Saturday, March 13, 2010

Menu 13: A Simple Steak Dinner

Bistro-style Steak with Sauce Marchand
This is a good-sized piece of meat on a small plate. I was only able to eat about half of it. The rest will go into a dinner salad. I'll give you the recipe later this week.

2 rib steaks, ½ to ¾ inch thick or up to 1 inch
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup minced shallots
½ cup dry red wine or a bit more
Salt and pepper to taste for the sauce

1. Trim the steaks of external fat. Pat them dry; sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme, pressing the seasonings into both sides.
2. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet or cast iron frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the butter. When it has melted and is near sizzling, put the steaks in the pan, searing them for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, depending upon the thickness of the steaks and how you like them cooked. (Four minutes per side works for a 1-inch room temperature steak, if you like medium rare.) Keep the heat high, but don’t let the butter burn. (I hate testing for doneness by cutting into the steak, but sometimes you just have to do it.) When the steaks are done to your liking, remove to a warm platter and loosely cover with foil while you prepare the sauce.
3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the pan juices. Return the skillet to the heat and add the shallots; sauté until they are translucent. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits clinging to it.
4. Reduce the wine by half (it will thicken), then stir in the remaining butter. Taste for salt and pepper; add more as desired. Pour the hot sauce over the steaks.

2 servings with plenty left over 
Adapted from editors Michael Bauer and Fran Irwin’s The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook

French Potato Salad

2 pounds small potatoes
2 tablespoons salt for the boiling water (if using the boiling method)
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped green onions or chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Scrub the potatoes.
2. Place the potatoes in a steamer basket in a pot with water filled to the bottom of the basket. Turn on the heat and steam the potatoes for 20-30 minutes depending on their size. Test regularly with a sharp knife. They are done when the knife goes through the potato with no resistance. Check the water under the basket to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10-13 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a small knife.
3. Whichever method you choose, when the potatoes are done, drain and cool slightly. Peel if you’d like.
4. Cut the potatoes into quarters or sixths, depending on the size, and place them in a large shallow serving dish.
5. Pour the wine over the warm pieces and toss very gently. Set aside until the potatoes have absorbed the wine.
6. Beat together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl until the salt has dissolved. Gradually add the oil and whisk until thickened. Stir in the green onions or chives.
7. If any of the wine is lingering in the bottom of the dish, pour it out. Then pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss gently. Recheck seasonings and adjust if necessary. Remember that potatoes often need for plenty of salt. Sprinkle with parsley.

6 servings
Adapted from The New York Times Sunday Magazine, July 8, 2001

Oven-Roasted Asparagus
This is the first asparagus of the season and I just couldn't resist passing along a recipe which many of you probably already know. It is a great easy way to prepare this harbinger of spring.

1½-2 pounds asparagus, avoid pencil-thin if you can
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or regular salt

1. Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the bottom of the stalks at the place where they break.
2. Preheat the oven to 475ºF.
3. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil. Spread out on a low-sided cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper or silpat.
4. Place the asparagus in the oven for 10 minutes. Shake to turn. Test for doneness. If the stalks are soft, remove from the oven. If not, return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. If you use pencil-thin asparagus, decrease the time.
5. Remove from the oven, salt lightly, and serve.

Note: If something else is in the oven at a lower temperature, you can put the asparagus in there and watch it until it’s done. Of course, it will take a bit longer than the above times, but it’s just fine. When it’s done, remove it from the oven. You can return it briefly to reheat if you wish.

4 servings
Adapted from Crescent Dragonwagon’s Passionate Vegetarian

1 comment:

Tinky said...

A perfect-sounding meal!