Homemade – Strip Steak and Bleu Cheese Spaghetti

When my mom gave me her debit card to go grocery shopping last weekend, I took the liberty of picking up ingredients for a personal favorite from my Rachael Ray cookbook.   This one does easily qualify as a 30-minute meal–simply grill/broil steaks and make a quick and delicious bleu cheese cream sauce to toss with spaghetti.

Steaks on the grill

Steaks on the grill

What the recipe calls for, and what I’ve always done, is to use a broiler pan (basically an oven rack inside a pan) and cook the steaks under the oven broiler for 5-7 min/side.   But my dad has this big fancy grill outside, so why not use it?  After he showed me how to use the grill for future reference, I got started on the bleu cheese sauce.

I got some bacon cooking while I chopped shallots, one of my new favorite flavoring agents.  To me they’re kind of a cross between garlic and onion, but a lighter version of both.  The sauce goes really quickly, so it’s best to have all of the ingredients already prepared and within arm’s reach. The shallots and half the garlic went into a heated skillet with olive oil and butter (why both of these fats, I’m not sure.  Different flavors I guess) to sauté for a few minutes. I then added flour, let it cook for a minute or so, and whisked in some chicken stock. This was allowed to simmer for almost no time before I added the cream. Once that started bubbling, in went the bleu cheese crumbles, sage, and black pepper. That’s it! Just stir until the cheese melts and then toss the sauce with the spaghetti. If you’re not a fan of bleu cheese, you won’t like this sauce, as it has a very strong bleu cheese flavor.

The recipe also allows for a garlic chive butter to top the steaks with, which is also simple: just mix chives and the remaining garlic into softened butter. When the steaks came off the grill, I put a dollop on top of each and watched it melt tantalizingly across the meat.  I didn’t top my spaghetti with arugula because it is surprisingly hard to find in Baton Rouge, but the bacon I cooked earlier was crumbled over the top.  This meal with a side of fresh green beans is not very figure-friendly, but it is so, so good!

Strip Steaks with a Side of Blue Cheese Spaghetti
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray (foodnetwork.com)

Prep Time:   5 min
Inactive Prep Time:  5 min
Cook Time:  30 min

Level:  Easy
Serves:  4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4 (8-ounce) NY strip steaks
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup cream or half-and-half, eyeball it
  • 8 ounces blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped, a palm full
  • 2 cups arugula, a small bunch, cleaned, trimmed and shredded

Put a large pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil for pasta.

Preheat broiler to high with rack on top shelf.

Preheat medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crisp.

Salt water for pasta and add spaghetti to the pot. Cook to al dente, with a bite to it.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides and arrange on slotted broiler pan.

Remove bacon to paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon and drain off most of the fat, return pan to heat and reduce heat to medium. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts into extra-virgin olive oil, add in 2 cloves garlic and the shallots, saute for 3 minutes.

Arrange steaks on the broiler pan. Place under broiler – leave door to oven cracked ajar to limit flare ups and smoke. Cook 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, up to 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium well doneness.

To the garlic and shallots, add in flour and cook a minute more. Whisk in stock, bring to a bubble, about 30 seconds then stir in the cream. When cream comes to a bubble, add in blue cheese and sage and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir until cheese melts. Reduce heat to lowest setting.

Soften 4 tablespoons butter in microwave on high for 15 seconds. Mix in chives and 2 cloves minced garlic and reserve.

Remove steaks from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Place 1/4 of the chive and garlic butter mixture on each steak to melt down over the meat as they rest.

Drain pasta and toss with sauce to coat and combine evenly. Taste to adjust seasoning.

Serve steaks with pasta alongside. Scatter the arugula and bacon bits across the top of the pasta.