From My Wok to Yours - Taking the Mystery Out of Everyday Dining and Meals!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Achieving Culinary Bliss in Under an Hour with Steak Diane

"I hated it.  Don't ever cook it again."
"Aagh!! What?!?!?... Oh..."

The first statement? Coming from my wife after eating a dinner of Steak Diane served with fresh steamed asparagus and sauteed new potatoes.

The response? Coming from me, initially dismayed, then understanding the sarcasm upon seeing her plate, nearly licked clean. 

It was exciting cooking a meal that Gordon Ramsay had done on live TV, in less than an hour.  Upon first viewing, I was skeptical, to say the least, to believe that such a meal, that LOOKED so good on tv could have been reproduced in person in such a short period of time.  But I made it happen.   That included all the necessary prep time, and with all the tricks of the trade.  (Yes, I even flambed the darned thing, even though as you can see in the picture, I had to use a butane lighter as I am not fortunate enough to cook with gas...) I used Hennessey, as that was the only cognac I had on hand, and I wasn't keen on the idea of going to buy a bottle of brandy specifically for this dish, although, in hindsight, I do still have egg nog from the holidays in the refrigerator.  There were no battle scars this round, and the flame leaping from the saute pan did NOT burn anything down.

The aromas wafting from the stove made my daughter come running into the kitchen saying "What smells soooo good?"  (I love it when that happens...)

I was, at first glance, concerned that I would have to use multiple pans, as my wife is trying to get me to cook without making such a mess, but I realized that it would simply have to be done that way.  Thankfully, there were no surprises.  The sauce was a creamy goodness, with the sauteed shallots adding a sweet touch to the flavor and the garlic presenting itself in only a complementary fashion, instead of my preferred bold kick in the pants.  The only steps I may have modified were in the amount of Worcestershire Sauce and Dijon mustard.  Maybe just a wee bit more. 

And I would definitely have not tried to save money by purchasing a lesser grade steak.  Sadly, I purchased a Top Round, which comes from the top of a cow's hind legs, thus resulting in a tougher, stringier steak.  I should have gone with the New York Strip which comes from the top part of the loin, which is relatively un-used and  more marbled, thus creating a more tender steak.  It was, overall, a gloriously flavored meal, with the seasonings blending well.

This meal was served with my trademark X-rated Fruitini.  It is a neat blend of X-Rated Liquor, Bacardi Razz and Finlandia Mango Vodka.  It was a truly bold taste, designed to blend the tartness of blood oranges with the sweetness of mango.  It actually ended up tasting like a grapefruit.  Truly delicious. 

The only downside to the meal was that it left us craving a sweet treat for dessert.  So, for future reference, have a quick dessert ready.  It was truly amazing that this meal was able to be done within an hour, on a weeknight, with minimal preparation and maximum flavor and results. 

Now, I guess, back to the Chinese food...

Until then, Good Eating, Friends...

Steak Diane by Colin

4 x small sirloin steaks, approx 7 ounces each

3 shallots, peeled

8 ounces crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
(if crimini unavailable use button mushrooms instead)

3 tablespoons salted butter

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 -2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, to taste

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/3 cup brandy or cognac
(I used Hennessey, as it was all I had available, with great results)

1 cup heavy cream

Small handful of flat-leaf parsley

Sautéed Potatoes

1 pound small waxy potatoes cut in half

3 small sprigs of rosemary
(If fresh rosemary is not readily available, dried rosemary that has been soaked in water for about 10 minutes will work fine.)

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon salted butter
Olive oil

Pre-heat oven at a low temperature (170c/325f/Gas3).
Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the steaks to flatten and cut off any excess fat. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a little olive oil in a skillet pan large enough to accommodate the 4 steaks in one layer. Quickly sauté the steaks for up to a minute on each side then remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
Drain any excess oil from the pan and re-heat with some fresh olive oil. Put the potatoes in cut-side down and season with salt and pepper. Leaving their skins on, lightly crush the garlic cloves and add with the sprigs of rosemary. Once the potatoes have begun to color toss through the butter and cook for a further 1 -2 minutes. (The potatoes can be kept warm in the oven once cooked.)
To make the sauce for the steaks, heat some olive oil in a separate pan. Slice the shallots and add to the pan, allow to soften briefly before slicing and adding the mushrooms with a tablespoon of butter. Crush in the garlic using a garlic press.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, then the mustard and heat through for a minute. Turn up the heat and tilt the pan away from you. Pour the brandy into the far end and allow it to ignite - be careful that the flame that flares up doesn't singe your eyebrows! Once the alcohol has burnt off, swirl the juices around the pan. Add the cream and allow the sauce to thicken before turning down the heat.
Introduce the steaks back into the pan and cook a little further depending on how well done you would like them. Chop the parsley and add half to the pan.
Heat to boiling a pot of salted water.  Using steamer insert, steam asparagus for 1 minute. Pull, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through a little butter.
To serve, remove the rosemary and garlic cloves from the potatoes before dividing them between plates with a few asparagus. Arrange the steaks alongside, spoon the sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

X-Rated Fruitini

1.5 ounces X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
.5 ounces Bacardi Razz
.5 ounces Finlandia Mango Vodka
3 ounces Sweet & Sour

Combine all ingredients, shake in ice, strain, serve and enjoy

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