Monday, February 7, 2011

Mini Open Faced Ribeye Sandwiches with Aged Provolone and Parsley Oil

A few years back, when I was planning my first Super Bowl party, I came across a recipe from Bobby Flay for Mini Open Faced Steak Sandwiches with Aged Provolone and Parsley Oil.  I made the recipe and it was a big hit, even though I cooked the steak over the broiler (instead of the grill as called for in the recipe) and even though I did not make the parsley oil.  While I generally try to vary the dishes that I have made for subsequent Super Bowl parties, I return to this one every once in a while because I truly like this recipe.  When it came to preparing for our fourth Super Bowl party, aptly named Super Bowl Party IV, I decided that I would make this recipe again for our guests.

When it comes to recipes, I usually only use them as "guides" in making the dish, because I want to tap into my own creativity to see how I can improve the dish or, as they say, make it my own.  In this case, I did a few things.  First, I doubled the amount of meat.  Who does not like more meat in their sandwiches?  Second, I decided to "rub" the meat with a mixture of cracked peppercorns, sea salt and rosemary.   Third, I added arugula to the sandwiches, which would underscore the pepper used in the rub.  Finally, I decided to use an Italian bread (Pugliese style bread) rather than French bread.  The Italian bread was wider, allowing for more arugula, meat, and cheese. 

Adapted from Bobby Flay at
Serves 12 

Ingredients (for the meat):
2 pounds of ribeye
3 tablespoons of mixed peppercorns
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 long branches of rosemary

Ingredients (for the bread):
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
6 cloves roasted garlic, pureed
24 slices of Italian bread, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Ingredients (for making the sandwich):
Aged Provolone, shaved or cut into thin slices
2 bunches of arugula

Ingredients (for the parsley oil):
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
Olive oil

1.  Marinate the steak.  Grind the mixed peppercorns, salt and rosemary in a spice grinder.  (I use a coffee grinder which I have dedicated to that purpose). Brush the steak with oil and rub the ground mixture on every side of the steak.

2.  Grill the steaks.  Heat the grill to at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook the ribeyes until slightly charred, about four to five minutes.  Turn the steaks ninety degrees halfway through the cooking to get the hatch marks.  Turn the steaks and continue to cook for about five minutes more, once again turning halfway through to get the hatch marks.  According to the recipe, the steaks should be at about medium rare.  I like my steak between medium rare and medium.  (I usually order steak medium in restaurants because I find if I ask for medium rare, I usually get it between rare and medium rare.)  If you want the steaks to be medium, add two to three minutes to both sides depending upon the thickness of the steaks. Remove and let rest for at least five minutes.  Slice the ribeye into even slices, removing the fat from the ribeye as you slice it.

3.  Prepare the crostini.  Mix together the butter and garlic puree.  Season with salt and pepper.  Brush 1 side of the bread slices with the butter and garlic mixture.  Toast the slices under the broiler until golden brown.

4. Prepare the sandwiches. Top the bread slices with  the arugula.  Then add slices of ribeye, usually about two slices for each slice of bread.  Top the ribeye with the shaved cheese. 

5.  Prepare the parsley oil. Mix the parsley and canola oil together.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle the parsley oil over the steak.  Serve immediately.

Just one final note.  I assembled the sandwiches in a different way than called for in the recipe as written by Bobby Flay.  According to the recipe, once you have toasted the bread slices, you are to add the cheese and stick it under the broiler for another thirty seconds or more until the cheese melts.  Then you add the steak and drizzle the parsley oil.  I've done it this way, but I think the sandwich looks nicer by putting the cheese on top and by not melting the cheese.  In the end, it is a question of preference, because this dish can be prepared either way.


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