Grains of Paradise-Crusted Steak with Preserved Lemon, Eggplant & Israeli Couscous Salad

Grains of Paradise-Crusted Steak

with Preserved Lemon, Eggplant & Israeli Couscous Salad

2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

It’s only a slight exaggeration: grains of paradise are an exciting spice that will take your taste buds to places they’ve likely never been before. In the coastal glades of West Africa, a unique plant grows. Its pale, trumpeting flowers contain small, dark-crimson seeds that are bursting with citrusy, peppery flavor and subtle notes of ginger and cardamom (both of which are in the same plant family). In this dish, crushed grains of paradise create a delicious crust for juicy steaks. Bon voyage, chefs!

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    525 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Grains of Paradise-Crusted Steak with Preserved Lemon, Eggplant & Israeli Couscous Salad
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Cut off and discard the roots of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel and mince the garlic. Medium dice the eggplant. Pick the mint and parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Finely chop the parsley. Place the currants in a bowl of hot water (to rehydrate them). Using the bottom of a heavy pot, crush the grains of paradise. Finely chop the preserved lemon.

Cook the couscous:
2 Cook the couscous:

Once the water is boiling, add the couscous. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water. Return to the pot and set aside.

Toast the almonds:
3 Toast the almonds:

While the couscous cooks, heat a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced almonds and toast, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the steak:
4 Cook the steak:

While the couscous continues to cook, season both sides of the steaks with salt, pepper and the crushed grains of paradise, firmly pressing the seasonings into the steaks. In the same pan used to toast the nuts, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned steaks and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until they reach your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate, leaving any drippings (or fond) in the pan.

Cook the vegetables:
5 Cook the vegetables:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems too dry, add an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil.) Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the cooked vegetables to the pot of cooked couscous.

Finish & plate your dish:
6 Finish & plate your dish:

Add the preserved lemon, toasted almonds, parsley, currants (draining before adding) and mint leaves (roughly chopping before adding) to the couscous-vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the steak. Slice the steak crosswise, against the grain. Add any juices from the sliced steak to the couscous; stir to combine. Divide the sliced steak and finished couscous between 2 plates. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Cut off and discard the roots of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel and mince the garlic. Medium dice the eggplant. Pick the mint and parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Finely chop the parsley. Place the currants in a bowl of hot water (to rehydrate them). Using the bottom of a heavy pot, crush the grains of paradise. Finely chop the preserved lemon.

2 Cook the couscous:

Once the water is boiling, add the couscous. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water. Return to the pot and set aside.

Toast the almonds:
3 Toast the almonds:

While the couscous cooks, heat a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced almonds and toast, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out the pan.

4 Cook the steak:

While the couscous continues to cook, season both sides of the steaks with salt, pepper and the crushed grains of paradise, firmly pressing the seasonings into the steaks. In the same pan used to toast the nuts, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned steaks and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until they reach your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate, leaving any drippings (or fond) in the pan.

Cook the steak:
Cook the vegetables:
5 Cook the vegetables:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems too dry, add an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil.) Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the cooked vegetables to the pot of cooked couscous.

6 Finish & plate your dish:

Add the preserved lemon, toasted almonds, parsley, currants (draining before adding) and mint leaves (roughly chopping before adding) to the couscous-vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the steak. Slice the steak crosswise, against the grain. Add any juices from the sliced steak to the couscous; stir to combine. Divide the sliced steak and finished couscous between 2 plates. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

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