Aprili fa li ciuri e le biddizzi, l’onuri l’havi lu misi di maju.
English translation: April makes the flowers and the beauty, but May gets all the credit.
Some days you just want a good steak and a good salad for dinner and I made the easy recipe for Classic Steak Au Poivre following Anthony Bourdain’s suggestions.
- 4 (8-ounce) steaks
- 1/4 cup(s) olive oil
- 4 tablespoon(s) freshly cracked peppercorns, crushed, not ground to powder!
- 1/2 cup(s) sweet butter
- 2 tablespoon(s) good Cognac
- 1/2 cup(s) (strong and dark) veal stock, something to keep in your freezer
- Salt and pepper
- For steak: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Moisten the meat very slightly with oil, then dredge each of the steaks in the crushed peppercorns to thoroughly coat. Don’t be shy with the pepper.
- Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons, which is half of the butter. Place the steaks in the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until desired doneness, about 5 to 7 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium rare, and so on. Remove from the oven and remove the steaks from the pan to rest. Have I told you yet to always rest your meat after cooking? I’ve told you now.
- For sauce: Return the skillet to the stove top and carefully stir in the Cognac. As much fun as it is to create a column of flame as you add flammable material to an incredibly hot pan, it’s not really desirable or necessary — especially in a home kitchen. Unless you’re a pyromaniac, I recommend carefully adding the Cognac to the still-hot pan off the flame, stirring and scraping with the wooden spoon to get every scrap, every peppercorn, every rumor of flavor clinging to the bottom of the pan.
- Now place the pan on the flame again and cook it down a bit, by about half. Stir in the veal stock and reduce over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.
- 2 small potatoes per person halved, parboiled, sometimes I crisp them just like my Tapas potato wedges
- 1 red onion sliced thick
- 1/2 + pound frozen whole green beans or fresh, blanched
- 8 cloves roasted garlic
- herb or Meyer lemon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons vinegar white or red wine, white or red balsamic …wonderful new Rosso vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons capers, rough chopped
- Assorted lettuces, Bibb, arugula, romaine
- assorted small tomatoes, halved
- 16 oil-cured olives, pitted and halved
- Parboil the potatoes, dry, run green beans under hot water to thaw a little and dry. Toss all vegetables with olive oil salt and pepper. Grill the onions crisp tender and a little char. grill the potatoes until soft, grill the green beans, crisp tender and place all on a platter, cool to room temperature. Smash the garlic and whisk with the vinegar, oil, and capers. Cover until time to dress the salad. Rough chop the grilled onions. All of the roasted vegetables are tossed together and dressed with a little more dressing. Have the washed and dried lettuces ready, add the dressed vegetables and toss. More dressing and seasoning to taste.