Steak Au Poivre

I am a “saucy” kind of girl.  I just love sauces on top of my foods. If the sauce is good enough, it almost makes the meal in and of itself.   Steak au poivre starts out with filet mignon, which is my favorite cut of steak, but the sauce just made it absolutely divine.  We eat well on a regular basis, but we don’t often eat filet mignon.   This was the first time in a very long time that we had filet mignon.  But it was so worth the wait.    As many of you know, there are a lot of French influences in the world of cooking.  An au poivre sauce is just such an example.  Au poivre means with pepper, so steak au poivre is a steak made with crushed peppercorns, both as the seasoning for the steak itself, and also in the sauce.

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Crush whole peppercorns and really press them into the filets on both sides.  Some people crush their peppercorns by using the bottom of a skillet and kind of rolling them on the peppercorns.  I have never had much success doing it that way, so instead, I used a hand-held meat tenderizing “hammer”.  I put the peppercorns in a plastic back and wrapped a towel around the bag than just started pounding the peppercorns until I got them to the right consistency.

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In a very hot skillet, coated with enough oil to brown the steaks and to prevent them from sticking, sear the steaks on both sides.   I love my steaks on the rare to medium rare side, so I seared the steaks for about 4-5 minutes per side.  If you like your meats more cooked, just cook them a little longer longer; about 6-7 minutes will give you a medium steak.  With this flavorful cut of meat, you definitely DO NOT want to over cook it.

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When the steaks are cooked to your desired doneness, remove them from the heat and keep them warm in the oven set at 200* F.  Drain off the extra oil, keeping the peppercorns, and add minced shallots and 2 TBSP butter.  Saute the shallots for about 3-5 minutes or until they are translucent and slightly browned.  Add 1/2 cup of cognac or brandy.  Be careful, because it will flare up and flambe, but the flames will die down within a few seconds.

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Add the cream and Creole spices, Creole mustard and any additional meat juices from the pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and reduce by half.  This will take about 3 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining butter and serve over your steaks.

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Steak Au Poivre

4 6 oz filet mignon steaks

1 TBSP Kosher salt

2 tsp whole black peppercorns

1 tsp olive oil

1/3 cup shallots, minced

4 TBSP butter, divided

1/2 cup cognac or brandy

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp Creole seasoning

1 TBSP Creole mustard

 

Top with fresh chopped parsley.IMG_1479

I served my steak au poivre with a vegetable galette and mashed potatoes, finishing the meal with a beautiful Strabilante Verdot.  This is definitely a five star meal.  As my idol an mentor would say, Bon Apetite!

 

 

 

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Vegetable Galette

My husband teases me and says I don’t like to eat leftovers.  Not true at all.  I just don’t like leftovers as they were the first time around.  I like to recreate them into something totally different, so no one knows that they already had their time and space on on the plate.  A couple of days ago, I had made a lot of sauteed vegetables, which of course meant there were quite a few left over.   Don’t get me wrong, they were very good the first time around, but I think the way that I made them tonight made them even better.  I made them into a vegetable galette, which is basically a rustic tart.  Delicious!  I just love the whole idea of rustic cooking.  To me, it seems more real and down to earth than making something picture perfect.  I served this delectable tart along side steak au poive, and a very smooth, bold and fruity Strabilante Verdot.

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Rolling out the dough.

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Making the galette.

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Folding over the edges.

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Brush the dough with an egg wash before putting in the oven to bake.

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Vegetable Galette

You can use any kind of vegetables you like.  I used sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, red onions, eggplant, mushrooms and garlic, cooked with thyme, oregano and marjoram.  Make sure to drain off any residual oil or liquid from your vegetables before using them as a filling for the dough, otherwise, you will have a gooey mess.

 

The Dough

2 cups flour

10 TBSP cold butter, cubed

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 TBSP lemon pepper

 

Mix the flour, butter, lemon pepper and salt in a food processor until well blended, then add the eggs and whipping cream and mix again until the mixture forms into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 1/2 hour before using.

The Filling

Use whatever cooked vegetables you like.

cheese of your choice.  I used Mozzarella.

pine nuts

 

Egg Wash

1 egg

1 TBSP heavy whipping cream

 

Preheat the oven to 375* F

After the dough is ready, roll it to about 1/4-1/2 ” thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover the surface of the dough with the cheese of your choice, leaving about 2″ uncovered around the edges.  Then cover with the cooked vegetables.  Layer with more cheese and finish with pine nuts.  Gently fold the dough over and layer it to a width of about 2″ from the edges.  Brush the dough with egg wash and bake for about 45 minutes or until your crust is golden brown.  Your will have a rich, buttery crust that is really light and flaky.  Serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet and Greet: 6/1/18

What a cool idea.

ajeanneinthekitchen.com

Dream Big, Dream Often

 

It’s time for the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!  Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!  

