Food is Meant To Be Shared

One of the best things about cooking is how it brings people together.  There is nothing better than gathering together with good friends and family and sharing a good meal.  That is one of the best things in life.  We do that quite often too.  I have a big house that is meant for entertaining, and I take full advantage of it.  I love to entertain.  It doesn’t matter if I am hosting a small, intimate dinner party or opening my house up to many for a big party.  I just love to entertain.  In large part, I think this is because of my background in catering.  I love to cook for people.  It brings me great joy to feed people and to bring a small bit of happiness to them, one bite at a time.

The other day we had some friends over for dinner, and had a great time, as we always do when we get together.  We had a dinner of “simple elegance” as I like to call it.  Dinner was the mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and shallots, Mussels Steamed in White Wine and Shallots with my focaccia and caramleized onion marmalade as an appetizer Focaccia with Caramelized Onion Marmalade ; Steak Oscar for the main course, Steak Oscar and for dessert, it was a joint effort.  My friend Priscilla made some delicious profiteroles filled with ice cream and topped with chocolate, and I made my maple butter cake with cinnamon pumpkin whipped cream, There is More To Maple Syrup Than Pancakes .   And of course, there was wine.  I served a cool, crisp chardonnay with the mussels and a smooth Mossafiotta Rossa red with the steak.  We enjoyed dinner out on our deck with a beautiful view and great conversations.  Dinner was delicious and the company even better.  We were all completely stuffed at the end of the evening, but it was well worth every calorie.  Life is good!

The first course – Mussels in White Wine with Garlic and Shallots and Focaccia with Caramelized Onion Marmalade.

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The main course – Steak Oscar served over mashed garlic mashed potatoes and topped with asparagus, hollandaise sauce and crab (this is where my leftover hollandaise sauce and crab came from to make my crab and asparagus quiche). Quiche Is Only Partly French

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And Dessert – Rich Maple Butter Cake with cinnamon-pumpkin whipped cream and Profiteroles dipped in chocolate.

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Quiche Is Only Partly French

When we think of quiche, we automatically think of it being French.  We think of it originating in France.   This is only partly true.   France did not officially claim quiche as part of their own cuisine until 1805.  Quiche, which is a savory open flan made from eggs, cream or milk and any combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and cheese made in a pastry crust, has been around in various European countries, such as Italy, Germany and England, since at least the 13th and 14th centuries.   These savory flans were known as Crustardes of Flesh or just Crustardes.  They are believed to have been first created in the medieval times, in the Kingdom of Lothringen, which was under German rule at the time.  The name quiche is a derivative of the German word “kuchen”, which means cake.  The Kingdom of Lothringen is now known as Lorriane, which is now part of France.  This region has switched back and forth from French and German reign for centuries.    Lorraine, was a small village at the time, that often did not have much in the way of food, as was the case for many small villages all throughout Europe.  The foods people ate were simple foods that used simple ingredients from the local ‘terroir” or products from the farms and villages.  Many people were farmers and they all had chickens and cows, meaning eggs, milk and cream were plentiful.   People ate what they had.   Each region added it’s own personality based on what foods that were readily available and plentiful.  Originally, quiches were made without cheese.  It was not until much later when cheeses were added to the crust.  Today, no one would even think of making a quiche without cheese.

Quiches are found all over the world now, in many different varieties.  They can be eaten hot or cold and are eaten for meals and snacks at any time of the day.   You can fill them with whatever fillings you like.  The possibilities are endless.  I make quiche quite often, and I make many different varieties.  In keeping with its tradition, I usually make it with whatever ingredients I have on hand at the time.  This time, I made a quiche with crab, asparagus and mushrooms.

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I used my basic go-to dough Lemony Tomato Zucchini Tart  and added jalapeno jack cheese on the bottom, before adding my crab and vegetables.  Usually a mild cheese is best for making quiches, because you do not want the flavors of the cheese to overpower the subtle and delicate flavors of the fillings and the dish in general.

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I cooked my asparagus first.  I wanted it still a little crisp, then I sauteed mushrooms, garlic and shallots in olive oil and a little butter, with salt & pepper, and added my asparagus to that.  I layer my quiches, but you can mix everything together if you prefer.

