You won't believe how much flavor a couple of ingredients can add to a beef steak or tenderloin! You can prepare it ahead and then it only takes minutes to grill just before serving.
I first made this for a hospital fund raiser. It was a great idea. It was called Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Volunteers offered to open their homes and cook a meal for whatever number of guests you specified. You published the menu and then people bid on your menu. My friend offered to open up her home and I volunteered to cook.
All the dinners were held on the same night. It raised a lot of money for the Alexandria Hospital. We had a wonderful time! I have to admit that I was nervous because I had never cooked for strangers who were paying before! I don't think twice about experimenting on friends and family but paying guests - that was different!
Our menu for the main was Beef tenderloin with this pistachio, olive crust, potatoes Anna and a Napoleon of vegetables. Dessert was a salted caramel apple crisp with my Apple Cider Ice Cream on the side.
We ended up having a riot! Our guests were 3 local couples who, it turned out, we had a lot in common with -common acquaintances, common interests. They were quick to laugh and we ended up with a lively, laugh filled evening.
This time I made it as part of a Valentine menu. The beauty of this is that you can chop the olives and pistachios ahead of time and press the crumbs into the meat. Then it only takes 10 minutes or so to grill the steaks at the last minute.
For a beef tenderloin I would roll the tenderloin in the crumb to coat the entire tenderloin. For a steak I would only press the rub into the top side of the meat. I think both sides covered would be overpowering.
I served this with cremini mushrooms sautéed in demi-glace and Muffin Tin Mashed Potatoes. If you don't have demi-glace or veal stock on hand you can just add a splash of red wine or port wine to the mushrooms and cook until the liquid is almost all evaporated.
I also like it with my No Fat Strawberrry Spinach Salad as a side.
These flavors are quite robust so I would serve a full -bodied red - a Cabernet Sauvignon. Or you could give a nod to the black olive component and go Italian with a special occasion wine like a Barolo or Amarone.
- 4 strip loin steaks 1 ¼ to 1 ½ " thick
- 6 Tbsps raw pistachio nuts shelled
- 6 Tbsps Kalamata black olives
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Crush pistachio nuts until they are a fine even grind.
- Cut olives flesh away from the pits and chop finely.
- Mix pistachio grounds, olives and pepper together until evenly distributed.
- Press the pistachio mix onto the top surface of the steak. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
- Preheat grill or broiler.
- Grill steaks 4-5 minutes on the first side and then flip. Grill another 3-5 minutes for medium rare, 5-7 for medium or 8-10 for well done.
- Remove from grill, cover loosely with foil and allow to stand approximately 5 minutes.