Air Fried Caprese Ribeye with Truffle Baby Bellas
Ribeyes are some of the tastiest cuts of meat, and they need very little to make them flavorful. Unlike a tenderloin (filet mignon), it packs all it's flavor in the marbling (the intermingling of fat in the muscle). In comparison, filet mignon need to be elevated with another source of fat, which is why they are so often wrapped in bacon..or in true French style...in ton of butter. All a Ribeye needs is a bit of salt and pepper, but it won't complain if you finish it off with some butter too. More fat = more flavor after all. However, in this recipe, we'll be marinating the Ribeye steaks with some herbs, balsamic vinegar and EVOO, and they will be cooked to perfection in an air fryer. They will be joined by sliced mozzarella, Campari Tomatoes (VERY flavorful) and Basil leaves to make them the tastiest Caprese "Salad" you'll ever eat. To wrap it all together, we'll drizzle some Balsamic Glaze. Take it easy with the Balsamic Blaze as it contains carbs (as well as the balsamic vinegar). We'll pair these with sauteed Baby Portabella mushrooms which will be finished off with some truffle butter. Truffle salt makes a good substitute for the butter, and it's easier to find in supermarkets. Truffle mushrooms have a very strong flavor which can quickly overpower a dish...moderation will be key here.
- Ribeye Steak (or cut of your choice) - 2 x 16oz
- Baby Portabella Mushrooms - 12-14oz
- Mozzarella Cheese - 3-4 small slices per steak
- Campari Tomatoes - 3-4 small slices per steak
- Basil Leaves - 3-4
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tbsp
- EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) - 4 tbsp
- Thyme - 2 tsp
- Oregano - 2 tsp
- Salt - 2 tsp
- Fresh Cracked Pepper - 1 tsp
- Butter - 8 tbsp (1 stick)
- Balsamic Glaze - 1-2 tsp to taste
In a cup, combine the EVOO, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Thyme and Oregano. This will be your marinade. Put the steaks in a Marinade Ziploc bag and add the marinade. Allow it to marinate on the counter for about 20 minutes. You want the steaks to come closer to room temperature for even cooking. Preheat the Air Fryer for 2-3 minutes, and add the steaks to the middle of the basket without them touching each other. Cook for 9-10 minutes depending on thickness and temperature preference. 9-10 minutes will get you medium-rare. Make sure you flip them half way through to get them cooked evenly. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the Mozzarella slices to the top of each steak, and let them cook in the Air Fryer till they melt. Use fresh Mozzarella here (sold at the cheese section) instead of the sliced deli counter one...although deli slices would work too. Make sure you use tongs to take the steaks out, and let them rest for about 10 minutes on a cutting board before devouring them. Never cut into a delicious steak right after it comes out of the fire, or you'll lose all the juices...you need to let it rest so the juices redistribute throughout the steak. This goes for freshly grilled steaks in the summer as well. Be patient young padawan!
While the steak is cooking, preheat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat (or any skillet if you do not have cast iron), and add 1 stick of butter to it. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms. Make sure the mushrooms are well washed, and then immediately dried in a salad spinner. Mushrooms are like a sponge...they will absorb almost anything. Using a salad spinner safely dries them without them becoming watery (water and butter don't play nice together). Continue sauteing the mushroom until they have reduced in size and most of the water in them has evaporated -- about 10-13 minutes. Towards the end of their cooking, add 1 tbsp of truffle butter, or about 1 tsp of truffle salt. Crack some fresh pepper to taste and cook for another minute stirring occasionally. Sauteed vegetables are best served on a smaller dish rather than just placed on the plate next to the meat so that the butter doesn't start running around on the plate.
Add the tomatoes and the basil leaves to the steaks when you plate them, and drizzle with a bit of the balsamic glaze. Balsamic glaze is made with sugar, so keep an eye on how much you use to keep the carbs down. Pair it with the mushrooms and grab a glass of red wine.
- Pro Tip: After you slice the tomatoes with a very sharp knife (remember...we want to slice tomatoes, not fingers here), sprinkle some salt on them, and let rest for 5 minutes before adding to the steak. The salt will draw out the juices, making them more flavorful. Here's why...salt causes tomatoes to release MSG (YUP, that same MSG you keep being told is bad for you at your favorite Chinese restaurant). MSG is a naturally occurring substance that makes food more flavorful. It's naturally found in tomatoes and cheese, and is responsible for that Umami (fifth taste - savory) flavor.
- Another quasi-pro tip: When ordering Caprese salads at restaurants, add salt..for the same reason above (Most restaurants don't do this for some reason). Mozzarella cheese is pretty mild and doesn't pack a ton of flavor on its own. Depending on what tomatoes the restaurant is using...you might be ordering just a "Meh" dish. Sprinkle some salt, and taste the difference.
Start to finish, this entire dish can be completed in under an hour. In my opinion, a juicy Ribeye is always worth the time to be done right. Drop a note on the post if you end up making this at home. I am curious to see other methods of prepping this dish. As with my other recipes, the instructions, and ingredients above are just guidelines...feel free to be creative and make it your own.