Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday Night, steak au poivre
To come up with a Friday night menu every week is, sometimes, not so easy. It's got to be something I have never made before or a different way to cook something that I have made before. This is my way of teaching myself to become a better cook and at the same time, make something that makes us say wow, this is sooo incredibly delicious!!! This week I didn't know what to do, and then I watched a Jamie at home show on beets and carrots. He was raving about roasting vegetables with the addition of vinegar which is unusual. I almost always just toss vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 until they are done. NY Strip steak was on sale and I had some potatoes I had to use up before going bad. Flipping through my recipes that I wanted to make I came across Ina's (Barefoot Contessa) "Mixed Berry Cheesecake".
Crostini with lemon cottage cheese and tomato salad
On the same Jamie at home show, he made this cottage cheese, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh lemon thyme combination and spooned it over a steak and beet dish as a sauce. I thought I would make it but use it on top of a crostini, (a favorite appetizer of mine) and a simple cherry tomato salad where I quartered the tomatoes and dressed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar and fresh basil. I topped the toasted french bread slices with the two toppings after rubbing a clove of garlic on the toast first.
NY Strip Steak Au Poivre.
After looking on food network.com for steak Au Poivre recipes, they are all similar with the peppercorns and the cream sauce with cognac, but they are all made in a pan and you make the sauce from the drippings in the pan. I wanted to grill my steaks, so I did and instead of making the sauce from the drippings I heated the olive oil in a pan and added shallots and green peppercorns (they are in a liquid and look a lot like capers in a little jar). Cooked the shallots a little and added the heavy cream and cognac, reduced for a minute and finished it with Dijon mustard and salt. While plating the steaks, I poured any of the juices that collected on the serving dish into the cognac and cream sauce, and then spooned that over the steaks.
Roasted red and yellow beets with balsamic glaze and roasted potato fries.
On Jamie's show he says to par-boil the veg and then roast. I decided not to par-boil the beets but to par-roast them. I rinsed and dried the beet roots and placed them into a couple sheets of aluminum foil, sealing tightly. I placed the aluminum pouch on a sheet pan and roasted for about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. The beets were almost done but not quite. I removed the skin and sliced each beet root into about 6-8 wedges, depending on the size of the beet. I tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and fresh rosemary leaves. I did that ahead of time and about 1/2 hour before dinner I heated up a sheet pan in a 450 degree oven so it got really hot then I poured the beets onto the hot sheet pan to get them really crispy on the outsides and finish cooking on the insides. Jamie was right the vinegar is a great addition to roasting.
The roasted potato fries were peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch french fries, and I par-boiled them for 5-10 minutes. I drained well and added olive oil, lemon thyme, salt and pepper to them and I added those to the same hot pan as the beets went in and they took the same amount of time to cook. I'll take that over deep fried any day!
Mixed berry cheesecake
This was a recipe I printed a while ago with the idea that I would make it someday and I have to say it was simple and extremely good. The thing that has stopped me in the past is that it has to be started the day before so it can slowly cool and then chill overnight in the refrigerator. I may have made a cheesecake before but not in a long time. After making this one I will be making it again and again. After making and cooling the cheesecake you combine raspberry jelly (heated) with sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and spoon it over the whole cake, chill and serve and all I can say is wow!