My mother is worried. This isn’t a new sentiment, I can assure you. Worry, I’m afraid, pervades her daily existence. She’s worried about the plastic wrap in this recipe and would like me to offer you all an alternative. One Thanksgiving, my mother was so worried, she sent me an oven. An oven. She didn’t know how I could possibly make my turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes with only one oven, and so she sent me an oven.
Last week, my mother became worried about my husband, Ben. She’s worried he might wilt away if I keep feeding him tofu and edamame and beets and eggs. So driven by her worry, my mother sent me 10 pounds of steaks, just, you know, to tuck in my freezer in case an iron-deficient Ben starts looking pale and cold.
But my mother is so thoughtful, too. And a wonderful gift-giver she has always been. Sensitive to my feelings about animals and food-miles, she sent me grass-fed steaks from the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon, CA. I took the opportunity to make this Grilled Grass-fed Ribeye with Balsamic Caper Vinaigrette recipe from the latest Bon Appetit. Damn, steak is good. I’ve forgotten. And this sauce — reduced balsamic seasoned with crushed red pepper flakes and mixed with parsley, capers, shallots and olive oil — is fabulous. It’s such a treat to have our freezer stocked with this incredibly flavorful, humanely raised and relatively local meat.
Mama, worry no longer. Rest assured that the love of my life is beaming, a hearty helping of meat and potatoes certainly to credit. Thank you for the wonderful gift!
Pictured above: Raw, grass-fed ribeyes, rubbed with smoked paprika, garlic, pepper and salt.Note: While this smoked paprika rub adds a nice flavor, I don’t recommend using it for these grass-fed steaks. We’ve cooked the Hearst Ranch steaks twice now, once with the rub, once without, and we preferred the steaks without the rub — a liberal sprinkling of kosher salt brings out the real flavor of the meat. Also, be sure not to overcook these steaks. For medium-rare, try two minutes a side and allow the steaks to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Have I not yet shared with you my favorite brownie recipe? I can’t believe that. I discovered this recipe in a Fine Cooking magazine three years ago and have not tried another brownie recipe since. Like the pizza and the muffins and the orange and olive oil cake, these brownies are it.
Rich Fudgy Brownies
Yield 16 (2-inch) brownies
Source: Fine Cooking
Note: If you have a scale, I highly recommend using it. I use my Salter digital scale when I make these and they come out perfectly every time.
Also: To make this gluten-free, simply swap the all-purpose flour with almond flour. You’d never know the difference.
- 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter; plus more for the pan
- 15¼ oz. (2 cups) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2½ oz (¾ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 oz (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour or almond flour (for gluten free); plus more for the pan
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. table salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and position rack in the center of the oven. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or line with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and whisk until well combined. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended. In a large separate bowl whisk together the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Transfer butter mixture to bowl with flour and stir with spatula or wooden spoon until batter is smooth.
- Spread into prepared pan and bake for approximately 37-40 minutes. Insert a pairing knife or steak knife straight into center. If it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
Grilled Grass-fed Ribeyes with Balsamic-Caper Vinaigrette
Yield 4 servings
Source: Bon Appetit Magazine
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for steaks and grill
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 3/4-inch-thick grass-fed rib-eye steaks
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Simmer vinegar in small pan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Add shallots, 1/4 cup oil, and crushed red pepper; return to simmer. Remove from heat; whisk in parsley, capers, and thyme. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
- Rub both sides of steaks lightly with oil. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper.
- Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill rack with oil to coat. Grill steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plates. Spoon vinaigrette over or serve on the side.