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An Anniversary Dinner: Pan Seared Rib Eye Steak, Port Wine Sauce and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Okay, so I probably want a little overboard with dinner for our anniversary last night, but it was certainly worth it. It was a lot of work to get everything prepared and it was an awful lot of food for just the three of us (of course Sean joined us for dinner), but everything tasted great so I had nothing to complain about. I went to the store yesterday morning and picked out some nice-looking rib-eye steaks to make and with a little help from Denise Landis of The New York Times I was able to put together a quick port wine pan sauce to go with the steaks. Both were pretty easy to do.

Pan Seared Rib-eye Steaks

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 (8-to 10-ounce) rib-eye steaks, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick
Salt and pepper
1 recipe Port Wine Pan Sauce (to follow)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Lay the steaks in the pan, leaving 1/4 inch between the steaks. Cook, without moving the steaks, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the steaks and continue to cook until the meat registers 115 to 120° (for rare) or 120 to 125° (for medium-rare), 3 to 7 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil to rest or while preparing the pan sauce, then serve.

Port Wine Pan Sauce

1 small shallot, minced
1 small onion, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup ruby port
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

In the same skillet that the steaks were seared in, add the shallot, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan. Deglaze the pan with the ruby port, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and gently swirl into the sauce until well blended, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetables back into the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in till slightly thickened about 1 to 2 minutes more. Off the heat, add in the fresh thyme and gently mix. Serve the sauce on the side with the steaks.

The steaks were cooked perfectly and have great flavor to them even though the only spices I added were salt-and-pepper. I actually cooked them for about 2 minutes longer so they were closer to medium, but you want to make them to your own personal preference. The pan sauce was just right for the steaks. I love the taste that the port wine adds to the sauce on it blended well with the shallots, onion and mushrooms. It also tasted great on the mashed potatoes that I made to go along on the side.

And the other dish that I made to go along with the meal was a very simple bacon wrapped shrimp. This doesn’t have to be a messy project or a big production; there are really only three ingredients to the entire recipe and most of the work goes into the preparation and not the cooking itself.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

24 large uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
6 slices bacon, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning

Preheat the oven to 450°. Cover the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Insert a wire rack into the baking sheet. Spray the baking sheet with nonstick vegetable spray. Wrap each shrimp in a 1/4 slice of bacon, being sure to wrap the bacon tightly. Secure the bacon with toothpicks if necessary. Place the shrimp on the wire rack in the baking sheet. Sprinkle the shrimp with the steak seasoning on both sides.

When the oven has come up to temperature, place the baking sheet inside the oven and bake the shrimp until opaque and the bacon has begun to crisp, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

It doesn’t get much easier than this one. There are a couple of notes to take into mind when making this for yourself. First, make sure that you using large shrimp for this particular recipe. The size of the shrimp will take just about as long to roast in the oven as the bacon will to crisp so you won’t end up with any rubbery shrimp. If you are using smaller shrimp such as a medium-sized shrimp, you may want to think about cooking the bacon slightly before you wrap the shrimp to make sure that the bacon will be crisp at the same time the shrimp is done. You don’t have to use the steak seasoning if you don’t want to, although I think it added a nice flavor to the shrimp and the bacon. You could also use a barbecue sauce instead of the seasoning if you wanted to try something a little different. Having the shrimp up on the wire rack in the pan allows the air to get underneath and the heat to get underneath so that the bacon and the shrimp both cook on both sides. You could also put the shrimp on a skewer if you didn’t want to use toothpicks, or if you wrap the bacon tight enough, as I tried to do, you don’t really need any toothpicks at all.

I also served a side dish of roasted asparagus for the vegetable. Overall, I think it was a pretty good meal and we all seem to enjoy it. There were some leftovers of course but will be able to re-purpose them for another meal.

That’s all there is for today. Check back next time this see the recipes I use for dinner tonight. I’m hoping to get to the Ethiopian stir-fry tonight; I’m curious as to how well that one will turn out. Check back and see how it goes. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Sauce, Seafood

 

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A Nice Sunday Dinner

It’s another nice day here in New York. So far I am loving this mild winter with warmer temperatures and no snow. I don’t get around too well in the snow and cold anymore, so this makes things a lot better for me as far as doing things outside and getting to go places. Since today is Sunday, we are relaxing at home, reading and listening to music, and it’s a great day to cook a nice family meal. While this meal is probably better in the summertime when you can grill outside, it’s still a good one and one of my favorites. Today we are making Pan Seared Steaks with a Red Wine Pan Sauce, Sautéed Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Shrimp Scampi and Asparagus. It seems like a lot, but it really isn’t. You’ll probably spend more time peeling potatoes and shrimp than you will actually cooking, so if you can do some prep work ahead of time, your evening will go smoothly.

