Bison Ribeye, Chile Oil Sweet Potato Purée and Blistered Shishitos with Coconut Milk Drizzle
It’s been fish and veggie-centric in our house the past week or two, as we ask our bodies to forgive the horrors visited upon them over the holidays. Bowls of greens such as Abby Salad with smoked salmon, seared tuna with mixed citrus and avocado salad and power greens with prosciutto, ricotta and grapefruit have brought peace and equilibrium to our nutrient-starved forms. With balance restored, it’s time to introduce some heartier fare back into the rotation.
Sometimes there’s just no beating the primal lure of a sizzling hot, juice-drizzling, salted slab of meat. But, worry not, steak night can be done in a way the doesn’t wreck your newly- formed good habits! When indulging with one ingredient in a meal, it always makes sense to counter with healthy, filling accompaniments that won’t tip the scales.
Enter one of my favorite healthy, easy-to-make, bullet-quick side dishes – blistered shishito peppers. Shishitos are finger-food sized, generally mild peppers that you do basically no preparation for and intentionally try to burn a little (or a lot, depending on your fancy), then eat either plain or with a quick sauce for drizzling or dipping. Easy-peasy. Great for general snacking, appetizers or as a veggie side-ish, I grab these by the handful when I see them pop up at the market (in Denver, my local Sprouts carries them with surprising regularity).
Purportedly, one out of every ten shishitos is spicier than the rest, so be prepared to walk on the wild side, where anything can happen – but I’m yet to bite into one that makes me cry. I love to prepare a cool, creamy and subtly sweet sauce(coconut milk is the ideal foil!) for dipping to tame the mild, vegetal heat of the peppers.
To round out the meal, I like to add some kind of healthy carb or whole grain – because protein and vegetables are great, but let’s be real. Without some kind of filling element on the dish, I’m going to be grabbing for something naughty and sweet in short order. So let’s do something sweet and good for you instead, like creamy, earthy roasted sweet potato purée, spiked with a nose-clearing hit of chile oil and tempered with the complementary sweetness of coconut milk. Add a fresh, bright hit of torn cilantro and a complimentary squeeze of lime and you have the perfect plate to support a gorgeous, seared-on-the-outside ruby-red on the inside bison ribeye.
And because we’ve been so virtuous with our side dishes, I feel like there’s wiggle room to add just the tiniest pat of garlic chile cilantro compound butter to pool and dribble down the sides of that piping hot steak (and a sprinkling of Maldon salt to finish). To upgrade your butter, just add in flavor boosters like garlic and herbs, mash to combine, reform into a small, cylindrical log, chill and serve – watch my youtube video to learn how to make your own adorable, tiny compound butter log!
We can hit the salads again next week, but tonight, we feast on MEAT.
- 0.5 lb bison ribeye steak* (I just divide one large steak in half for two people)
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Neutral oil
- Garlic clove
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (if using salted butter, omit salt addition)
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp finely diced cilantro
- 1/4 tsp finely diced chives
- 1/4 tsp chile oil**
- 1/8 tsp garlic clove, microplane grated or finely diced (save clove for sweet potato puree)
- 1 medium sweet potato (jewel or garnet are my favorite)
- 1-2 Tbsp chile oil
- 1/4 cup coconut milk drizzle
- 1 Tbs torn cilantro
- 1/8 tsp garlic clove, microplane grated or finely diced
- Juice of half a lime
- Zest of half a lime
- Salt and Pepper
- The Day or Morning Before (Optional, but recommended): Season steak the night before or early in the day. You can salt it just before use, but the salt permeates the meat better if done in advance, improving texture and flavor! After salting generously, place steak uncovered on a plate in the fridge to dry out (if you have a cooling rack that fits in your fridge, I like to put the meat on the rack over the plate so the air can circulate and dry all sides, with the plate catching any drips).
- Combine all ingredients, mashing together with a fork until evenly distributed. Rechill to harden the butter, approximately 30 mins (you can put in the freezer to help speed the process)
- *Ideally, the longer this sits, the better - if you think of it an hour or even a day in advance, the flavors will be more infused in the butter.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potato all over with a fork, then wrap with tin foil. Line baking sheet with foil (sometimes the sugary potato juices will spill out of the foil wrapped potato and burn!) Cook for approximately 1- 1 1/2 hr or until potato is soft when squeezed with your oven mitt-covered hand (you can use tongs, but I can never tell as well!)
- Cool slightly, then scoop potato into a food processor (for puree) or mixing bowl (for mashing). Add all other ingredients, and puree/mash with fork until smooth and combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat grill or oven to 400 degrees.
- Take steak out of fridge and bring to room temperature, 30 mins - hour. Pat steak dry.
- Grill: Drizzle a thin coating of neutral oil like canola or grapeseed over the steak. Rub so oil covers steak evenly. Add to grill, flipping only once (or three times for hatch marks - just don't fuss around with it more than necessary!) Cook until thermometer registers 125 for medium rare. Let rest 15-25 mins before slicing.
- Stovetop/oven: Preheat oven safe pan over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and a drizzle of oil in the pan for searing. Add a garlic clove. Sear until both sides are browned, approximately 2-3 mins per side, basting with garlicky butter oil. When seared, transfer to oven (if necessary) to cook until thermometer registers 125 for medium rare. Let rest 15-25 mins before slicing.
- *Or your favorite type of steak
- **An equivalent amount of finely diced canned chipotle in adobe substitute for chile oil both in the butter and sweet potatoes
- 1/4 - 1/2 lbs shishito peppers
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp honey
- Zest of 1/2 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- Heat cast iron or heavy-duty pan on medium high heat for 5 mins or until blazing hot. Add shishitos dry (no oil necessary) to the pan, then let char slightly on each side, turning to promote even charring. When evenly charred in spots, pour onto serving platter to cool.
- Combine ingredients, mix until smooth. Use as dipping sauce for blistered shishito peppers and to elevate sweet potato mash.