Monday, January 30, 2012

Steak and Tomato Foccacia Toasts

These foccacia toasts are a beautiful and impressive appetizer or first course. I served this dish as part of a “surf and turf” menu with lobster mac & cheese. I love recipes that feature meat as an integrated part of the dish, not the main ingredient. The steak on these foccacia toasts is loaded with flavor from roasted garlic and rosemary, and the fresh oven dried tomato beautifully compliments the earthy steak. The roasted red pepper mayo is easy to make with a gentle kick and gorgeous red color. Topped off with a few pieces of arugula this is one of the most colorful and flavorful recipes in my repertoire!

Steak and Tomato Foccacia Toasts
A impressive appetizer or first course. Serves 10
1 pound cherry tomatoes
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head garlic
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ lemon, juiced
½ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot chili paste
1 strip steak or sirloin steak, about 10 ounces
1 loaf focaccia bread, sliced and toasted
Baby arugula, for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the tomatoes into a roasting pan, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes have collapsed, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it in foil, and bake it until soft, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft garlic onto a cutting board. Strip the needles from the rosemary, add them to the garlic, and chop them together. Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into a small bowl; add the garlic and rosemary mixture and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Add the steak to the marinade and refrigerate for 20 minutes up to 4 hours.

Put the roasted red pepper into a blender. Add the mayonnaise and chili paste and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be made the day before. This is delicious spread on sandwiches!)

Heat the grill or a skillet. Remove the meat from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before you are going to grill it. Grill the steak until the meat is rare or medium rare. Remove to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut the beef into thin slices.

To serve, put some of the flavored mayonnaise onto a piece of focaccia toast. Top it with a thin slice of the beef and spoon on some of the roasted tomatoes. Garnish with some arugula leaves and serve at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

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