MEATDINNERRECIPESRESTAURANT RECIPES The Best Cajun Butter Steak Recipe

This two day dry rubbed and marinated steak affair with cajun butter peppercorn sauce is worth every minute.
The Best Cajun Butter Steak Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’re one of those people who think steaks should only be seasoned with salt and pepper, this deliciously juicy, incredibly flavorful cajun butter steak recipe based off of Smith & Wollensky’s Cajun Rib Steak will change your mind forever.

I used to think that adding anything but salt and pepper to a high dollar, high quality cut of beef was basically wasting it, but as I got older I quickly saw the error of my ways. After all, steak frites is my favorite food in the whole world, and who serves steak frites without at least a good herb butter? Not to mention chimichurri, that famous sauce from le relais l’entrecôte, or classic peppercorn sauce? A life without seasoning is a pretty boring one.

This cajun butter steak is one of the best I’ve tried. The homemade cajun spices add just the right amount of heat and savoriness without tasting like those bad cajun wings at the pub (although there’s a time and a place for those). It’s both dry rubbed and marinated in oil for up to two days to pull out water and replace it with pure flavor. If you are a salt and pepper evangelist, one bite of this steak will change your mind, I promise.

What is the cajun rib steak

The steak preparation I’m using for this cajun butter steak recipe is based off of the cajun rib steak, one of the signature dishes at Smith & Wollensky, an old money-looking steakhouse chain created, ironically, by the guy who created TGI Fridays.

Don’t let the questionable heritage fool you though, the original location got a glowing two star review from Ruth Reichl. The recipe was recently released and shared far and wide as part of a fundraiser for NYC restaurants. Once I saw it, I couldn’t help but try it out.

The cajun spice rub helps create a blackened version of that prized thick crispy crust that everyone tries to get at home, while the long two day cajun-based marinade imparts natural complimentary smoky flavors to the meat. It’s so good that you don’t really need the cajun butter peppercorn sauce, although it’s delicious and really recommended. It definitely adds a nice hit of heat. Eventually – I’ve made this a lot of times now – I even stopped adding salt, thus in this recipe both are now optional steps.

The Best Cut of Beef for Steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

The best cut of beef for steak

This is a New York-based recipe, so it’s only natural that you should use a New York strip, and that’s what I did. Another option (and my go-to answer whenever someone asks me what’s the best steak) is a thick cut ribeye. Honestly though, the marinade makes this so tender that you can use anything, and I wouldn’t go any more expensive than strip. The first steak I tried it with was a cheap sirloin, and it tasted amazing.

The Best Cajun Butter Steak Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

What’s the best way to cook steak

You can cook this steak any way you like and it partially depends on the thickness of the steak you have, how much you’ve tempered it (let it sit out of the fridge), and your preferred doneness. While you can grill it, if you want to make the optional peppercorn sauce (which is really good), you’ll need to use a skillet.

This recipe is written for rare/medium rare for steaks under 1.5”. For steaks over 1.5” thick or other donenesses, you can reverse searsous vide, or sear, then finish in a 350ºF oven until your steak hits your desired temp.

If you are a steak-pro, you already know all this, and if you aren’t, I highly recommend getting a good thermometer, like an instant read thermocouple style meat thermometer. It takes all the guesswork out and gives you perfect steak every time.

The Best Cajun Butter Steak Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make cajun rib steak

1. Toast your spices: combine all the spices together and toast them over a low heat until they are fragrant.

Toast your spices | www.iamafoodblog.com

2. Dry rub: rub each steak generously the toasted spices (about 1.5 tablespoons each), then place in the refrigerator uncovered for one hour to dry out.

dry rub your steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

3. Marinate: while the steaks are resting, combine the ingredients for the marinade in a container just large enough to fit your steaks. Add the steaks when they are ready, then cover with extra oil. Marinate for between 6 hours and 2 days; try to get as close to the 2 day mark as you can though, the longer the better.

marinate your steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

4. Sear your aromatics: aka cook your onions. Heat up a large cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of high heat oil until it’s just about smoking. Add the onion wedges and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until charred. Turn them with a flipper or tongs and cook the other side, then remove and set aside.

Sear the onions | www.iamafoodblog.com

5. Sear your steaks: Season your steaks if you know you like your food on the saltier side. I prefer to season with flaky sea salt at the table for this sort of thing. Cook the steaks roughly 3 minutes per side for rare or 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Rest the steaks while you make the cajun butter peppercorn sauce. If you are doing these in batches, turn your oven to warming or proofing mode (no higher than 80ºF) to keep the steaks warm. Let the skillet come back to temp in between steaks.

