Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nice Cake, Mike

I have been MIA from the blogosphere again, this time primarily due to starting on Cycle #4 of the research trial pump, which usually finds me fatigued. So, nothing exciting has happened this week, except...
Last Sunday, I was invited to my nephew's home in Bradenton to wish my brother, Charles, buon viaggio, on his pending annual summer excursion to North Carolina. As usual, the family gathering centered around good food, and friendly ribbing. Biff and Butch prepared a "spot on" medium rare standing rib roast, with sides of asparagus sauteed with bacon, and a tasty mashed potato casserole finished in the oven (think twice-baked potatoes). Even my niece's son, T.J, participated with a very nice chopped salad. And I promised Cherie's husband, Mike, that his dessert would make the blog... so pay attention Mike. You did a fantastic job of assembling this good looking (I wish I would have taken a photo) and good tasting cake. Mike is a griller, so the cake was a little out of the norm for him. Assemble it he did; a multi-layer angel food cake, with a generous portions of whipped cream and fresh fruit separating the layers and cascading over the top. Very nice Mike, but can you bake?
... and ...
Last Saturday, when Frank and I prepared a nice 1 1/2" thick New York strip steak prepared with a Herb Sauce, (in Italian it is Bistecca con Salsa della Erbe). As usual, lacking a grill, I seared the steak in my cast iron skillet, then finished it in the oven to a perfect medium rare. In case you haven't noticed, my family, Frank and I like our steak and roasts medium rare. For me it comes from my father, who only cooked steak one way; charred on the outside, and still moo-ing on the inside. Don't like it that way, too bad, that is how he was fixing it. But that is a story for another time. The herb sauce contains six different herbs, olive oil, and garlic. The room temperature sauce is drizzled over the steak after it is sliced and plated. The recipe follows this post. Our side was Sweet Peas with Prosciutto. Frank prepared a nice salad of mixed baby greens, walnuts and gruyere cheese with a white wine vinaigrette. It was another simple and tasty meal at Bistro 523. 

So, here is Steak with Herb Sauce, from Saveur Magazine (which seem to be my favorite food mag right now)

A thick, well-marbled cut—a rib eye, strip, or porterhouse—works best for this olive oil– and herb-topped steak. The dish is based on one served by the Italian-born chef Cesare Casella at Salumeria Rosi in New York City. We featured it as part of Nancy Harmon Jenkins's "The Essence of Olives" (May 2010), all about olive oil.

1 cup packed basil leaves
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tbsp. packed fresh oregano leaves
1 tbsp. packed fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp. packed fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp. packed fresh tarragon leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
3⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1  24 oz. 2"–3"-thick rib-eye, strip, or porterhouse steak (Simpson side bar: 1.5 pounds is a lot of meat for two people, far too much, so we cut back to a nice one pound cut, which is still above the recommended amount of protein at a meal, but was just right for us)
1. Put the herbs and garlic on a cutting board and finely chop together with a large knife. Transfer herb mixture to a small bowl and stir in 3⁄4 cup oil. Season herb sauce with salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld. Meanwhile, put steak on a plate; season generously with salt and pepper and rub with the remaining oil. 
2. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat.) Cook steak, flipping once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, 8–10 minutes for medium rare. Transfer steak to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice steak against the grain and spoon some reserved sauce over top.

Pairing Note This rich steak calls out for a smoky red, such as Wild Oak Syrah 2006 ($35) from Sonoma, California. 

1 comment:

Piglet's Buddy said...

Very nice. I actually understood almost all of the words. Ya dun good...