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After my layers of crab and my asparagus-mushroom saute, I added the eggs and cream.  This was a bit of experiment for me, since I had some leftover hollandaise sauce that I added to my egg mixture.  I wasn’t sure if it would work or not, but it did.  After all, a hollandaise is just eggs, butter and little bit of Dijon mustard.   (My crab has some tomatoes added as well.  Both my crab and my hollandaise sauce were leftovers from another meal.  This will be another post).

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Quiche with Crab, Asparagus and Mushrooms

1 lb crab

your favorite light cheese

1/2 lb cooked asparagus – cook for about 5 minutes in boiling water, then remove.  You want the asparagus to have a slight snap to it.  After the asparagus has cooled, cut it into small pieces that are about 1/2 ” in size.

4-5 mushrooms, sliced thin

1 shallot, chopped fine

1 TBSP garlic

salt & pepper to taste

4-5 eggs

1/4 cup either heavy whipping cream or milk

dash of nutmeg

dash of Tobasco sauce

 

Jeanne’s Master Dough

1 1/2 cups flour

6 TBSP COLD butter, cubed

a pinch of salt

1 egg

about 6 TBSP heavy whipping cream

 

Mix together the flour, butter and salt in a food processor until everything is well incorporated.  Then add the egg and the cream and mix everything together until the dough forms into a ball.  Remove from the food processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.  The dough will keep up to about 3 days in the refrigerator.  When you are ready to use your dough, let it come to room temperature before rolling it out on a lightly floured surface.  I usually add a little flour to my rolling pin as well.  Then roll to your desired thickness and and shape it however you like.  I use this same recipe for my tarts as well.  If I am making a sweet tart or dough, the only difference is that I also add about 3 TBSP of powdered sugar.  This is called a pate sucre.  Sometimes, when I am making a savory dough, I add black and/or lemon pepper and other spices to my dough as well.  Again, be creative and use your imagination.

Once your dough is ready, add your crab, then the cooked vegetables.  Whisk the eggs and milk together, with a dash of nutmeg and Tobasco sauce, then pour over the quiche filling, filling it all the way to the rim of the baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 350* F for about 45 minutes or until done and the quiche is set.  If the edges start to get to brown, cover the tart with aluminum foil until done.  The eggs will  rise and will fluff up at first, but once the quiche cools for a few minutes, they will settle down again.  Wait a few minutes before cutting the quiche.  The quiche can be eaten hot, warm or cold.   Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

Mussels Steamed in White Wine and Shallots

Mussels are members of the bivalve family, along with clams, scallops and oysters to name a few.  Today, there are about 9,000 different types of bivalves that can be found all over the world.  They have inhabited the waters around the world for hundreds of millions of years, and can be found everywhere; in all types of waters, in all climates.  You can find them in the warm tropical waters as well as the frigid waters of the arctic, from fresh water to salt water.  They also come in all sizes, ranging from microscopic all the way up to the huge giant clams that can be up to about 4 feet in diameter and weighing about 440 pounds.  I have seen those while diving at the Great Barrier Reef in Northern Australia.  They are beautiful, magical and mystical all at the same time.  These giant clams, however, are not really used as a general food source.

Bivalves in general are very healthy and nutritious.  They are probably, pound for pound, some of the most densely nutrient foods on the planet.   They are considered to be nutrition powerhouses.  Each type of bivalve has it’s own specific nutrient pack as well, but in general, all are a great source of protein, minerals and vitamins.   Mussels are noted for having high amounts of vitamin B12, as well as vitamin C.  Because of the density of the B12, selenium and manganese they contain, and they are also very high in protein, mussels are great for cellular health, DNA synthesis, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, connective tissue and bone health and blood sugar regulation.   Just 15-20 mussels can contain as much protein as one 6-oz steak.   Mussels have been a major food source for the world’s coastal residents for well over 20,000 years, and have been cultivated for food for almost 800 years.  Unfortunately though, mussels and bivalves in general get a bad rap and people are afraid to eat them because they believe them to be full of mercury.  This is a misconception though.  Because bivalves are so low on the food chain, they have a minimal risk of contamination from heavy metals.  The higher up on the food chain the fish are, the more likely they are to be contaminated by mercury and from other heavy metals.  In fact, mussels and bivalves actually are noted as having the lowest amounts of mercury of all seafood.  So unless, you are allergic to seafood and specifically shellfish, mussels and bivalves are very nutritious and healthy to eat.

