Chef Jasper Alexander from the famed Hattie's Restaurant made their Blackened Skirt Steak. The recipe, along with more than 100 others are featured in the new cookbook, "The Hattie's Restaurant Cookbook", which is available wherever books are sold.
BLACKENED SKIRT STEAK
Yield: 4 servings
2 pounds skirt steak
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 cup blackening spice, such as Hattie’s Hot Rub (recipe follows)
1. Coat the skirt steak on both sides with the butter, dust heavily with the blackening spice, and let it sit until the oven and pan are hot.
2. Preheat oven to 425°F if you think you are going to need it (depending on how well done you prefer your steak), and preheat a cast iron pan on the stove over high heat.
3. Place the buttered and spiced skirt steak in the hot, dry pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Finish in the oven, if necessary.
HATTIE’S HOT RUB
Yield: 1/2 cup hot rub
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container. The rub will keep for months.
SMOKED TOMATO BUTTER
Yield: 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon tomato powder or 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Butter the skirt steak before serving. The butter will keep for weeks in the refrigerator or months in the freezer.
BLUE CHEESE GRIT CAKES
Yield: 4 grit cakes, about 2 x 2-1/2 inches
4 cups milk
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups uncooked grits
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces blue cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Making grit cakes is very similar in process to the Basic Grits recipe, the major differences being the ratio of liquid to grits and the cooking time. You will need to dial back the heat a little and watch that the grits don’t scorch. They are going to be a lot stiffer and gummier than the creamy grits, but you only need to cook them for about 10 minutes. Resist the urge to add liquid. They need to be on the dry side so that when they are cold they can be cut and fried without falling apart. The other key is to make the grits at least a day before you want to use them. They need time to set up so you can cut and cook them.
1. Choose an appropriate dish for cooling and molding the grit cakes. An 8-inch cast-iron pan or an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish works well. Unless the mold you choose has a nonstick coating, you will want to lightly coat it with pan spray or rub it with a little butter.
2. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring the milk and the bay leaves to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Add the grits and reduce the heat to low. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to simmer. Very quickly the grits will go from creamy to stiff, but that is what we’re looking for. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Remove the bay leaves, add the salt and pepper, fold in the blue cheese, and scoop the grits into your prepared dish.
5. With the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, spread the grits evenly, pressing into the corners to make sure there are no air pockets. Cover loosely with a piece of wax paper and allow them to cool on the counter for about 30 minutes before chilling in the refrigerator overnight.
6. Unmold the grits onto the counter or cutting board and cut into your desired shapes. There are no rules on size or shape, so experiment. You can use a knife or cookie cutters.
7. Preheat a large, nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium heat and heat the oil. Dust the grit cakes with flour and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until they are crispy and golden.