T-Bone Steak, Seasoned Steak Fries and Creamed Spinach


This meal was kept real simple with whole and fresh ingredients.

The secret to cooking a great steak is simple gentle seasoning and high searing heat. But most importantly “Don’t touch that steak!” Not until you are ready to flip after 2 to 3 minutes of cooking it on one side and then cook the meat without disturbing it, for another 2 ½ minutes.

On another note, to save on calories, cauliflower was used as substitute for the cream and starch in this version of “Creamed Spinach”. Another calorie cutting tip is that the steak fries were oven baked.

Serves 4
For the Seasoned Steak Fries:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 to 6 Russet potatoes, cut into wedges

For the Creamed Spinach:
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt,to taste
1 1/4 pound fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup Fontina Cheese, cubed
For the T-Bone Steaks:
2 teaspoons canola oil
Four T-bone steaks, each about 1-inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the Steak Fries:
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Combine oil, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.Place potato wedges in the bowl with the seasonings and toss to coat the wedges with the spices.

Transfer potato wedges to a large ungreased baking sheet.Bake until the potato wedges are golden and crisp for about 35 to 40 minutes.

For the Creamed Spinach:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well and transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Add oil and reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and purée until smooth. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach, and cook until slightly wilted. Add salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stirring occasionally, add the cauliflower mash and stir in the Fontina cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve at once, or keep warm in the top of a covered double boiler over barely simmering water for up to 30 minutes.

For the Steaks:
Prepare a grill for high-heat cooking.

Brush the oil on both sides of steaks and sprinkle steaks on all sides with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Place steaks on the grill and cook 3 minutes; rotate each steak about 90 degrees and cook 3 more minutes. Flip steaks and repeat grilling and rotating process, cooking until steaks reach desired doneness, about 5 minutes more for medium-rare (145°F internal temperature). Transfer steaks to plates and let rest for 5 minutes.

Serve the steaks with the steak fries and cream spinach on the side.

Cook’s Notes:
If you are pressed for time, here is an alternative recipe for making seasoned steak fries using commercially prepared potatoes.

Serves 4 to 6

One 28-ounce bag frozen steak fries
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

Open one 28-ounce bag frozen steak fries. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt to potatoes in the bag. Close bag, and shake vigorously to evenly coat potatoes. Spread potatoes evenly on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet Bake at 425°F for 45 minutes, stirring once. Serve immediately.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Surf and Turf


This roulade style dish elevates the classic grilled steak to the next level, and the pesto inside makes the steak super moist and a beautiful presentation when served along side roasted baby potatoes and snow crab legs.



Serves 6

For the Herb  Pesto:
1 1/2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup  packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed parsley
2 1/2 cups baby spinach
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 to 1 cups  extra-virgin olive oil

For The Steak:
One  3-pound flank steak
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Baby Potatoes:

A variety of about 30 to 40 baby potatoes
(Red bliss, purple, Yukon gold, white)
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To roast the potatoes, place 2 sheets of parchment paper onto a roasting pan.

In a bowl, toss together the potatoes, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil, making sure that the potatoes are well coated.

Pour the potatoes onto the parchment paper-covered roasting pan, and cover with 2 more sheets of parchment paper. Fold the edges of the parchment in to seal the potatoes. Cook them in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until they are crispy.

For the pesto, combine the mint,  basil, parsley, spinach, garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse to partially combine.  Turn the processor on Auto and drizzle in the olive oil, a half cup at a time, until the ingredients start to come together into a chunky paste. Make sure to add the oil a little at a time to ensure a good consistency with the pesto. You do not want it to be thin and runny.

Place the flank steak flat on a work surface  with the grain of the meat running perpendicular to you. Using a long, thin, very sharp knife, butterfly the meat by slicing through the long side of the steak, opening it up like the pages of a book,as you go, stopping  1/2 inch short of cutting the steak in  two. Season with salt and pepper.Spread the pesto all over the meat, leaving a 1 1/2-inch space all around the edge. Roll up the steak, with the grain running the  length of the roll, and tie up with kitchen twine every 2 inches. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the steak with olive oil then sear it in a very hot, cast-iron skillet over high heat or on a very hot grill. Place it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes for medium-rare steak. Place the steak on a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the strings and carve across the grain into 1-to 2-inch slices.

Serve alongside Baby Potatoes  and Snow Crab Legs for an elegant surf and turf presentation.

Steak with Green Tomato, Black Plum, and Red Cherry Salsa

664-1Tomatoes are in the peak of the Summer Season……and every one who thinks of green tomatoes, think that the only way to enjoy them is to fry them…..not so.The acidity of green tomatoes lend themselves to be a perfect addition to a fruit salsa that is not too sweet for the flavors of beef. I had an abundance of green tomatoes in my back yard garden, along with fresh herbs and green onions. I really enjoy this time of year, when you can go to your backyard for really FRESH produce.

Looking through my pantry ,  I had the following items on hand:
DSC03885a black plum, cherries, green Spanish olives, a green tomato, cilantro, balsamic vinegar, green onions, basil, flat leaf parsley,curly parsley , soy sauce, garlic, and Ethiopian pepper sauce. The only thing I had to pick up at the local grocery store was the steak. Some people like flank steak, but I decided on a top round steak with just enough lean. I am pretty sure that you can add red wine vinegar or a good burgundy to the  salsa mix, if you do not have any balsamic vinegar on hand.

So, I had enough ingredients…..now on with the show………….In a large glass bowl,  I add the balsamic vinegar, the garlic and the Ethiopian pepper sauce and mix and I set aside, for the moment.DSC03889

Next, the green tomato was roughly chopped up. The herbs were finely minced and the green onions were thinly sliced.  The fruit was prepared, in wDSC03891hich the cherries were  stemmed, pitted and   quartered. The black plum was chopped into small chunks.

The green tomato, the herbs, the onion, the fruit, and the olives were added to the bowl with the vinegar and EthiopianDSC03894 pepper sauce.  I added salt and pepper to taste and allowed to stand at room temperature.

In preparing the steak, I heated a cast  iron skillet on high. It is important to have a hot skillet in order to get a perfect sear on the meat. Removing the steak from the packaging , I  patted it  dry with paper towels. I like my steak simply seasoned, so I sprinkled both sides of the meDSC03896at with salt and pepper. Adding the steak to the skillet, you can hear the sizzling sound at first contact. I cooked each side for 3 minutes each to achieve  medium rare status.  So  I removed the steak from the skillet and allowed the meat to rest for 5 minutes. It is really important to allow cooked meat to rest, even if it is chicken, turkey, veal, etc. It allows the natural juices to be retained and prevents the meat from drying out.


Slicing the steak on the bias , I  fanned it  out on the plate. I topped the steak with the green tomato fruit salsa and I  enjoyed a perfect summer meal, prepared in less than 20 minutes.

  DSC03900And there you  have it…….The finished plate……………….