As I have said many times, we love seafood of all kinds, and we try to eat seafood at least once a week.  When we are somewhere near a coast, or if we are diving, we eat fresh seafood almost daily.  One of my favorite ways to eat mussels is to poach them in white wine with shallots, garlic, herbs and tomatoes.  YUM!!!

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I sauteed my shallots and garlic in butter and a little olive oil first, then I added the white wine, mussels and all my other ingredients.  If you can, use the same wine your are going to serve with the meal.  Poach the mussels while they are still frozen.  Do not let them thaw out or they will not open properly.  NEVER eat mussels or other bivalves that have not opened, and do not force them to open.

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Once everything is added, cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid and steam for about 5-7 minutes.  You can eat them as is, serve them over pasta or rice, or with bread.  The broth is so delicious that it also becomes part of the dish, so make sure you serve it with something that will absorb all the flavors of the broth as well.  I served it with my left over focaccia with caramelized onions Focaccia with Caramelized Onion Marmalade as an appetizer to our main meal when we had friends over for dinner.

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Mussels Steamed with White Wine and Shallots

1-2 lbs frozen mussels (keep them frozen right up until you place them in your skillet)

2 shallots, minced

2 TBSP garlic

butter and olive oil for cooking the garlic and shallots

1 cup dry white wine and/or lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

tomatoes, any kind of tomatoes works – I like using a variety

fresh basil, thyme, oregano, lemon verbena (optional), or herbs of your choice, chiffonade (cut into thin strips)

more butter as a finish

Saute the shallots and garlic in butter and olive oil first, for about 3 minutes, then add all the rest of the ingredients, including the frozen mussels.  Cover tightly and steam for about 5-7 minutes.  If you want a richer, creamier texture, add some more butter to the sauce after everything has cooked, then serve either by itself, or on top of rice or pasta, or with bread.  I have served and enjoyed it all ways.  Enjoy it with a nice glass of chardonnay or any other dry white wine.  Mangia!

 

 

There is More To Maple Syrup Than Pancakes

Most of us are very familiar with how good maple syrup is on top of pancakes.  But you can use maple syrup for so much more than just pancakes.   It is perfect for baking cakes or pies too.   I often use it on my sweet potatoes as well.  To me, anything maple is a sign that fall is in the air, or at least will soon be on its way.   Though technically, the calendar still says it is only summer, I know it won’t be too much longer to wait.  Fall is my absolute favorite season.  I look forward to it every year.   I think it is the most colorful time of year, and it is so inviting to share with good friends and good food.  The nights are already beginning to darken a little earlier than they were just a couple of weeks ago, and we have had some cooler weather as well.  In fact, for it being only mid-August, we have had some really cool days, and particularly cool mornings already.  We will not have to wait to much longer before the leaves start to change colors and the air will be  crisp and refreshing.  I say bring it on, and let the wonders of fall and fall cooking begin.  In fact, I did some early, pre-fall cooking today, with of course, maple syrup.  We are having some friends come over for dinner tonight, and I thought this would be a perfect time to make a cake with maple syrup.

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This cake is both like a cake and a cookie with the crust on the bottom.  I made my crust with cold butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon.   Cut the cold butter into small cubes and mix well with the flour, sugar and cinnamon, (I find using my hands works best, but you can use a pastry cutter as well) until it is all crumbled together.  Then firmly press it all into the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan.  Bake at 350* for 5-7 minutes, or until set, and remove from the oven.

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Once the cake batter is made, spoon it evenly over the crust and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is set and no longer jiggles and is golden brown in color.

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Let the cake cool completely before cutting into squares, then dust with powdered sugar.

