Hello, again! Even though we are on the cusp of having to endure the immense Florida heat; we still get lucky with some cool nights, as well. During these chilly evenings-aside from wanting to drink copious amounts of wine and have a good cry-I feel the need to run to a hearty, meaty dish to warm me all the way through. To me, nothing hits the spot better than my Pork Chops stuffed with Spicy Chorizo and Cornbread stuffing. Of course, I could have just stopped there; however, I decided to make a fluffy rice pilaf and sherry pan gravy as accompaniments to this bad ass plate of food. Now, let’s get cooking!
Hello, again! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a new blog entry and that is largely due to the fact that I’ve been busy discovering food. In my world, that translates to: “stuffing your face”. Needless to say, I’ve been learning a lot about the new food that surrounds me here in Pensacola, Florida; but also, discovering a new voice and interpretation on the food that I cook. I don’t mean to get deep her folks, but this place has truly changed me—for the better. That said, I will forever have this nomad inside of me that wants to travel to a new place and the best way that I know how to do that is through food. Tonight’s menu: steak dinner. With tonight’s dinner, I wanted to have somewhat of a throwback interpretation on things—a supper club state of mind. Of course with any steak dinner, you have to pick a good cut of steak. For me, it has to be a bone-in ribeye. For the accompaniments, I chose boursin cheese whipped potatoes with a mushroom ragu and topped the steak with a blue cheese butter. Let’s get started!
For the Steak:
2, bone-in ribeye steaks seasoned with salt and pepper and left at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cooking. This brings the steaks down in temp a bit and allows them to cook better.
For the blue cheese butter:
1 stick softened, unsalted butter
3 ounces Roquefort cheese
1 scallion, finely diced
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
For the mushroom ragu:
1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 tbsp. butter
1 garlic clove, grated
Bouquet of 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary and 1 bay leaf (tied together with twine)
2 cups red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
For the potatoes:
4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 package of boursin cheese
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
It’s probably best to start with something that will take the longest and in this case, that is the potatoes. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and plunge the potatoes into the water to cook for 10-15 minutes. While they cook, I would go ahead and mix together your compound butter. Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a fork. Once thoroughly mixed, scoop out the ingredients into a shallow baking pan and spread out into a thin, even layer. Toss into the refrigerator and allow to cool while everything else cooks. Now for the mushrooms! In a large dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add the butter and allow to brown slightly. Next, add the garlic and allow to cook for about 20-30 seconds. Then, add the mushrooms and season everything with salt and pepper. The mushrooms will absorb all of the liquid in the pan; however, don’t be inclined to add more, as they will exude their juices back into the pan after cooking for a few minutes. Once the mushrooms are browned and the liquid in the pan has reduced, add the tomato paste to the pan and allow it to loosen up before adding the red wine. From there, add the bouquet of herbs, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms simmer away, it’s time to cook the steaks! Heat up a grill to 400 degrees and oil the steaks with some canola or olive oil (these can also be seared in a cast-iron pan with a little canola oil). Also, take the time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees, as well. Add the steaks to the grill and cook on 2 minutes, each side—just enough to mark them and give them some color. Next, add the steaks to a cast iron pan and place into the oven to cook for about 6-8 minutes. This is the precise amount of cook time to bring the steaks out with an internal temperature of 130 degrees, in order to allow them to rest cook to the medium-rare temperature of 135 degrees (the best temp).
While the steaks rest, go ahead and drain your potatoes in order to transfer to a bowl. Give the potatoes a good mash and add the milk, butter and boursin cheese. Continue to mash in all of the ingredients and add more milk and butter if needed. Last, season with salt and pepper. When it comes to plating-depending on how much you want to “turn up the sexy”-I like to add the potato mixture to a piping bag with a large star tip. This allows you to pipe the potatoes on the plate in a very ornate way.
Now that your steaks have rested for 8-10 minutes, start plating! Pipe or scoop your potatoes onto the plate. Next, add your perfectly-cooked steak to the plate and top with the blue cheese butter (I use an ice cream scoop for this). Finally, scoop up your drunken mushrooms and you’re ready for serving!
When it comes down to it, this meal embodies everything I want in a meal. Pair this with a crisp beer or a husky red wine and you’re bound to introduce a crowd pleaser to whomever you’re entertaining! I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I do and I hope you cook it for that someone special. If nothing else, cook it for you, damn it! Enjoy.
So we finally did it! We made the big move from the windy city of Chicago to the sunshine state of Florida. I must say; it’s been a while since we last spoke and I have been cooking up a storm in the interim. Moreover, I have finally managed to get my dream kitchen (both inside and out). So it is to say, I have of course been inspired to cook up a storm. In attempt to christen the house the best way I know how; I felt it appropriate to have a pizza night! Now, having come from Chicago, I have more than just an affair with pizza—it’s more like a committed relationship. For tonight’s menu, I have decided to make three different types of pizzas. Continue reading Pizza Night