A “Top Chef” Challenge – Balsamic Steak with Onion and Garlic Relish & Coco Rosemary Potatoes


If you are among my regular followers you know that I have recruited the boyfriend, Paul, to challenge my culinary creativity. If you aren’t one of my regulars you should be! But basically he shops for whatever ingredients he wants and I come up with the dishes, and I’m allowed whatever is in the fridge and pantry too.


This past Saturday, on his way back to Brooklyn after band rehearsal, Paul stopped at Fairway Market to shop. Keep in mind I didn’t put any limits or restrictions on what to buy. He had an entire store full of beautiful and unique ingredients….and he brings me steak, russet potatoes, an onion, and blue cheese. A beautiful steak, fresh veggies and good blue cheese but still! Where is the creative challenge?!


So me being me – and having put it into my head that I would have a strange combination ingredients to work with – I went to my pantry to pull out the first thing I saw. Unsweetened coco powder. Not that strange, but not something you would expect to find with steak and potatoes either.


I started with the onion. Rather than making traditional caramelized onions I decided to caramelize them along with a ton of garlic in balsamic vinegar. The result was a delicious tart, tangy, sweet steak topper – or really anything topper :)



Then I moved on to the potatoes. Here is where I incorporated the coco powder. I wanted the coco to add depth, and richness – something that could stand up to the balsamic in the steak and the relish. So I decided to make a sort of scalloped potato with rosemary and coco with just a hint of honey. Of course I didn’t have any cream so it wasn’t quite as creamy as I would have liked. It was good, but definitely could and will be improved.



Moving on to the meat. I have mentioned before that I am a purest when it comes to steak. Unless it’s a cheap cut, there is no need to over season. Just some salt and pepper is all you need. In this case, keeping with the creative spirit, I veered from my meat formula just a little bit and decided to add a balsamic glaze right at the end of the cooking process. this gives the meat an amazing sugary crust on the outside and enhances the built-in flavor of the meat without overpowering it.



Balsamic Onions and garlic Relish:

1 sweet onion – ¼ inch slices

12 garlic cloves – roughly chopped

½ cup balsamic vinegar




Place all into a baking dish and stir. Bake uncovered in a 350’ F oven for about 30 minutes – stirring occasionally – until the onions are well wilted and the vinegar is a thick black sauce. Because of the sugar content it will go from perfect to burnt caramel very quickly, so make sure it doesn’t burn!



Rosemary Coco potatoes:

2 tbsp coco powder – unsweetened

2 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp fresh rosemary – minced

1 tsp honey

1 tsp salt

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 russet potatoes – sliced very thin

2 tbsp cold water

extra olive oil to thin


In a mixing bowl whisk together the coco powder with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the rosemary, honey and salt, whisk again. Add in the yogurt. While whisking slowly drizzle in a ¼ cup of olive oil then the water. Toss the potato slices into the mixture stir to make sure every piece is coated. Then pour it into a pie dish and place a fresh spring of rosemary ontop. Cover with tin foil and bake in a 375’ F oven for 35 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 15 minutes or until the top is extra crispy.




Beautiful Balsamic Sirloin – Medium Rare:

2 lb sirloin steak




Balsamic Glaze:


½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt


Heat a griddle pan on high for ten minutes. Generously salt and pepper each side of the steak. Place the steak in the center of the pan and press it down with a weight. Cook it for 8 minutes on the first side flip and cook for ten minutes. Brush a good amount of glaze onto the side you can see then flip it again for two minutes, glaze the other side and cook in the glaze on that side for another two minutes.


Transfer the steak to a board and let it set for at least ten minutes before cutting in.  Serve with the onion-garlic relish (see above) and crumbled blue cheese.



I don’t know if this meal (mostly the potatoes) would have one me Top Chef, but I wouldn’t have been eliminated in an early round! Next time we play this game I think Paul will come up with a bigger challenge for me so stay tuned!




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