M. Andrew Gordon

Steak…It’s What’s For Dinner

In Beef, Side Dishes on September 30, 2009 at 1:21 am

Ah yes, steak.  You just can’t beat a good ol’ chunk of beef cooked on the grill (again, my apologies to my vegetarian friends).  As promised, here is a new recipe for the week.  And for those counting, it might actually be three: cocoa-dusted sirloin with gorgonzola; a quick side dish of brussels sprouts, and a definite new recipe in sweet potato fritters/pancakes.

IMG_2880The use of the poblano is testament to the local market having really nice looking peppers every time I go in there as of late.  Plus, since I would already be grilling the steak, grilling the poblano would be easy.  So that will explain why I threw some in with the brussels sprouts.  For the steak I wanted to do something a little different and I thought why not put a little cocoa powder in with the rub to play off the heat from the chili powder, the flavors which would complement the creaminess of the gorgonzola.  For those who haven’t tried it, the next time you’re cooking anything with a little bit of spice, such as tacos, try adding some cinnamon or cocoa powder (this doesn’t work if you’re using the pre-packaged taco seasoning – sorry).  The spiciness and sweetness of the cinnamon or cocoa work very well together.

For the brussels sprouts I wanted to try grilling them and then making a slaw but decided against it because of a lack of time.  Sauteing brussels sprouts is something I often do, because it is both quick and it leaves the sprouts still a little crisp, something I tend to like in my vegetables.  The trick is to slice the sprouts thin.  I cut the stem end off, peel the first layer of leaves – which tend to be loose – and then stand up the sprout on the cut side.  I then slice most of them into three or four slices, depending on the size.

The sweet potato cakes or fritters were something entirely new for me.  I feel like I saw a recipe like this somewhere but I’m not sure where, so this could be plagiarism of the worst kind.  But I think the overall recipe was very good, producing a mildly sweet cake that had just enough breadiness to help soak up some of the juice from the steak.  The outside was nice and crisp and the inside nice and soft.  And they’re incredibly easy to make.  The ingredients could easily be tweaked too, so that if you liked them a little more sweet you could add some brown sugar.  If you’re not into curry, substitute some ground ginger.  You get the idea.  The whole dinner took about an hour from start to eating.

With that, here are the recipes.

Grilled Sirloin with Poblano-Gorgonzola

  • 1 lb Sirloin, cut into individual servings
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat grill.  Mix pepper, salt, chili and cocoa powders.  Apply to both sides of steak.
  2. Grill steak and poblano.  The pepper should be blackened and charred all over.  Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook the steak to your own preference.
  3. Remove steak and tent with foil.  Peel skin from poblano and remove the seeds.  Dice enough pepper to yield a mounded tablespoon.
  4. Mix diced poblano with gorgonzola and olive oil until well mixed.  Top steaks with the mixture and serve.

Sweet Potato Cakes/FrittersIMG_2876

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp corn meal
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Corn oil


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Mix eggs, pepper, salt, corn meal, curry powder, and cinnamon in large bowl.  Fold in shredded sweet potatoes and gently mix together to incorporate.
  2. Working in batches, make coaster-sized cakes about ½ inch thick, and fry until golden brown on each side.  Drain on paper towels.

Brussels Sprouts with Almonds

  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced thin
  • ½ small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp diced poblano, optional
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Toast almonds; set aside.  Heat olive oil in medium skillet.  Cook onions for a minute and add Brussels sprouts.  Toss to coat in oil, cook for five to six minutes, shaking pan occasionally.  Sprouts should be browning in some spots.
  2. Add vinegar and poblano, if using, and cook for about a minute.  Add almonds, season with salt and pepper and serve.
  1. Matt – love the blog! You hooked me in after reading this cocoa dusted entry… sounds amazing!

  2. So an Italian and a Mexican walk into a kosher steakhouse…

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