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

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Cool Pawdelicious Summer Treats

According to the calendar, it is still technically Spring.  Summer isn’t here just yet.  But the temperature and the mercury are already rising, despite that fact, and it is already sweltering hot.  We are only in early June and we are already reaching temperatures in the mid 90’s here in Colorado.  If it this hot for us humans, just imagine how hot it is for our fur babies, especially those who have a double coat and thrive in cold weather.   Lucie and Vinnie HATE the heat.   The colder the better for them.  Although, double-coated dogs have a more regulated body temperature because the double coat acts as an insulation buffer to a certain degree.  So on these dog days of summer, when you and your dogs are melting, give your dogs a bit of of break from the heat with these cool, “pawdelicious” treats.  They are like doggy popsicles.  Lucie and Vinnie absolutely love them.   As much as they love them though, and they will eat them all in one sitting if you let them, definitely fight the temptation to give them too many at one time because with the coconut oil ….. well, let’s just say it will definitely clean out their systems and there will be a runny mess to clean up.

Fritzie is inspecting and putting her paw print of approval on these, making sure  everything is just to her liking.  These pawdelicious treats have only three simple ingredients – peanut butter (either creamy or chunky), coconut oil and cinnamon.  These ingredients are fairly common in most households, and they only take about five minutes to make.   These are a cool, refreshing and relatively healthy treat for your fur babies.   Peanut butter is very high in protein and relatively low in fat, which is just perfect for the dogs.

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Lucie and Vinnie are also eagerly awaiting to give their paw prints of approval.

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The clean-up crew hard at work.

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Time for treats.

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Pawdelicious Peanut Butter and Coconut Dogsicles

I cup peanut butter, either creamy or chunky

1 cup coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Pour into molds and freeze.  Serve them frozen to your fur babies.  You will definitely get an approving paw or two after giving your fur babies these cool and refreshing treats.

 

 

 

Spicy Curried Panang-Style Shrimp

There are many different varieties of curries and curried dishes are found in many different parts of the world.  There are hot and spicy varieties and sweeter varieties, as well as everything in between.  I love them all.  My favorite curried dishes are more of the Thai and Indian styles of curries, although if a dish has curry in it, chances are, I am really going to like it, no matter what style it is.

Shrimp Panang Style Curry over wild rice, served with a pork empanada and topped with with sliced green onions and toasted coconut.  A good semi-dry Reisling would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish.

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My husband often teases me, and it has become a running joke in our house, that “I like stuff in my stuff”.  So When I cook soups, stews, casseroles, or one-pan dishes, I usually add a wide variety of fresh vegetables of all colors and textures to really make the dish come alive.   I make sure we eat plenty of greens, reds, yellows, purples and everything in between.

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Saute the vegetables first in either olive oil, peanut oil or canola oil.  I almost always use olive oil.  Cook them until they are moderately softened, but still have a light crisp to them, for about 7-10 minutes and set aside.  Don’t cover them after they have been cooked or they will loose a lot of their vivid color and freshness, becoming kind of limp and soggy.

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Cook your shrimp (or protein of your choice) separately.  You can use the same oil, adding more as needed.  Cook the shrimp for about 3-5 minutes per side until nice and pink.  Remove the shrimp from the heat and set aside.

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Make your sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and add the vegetables, shrimp and seasonings.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick.  When everything is cooked and ready to serve, top with sliced green onions and toasted coconut if desired.  You can serve this over a rice of your choice or noodles of your choice.

Spicy Curried Panang-Style Shrimp

2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp

1/2 each green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, sliced thin

1/2 large red onion, sliced thin

3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced thin

1/2 cup green beans, cut about 1″ in length

Curried Sauce

1 heaping TBSP fresh ginger

1-2 heaping TBSP garlic

1-2 TBSP lime juice

1 can coconut milk

1/2-3/4 cup peanut butter, either creamy or chunky

1 TBSP red pepper flakes or to taste

2 TBSP curry powder and/or curry paste – I used green curry paste, but red curry paste is fine too.  I use them both quite frequently.

