Canary Cafe chef-owner Mansour Gorji won the annual Texas Steak Cookoff, in Hico, in 2004 and 2005.


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sliced crimini or shiitake mushrooms
1 red onion, julienne cut
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, available at Central Market and some gourmet markets and Middle Eastern food shops
2 cups whipping cream
1 fresh pomegranate (for seeds, optional garnish)

In a heavy-bottomed skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms, onions, salt, and pepper in butter mixture on high heat until the onions start to lose their color. Add pomegranate molasses and mix thoroughly. Simmer 2 minutes; do not boil. Just before serving, while steaks are resting, add cream and reheat on low.


4 one-inch-thick ribeyes, about a pound each
several sprigs fresh thyme
several sprigs fresh marjoram (optional)
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Remove steaks from refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Rub both sides with herbs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub with olive oil.

For a charcoal grill, prepare coals about 30 minutes in advance; they should be medium-hot and covered in ash. For a gas grill, use high heat. Grill steaks about 5 minutes on each side, turning once, for medium-rare. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

To serve, spoon sauce on top of steaks or serve on side. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serves 4.