry.  Allow to come to room temperature, about 25 minutes.  Sprinkle both sides of steak heavily with salt and pepper.  Place cast iron pan over high heat.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Allow steaks to sit 5 more minutes.  Drizzle steaks with vegetable oil.  Once pan is smoking hot, add steaks to pan.  Sear steaks for 3 minutes on each side to develop a nice crust on the steaks.  Place cast iron pans with steaks inside in the oven to finish.  Cook in the oven 5 minutes for medium-rare.  Remove steaks from pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Using a sharp knife. slice steak off the bone, remove any fat around the outside, and then slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.  In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, evoo, lemon juice and salt to taste.  Toss with arugula.  Mound 1/2 of the arugula on each of two large plates.  Top with sliced steak, shavings of Parm-Reg, and grey sea salt.  Serve.

Steak with Parmesan Butter, Balsamic Glaze, and Arugula
Bon Appetit
October 2008
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese plus Parmesan cheese shavings
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 12-ounce rib-eye steak
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon (packed) dark brown sugar
4 cups (lightly packed) arugula
2 large lemon wedges

Mix grated cheese and butter in small bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper; set aside. Sprinkle steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to plate. Add vinegar, shallots, and sugar to skillet; boil until reduced to glaze, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Divide arugula and Parmesan shavings between 2 plates. Squeeze lemon over. Slice steak; place atop arugula. Top steak with Parmesan butter. Drizzle lightly with glaze.

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