Impromptu Date Night… At Home!

I wasn’t ready to start blogging a post almost immediately but I have to make the most of an evening Tiny Chef free. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased some items to help make my food photography a little more exciting, please let me know what your impressions are! OK, now let’s get to the foods.

FRIDGE

In the fridge, I had already purchased three filet’s at Whole Foods. After taking my cooking class on Monday at Sur La Table  I knew I had to get the meat about an inch thick. This is key to keeping it juicy but it not taking forever  to cook.

Next was the spinach fettuccine, I purchased this on Saturday at the Sugar Land Farmer’s Market. A young girl was helping to promote her families culinary business and she gave a great sales pitch. Something about how they import the flour from Italy and her Dad makes the pasta by hand, really I just liked that the pasta was green to celebrate St. Patricks Day.

I usually add a veggie element but these steaks were huge and I knew my husband and I would rather have more steak than veggie. My suggestion would be to pair with a dark green if you can because the fettuccine is pretty starchy.

For the steak toppings, BE CREATIVE! I had goat cheese in the fridge and I felt it would be a good yin to the wine sauce’s yang.

TIME

All in all it took less than 30 minutes for this meal. I have some suggested tools that made it much easier for me to take the guess-work out. I’ll insert those as we go.

MANAGEMENT

Cook your steaks first! While they rest, that’s when you toss your pasta in to the boiling water because a good soft noodle dough only needs a minute or two to become al dente. You don’t want your pasta dry if you cook it too early and then drain it. You definitely don’t want it soggy if you get too focused on your steaks and it sits in the water.

“FUN FACT: The red liquid seeping out of a cooked steak isn’t blood. It’s a protein called “Myoglobin” and water. Myoglobin helps muscle tissue store oxygen and just like hemoglobin (in our bodies) contains iron that turns red when it binds with oxygen.”

— RECIPE–

IMG_4150
Meat from Whole Foods. Spinach Fettucine noodles purchased at Sugar Land Farmers Market.
  1. Take your cast iron skillet and turn it to medium/medium-high heat. You’re not angry at the steak so there isn’t a reason to put it all the way to 10. Give the pan some love with some vegetable oil or, my preference, avocado oil. You want a high smoke point if you do an alternative oil so be mindful.
  2. While your pan heats, show your steak some love too with seasoning. Salts, peppers, dry rubs, and blackened seasoning are all great choices. Do not put herbs or anything with moisture on it yet because it’ll just burn up. Use herb and other moist ingredients at the end to garnish.
  3. When your pan is hot go ahead and lay those beautifully seasoned steaks into the pan. THEN DON’T TOUCH THEM! It’s going to be oh so tempting, but don’t. You’ll be kicking yourself later because you’ll be ruining the crust that’s forming underneath.
  4. Since you’re going to need something to do so you wont touch the steaks, start your pasta water.
  5. At 2-3 minutes go ahead and flip the steak. It should have some give to it. If it’s stuck to the pan, give it another minute before really helping it along and flipping.
  6. 2-3 minutes on the new side and you’ll then want to use your meat thermometer. Stick the thermometer in on the side of the steak. You don’t want to hit the pan and the reading be off. I have this handy-dandy one (Taylor Thermometers 9848EFDA Digital Thermometer, Long-Stem, Dual-Scale) and I LOVE IT. It doesn’t rip into your meat and is instant. For medium-rare, you want to pull the steaks off at an internal 130 degrees.
  7. After taking your steaks off the pan, now you want to get all the goodness on the bottom into a steak topping sauce. Take some shallots or garlic, mince, and toss into the pan as is. Wait for them to get a good amber to brown color (your preference) and then add 1 cup of red wine.
  8. REDUCE YOUR HEAT TO MEDIUM/MEDIUM-LOW. Let the wine cook slowly and simmer. Stir and scratch the bottom of the pan to get the yummy bits.
    OPTIONAL: Add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the sauce. 
  9. You want the sauce to thicken to LESS THAN HALF A CUP. If you did a heavy pour, it needs to be less than half of what you started with. You want a nice thick sauce.
  10. While the sauce is going, now it’s time to prep your steaks for serving. If you want to take a peek go ahead and cut into it.

    IMG_4151
    Not too shabby.
  11. Place the medallion of goat cheese on top of your steak. Then when your consistency and amount is right for the sauce, tip your skillet so it all runs together into the crease of the pan and you can scoop up all the goodness. Drizzle on top of your steak.
  12. Lastly, drop your noodles in the boiling water and it literally takes less than 2 minutes which is great because it gives your sauce time to melt your topping or soak into your steak a little before serving.
  13. Drain your noodles, toss lightly with some butter and some salt and pepper, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, or some basil.IMG_4152

Congratulations! A restaurant quality meal in about 30 minutes. The keys to this meals success are not to scorch the steaks. Nothing I have learned so far in cooking requires the highest setting of heat except for boiling water. Be kind to your food and it’ll be kind to you.

Sur La Table

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