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Cornmeal Crusted Steak

Hey guys.  I got my butt out of bed nice and early this morning and starting being productive again.

Since we aren’t using Henry’s automatic feeder anymore, he has started to associate our cell phone alarms in the AM with the prompt arrival of his breakfast.  Once it goes off at 6:08, he runs into our bedroom from wherever he goes in the wee hours of the morning, jumps on the bed, and hops between my head and Fritz’s chest meowing frantically for the next ten or fifteen minutes (or thirty minutes) while I hit snooze once (or twice…or three times).  It’s very obnoxious.

Luckily, he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, so when our alarms don’t go off, he is more than happy to curl up behind our knees and sleep ’til 7:00 or 7:30.  Or 8:00, this morning.  It was awesome.

He’s either dumb or just really odd.  Further evidenced by the fact he has kept warm for the last ten minutes by sticking his paws on the lightbulb in the lamp on my bedside table.  It’s either that or trying to get as much of his body on the floorboard heater as he possibly can.


What a special creature.

Anyway, here’s the steak recipe I promised:


Cornmeal Crusted Steak

  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T ground chili powder
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T coarse ground cornmeal

Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and combine all the spices.  I probably used half of this recipe on my steak, and if you want to save the rest, make sure you don’t contaminate it with raw meat.


Heat a heavy skillet with 2 T canola oil until it’s hot and shimmery over medium-high heat.

Rub the cornmeal mixture into the steak, covering it generously.


As an aside, you could probably go the whole chicken-fried steak route with this mixture as well, with flour and egg first to make a more substantial crust.  That’s not really what I was going for here, but I’m sure it’d be good too.

Pan-fry the steak to the desired doneness.  I probably did six or seven minutes on each side, then covered it in foil and let it rest for ten minutes.  I wanted the steak rare, since I knew I’d only eat a little bit of it today and end up cooking it again during the next few days (fajitas, etc).


The cornmeal gave the steak just a bit of a crunch that a regular dry rub doesn’t.  It was a really nice and easy way to dress up a boring steak.


And since we’re talking about steak, I do have to get on my food blogger soapbox and talk about slicing the steak.

  1. Slice against the grain.  Here’s a nice tutorial if you haven’t a clue what that means.  For the types of steak I usually buy (we aren’t talking filet mignon here), it can seriously make the difference between an enjoyable steak and an inedible one.
  2. Use a nice sharp knife.  Fritz and my mom both bought me knives for Christmas, and it is so nice finally not having to saw through everything tougher than butter.  Why did I wait this long?


Speaking of sharp knives (and Fritz), I thought I’d share an embarrassing moment with you–and since Fritz rarely reads my blog, I can feel like I admitted I was wrong without ever having to tell him.  It drives me nuts when Fritz reminds me to be careful about silly things, like running outside or driving to a friend’s house.  Though I know it comes from a place of love, for some reason it still grinds my gears.  So when I talk about wanting sharp knives, he always reminds me to be careful when I’m cutting things.  I always sassily reply that dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives.

And of course I sliced through the top of my thumb the first time I used my new knives.

It grinds my gears even more when he’s right about how I’m not careful enough.  Just another reason I need to keep him around.


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2 pings

  1. Chris @ Shared Appetite

    Love the tutorial you linked to about slicing against the grain… Thanks for sharing that! What kind of knives did you get?!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Henckel’s chef knife and some filler Rada knives :) Much better than the rusty ice skates ive been using for the last few years!

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