Now that January is gone, I can safely talk behind its back. I’ll confess that January is my least favorite month. True–any cold, gray, rainy month that followed cozy December would probably be my least favorite, and I will admit that January is a great month to get away on a trip. (I also have to say that this particular January was really rather lovely.) All that being said, I’m glad that February, with all of its red, pink and white ruffles, is here!
When our children starting arriving on the scene, Valentine’s Day stopped being a romantic day for two and started being a festive bright spot in the middle of winter. The kids would receive a card, balloon and goodies when they woke up, then dressed in appropriate red, pink and white clothing (our son Jack didn’t stand for this very long!), the Valentines and cookies would be gathered up for school, and the day would end with a fancy dinner, complete with Frank Sinatra music, bubbly, flowers and candles. The menu would usually involve steak, because steak just seems to go with Valentine’s Day. Here is one of my favorite steak recipes that’s based on a Food and Wine recipe. It’s super simple, so it allows time for all those other goodies you might be preparing.
Coffee-Rubbed Flat-Iron Steak
2 tablespoons finely ground dark-roast coffee beans
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds flat-iron steak
In a small bowl, mix the ground coffee with the chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, cumin and salt. Pat the steaks all over with the coffee-chili rub and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; oil the grates or pan. Grill the steaks over moderate heat, turning once, until they’re nicely charred outside and medium-rare within, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes.
Thinly slice the steaks and arrange on the platter. Serves 4-6