The Big Idea: The idea here was to apply some of the pan-cooking technique I learned cooking steaks 8 and 9 to a cocoa-chili rubbed steak, something along the lines of this or this but since I didn’t want to do any grocery shopping, it was a simple preparation, more like this.
The Steak: As the steak came to warm temperature, I patted it dry and covered it with cocoa, cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and a touch of paprika, because that was all that was left in the paprika jar. I decided on the Flip-Many-Times technique, remembering that it got me slightly less char last time, and not wanting to burn off my spice rub.
I flipped away and felt for doneness, and then rested it on a rack tented in tin foil, just like I learned last time. I do think I noticed a smaller amount of steak juice pooled under the rack than I usually do on the plate. It rested quite a while – at least ten minutes – while my very weak broiler worked on my jicama fries.
Overall, it turned out quite nicely. I got a great, crisp, char on the top and bottom, with just the right amount of cocoa flavor.
The Side: Once again, thank you, Mark Bittman. It was from his How to Cook Everything that I found the excellent idea for chili-lime glazed jicama fries. Peel…a jicama? A lump of jicama? A head of jicama? (I would love to hear from you if you can enlighten me on the proper word to use there.)… and chop it into fry-sized sticks. Toss with lime juice and zest, olive oil, chili powder, and salt. Broil on tin foil on a cookie sheet.
They were great. Definitely use the tin foil – the glaze gets a bit sticky and would have made it hard to clean the cookie sheet. I think I would cut them smaller next time, too – mine were a little thicker than fingers, and I think they would have been a little more crispy and fry-like if they had been smaller. But they were still a tasty, crunchy accompaniment to this steak.
The Verdict: This meal was great, and also really easy. An easy, classy, and almost classic meal – it looks like an unseasoned steak and regular fries, but turns out to have a twist on both. I like it. Looks like a regular steak and fries but both are delicious with an unexpected twist. Would cut the fries smaller next time for the broiler, but at this size they might work well on a grill.
Notes for Next Time: Um, do it again soon? I’m very pleased with this meal, and very pleased with my execution. I think I made a good choice on flipping the steak many times, and got the doneness just how I wanted it, thanks to my ever-improving steak sense. Another one in the win column! I still want to try this Steak Mole recipe, though, some time when I feel more like grocery shopping and spending some extra time on sauce.