With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here’s a classic, hearty recipe for your sweetheart. Who wouldn’t love these perfectly grilled ribeyes with caramelized onions and mushrooms? The steaks are marinated in fresh rosemary and olive oil and grilled to perfection. The onions and mushrooms are finished with just a hint of white balsamic vinegar.
A confession: until a couple of years ago, I had never personally used a grill. I guess I just placed it squarely in the category of things that other people have always done for me. Also in this category: mowing the lawn, cleaning out the gutters and cutting firewood. This is so stereotypical I’m cringing now, but I grew up the only girl in a house with four brothers. I had plenty of chores, but most of them were in the kitchen or the nursery.
Two summers ago when J. went camping with friends, I wanted grilled rockfish and didn’t have a clue how to use the mammoth grill on the back deck. The answer? You Tube and Chow. There’s a tutorial for everything. In just a few days, I was grilling like a pro. I even changed out the gas tank before J. came home. The grill is still J’s domain, but it’s nice to know I can do the job if I want to – like making him dinner for Valentine’s Day.
- (2) 10-12 oz boneless rib-eye steaks, 1½ inches thick
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 2 medium sweet onions, sliced
- 10 oz baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
- Place the steaks on a plate and generously coat them with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and stir in the chopped rosemary.
- Pour the olive oil and rosemary onto the steaks, coating both sides of the steaks. Let stand for 30 minutes, allowing the steaks to come to room temperature.
- While the steaks are marinating, prepare the caramelized onions and mushrooms.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet on the stovetop over low heat until fragrant - about 5 minutes. Pour the sliced onions and mushrooms into the skillet and turn the heat up to medium high. When the onions and mushrooms begin to brown, turn the heat down to medium again. Stir until they're a golden brown color and then remove them from the heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and use a spatula to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Keep warm.
- Heat the grill to high and grease the grill grate.
- Place the marinated steaks directly over high heat and cover the grill. For medium steaks, cook for 6 minutes on one side, and then flip the steaks over and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the grill and allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve topped with the warm caramelized onions and mushrooms.
About the Photographs
I wanted these photographs to feel like the viewer could be sitting in a dark, upscale steakhouse during the 1950s, enjoying a glass of scotch when dinner is served. The food is styled very simply on a black plate, with the lowball glass behind it the only prop. I love the giant ice cube in the glass, which I made in a Williams and Sonoma King Cube silicone tray.
I took these photos with my Nikon D80, using a 28mm f2.8 NIKKOR wide angle lens. I used a Lowell Ego tabletop light like this one, at around 7 p.m., in complete darkness (with all other lights turned off). The light was positioned to the right and slightly in front of the food. I used a black foam board on the left side of the food to create shadow. My ISO was set at 500, and the shutter speed was 1/225. The aperture was 3.5 in photo at the top of the page and 2.8 in the shot below it.