1 tsp tumeric

2-3 TBSP honey

2 TBSP cilantro, chopped fine

salt & pepper to taste

green onions, sliced Asian style or at a diagonal

toasted coconut, optional

 

Cook the vegetables and shrimp separately and set aside.  Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and whisk together well.  Add them to your skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the vegetables and shrimp.  Continue to cook for about 10 minutes at a simmer, stirring frequently.  When done, serve over either cooked rice or noodles and top with the sliced green onions and toasted coconut if using.   You can substitute chicken or scallops, or a combination of all three if you wish.  You can also make it vegetarian or vegan too, by substituting tempe or tofu, just having the curried vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Potato Salad

Potato salad is an American staple and has been around forever.  There are many, many different versions of this delicious staple.  Everyone has their own way of making potato salad and everyone has their own particular favorite recipe.  Because potatoes are universal, there are many ethnic and/or regional influences that help create all these wonderful variations.  I have tried and loved many different styles myself, and am always looking for new ideas and new twists to old classics, not just on potato salad, but for all dishes and recipes in general.   I often make different versions depending on the meal I am serving it with.  Sometimes I like it with Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard and miracle whip.  Sometimes I like it with a dill mustard vinaigrette.  Sometimes I eat it cold, and other times I eat it hot.  Sometimes I use red potatoes and sometimes I use russet potatoes.  And sometimes, I even like to make it purple, using purple potatoes instead.  My point is, there are many ways to cook a potato and many ways to make a potato salad.  There is no right or wrong way, just many, many different and delicious variations.  The sky is the limit on the varieties that are out there.  Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and flavors.  Be open minded and be creative.  You’ll be amazed at the many different and delectable discoveries you might find, if only you allow yourself the opportunity to try.

I only had a few purple potatoes when I made this salad, and there are only the two of us, so this is just a small dish.

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Purple Potato Salad with Bacon and Chives

3 lbs cooked purple potatoes

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1 heaping TBSP Dijon mustard

1 tsp each fresh herbs like marjoram, oregano and chives, chopped fine

1 heaping TBSP garlic, minced

5 strips of cooked bacon, cooked to your desired doneness

salt & pepper to taste

red onions, diced fine

 

Cook the bacon, remove from the pan and set on a paper towel to absorb the grease.  In the remaining the bacon grease, saute the red onions and garlic for about 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent.  You may need to add some additional olive oil.  Once the bacon has cooled, chop and mix with the onions and garlic.

In a pot of boiling, salted water add the potatoes and cook for about about 8-12 minutes or until tender.  Remove from the water and let cool.  Once they have cooled, peel and quarter the potatoes.

Whisk together all the other ingredients and add the bacon, garlic and onions.  Add as much sauce as needed to your potatoes and mix well.  Top with chives.  Chill for at least 1 hour hour before serving.

You can substitute yogurt for the mayonnaise if you choose.    You can also make this a vegan potato salad leaving out the bacon and substituting vegan mayonnaise for the regular mayonnaise.  I had some left over sauce that I used to marinate chicken in as well.   If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can use your leftover sauce to marinated tofu  or tempe too.  I try my best to be versatile with left overs and to use them in as many different ways as possible.  I just hate to throw food away, so I am always looking for creative ways of reusing things.

 

 

 

Blackberry Lemon Cake

I am always on the lookout for new recipes, and when I find one that I just have to try, I am so excited and I usually try it right away.  That happened a little while ago, when a blogging friend, who goes under the name justborkingaround, posted a recipe for a Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake.  I made it a couple of days after I found the recipe, and just loved it.  With the fresh berries, it is perfect for Spring and Summer.  It’s not just for breakfast either.  It makes a perfect snack or light dessert anytime.  I made mine with blackberries, since that is what I had at the time.  I love both blueberries and blackberries, although blackberries rank a bit higher on my preference list.  It was very light and fluffy.  It was also really, really good.  Because this is such a light dessert, the calorie count is relatively low as well.  It makes 12 servings, and each serving only has 226 calories, which is perfect for those of us who are trying to cut down on our sweets and desserts, but still have a sweet tooth.

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Blackberry (or Blueberry) Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature

1-2 tsp lemon zest

1 cup + 1 TBSP sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups + 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups fresh berries (your choice)

1/2 cup buttermilk  (I use the dried buttermilk, mixed with regular milk.  Follow directions on package).

 

Preheat oven to 350* F

Prepare an 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray on the bottom and lined with parchment paper.

Toss the berries in 1/4 cup of flour.  I had some leftover lemon cookie crumbs that I ground up in the food processor and added to the flour and berry mixture as well.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and lemon zest and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.  Mix all your dry ingredients together then add 1/2 at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.   Gently fold in the berry and flour mixture, making sure not to crush the berries.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar.  Again, I used some of my lemon cookie crumbs along with the sugar to give it a real zesty flavor.  Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.  Cool completely before cutting.

Gently fold in the berries to the mixture then pour into the prepared cake pan.

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Top the cake with the sugar (and lemon cookie crumbs if using) before baking.

IMG_1288Again, thank you to my fellow blogger justborkingaround for this delicious recipe.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and I know you will as well.  Please check out justborkingaround for some more really tasty dishes.