Sear the steaks | www.iamafoodblog.com

6. Make the sauce: While the steaks are resting, make the cajun butter peppercorn sauce by reducing the cognac, then whisking in the butter, cream, and 1 tablespoon each of freshly cracked black pepper and cajun spice mix.

Make your cajun butter peppercorn sauce | www.iamafoodblog.com

Do you really have to marinate it for two days?

Not really, but I tested one after one day and while it was good, it didn’t have that deep level of flavor that the two day one had. Besides, if you are going to use a whole onion and two cups of oil, not to mention some nice steaks, you might as well go all the way. I even covered and saved the marinade in the fridge to reuse a second time and it was still ok.

The Best Cajun Butter Steak Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

 The best sides to serve with steak

Personally, I love this steak with just the onions in the recipe, but if you want to go all out (and I mean all-out), you can make Heston Blumenthal’s crazy good and just plain crazy two day triple cooked chips. For something a little easier, we have air fryer friesinstant pot mashed potatoes, or for a little surf and turf, a really nice lobster risotto.

I really hope you give this a try, I’d never considered cajun as a steak flavor before and it’s totally blown my mind how good it is.

 

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes in under 20 minutes!

instant pot mashed potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

hese instant pot mashed potatoes are so good and so easy they’re dangerous. Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food and now that I have a hands off way of making them, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be eating so many potatoes that I’m going to turn into one.

I love how you just set everything in one pot and you’re done. Just pop your potatoes in, cook on high pressure for 7 minutes, mash, season, and eat. So simple and so good. My pro tip here is using a sieve (or a ricer) to push your potatoes through instead of mashing. You end up with super smooth and creamy mashed potatoes.

4 secrets to the best mashed potatoes:

1. Water is the enemy

Waterlogged potatoes mean gluey mashed potatoes. To avoid this, we’re going to steam the potatoes in the Instant Pot with just the minimal amount of liquid, which will make them fluffy, cooked through, and full of potato-y flavor.

2. Season!

Season at every step. I like to steam/cook the potatoes in chicken stock so it adds an extra layer of flavor. If you don’t want to use chicken stock, you can use vegetable stock or just make sure to salt the water you cook the potatoes in. You want to season when you’re cooking the potatoes and afterwards when you add in the butter and milk so you have layers of seasoning.

3. How you mash matters.

I love the way mashed potatoes taste when you push the potatoes through a fine mesh sieve. It gives you the smoothest, most luscious mashed potatoes you’ve ever eaten. But, if you like a slightly chunkier mash, use a potato masher. There are even different kinds of mashers: smooth mashers or chunky mashers depending on how you like your potatoes.

4. Don’t over mix.

Once your potatoes are mashed, you want to just stir in the liquids (butter and milk or cream) without over mixing, which can lead to gummy potatoes.

instant pot mashed potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

Air Fryer Pork Chops

Air fryer pork chops coming in hot and fast with the flavors of Italian porchetta.

air fryer pork chops recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Air fryer pork chops coming in hot and fast with the flavors of Italian porchetta!

Do you ever wander by someone’s house and smell what they’re cooking for dinner? Every time Mike and I smell someone’s cooking and it smells good, we turn to each other and say, “PORK CHOPS!” To be honest, it’s probably not pork chops at all but Mike is low-key obsessed with pork chops and it’s a funny little thing we do.

Anyway, both Mike and I love pork chops. What’s not to love about a thick cut of juicy pork? There are a couple of secrets to making the best pork chops and I’m going to share them ALL with you.

air fryer pork chops | www.iamafoodblog.com

First off, let’s talk about flavors.

I seasoned these thick and juicy guys with the classic flavors of porchetta, the insanely iconic Italian pork roast that’s stuffed with rosemary, fennel, and herbs. To gild the lily I whipped up a quick salsa verde full of fresh herby lemon flavors. The green sauce and pork chops together are going to blow your mind.

air fryer pork chops | www.iamafoodblog.com

To make the best pork chops, buy the right kind of chop

Thick cut pork chops for the win! The best pork chops for air fryer pork chops (or any pork chop in general) is a thick, center cut pork chop. They can be bone-in or boneless, but you want them thick! Thin pork chops cook too quickly and end up being dry. So if you love pork chops, get them thick, at least 1.5 to 2 inches thick.

thick center cut pork chops | www.iamafoodblog.com

Pork chop temp

The USDA recommends 145°F for pork chops.

