This Sunday was a 24 Sunday date-night. I decided to do it just for the two of us because Brad is finishing up grad school with two weeks left and I didn’t want to distract him from his project by having people over because it would be inevitable that it would turn into a fun-filled evening of laughs and not actual paper writing.
So for dinner I decided to do one of my school favorites, pepper-crusted steak and herb topped roasted tomatoes. I mean you can blame me – look at that picture, it’s a perfect looking meal.
Yesterday, I went to Harris Teeter, my new neighborhood grocery store since we moved. They happened to have sirloin steak on sale, which is the same cut of meat we used in school because it’s cheaper than the “recommended” filet mignon. So I opted to follow my school recipe book and save $20.00.
I was going to make Pommes Anna for a side & because it makes for great blog conversation. Pommes Anna is a dish using thinly slice potatoes and clarified butter to create a flower shaped potato cake. Well my mandoline was out of commission Sunday night and I was too lazy to do it by hand so we had the normal baked potato. Thanks to the invention of the internet you can see what was suppose to be. They are delicious so it will be back on the dinner menu some day. However that’s not going to stop me from the blog story… In the French language pommes means apples AND potatoes. That’s right you have to look at the entire phrase/menu to know if you’re about to eat apples or potatoes. I for some reason find that to be interesting because sometimes it could go either way and then you’re surprised… okay it wasn’t the best blog story but hopefully interesting nevertheless?
Moving right along to the food we actually ate for dinner.
LA TOMATE PROVENCALE was a hit. I bought roma tomatoes, scooped out the seeds and core and then filled it with a breadcrumb, olive oil, garlic and fresh parsley mixture.
Then I baked them until the tomatoes cooked through and the breadcrumbs got brown. Confession – using my new stove I was unaware of it’s broiling power and in an attempt to brown the breadcrumbs quickly… I burned them. They had been in the oven for awhile but I determined to get a picture-perfect brown on top so I turned on the broiler and walked away…big mistake. I used those culinary school skills and I just carefully removed the burnt off the top, sprinkled on some bright green parsley and served it like normal – I could have kept that a secret but I decided to be honest because everything is not as it appears (deep thinking, I know but true).
Then how can you go wrong with streak and pan sauce.
LE STEAK AU POIVRE is a steak that is peppercorn crusted. In school, we had to use the bottom of a pan to smash peppercorns into small coarse bits to cover our steak. In the real world, I just bought coarse peppercorns from the store, I splurged to save me the headache.
Then as I seared the steaks the peppercorns formed their crust. I finished them in the oven on a self-made rack of crumbled up foil, which reminds me, I need to buy a rack.
As they were finishing in the oven I made a shallot pan sauce which in my opinion, is a great combo. I also love a good blue cheese compound butter or Bearnaise sauce with steak but those will be for another day.
The pan sauce called for cognac but I used what I had on hand – bourbon. And then I got to flambé! This technique makes me feel super chef-y and awesome.
There you have it, date night at home, followed by me falling asleep on the couch and Brad doing his grad school project, sometimes you just need that kind of Sunday.