Our caveman forefathers would be quite pleased with this dish. Well, pleased but perhaps a bit befuddled. I imagine them mumbling to themselves while dragging their knuckles through the dirt to get a closer look, “What the heck is quinoa??”
It’s darn good, that’s what it is! And, not to nitpick, but technically it’s crispy quinoa which is basically half the quinoa but four times the crisp and the flavor.
You must pinky-promise not to tell, but I’m not a huge meat-eater. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE a good hunk of well-cooked, exceptionally seasoned meat. I just don’t dream about it and then wake up eating my pillow.
I like balance.
I love vegetables and
I love COLOR.
This dish brings it all home. It’s veggied up with some cauliflower in the potatoes, which keeps it creamy and a bit earthy while satisfying that God-given carb-craving. A little bit of parsley brings in that burst of color and freshness.
I was inspired by a Real Simple recipe but of course had to twist it up.
Trust me with this one. You’ve got to get the perfect bite: a generous scoop of the silky mash, with a juicy strip of the smoked paprika-rubbed steak, topped with a sprinkle of that salty, crunchy quinoa to add a needed toothsome crunch.
Talk about heaven! I just may end up eating my pillow tonight.
Smoked Paprika Steak with Crispy Quinoa and Creamy Cauli-Potato Mash
Prep Time: 40 minutes
2 sirloin strip steaks
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 cup quinoa
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Start by pulling the steaks out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature to ensure even cooking, about 30 minutes. Season the steaks on both sides with the smoked paprika, and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Let that sink into the steaks while the meat is coming up to temperature.
In a large nonstick skillet combine the quinoa, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 cup water, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook the quinoa over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is golden brown. This will take about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and parsley. Add additional salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
Steam the cauliflower in about 1 inch of water in a lidded pan until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Likewise, cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until they are fork-tender. Drain. Using a food processor or standing mixer pulse the cauliflower, potatoes, cream, butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper until smooth.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the steaks about 4 minutes per side, getting a good sear on both sides, or until the steak temperature registers 130 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (for medium-rare). Let the steaks rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into thin slices against the grain.
Serve the steak and cauli-potato mash with a smattering of crispy quinoa, more fresh parsley and shaved parmesan on top.