Saturday, February 2, 2013

Crazy Hot! Sweet Onion Steak Sandwiches with Jalapeno Cream

The only trouble about resisting temptation is that you may not get another chance. – Unknown

The sweet onions balance the jalapeno sauce perfectly.

Yesterday I posted a recipe for four steaks buns. It was a bit of a decadent thing to make only four steak buns. After this post you may understand the method to my madness.

I made those buns to house these beefy bad boys. I had to make something a little special for succulent cumin marinated beef, dressed with caramelized onions and topped with a fiery jalapeno cream sauce. Didn't I?

For a darker green sauce, purée the jalapenos in the cream.
But be warned. It will be spicier!
Fiery jalapeno cream sauce, you say. Sometimes you have to take chances. Jalapeno cream sauce is a good one.

To make all four of these recipes (not counting the buns) may look like a lot of work, but they’re actually very easy. 

Every once in a while I like to go out on a limb and try something new. The “new” in this instance is a cream reduction made with jalapenos. If you like jalapenos, you’ll love this sauce. It’s as simple as simmering sliced peppers. You even get to determine the heat level. 

I’m of two minds on this sauce. I found just simmering the jalapenos left a good bit of heat in the cream, but it was pale green. I would have preferred greener. 

There is a solution, short of food colouring. If you’re a jalapeno consuming demon, you can purée at least some of the peppers right in the cream for something very, very deadly. You have been warned.

I could see this cream being used in a variety of ways, for example on chicken, pork or hamburgers, or even as an accompaniment with roast. Serve it essentially anywhere where you want to startle a dinner guest. Be kind though. Serve something “moderating” with it, like the caramelized onions, tomato, avocado or lettuce.

These sandwiches are quite amazing, not to break my arm patting myself on the back. The sweet onions and tender beef are perfect partners for the peppery green cream. The whole sandwich can also be served hot or cold, but I prefer hot.

You can also make the cream ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. But it should be consumed in a couple days.

Since there are four recipes, I’ll keep the blather to a minimum and launch right into the goodies. The quantities are for eight steak sandwiches, but can be scaled up or down.

First up, make (or buy) steak buns. I posted a more than decent recipe yesterday. They take five hours total (4.5 of it rising), so start early.

Cumin Marinated Steak
Prep: 1 hour  |  Cook: 12-15 min
2 steaks, about 1-12 lbs total
1 tsp onion powder
Frying in a little of the marinade really boosts
the cumin taste.
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp vegetable oil
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Mix together all the ingredients except the steak. Place the steak in a zip-lock bag. Pour the marinade over the steak, close the bag and rub the marinade over the steak well. Let it marinate for at least one hour.

Remove the steak. Pour some of the marinade into a frying pan and fry the steaks until browned and cooked through. Don’t cook too long or the steak will become tough. A little pink is OK.

Slice the steak as thin as possible. Keep warm.

Jalapeno Cream Sauce
Time: 15 min  |  Yield: about 1/2 cup
2 jalapenos
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Slice the jalapenos. Place the slices, and the seeds, in a saucepan with the other ingredients. Cook until the cream reduces to make a sauce that easily coats the back of a spoon (about half volume). The consistency should be quite thick.

If you’re daring, purée the jalapenos in the cream. I was not, and removed them so my sauce was just slightly green. Be brave if you wish.

Sautéing slowly caramelizes the sugars
in the sweet onion.
Sautéed Sweet Onions
Prep: 2 min  |  Cook: 5-6 min
2 tsp butter
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced

Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan. Sauté the onions until they caramelize and turn medium brown. Take care not to burn them. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Keep warm.

To assemble the sandwiches, split the buns, add slices of warm steak and onions and top with a good dollop of jalapeno cream.

If you want a complimentary side dish, try this...

Cuban-style Rice
Prep: 5 min  |  Cook: 22 minutes  |  Serves 4
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried cilantro

Heat the oil in a saucepan big enough to cook the rice. Sauté the garlic, pepper and onion for a few minutes.

Add the rice, broth and slices. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat to simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for an additional 5 minutes.

Fluff the rice to redistribute the spices, and serve.

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