Steak and Wild Rice with Vegetables Recipe

It’s been cold lately here in Minnesota and I’ve been having unusual cravings for warm winter comfort food.  That’s terribly dangerous for my diet, and remains so even though, every winter, I do the same battle.  Things like chili, breads and pastas all start looking incredibly tempting.  As the farmer’s market closes and my options narrow for fresh produce, temptation creeps in. Sometimes finding a reasonable way to give in to temptation is perhaps, the sane course of action.  I attempted to do that very thing with this recipe.  It’s based on wild rice, and a garnish of sautéed vegetables and steak.   Let’s see how this worked out:

Ingredients:

Use any kind of steak – for this I used some rib eye.  The final measurement was about 5 ounces (cooked weight).

1/2 Cup of wild rice (raw).

Chives (fresh) – quantity per your taste.

Cilantro (fresh) – just a few sprigs

2 Sweet peppers (red)

1 Yellow bell pepper

1 Leek

Salt and pepper

Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil.

Steak with wild riceNotes:

  • When starting your wild rice, you will have to experiment with time a bit because it cooks very slowly, and it all depends on how you prepare it.  You can cook it on the stove top or use a rice cooker.  I use a rice cooker and set it to “brown rice”.  On that setting it takes about an hour and 15 mins or so.  If you want to do more rice, it will take a little longer, but I find it is not proportional to quantity.  So it’s tricky – experiment with times.
  • The advantage to using a rice cooker is that I have a countdown timer that once it gets to 30 mins left or so, it displays a countdown.  That lets me time the rest of the meal with the rice.  You can cook the wild rice in water or chicken broth.  The chicken broth yields a little richer taste, but if you are very partial to the “nuttiness” of wild rice, water doesn’t interfere with that earthy quality. It’s entirely up to you.
  • Wash leek thoroughly. Do your best to get water down into the layers of the leek.  Once of the tricks you can do is to slice off the cap of the leek and let water run into the end.  It’s important to do this because leeks are grown in sandy soils, and often contain a good deal of silt between layers higher up on the plant.
  • The amount of olive oil you will actually need is mostly for the vegetables. 1 tbsp is pretty much a catch-all amount and actual amounts may be less. If you have a good amount of marbling in the steak, that fat content should provide a degree of natural cooking medium.
  • I choose my pan heat for how I want the steak done, and cook the vegetables around it – adjusting vegetable cook time as needed.  I like my steak medium or medium rare, yet I like a good light mahogany char on the meat, so I will choose a fairly high heat to get that char in a short amount of time, therefore the center of the meat remains slightly pink. If you like your steak closer to well done, use a lower heat.
  • Generally, I will cook the meat in the center with the vegetables scattered around the edges…you can also use a second pan. If I have a large quantity to cook, I will often opt for a second pan.  It’s just easier.

Directions:

  1. Start the wild rice. You can actually make as much as you want, it keeps well and can be used as a side for several days.
  2. Finely chop cilantro and chives and set aside.
  3. Slice sweet peppers into small rings, discarding seeds and cap. Set aside.
  4. Slice leek relatively thinly. You can see about how thinly I sliced it from the pictures.  Also, I tend to use a fair portion of the leek, not just the white part but well up into the green part as well.  I would say I use 2/3rds of a leek.   Set aside sliced leek.
  5. Slice bell pepper. Slice it about as thick as you did the leek – so a proper julienne slice would work.  Remember you’re going to sautee all of this.
  6. Cube the steak for sauteeing. You could, of course, leave it whole, but I like to cube it for this because I can turn each piece and get a good light mahogany char on each piece – it adds to the flavor.
  7. Season the steak per your tastes. A little salt and pepper is all I generally do for something like a rib eye.  Although, I am really conservative on the salt just because I don’t need any extra of that in my diet.
  8. Start your sautee pan with about 10 mins left on the rice. Put olive oil in as it comes up to temp.
  9. Start by adding the steak to the sautee pan. You will find that the cubed pieces will cook fairly quickly.  Be prepared to turn them when you see the redness cooking out of the meat on the sides.  That’s a good clue that the bottom, that is in contact with the pan, is cooking through.
  10. Next add the Leek, sweet pepper and yellow bell pepper and a small amount of Italian seasoning to the pan as the first side of the meat is cooking. There’s no reason to wait here.  The meat will cook quickly.   So depending on how thick you cut the vegetables, you may need to move either off the heat before the other is done.  Be prepared for that.
  11. Toss the vegetables regularly to ensure they get cooked through. Introduce the chives and cilantro to the vegetables here.  With both Italian seasoning and the fresh chive and cilantro we are introducing a lot of “garden fresh” aroma to the vegetables, which given the neutral aroma of bell peppers and leeks, is a nice addition.
  12. Cook both steak and vegetables until done. I prefer my vegetables slightly al dente, especially with a rice side like this.
  13. Plate: spread 1.5 cups of rice as a base layer on the plate.  Add 1.5 cups of sautéed vegetables on top of the rice, and finally top with 4-5 ounces of steak.  Done!  Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Information:

Steak, Rib Eye, 4.8-5.0 ounces:  250 calories

1.5 cups of steamed wild rice:  250 calories

1.5 cups of sautéed vegetables (in a light olive oil): 117

Total:  617 calories

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