Fireside Cocoa & Coffee Rubbed Ribeye Steaks & Spinach Gratin



If your’e looking for the perfect fireside — or TV side (hello, House of Cards) — cozy meal this weekend, I got you covered. It’s hearty, spicy and stick-to-your-ribs good. Stop worrying about Spring waistlines, I see no way out of this frozen tundra anytime on the horizon.

So, here it is. Spicy, coffee and cocoa rubbed ribeye steaks. A hint of smoke from smoked salt and paprika. An unusual taste of espresso and cocoa crusted on a juicy steak with the help of a sprinkle of brown sugar. So delicious. And served with the most rich spinach gratin that comes out of the oven bubbling with cheese.

Ina’s recipe for spinach gratin is EXTREMELY rich and the recipe makes enough for an army of hungry men. It’s certainly delicious and the most tricky technique for hiding spinach. If you’re making this for two, I would recommend making a forth of the recipe.

What’s hold you back? Get the store. The Fresh Market has a sale for NY Strips this weekend – those will work too!

Cocoa & Coffee Rubbed Ribeye Steaks 

  • 1 or 2, thick cut ribeye steaks
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried fennel
  • 1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked salt
  • pepper

Combine all spices and salt. Rub heavily on steaks. Cook in a cast iron skillet or on a grill to desired temperature. I like my ribeyes around medium-rare! Allow the steaks to rest and cut into nice thick slices.

Ina’s Spinach Gratin 

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (5 (10-ounce) packages)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Add the cream and milk and cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.



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