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Rich Syrup and Butter Cake

Preheat oven to 350* F

 

Crust

1 cup flour

3 TBSP sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup cold butter

Really mash everything together, either by using a pastry cutter or by hand until everything is crumbled and starts to cling together.  Then press it all down firmly on the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish.  Bake at 350*F for 5-7 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

 

Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup flour

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup half & half

 

Mix the butter and sugar together then add the egg and mix again.   Add the maple syrup and continue to mix.  Add the flour and the half & half, 1/2 at a time and mix well in between.  Once everything is well combined and incorporated, spoon the cake mixture over the crust. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed over the crust.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until the cake is golden brown in color and is set.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares.  Dust with powdered sugar.   I served it with a maple, cinnamon whipped cream on the side.  Delicious!  This can be used a dessert or as a mid-morning snack with a warm cup of coffee or tea.

 

 

 

Don’t Cry, Onions Are Good For You

I love all kinds of onions, and cook with them all the time.  Almost everything I cook has onions and/or garlic.  That being said though, after all my years of experience cutting onions, I am still super sensitive to them.  My eyes just let loose on the water works and they burn something terrible.  It is almost like I have just watched a really sad movie or just received some very sad news when I am crying over onions.  I constantly have to stop and clean my eyes while cutting them.  The reason we cry while cutting onions is because onions produce a chemical irritant known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide, which stimulates the lachrynal glands in the eyes, and that is what makes us cry.  Over the years, I have learned a few tips that are supposed to help with the tears, and I have tried a lot of them.  There are still some others I need to try though, but so far, nothing has helped.  Here are some of the tips I have learned:  1) freeze the onions before cutting; 2) soak them in cold water; 3) use a super sharp knife; 4) microwave them; 5) keep a piece of bread in your mouth; 6) wear goggles (being a swimmer, I always have goggles on hand, but all they did for me was make me look like a goofball in the kitchen); 7) keep the sliced side of the onion on your cutting board; and 8) chew gum while cutting onions (professional kitchens never allow gum in the kitchen, so for many years this was never even an option for me).   Every time I cut onions, and I cry a river while doing so, I think back on my days in culinary school when one of my chef instructors punished me for disagreeing with him, and he made me cut a 10-lb bag of onions.  After just a few, I was crying so much and my eyes were burning so badly, he finally gave in and had someone else cut the rest.  I think he felt sorry for me.  That was cruel and inhumane punishment, I tell you.  Even though I cry up a storm when I cut onions, I will never stop using them when I cook, because the taste and texture onions bring to foods, in addition to all their health benefits, are well worth shedding a few tears.

Onions are very healthy.  They are very low in calories, high in fiber, and contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and B6.  Other health benefits of eating onions are that they are rich in anti-oxidants which help fight cancer.  They also contain anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agents. They can also help fight rinoviruses, which are the cause of the common cold and help fight off re-occurrences of other viruses as well.  Eating onions can also help regulate blood sugars and and the insulin levels in the body, which allows the body to store less fat.  And, they are an excellent source of chromium and potassium too.  Because onions are so rich in potassium, they are very heart healthy.  The potassium helps regulate the blood circulation in the body, which helps lower the blood pressure.  Be careful though, just as with anything, too much of something is NOT a good thing, but can indeed be a bad thing, especially if you are on blood pressure medicine.  Eating too much potassium with certain blood pressure medicines can cause some very bad side effects.  Always check with your doctor first before consuming a lot of onions and onion products.

The pros and cons of onions …… That being said, the other day, I caramamelized some red onions.  You have already seen them on my focaccia, Focaccia with Caramelized Onion Marmalade .  I also used them to top some ham I had cooked earlier and taken out of the freezer.  The caramelized onions really made the flavors of the ham come to life.

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Caramelized Onion Marmalade

1 red onion, sliced very thin

1 TBSP garlic

2 TBSP sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp thyme and oregano, chopped fine

 

Heat the oil in a medium hot skillet and add the onions and the sugar.   Cook for about 35-45 minutes or until the onions are soft and tender and slightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Once the onions start to caramelize, they will brown very quickly, so watch them carefully.  You do not want them to burn.  Add the rest of the ingredients along with 1/4 cup of water and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.

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Saute the onions in hot oil with he sugar for about 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once they start to caramelize, they will brown and burn very quickly if you do not watch them.

