Happy holidays everyone! I’ve been off work since Friday evening and have fully decompressed, enjoying time in my house and time with good…no strike that…GREAT, friends, complete with a prime rib Christmas dinner. And as if I haven’t had enough saturated fat over the last week, I felt the need to use the defrosted filet of beef from Thanksgiving beef wellington I had in the fridge. I know, I haven’t blogged about the wellington. Have no fear. Tonight is the night to catch up with the blogging, accompanied by a glass (or two) of a 2009 Matsu “Tinto del Toro” Tempranillo. (All you SoCalian’s – go get this bottle at Fresh and Easy post-haste!)
Back to the topic of this post: determining what to do with the left over filet. I didn’t really feel like just a hunk-o-meat. I certainly had that covered with last night’s delicious prime rib. Yet I had the filet and didn’t really want to go to the store, nor did I really want a heavy meal. The brain went to work: “What was at home? I have an onion. Good, keep going. I have some sliced frozen bell peppers in the freezer. I’m good.” And oh is it going to be good. Steak and cheese. Filet steak and cheese. My way.
I sliced up the onion in half rings, got the pan on heat, tossed in some olive oil, and started the onions sautéing to get them nice, soft, and translucent. As luck would have it, I had some pre-diced garlic, so in that went. Of course this was all seasoned with salt and pepper but something seemed lacking. I spied my favorite spice sitting stove top and knew what I had to do. The smoked paprika (pimentón ahumado) went in (a tbsp I think) for a quick saute. I then set the veggie mix aside and turned my attention to the meat. I had it now: Spanish steak and cheese was minutes away! ¡Olé! You know I like my Spanish food.
After trimming up the filet, I sliced it thin as possible and cooked it off in a few batches JUST until the juices started to run. This filet was SO good in the wellington that I knew it didn’t need to be cooked much. It was fork tender then and this beef was already fall apart delicate. I tossed the veggies back in with all the meat and put a glug of sherry vinegar in to cut the richness a little. The dish was lacking green so I grabbed the tuscan kale (also know as lacinato kale, Tuscan cabbage, Italian kale, Dinosaur kale, cavolo nero, black kale, flat back cabbage, palm tree kale, or black Tuscan palm. Wow…talk about a list of aliases). Forgive me if I diverted to Italy a bit, but I needed to use the greens up that I had in the fridge and I thought it would go well in this dish. Besides, they are both countries that speak Romance languages, no?! And doesn’t steak and cheese come from Italian immigrants in Philadelphia? Anyway, rules are meant to be broken, so after a wash and a rough tear the kale was stirred in just until it wilted a little and it had some deep green color on it.
Now you ask, “Didn’t you say this was steak and cheese, Craig?” Oh no, I haven’t forgotten. Not to worry. I piled a generous, yet moderate portion of steak and veggies on my plate and topped it all with shaved manchego. I love the sharpness of manchego, and thought it would go especially well with the richness of the meat, smokiness of the pimentón, and the tanginess of the sherry vinegar. And did it ever! The plate went under the broiler for a few to melt the cheese, some parsley was diced, and the wine was poured (see above). I pulled the plate out, drizzled it with a touch of extra virgin olive oil (100% Spanish of course!) and sprinkled a litte more pimentón on top.
Steak and cheese, my way is served!