Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Let’s Strip! – New York Strip That is… Grilled New York Strip Steak with Five-Peppercorn Sauce

There’s nothing like a good quality steak every once in a while to make for a really great meal. Unfortunately in the world we live in today most steak is pretty darn expensive so it is something I make very often at home, saving it for special occasions. When Valentine’s Day rolled around this year and Michelle was coming home that day after 3 weeks on the road, that was all special enough for me and I went in search for some good steak. Nothing against the big local supermarkets, but I prefer to use a smaller butcher shop for good steaks. For me, they are usually a better cut of meat and very often the price is better than want I find in the supermarket. Such was the case when I picked up three 3 New York strip steaks and got them for $5 less a pound than they were at the supermarket. I sorted out among the recipes I had and decided to give this one from Guy Fieri a try for some grilled New York strip steaks with a creamy five-peppercorn sauce. I busted out the grill pan and went to work.

Grilled New York Strip Steak with Five-Peppercorn Sauce

4 cups beef stock

Four 16-ounce New York strip steaks

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons butter

2 shallots, minced

2 tablespoons fresh cracked five-peppercorn blend

1/2 cup brandy

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Bring the beef stock to a boil in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Immediately lower the stock to a simmer and cook the stock until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 45 minutes. Set the stock aside.

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the New York strip steaks with kosher salt and black pepper and allow them to sir for about 15 minutes.

Place the steaks on the grill or grill pan, evenly spaced, and grill the steaks for about 2 1/2 minutes. Rotate the steaks a quarter-turn and cook them for another 2 1/2 minutes to create crosshatch sear marks on the steaks. Flip the steaks over and repeat the process on the reverse side of the steaks. Remove the steaks to a baking sheet and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

While the steaks are resting, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter, the shallots and the five-peppercorn blend together in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the shallots and peppercorns are fragrant and the butter is beginning to bubble, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the brandy and the red wine. Carefully place the saucepan back on the burner (at this point you could flame the mixture if you want, provided you safely have the room to do so in your kitchen and are familiar with the process; I skipped this in might tight-quartered kitchen). Add the reduced beef stock and the heavy whipping cream, bring the mixture to a boil and immediately lower it to a simmer. Cook until the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds, about 8 to 10 minutes. Prior to serving the sauce, whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the sauce, then remove the sauce from the heat.

With a sharp knife, slice the steaks into 1/2-inch thick slices, cutting on the bias. Transfer the steak slices to a large serving platter and spoon over the five-peppercorn sauce. Garnish with minced parsley and serve, passing the reserved sauce on the side.

To me there is nothing like a steak that is cooked perfectly to medium or medium-rare. You get the softness of the meat with that nice pink color and the flavor burst in your mouth. Add in this peppercorn sauce, which has a nice mix of red wine, brandy and the peppercorns to add a nice little bite and you have perfect steaks for the night. I forgot to take a picture of the sauce itself but it came out nicely. I served the steaks with some sautéed mushrooms, roasted Brussels sprouts and a recipe for pan-fried fingerling potatoes and leeks with a honey-lemon sauce that I will share with you tomorrow. Overall it was a very nice meal and a good way to cap off Valentine’s Day and Michelle coming home.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

grilled NY strip steaks

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Posted by on February 17, 2015 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Sauce


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Romance in the Air and On the Plate, Part 2 – Garlic-Thyme Smashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

A nice romantic meal needs some good side dishes, but you also want to keep in mind that you want the meal to be elegant but easy too. It’s not much fun if you have to spend hours in the kitchen cooking and then by the time you eat you are too exhausted to enjoy it. That’s why these sides were great to make. They go perfectly with the beef we had for the meal (recipe to come tomorrow) and both were made very easily. The first is for garlic-thyme smashed potatoes that you can do simply on the stove top with just a few ingredients.

Garlic-Thyme Smashed Potatoes

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes, each about 1-inch in diameter

1 cup water

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

In a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the potatoes and water and season the potatoes generously with the kosher salt and ground black pepper. Cover the skillet and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and smash the potatoes lightly with a spatula or potato masher. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are beginning to brown underneath, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until the herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

The potatoes get a great crust on them that make them nice and crunchy and the taste of the garlic and thyme goes perfectly with the rest of the meal. You can make these any time and I think they would go perfectly with any beef, pork or poultry meal.

