I love Chicago food trucks. I remember a particular Empanada from #5411EMPANADAS with goat cheese & dates that was divine on a Friday afternoon. The “goat cheese went on a date combo” got my wheels turning and I came up with this meat-lovers’ starter.
Taking something already delish and adding my own twist is the foundation of my kitchen theory. It is always fun to start with something that makes my taste buds happy and put The Jolly Hostess spin on it – in this case, the spin is meat!
3 dates, halved
½ cup red onion, sliced and carmelized
½ cup goat cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb sirloin tip steak
Meat Dry Rub
½ Tbsp pepper
½ Tbsp salt
½ Tbsp garlic powder
Measure out the goat cheese and set aside to soften.
Caramelize onions: place 1 of the 2 Tbsp of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions for 10 minutes, watching so that they don’t burn. If onions start to burn, continue to turn the heat down to low. At the 10 minute point, add a dash of salt, stir and the magic happens. Continue to cook and stir for 20 more minutes until soft.
Add balance of olive oil, halved dates and caramelized onions into the food processor and pulse grind until evenly chopped, about 30 seconds in total.
Add date and caramelized onion mixture to the goat cheese, using a fork to smash and stir until fully combined.
Season your meat.
Grill time! Please note, I like my meat on the rare side, so this step is up to you. For pink in the center, heat both sides of the meat for 3 minutes each. Keep in mind that you will broil the goat cheese on top of the meat and it will cook at that point as well.
My Le Creuset grill pan is my fave tool to bring the “grilling out” inside. If you do not have one, a skillet will work just as well. Don’t forget the cooking spray before grilling.
Once cooked to your liking, cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, but keep the steak together, like a loaf. Believe you me, this will help when spreading the goat cheese on top. I went from using a fork (sticky goat cheese), to my fingers (messy!) to this method and it is the way to go.
Turn broiler to high. Spread goat cheese mixture with a knife over entirety of meat, like you’re frosting a cake.
Slide your goat cheese-topped meat onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Please note, each broiler is different, so keep an eye on this guy. Broil for 4-5 minutes. I like to keep the door cracked open, just in case!
Separate pieces carefully and add toothpicks in the center of each. Serve immediately.