How to make juicy pork chops

They key to making juicy pork chops is not over cooking them. Pork chops tend to be lean and have a very small margin for overcooking. USDA says that the safe temp for pork is 145°F which is a bit rosy and quite juicy. Most people are used to overcooked pork chops so they’re scared of pink. If you want juicy chops, invest in an instant read thermometer, cook your pork to 145°F (or even to 140° and let the carryover heat bring it up to temp) and you’ll never eat dry pork chops again. Don’t fear the pink!

How to cook pork chops in the air fryer

  1. Dry the chops. Give the pork chops a pat dry with some paper towels. This removes excess moisture from the pork chops so the surface doesn’t steam instead of caramelize.
  2. Oil and season. Give the pork chops a rub down with some oil (this promotes even browning) then rub on the good stuff: salt, pepper, rosemary, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Air fry. Cook the pork chops for 12 minutes at 400°F, flipping halfway, or until the inside temp reaches 145°F.
  4. Rest. Remove the chops from the fryer (so they don’t over cook in the residual heat) and let rest for a couple minutes, then enjoy the juiciest pork chops you’ll ever eat!

air fryer pork chops | www.iamafoodblog.com

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?

Most of the time I say that you don’t need to, but we did some A/B testing and preheating the air fryer when cooking pork chops led to juicier chops. Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes at 400°F.

How long to cook pork chops in the air fryer?

  • Boneless thick cut pork chops: Air fry at 400°F for 10-12 mins, depending on size, flipping halfway.
  • Bone in thick cut pork chops: Air fry at 400°F for 12-14 mins, depending on size, flipping halfway.

You want to air fry the chops until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Sometimes I even pull pork chops out when they reach 140°F because the carry over heat while they’re resting will bring them up to temp. The best way to check is to use an instant read thermometer.

air fryer pork chops | www.iamafoodblog.com

What if my pork chops are sad, oops I meant thin?

If you can only find sad pork chops at the store, you can still make juicy pork chops, just don’t overcook them. Prep them the same way, then cook at 375°F for 8-9 mins, flipping halfway.

porchetta dry rub | www.iamafoodblog.com

What should I serve with air fryer pork chops?

rice: pork chops and rice is one of my all time favorite combos and the green sauce with rice is life

smooth and creamy mashed potatoes: who doesn’t love potatoes and pork?

mac and cheese: those creamy cheezy noodles go so well with pork!

kale with burrata: leafy greens braised in tomato sauce with some rich burrata might be the best paring ever

If you’re wondering which air-fryer we have, it’s this one. I don’t know if it’s the best on the market because it’s the only one we’ve used, but it works great. It’s quiet and easy to clean and really big (which is good because you can put a lot of food in it and bad because it takes up a lot of room in our place).

Instructions

  • Let the pork chops temper in a cool spot in your kitchen for 15-20 minutes. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400°F. Make a rub: in a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper with the chopped rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes, if using.
    porchetta dry rub | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. then rub them generously with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Coat them with the rub.
    pork chops alla porchetta air fryer pork chops | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Place the chop in the air fryer at 400°F and cook for 12 minutes, flipping halfway, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
    pork chops in air fryer | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • While the chops are cooking, make the salsa verde: combining the remaining oil, parsley, Parmigiano, coriander seeds, remaining fennel seeds, garlic, and lemon zest and juice in a blender and pulse until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
    italian salsa verde | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • When the chops are done, remove immediately and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the salsa verde!
    air fryer pork chops | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egg Roll in a Bowl Keto Recipe

It’s just like eating an egg roll, minus the wrapper because it’s keto-friendly!

Egg Roll in a Bowl | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egg roll in a bowl is everything I dream of: juicy, sesame-soy pan fried pork with tender crisp gingery garlic cabbage and just a hit of spice. It’s just like eating an egg roll, minus the wrapper because it’s keto-friendly!

I love love love egg rolls/spring rolls – that crispy crunchy chew and the meaty, savory juicy filling. I even love the bits of vegetables. What I don’t love is the fact that I can eat dozens of spring rolls in a row. Thus, this egg roll in a bowl! I’m back on the keto train and this is one of my most satisfying low carb meals. It’s one pan, it’s fast, it’s packed with protein, and it’s delicious.