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Once they start to caramelize, add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, being careful not to let them burn.

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Onions in general are very versatile and can be used for almost any dish or recipe.  Caramelizing them just adds another dimension to your foods and really makes the flavors pop.  Don’t be afraid to add them to your next recipe.  Here are some ideas.

Focaccia with Caramelize Onion Marmalade

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Ham topped with Caramelized Onion Marmalade.

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Focaccia with Caramelized Onion Marmalade

Focaccia, as it is known by the Italians, is known to the French as fougasse.   Focaccia is a flat bread usually made with olive oil and simple ingredients.  It comes in many different shapes and forms.  It can be round or rectangular; thin and crunchy, high and soft or somewhere in between; it can also be crisp or chewy.   You can top it with simple toppings or make it is elaborate as you like.  It can be used as either a sweet or a savory dish, and is eaten at any time of day, anywhere you go.  As I have said many times, use your imagination and make it how you like it.  You can even fill it or use it for a sandwich.   Focaccia’s famous cousin, pizza, is similar, but unlike pizza, focaccia is never served hot, right out of the oven.  It is best when served warm or at room temperature.   Focaccia gets its name from the Latin word focus, or fire, and it’s adjective focacious meaning “cooked with fire”.   It dates back to the times of the Ancient Romans, and they often offered it to the Gods as a sacrifice.   Different varieties of focaccia are found all over Italy, but the region most famous for its focaccia is Genoa, in the Liguria region.  This is the region stretching in a thin arc from the French border to the northern edge of Tuscany.  Savory varieties of focaccia are found in every seafaring region of Italy, whereas breads that rise, or levened breads, are found more throughout the interior of the country.  Focaccia goes by many names, such as schiacciata, stiacciata, or ciaccia in various parts of Italy.  All these names mean flattened.  In Venice, it is known as fugassa which means cooked under the ashes.  However you want to say it though doesn’t really matter.  By whatever name it goes by, we just know it as delicious.   So Mangia!

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I am most definitely a bread person.  I love breads of all kinds and can easily make a meal of nothing but bread, either with olive oil or butter, or simply on its own.   I made the caramelized onion marmalade yesterday, and had just enough left over to make this fabulous focaccia.

First, I made the starter or the sponge, which was 1 tsp yeast, 1/2 cup of warm water (between 105-115*F) and 3/4 cup flour.  Mix the water and the yeast together and let sit for about 10 minutes before adding the flour.  Then mix in the flour, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 45 minutes and the sponge has doubled in size.

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Once the sponge is ready, add it to the rest of the dough.  Cover it and let it rise for about 1 1/4 hours, or until doubled in size once again.  This is called the first rise.

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After the first rise, add a little cornmeal to a greased 11×17 baking sheet, then press your dough into the pan, filling it as much as possible.  If the dough is not stretching, let is sit for about 10 minutes and start again.

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Let the dough rise again for about 1 more hour.  This is the second rise.  Once it has risen again, dimple it with your fingers, drizzle it with olive oil and add some coarse salt and your topping.  Bake at 400* F for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden.

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Basic Focaccia

 

The Sponge

1 tsp dry active yeast

1/2 cup warm water – between 105-115*F

3/4 cup flour

 

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and whisk it together.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until frothy and creamy.  Stir in the flour and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let double in size for about 45 minutes.

 

The Dough

1 tsp dry active yeast

1 cup warm water – between 105-115*F

3 TBSP olive oil

3 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp salt

Start your dough the same as the sponge.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water and whisk it together.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until frothy and creamy.  Add 1 cup of the flour and mix in by hand.  Once the flour is incorporated, add the rest of the flour and mix in.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough together to form a ball for about 8-10 minutes.  Cover and let it rise for 1 1/4 hours or until doubled in size.

After the dough has risen, it will be soft, sticky and delicate.  Flatten it out onto an 11×17 baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  If the dough is not cooperating, let it rest for about 10 minutes and then start again.  Stretch the dough to cover the pan.  Cover and let rise once again for about 1 more hour.

