I wouldn't say that it's pretty, but I decided to do a steak trio. Each steak was rubbed with a different spice. Starting on the left: Williams Sonoma Coffee Rub(I know), Cracker Barrel "Mud" rub(w/ Brown Sugar), and a pepper blend w/ smoked sea salt(my creation - the rub, not the salt which is from Williams Sonoma). Two new and one tried and true.
I rubbed down the steaks and let them sit for about 10-15 minutes prior to putting them into a cast-iron skillet. Make sure to put a little olive oil in the skillet while heating up just to give it a nice surface so you don't really burn off the rub. I like a medium-rare steak - I'll have you know that my wife didn't know the greatness of the medium-rare until she met me. She has tasted the light. - which is about 4 minutes per side. You don't want to turn more than once. Take the steaks off the skillet, and cover with tin foil for 10 minutes to allow the meat to rest. It'll still cook a small bit while resting.
Now for the run part, EATING! Leah and I were in agreement on steak order. In third place was the Mud Rub from Cracker Barrel. The crust created by the brown sugar in the rub was the best crust that I've seen on a homemade steak in a long while. It caramelizes down to a nice brown color. While that was nice the taste was not the best. Leah didn't like one of the spices in the rub. I believe that there was a fennel taste in the background. For me, if I had added salt I believe the taste would have been ten times as good.
In second place was the Coffee Rub. We've done this one before so we knew what we were getting into. The rub creates a good crust, but doesn't have the same texture as the Mud Rub. You don't taste the coffee that's in the rub, but it does add a flavor to the meat. If you know me, I absolutely HATE coffee! I've been through the account of Genesis more times than I can count and there is not a mention of coffee anywhere to be found. BUT, if you read closely in Revelation you'll find that coffee was thrown into the lake of fire along with the demons. It's in the original Greek, trust me.
In first place....... uh..... well by deduction, the pepper blend and smoked sea salt won out. Those simple ingredients create one of the best tastes. It also allows the meat to shine through. The pepper blend includes white, black, red, and red pepper flakes. Williams Sonoma has hit a home run with their sea salt selection. The smoked just melts into the meat and adds a hint of sophistication. I can't explain it, but it gives it almost a sweet flavor when you taste the salt. They also have a few other salts that look excellent!!! I would recommend this one to anyone wanting to try something new.
So there it is! It's not as good as my wife's food blog, but you'll have to make due until she starts cooking again.