I am an egg roll addict. I mean, to be technical about it, I am a spring roll addict. At least, that’s what I grew up calling egg rolls because that’s what they’re called in Chinese – when you translate the Chinese to English they’re spring rolls. Spring rolls, egg rolls, no matter which, they’re delicious so I just roll with it.

egg roll in a bowl | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is egg roll in a bowl

Egg roll in a bowl is essentially an egg roll without the wrapper. Egg rolls usually have ground pork, vegetables, and seasoning wrapped up in a crunchy, chewy wrapper. We’ve ditched the wrapper to make a low-carb, keto friendly meal in a bowl. Usually the vegetables are cut up really small in an egg roll, but here I keep them nice and chunky so they have some heft and chew.

How to make egg roll in a bowl

  1. Brown. Give your meat a nice sear for that delicious maillard reaction.
    Wilt. Add in the ginger, garlic, and vegetables/cabbage and cook just until the greens is tender.
  2. Scramble. Push everything to one side and add the lightly beaten eggs. Cook the eggs to your liking.
  3. Season. Stir in the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce. Scoop it into a bowl, top it off with some toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!

making egg roll in a bowl | www.iamafoodblog.com

I made my egg roll in a bowl with ground turkey but you can use whatever you like and fits into your macros: ground pork, ground beef, ground chicken, even ground lamb. Or, ooh, imagine if you did ground duck?! That would be so luxe.

Is there egg?

This egg roll in a bowl has egg in it! I couldn’t resist adding in eggs because the extra protein makes it even more filling. Plus I thought it just made sense to include eggs since “egg” is in the title. The egg is completely optional, but I love the happy little pops of yellow that it adds.

egg roll in a bowl with egg | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egg roll in a bowl ingredients

  • Ground meat. You can use whatever ground meat you like. Inside classic egg rolls it’s ground pork. I like using a lean ground meat so I will typically go for ground turkey breast because I am always aiming to go below my fat macros.
  • Garlic and ginger. The dynamic duo that will add so much flavor to your egg roll in a bowl.
  • Greens. Cabbage, kale, anything goes as long as it’s leafy. If you’re in a hurry, do yourself a favor and pick up coleslaw mix from the store.
  • Eggs. Extra protein for the win! Plus it gives the egg roll in a bowl a little bit of color.
  • Tamari or soy sauce. Technically tamari is better than soy sauce because soy sauce has quite a few carbs in it. If you’re not strict or are just doing low-carb, go for the soy sauce because it has so much more flavor. I usually use low-sodium soy sauce for the flavor and season with salt so I can up my electrolytes.
  • Shaoxing wine. This is the secret ingredient that will make your at home Chinese food taste just like your favorite Chinese restaurant.
  • Toasted sesame oil. Toasted sesame oil will add so much flavor you won’t believe it. It’s nutty and aromatic and addictive. You can find it in the Asian aisle. You want toasted sesame oil, not the regular stuff.
  • Hot sauce. Add some hot sauce for a bit of kick! I like sambal oelek, which is a chili garlic hot sauce that has very few carbs in it, but go ahead and use your fave.

egg roll in a bowl | www.iamafoodblog.com

How is this a keto egg roll in a bowl?

It’s keto (which is a super low carb diet) because it’s low in carbs and high in protein, which is perfect for fitting into your keto macros.

Egg roll in a bowl macros

Net carbs 3.6 grams
Protein 32.6 grams
Fat 19.4 grams

egg roll in a bowl | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Ever Chicken Enchiladas

chicken enchiladas recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’re looking for a cozy, warming, filling, all-in-one dish, enchiladas are it!

Corn tortillas wrapped up around a super savory meaty filling, smothered in homemade enchilada sauce and topped off with cheese…drool.

I first fell in love with enchiladas in New Mexico. Mike and I were on a road trip and boy oh boy did I fall hard for the the land of enchantment – which handily happens to be the state slogan. One of the best meals we ate was at Mary & Tito’s: the enchiladas (extra chile please!) are something I still dream about.

mary & titos new mexico | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you love enchiladas that are plump, juicy, full of filling, with a lot of sauce and cheese, this is the enchilada recipe for you!

What to serve with enchiladas

chicken enchiladas | www.iamafoodblog.com

Instructions

  • Make the enchilada sauce: set the oven to broil. Wash and dry the tomatillos and chiles. Toss with a bit of oil and toast on a foil lined baking sheet until charred, flipping once, about 15-20 minutes.
    Easy 4 Ingredient Hatch Chile Salsa Verde | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • When the tomatillos and chiles are done, remove the tomatillos from the baking sheet, placing in a blender. Carefully wrap the foil up around the peppers so they are in a little package so they can steam. Let steam for 10 minutes and then peel off the skins and remove the stems and seeds. Add the peppers to the blender, along with the onion, garlic, cilantro, oregano, and cumin. Blend until finely chopped. Taste and season with salt.

