Bonfire steak, sweet potato caprese, and vanilla bean latte snickerdoodles

On a recent trip to get my hair cut, I made a stop by one of my favorite specialty stores in Lexington, Stuarto’s. Stuarto’s is a company that sells specialty olive oils, balsamic vinegars, sea salts, and cane sugars. I’ve even gone to a few of the cooking classes they host which always features their products being used in really creative (and yummy) ways.

When I stopped in, Stuarto himself was there and he introduced me to some of their newest flavors and products. I bought a balsamic vinegar, a cane sugar, and a sea salt. Specifically, I bought black cherry balsamic vinegar, vanilla bean cane sugar, and bonfire sea salt.

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At the time I didn’t plan on a food challenge, I was just so excited about the new products. It was on the drive home that I realized I could make a challenge for myself this week and give Joe a break from coming up with ideas. My challenge to myself was to create a unique dinner and dessert. I decided to add in the chipotle olive oil I had purchased on my last visit to Stuarto’s too.

For dinner, I made a bonfire salted steak with chipotle sauteed onions and sweet potato caprese. First, I thinly sliced the sweet potato and popped them into the oven at 350 degrees. I flipped the slices at about 15 minutes into the baking. I waited until they were tender.

I followed all of the “rules” for a perfect steak by getting good steaks at Critchfield Meats and letting the steaks get to room temperature before cooking. I pressed the bonfire sea salt into both sides and then seared the steaks in coconut oil. Why coconut oil? See my post on what I learned about cooking steak at a cooking class with Wild Thyme. After both sides were seared, I placed the steak in the oven to finish cooking. While the steaks finished cooking, I sauteed the onion in chipotle olive oil until tender.

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I used the roasted sweet potato rounds as the tomato replacement in a traditional caprese. I placed thinly sliced fresh mozzarella on each round, added basil leaves, and drizzled the black cherry balsamic vinegar over it. I thought the sweetness of the black cherry would go nicely with the sweet potato.

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The finished dish was delicious. The timing was off a little with the steaks and the sweet potatoes both requiring oven time. Joe’s assessment was that there was a nice mix of salty and sweet and that the meal was very satisfying.

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For dessert, I put my own twist on a classic snickerdoodle recipe. I made three modifications. First, I added two tablespoons of cocoa to the mix to give it a very light chocolate flavor. Second, I added 3 tablespoons of brewed coffee. Last, instead of rolling the cookies in the traditional sugar and cinnamon mixture, I rolled them in the vanilla bean sugar cane.

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The end result was very good. The coffee flavor wasn’t quite as strong as I’d hoped. But the cookies were soft and fluffy. I also was a little too conservative with the vanilla bean sugar as I wasn’t sure how far the small container would stretch. This recipe is definitely a “keeper”!

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4 thoughts on “Bonfire steak, sweet potato caprese, and vanilla bean latte snickerdoodles

  1. […] I decided to make a lemon chicken and vegetable soup. First, I chopped one green pepper, 1/4 of an onion, 1 jalapeno, and 3 carrots and sauteed them in chipotle olive oil (for more about specialty flavored olive oils, see my post here). […]

  2. […] of olive oil and black cherry balsamic vinegar. This is the same balsamic vinegar I used to make a sweet potato caprese in a previous […]

  3. […] into a black cherry balsamic marinade. I’ve used this black cherry balsamic in two recipes (sweet potato caprese and salad dressing) now and I am loving […]

  4. […] Vanilla Bean Latte Snickerdoodles […]

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