The next dish was a very easy sautéed spinach with garlic. We make spinach pretty often and this is probably my favorite way to have it. You can cook this in under 5 minutes and have it on the table and it is a great, fresh alternative for a vegetable that night.

Sautéed Spinach with Garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, trimmed and washed

Kosher salt, to taste

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil until it is shimmering. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach in batches and cook until it is wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste and serve.

A couple of things about the spinach. Make sure you wash it in a salad spinner or rinse it off before you cook it. Even the stuff that comes in a bag and says it is washed can still be gritty, so it never hurts to give it an extra rinse and dry it off. You also want to make sure you stir the garlic well when you put it in so it does not brown, burn and get bitter. It might not seem like all of the spinach will fit in one pan but spinach cooks down very quickly so you should have no problem. Spinach and garlic go together really well so this is the perfect side dish any night of the week, and is a classic side dish with steak or beef.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I’ll be highlighting the main point of our Valentine’s Day dinner, the rib-eye steak and the broiled lobster tails. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, Potatoes, Side Dishes, Vegetables


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Romance in the Air and On the Plate, Part 1 – Roasted Beet Salad

Even though the weather around here has been absolutely atrocious this week, I had planned Valentine’s Day dinner late last week, of the ingredients I needed last week or early in the week and I was completely prepared to make everything. I even put extra hours of work in so I could be sure I had enough time to cook everything and spent the better part of the afternoon preparing everything. We had a nice, elegant meal for the three of us, something we do not do too often and it tasted great and was fun. I’ll be sharing the recipes I made over the next several days, so we may as well start off with the salad. The original thought for the recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma, but I actually ended up changing quite a bit of it because Michelle is not a big fan of a couple of the ingredients, so I did switch some things around for this roasted beet salad. I’ll give you the original recipe and then let you know what I did to change it around.

Roasted Beet Salad

3 golden beets, trimmed and washed

6 red beets, trimmed and washed

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

5 tablespoons creme fraiche

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons minced shallots

4 cups baby watercress

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the golden and red beets on a baking sheet. Coat the beets with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season them well with the kosher salt and black pepper. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast until the beets are fork tender, about 1 hour. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch wedges.

Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice, creme fraiche, the remaining 5 tablespoons of olive oil, the dill and the shallots in the blended or food processor. Blend or emulsify the ingredients until they are well mixed and season the vinaigrette with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the beet wedges in a layer on a platter and top them with the watercress. Garnish with the goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.

Okay, looking back at this I made quite a few changes to the recipe. First, I could only find red beets in my area so that is what I used. I would have loved to have the golden ones too, but it just wasn’t happening this time. Next, I omitted the goat cheese and the toasted walnuts. Michelle doesn’t like either one of them so they both went out. I also couldn’t locate any creme fraiche in the area so I had to make my own using equal parts of sour cream and heavy cream and mixing them together. It turned out just fine and was perfect to use. Finally, I hated to waste the beet greens so I decided to use them in the salad with the watercress. One thing to not about beet greens – they are very dirty and need extensive washing and spinning in the salad spinner if you have one. Also, they can be quite bitter when they are raw so if you don’t like the bitter flavor you can try blanching them or even wilting them a little in a saute pan for a few minutes. They are too tasty to waste though and make a nice addition to the meal if you can use them. We all loved the beets and always forget how great roasted beets can taste. I really need to buy them more often to make them. I really enjoyed the dressing as well with the shallots and dill adding some great flavor and I can see how the goat cheese and walnuts would add a lot to this salad. It was good as we had it, but the additions would make it even better. The picture I took does not have the dressing on it yet and you can really only see the beets and beet greens so it doesn’t do it justice.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for the next part of the dinner menu. I’ll be going over the two sides we had with the meal – sautéed spinach with garlic and garlic-thyme smashed potatoes. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!




Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Dressings, Holidays, Salad


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