Skillet Steak, Caramelized Potato Gratin + Kale Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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Now that we have the Valentine's Day cocktail squared away (a Pomegranate Negroni if you missed the post earlier this week), we felt like steak was a pretty appropriate choice for the occasion. We don't make steak at home all that often, but it's certainly high on my list. 

With the big Nor'easter on its way to Philly, we're more than likely to be staying in on Valentine's Day, as I'm sure a lot of other people will, and sometimes that's just as fun. Especially in this weather. When there's a foot of snow on the ground we'd rather make a fancy meal together and split a bottle of wine at home rather than trudge through snow to get to it all. Robert made this steak in our cast iron skillet, a solid alternative when grilling isn't an option. We decided to step up a classic potato gratin, layering the potatoes with caramelized onions and then baking them in individual dishes. 

Cast Iron Skillet Steak
1 12 oz ribeye steak
1 tbs canola oil
salt and pepper

Remove steak from packaging, pat dry to remove excess juices and bring to room temperature. Salt and pepper steak very generously. Prepare oven with a race set under the broiler. Place cast iron skillet on rack and preheat with broiler set to high for 10-15 minutes. Very carefully, taking caution that skillet will be extremely hot, move to a burner on stove set to high heat. Add 1 tbs canola oil to skillet and carefully swirl around pan.

When oil is shimmering (should be immediately), place steak in pan. Sear for 30 seconds and flip steak. Sear another 30 seconds. Carefully move steak to oven in position under broiler. Broil for an additional 2 minutes, flip steak, and finish for 2 more minutes. Remove steak from pan and rest on cutting board tented under foil for 5 minutes. This will result in a medium/rare to medium cook. To adjust for your preference, either reduce or add time when cooking steak under broiler.

Caramelized Potato Gratin
1 large white onion, chopped
1 tbs olive oil
2 russet potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese + additional for topping
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper

In a skillet over medium high heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Deglaze pan with a small amount of water and reduce heat to low. Cook until water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir and repeat process until onions have reduced in size and take on a brown, carmel color, about 20 minutes additionally.

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash potatoes and using a mandolin slicer or very sharp knife, slice into thin rounds. In a large bowl, combine cream, parmasan, mozzarella cheeses. tyme, and salt and pepper. Add potatoes and toss to coat, taking care to make sure each slice is well covered.

Lightly grease 2 6'' ramekins. Spread a dollop of caramelized onions on bottom. Top with potato slices, working in a circular motion until you have gone around the entire dish. Add an additional layer of onions and top with more potatoes, again working in a circular shape. Pour an additional cream mixture into gratin dish.

Cover ramekins and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, top with additional parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until potatoes are for tender.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1 large bunch kale, washed, stems and ribs removed
2 tbs pomegranate juice
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tbs additional for greens
salt and pepper

Working in bunches, roll leaves into long cylinders and slice into a chiffonade. In a large bowl, add 1 tbs olive oil to kale and massage into leaves. Let soften for up to 1 hour. To make dressing, combine pomegranete juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small nonreactive bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup olive oil until emulsified. To serve, toss greens with dressing.