Pan-Seared Steaks with Red Wine Pan Sauce

Steaks

4 boneless beef steaks, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick, trimmed (I am using boneless ribeyes, but you could easily use any type of boneless steak for this one, Check and see what’s on sale)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Red Wine Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 shallot, minced

3/4 cup chicken broth (use your own or store-bought)

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 teaspoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled (it does make a difference if it’s chilled)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

Salt and pepper

For the steaks: pat the steaks dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the steaks on the first side, about 4 minutes. Flip the steaks over and continue to cook until the desired doneness (I prefer medium), another 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a clean plate, tent with foil, and let them rest for 5 minutes.

For the sauce, add oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, wine and brown sugar,  scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in any accumulated meat juice. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Off the heat, stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the steaks before serving.

It’s a very easy recipe to use. A couple of notes about cooking the steak. If you’re using larger steak and have more than one, cook only one at a time. Crowding them into the pan won’t sear them, it will only boil them and you won’t get a nice crust on them. Make sure you get your pan REALLY hot before putting the steaks in. If the oil smokes when it’s in the pan, it’s hot enough. Also, make sure you pat the steaks dry before you put them in the pan. If the steaks have been sitting in their own liquid before they are cooked, their exterior won’t brown nicely; they are just going to steam. Finally, use a conventional surface skillet for this one to make sure you get the nice browned bits for the sauce.

Now that the steaks are done, let’s move on to the shrimp. I love shrimp, made just about any way, and scampi is one of my favorites. This is great as a meal on its own served over white rice, but today we are using it as an accompaniment to the steaks.

Shrimp Scampi

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and pepper

1/8 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley

1/2 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, then season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the sugar. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half the shrimp to the pan in a single layer. Cook until the shrimp are curled and pink on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and cover with foil. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds (garlic burns fast, you need to watch it!) Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice parsley, wine and cayenne. Whisk in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the shrimp with any accumulated juice to the skillet. Toss the shrimp until they are well coated with the sauce.

The shrimp takes next to no time to cook, so you could do this while your steaks are resting. Don’t cook the shrimp too long, they will be rubbery and you’ll regret it. Also, I often buy shrimp in the shell and save the shells when you are peeling; they can be used to make some fish stock for future recipes.

Okay we have our steak and our shrimp. We have made mashed potatoes before, but if you missed them, here’s my technique for making them from a past blog. Now we can move on to our other sides for the day. The first is sautéed mushrooms. They aren’t hard to cook, but take a little longer than the steak or the shrimp, so you may want to start them earlier.

Sautéed Mushrooms with Shallot and Thyme

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/8 teaspoon dried

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the shallot and cook until the shallot is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Leave the mushrooms in chunks instead of slicing them thin, They give you a more meaty, substantial texture this way and don’t dry out like the thinner slices can.

They are lots of ways to cook asparagus (steamed, sautéed, boiled) but I am going to broil them today. I like the way they taste, and frankly I don’t have room on the stove top today with all the other dishes going on, so it works out well. You can serve the asparagus fresh from the oven, room temperature, or even chilled if you prefer.

Broiled Asparagus

1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed off

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Adjust an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler. Toss the asparagus with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the spears in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the asparagus, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice (if using) before serving.

You could dress these up if you want with some Balsamic Vinaigrette like we made in an earlier recipe or sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese or fresh herbs instead of the lemon juice. Even just tossing with some sesame seeds and a little soy sauce would be good.

Wow, we made a lot of food today and none of the recipes were difficult. I don’t normally make dessert, and it is Sunday, when we usually have dessert, but Julie is bringing dessert over today and she is a much better baker than I am, so whatever she brings would be better than what I could put together. At some point I’ll post dessert recipes on here if anyone asks for one, but I know a lot of family members who are much better at baking, so maybe they would like to provide us with some good dessert recipes (subtle hint). Enjoy your Sunday dinner and relax before the rest of the week begins. Have a glass of wine or a martini and kick back, listen to some music and start thinking about all the snacks we’ll make for Super Bowl next week (I have some good recipes I will post on Thursday!) Have a great day!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Produce, Sauce, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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