    Set the oven to 375°F and lightly oil or use non-stick spray on a baking dish.

    Easy 4 Ingredient Hatch Chile Salsa Verde | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Add 2 cups of the green enchilada sauce to a bowl with the shredded chicken and 1 cup of cheese. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay a tortilla flat (warm them up in the microwave briefly if they need to be more pliable) then spoon on some filling in the center. Roll up tightly and place seam side down into the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken mixture.
    chicken enchiladas | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Top generously with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, 20-30 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve with hot sauce and lime.
    enchiladas | www.iamafoodblog.com

Estimated Nutrition

 

Sushi Rice

Posted January 20, 2021 by Mike
sushi rice | www.iamafoodblog.com

Did you know that the term sushi refers to the rice, and not the fish at all? In Japan, getting that sushi rice right is seen as the highest art.

The best, most perfect in-season fish is a matter of connections and deep pockets, but the rice is an art. Ordinary nigiri is such a pale imitation of the highest grade good stuff it’s like chef boyardee vs fresh handmade pasta from a really good Italian restaurant.

While the fish could concievably be the same quality, the sushi rice, even in Japan, can run the gamut from poorly-machine-made conveyor belt sushi (pictured below) to so crazy good they could just put some grass on top and it would taste good – one of Steph’s favorites.

kaiten sushi | www.iamafoodblog.com

But, getting the taste of sushi rice right is not nearly as hard as shaping it properly. Unless you live in a major sushi city (or Japan) it’ll make for way better sushi than most anything you’ll find locally. You will instantly upgrade your homemade sushi with this simple recipe.

What is sushi rice

Sushi rice is Japanese short grain rice seasoned with salt, vinegar, and sugar to form the base for nigiri, maki, and all other kinds of sushi.

At some sushi places in Japan, they often tune the rice to the specific fish – that is, they have more than one batch of sushi rice with different seasonings depending on the fish you’re being served.

Why is this the best sushi rice recipe

This recipe is by Masaharu Morimoto, aka Iron Chef Morimoto. He’s a super nice guy who downplays his sushi accomplishments but is definitely the real deal. For me this is the best sushi rice recipe because it’s the one that tastes closest to the best stuff we’ve had in Japan.

iron chef morimoto | www.iamafoodblog.com

  1. Make the rice. You can either use a rice cooker or Instant Pot to get perfect rice, or use my usual 27 minute stovetop method which has never failed me: 1.25 cups water to 1 cup of rice, bring to a boil, cover tightly with a lid and reduce the heat to the lowest it goes. After 17 minutes, remove from heat but leave the cover on. After another 10 minutes take off the lid and continue with the steps below.
  2. Make the seasoning. While the rice is cooking, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small sauce pan and warm over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Season the rice. When the rice is done cooking, transfer to a very large bowl. Sprinkle on half of the vinegar mixture and use a rice paddle or silicone spatula to gently mix the vinegar into the rice with a slicing motion. The idea is not to break a single grain of rice.
  4. Cool the rice. If you have a fan, or even a clean magazine, fan the rice for a few minutes while you gently toss it to help it absorb the sweet and sour vinegary goodness. You want it to be easily cool enough to handle. Definitely cool enough not to cook any raw fish you put on top.
  5. Enjoy! Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more if needed. Cover with a damp towel until ready to use.

Hainanese chicken rice

If you’re looking for your next hands-off, delicious one pot dinner, this is it: Hainanese chicken rice.

Have you ever had Hainanese chicken rice before? Are you as obsessed with it as I am? I’m guessing the answer is no because I have a lifelong, deep obsession with chicken rice.

It’s my ultimate comfort food, my all-time-favorite go to meal, my version of Anton Ego’s mom’s ratatouille. You know, the scene in in the Pixar movie where Anton is taken back to his mom’s kitchen and she serves him ratatouille and all is right with the world. That’s Hainanese chicken rice for me.

Chicken and Rice

All cultures have some sort of chicken and rice. The Japanese have oyakodon, Latin Americans have arroz con pollo, and Southeast Asians (and Hainanese people) have Hainanese chicken rice. Like most chicken and rice dishes, it’s simple at heart: poached chicken and seasoned rice served with a variety of sauces.