Preheat the oven to 425*F at least 1/2 hour before baking

After the second rise, dimple the dough with your fingertips and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle a little coarse salt over the dough and add your topping of choice.  Place the dough in the hot oven and spray the oven walls and “floor” with water.   After 5 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 400*F and spray the oven walls and floor again.  You want to spray the oven 3 times within the first 10 minutes of baking.   Let the focaccia continue to bake at 400* for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden.  Serve at room temperature.

 

 

Caramelized Onion Marmalade

1 red onion, sliced very thin

1 TBSP garlic

2 TBSP sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp thyme and oregano, chopped fine

 

Heat the oil in a medium hot skillet and add the onions and the sugar.   Cook for about 35-45 minutes or until the onions are soft and tender and slightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Once the onions start to caramelize, they will brown very quickly, so watch them carefully.  You do not want them to burn.  Add the rest of the ingredients along with 1/4 cup of water and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.

 

 

*** You can use any topping you like.  I made mine with a caramelized onion marmalade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Simple Steak Dinner

Sometimes simple is best and sometimes all we want is a good, tasty steak.   My husband is from Kansas, and Kansas is steak country after all.   In fact, the steak I used was from one of the cows his sister raised on her farm in Kansas.  We went in with some of my husband’s family and bought a 1/4 of a cow.  Our freezer is full of fresh beef.  There are many different cuts of beef, and each has its own unique style and personality.  With these unique personalities, come various cooking methods that will really make these cuts of meat shine and brings out their best qualities.   Steak used to be eaten on special occasions and was thought of as the symbol of American well-being and prosperity.  Today, people just enjoy it because it is so versatile and tasty.  There is no end to the ways that beef can be cooked and prepared.  Use your imagination, be bold, be creative.

Dinner tonight was a round steak that I marinated in a lemon-bourbon sauce for about 8 hours.  Once we cooked the steak, I used the same marinade to saute my mushrooms, and I added some butter and red pepper flakes and then I topped my steak with these.  For side dishes, I served a green bean salad made with grape tomatoes, red onions, red bell peppers and green beans tossed in a mustard vinaigrette and garlic roasted potatoes, with my left over lemony tomato-zucchini tart.  Lemony Tomato Zucchini Tart .  I finished everything off with a smooth Spanish temperanillo.  Simple and delicious.

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I marinated the steak in a sauce made from lemon juice, bourbon, garlic, black pepper and olive oil, for about 8 hours.  Then I grilled it up.  Searing this steak and braising it is very good too.

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While the steak was cooking up on the grill, I used the marinade to saute my mushrooms.  I also added some butter to make the sauce creamier as well as some red pepper flakes, to give a little more zing to the mushrooms.

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Round steaks have a tendency to be a little on the tough side, so marinating them for longer periods of time, braising them, and slicing them in thin strips against the grain of the meat are all simple ways to maximize the flavor while minimalizing the toughness of the cut.  A nice rare to medium rare is my favorite way to eat a steak.   It is still tender, juicy and full of flavor.

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I served the steak with this green bean salad, topped with some leftover tortilla strips I had.  Cool Green Bean Caesar Salad and some roasted red potatoes mixed with garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper and parsley.  We roast the potatoes in foil on the grill quite often.

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Lemon-Bourbon Steak with Mushrooms

1/4 cup olive oil

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP bourbon

1 heaping TBSP garlic

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup of beef broth (if searing)

2 TBSP butter

red pepper flakes to taste

1-1 1/2 lbs of chuck or round steak

1/2-3/4 cup of sliced mushrooms

 

Combine the first five ingredients and mix well.  Then pour over the steak and chill for 4-8 hours, turning at least once.  You can grill your steak or sear it on all sides.  If you are searing it, sear it in a little olive oil until all sides are browned, or about 3-4 minutes per side, then add the juices and the beef broth, along with the stems of the mushrooms and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 7 minutes, then turn the steak over and continue to simmer for another 7 minutes.  Saute the mushrooms separately, then add to the beef mixture, along with butter and red pepper flakes.  If you are grilling the meat, then just saute the mushrooms in the marinade, along with the butter and red pepper flakes and serve over your steak.  No need for beef broth is grilling the steak.