Seared Rib Eye, Salsa Verde, Dirty Rice

Five Little Chefs – Seared Rib Eye, Salsa Verde, Dirty Rice

  Before starting this recipe Little Chef Dad said, “So what kind of pain and suffering are you doing tonight?” He knows first hand how much patience this requires and how close to breaking I sometimes get. That and the dishes, oh the dishes! How many loads in the dishwasher will we do today is another common question. Little Chef A is very good at drying all the dishes I wash by hand. She sticks with it until they are done which I very much appreciate.

The recipe calls for green tomatoes. When Little Chef C went shopping with me yesterday we could not find them. Instead we bought tomatillos. The Salsa Verde was made earlier in the day because it needed time for the flavors to develop. This really is true. We tasted it after it was made and it was a bit sour. A few hours later it was wonderful! The paper outside was taken off the tomatillos. Little Chef C said, “it feels a bit sticky, but it is fun to unwrap them. I don’t care about how my hands feel.” Little Chef A helped and when finished said, “I need to wash my hands. I care about my hands being clean.” Funny how the two are different. However, I think Little Chef C only said that to go against her sister.
Little Chef C then cut the tomatillos. She said, “Dad cuts an apple like this. I’m doing it like Dad. I like cutting it (the stem) like this. I think it is great she found a way to cut them in a way that worked for her. Yes she is using the knives that do not work well. But, she needs more practice before I let her use the real knives. She still does not watch out for her fingers well enough.
The onion she cut with the Vidalia Chopper since it is too hard for her to dice with her knife. That was not a good solution. She had a very difficult time, I ended up doing most of it for her. She did cut a jalapeno for the first time. We talked about it and decided only one jalapeno. We could add another one if she wanted, but we couldn’t take one out if it was too hot.
I explained she needed to be very careful and not touch her face or anything until she washes her hands very well because it will burn. We then talked about the heat coming from the veins and the seeds. She did a great job and washed her hands afterward. However…a while after we were completely done she touched her eye and it didn’t feel so great. She must have had some residue under her fingernails. Maybe next time she should use gloves.
She put all the Salsa Verde ingredients into the food processor. She tasted it and said, “no more jalapeno, it needs more salt and pepper. I can’t taste the salt and pepper.”


A few hours later when it was time to cook Little Chef C salt and peppered the rib eye on both sides. I think next time I should put the salt in a small bowl for her to take some out of instead of using the entire box to dump the salt instead of sprinkling some salt on the meat! She did much better with the pepper. She put the meat in the pan very well, but when it was time too flip it over she said, “I do NOT want to touch that meat that spits. Can you do it (flip the meat). I do not want burnt onions.” I asked why she said that, who burns the onions? She said, “on Worst Cooks in America they are always burning the onions and chicken.” They do not watch cartoons, they really do prefer cooking shows.

The Dirty Rice was next. The onions were put in the saucepan first. Little Chef C said, “I want it to get a light color. I almost always cook with onions.” How interesting she thinks of that, and how true.

When the tomato sauce was put in the recipe said it would take a 3 minutes to reduce. Maybe the heat was turned up too high, but it only took a minute. Luckily we were smart this time and were adapting as we cook and collectively decided to add in the rice before something burns.

We were enjoying our meal. Little Chef C was telling everyone how she made everything and what ingredients she used. We all decided the rice had quite a bit of heat, but that the Salsa Verde needed a little more heat. The Little Chefs drank a lot with their rice! Its a good thing Little Chef C only put in half the cajun spice! All of a sudden Little Chef A said, “I thought just kids threw up, not adults.” I asked where she saw someone throw up. “Chef Robert. Remember on the show (Restaurant Impossible) there was a big mess and he threw up.” She is correct it was a very very dirty kitchen. I don’t know why I watch that because it makes me NOT want to go out to eat. It reinforced my desire to learn more at home and have our ow
n “XXXX Family Restaurant” as we call it. Though when we say we are going to eat at the XXXX Family Restaurant  Little Chef D says it can’t be a restaurant because we do not have very many chairs. At least we have enough for all of us!

Seared Rib Eye, Salsa Verde, Dirty Rice

Robert Irvine

Salsa Verde:

  • 2 large green tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup small diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dirty Rice:

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup small diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 2 tablespoons small diced carrots, previously boiled, semi-soft
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 3 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves, tips only
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Four 8-ounce rib eye steaks, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the salsa verde: First, dice the tomatoes, medium cut, then puree them in a food processor or blender. Next, add the cilantro, onions, balsamic, garlic, oil and jalapenos. Again, puree, taste, then season with salt and pepper. After seasoning, place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to merge.

For the dirty rice: In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and allow to warm. Next, add the onions and cook, with stirring motion, until slightly translucent. This should take 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add the cooked beans and carrots and allow to warm. Then add the tomato juice and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook until the juice has reduced to 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add the rice. Warm the rice and blend the flavors over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Once the rice has warmed and the juice has finished reducing, remove from the heat, add the celery leaves, taste and season to preference with the Cajun spice.
For the steak: In a large saute pan over high heat, add and warm the oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the steaks on both sides with the salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the steak and repeat the process on the second side for a final 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan, allow to rest and serve over the dirty rice. Finish with salsa verde.
Cook’s Note: This steak should be medium-rare to medium based on a 3/4-inch, 8 ounce steak. For additional doneness, finish in a preheated 400 degree F oven to desired temperature.


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1 Reply to "Seared Rib Eye, Salsa Verde, Dirty Rice"

  • comment-avatar
    Michael Jones May 5, 2013 (7:01 pm)

    This looks awesome