Okay... it's 8am on Monday morning, the wind is whipping around my condo, but I'm not concerned about this bitch called Sandy. I've stocked up on books, candles, dog food for Ozzy, and vodka for me. (Vodka tastes just fine at room temperature.) However, if there is no post next week, you know that we're still out of power and I totally blew this storm off when I should have been preparing better for what they are calling "the storm of the century." Eh... life's a risk, right? Anyways... let's talk steak night!
Cocktail - Benedictine Manhattan
Bourbon, benedictine, vermouth, bitters. A classic Manhattan (which yes, we've made plenty times before) leaves out the benedictine and uses whiskey. However, we try to tie the flavors of our cocktail into the flavors of our dessert (has anyone else noticed that attempt?), so we went back to the steakhouse old faithful. My promise to you - there will be vodka next week.
Appetizer - Lobster Bisque
Ok, so Stew's had lobster on sale for $3.99/lb. That made this appetizer a no brainer! Jennifer followed the recipe almost exactly, except using much less tomato paste, and not thickening it to a super-rich chowder. She used homemade lobster stock from cooking 3 lobsters, and it was absolutely divine! The lighter version she made compared to the thick alternatives was perfection. Silky and smooth with a decadent lobster and fresh veggies taste! This would be a perfect cold weather lunch as well.
Appetizer Wine - 2009 Macari Riesling
The Macari vineyards can be found on the North Fork of Long Island. (Possibly upstate NY, too, since it says Finger Lakes on the bottle. Hmmm.) They are one of 40+ vineyards on a small stretch in the scenic oceanfront area, and if you're ever slightly local, I highly recommend making the wine trail trip! This nice and dry riesling had a bouquet of tropical fruits and citrus. The palate includes honeysuckle and peach with a crisp acidity to balance the meal. This is not your typical sweet riesling. It was the perfect accompaniment to the bisque
Entree - New York Strip Steak w/ Bearnaise Sauce
Ok, so the above recipe is for bearnaise sauce. The steaks were grilled on med-high heat at 4 min per side for medium rare. Let me put this in perspective for you. If I had to choose my last meal, it would be bearnaise sauce and a loaf of bread to dunk it in. I'm a bearnaise sauce freak... seriously... I have made meals of just that and a baguette before, and I will do it again. This blender recipe is classic, delicious, and simple. The vinegar cooks the eggs, but if you're nervous, they sell bearnaise sauce powder mixes in the spice aisle - those work just as well in a pinch.
Side Dish - Roasted Brussels Sprouts
It doesn't get any simpler than this recipe. Roasting these little green nuggets give them a sweet caramelization that is bound to turn any "sprout hater" into a fan.
Side Dish - Potatoes Lyonnaise
A classic steakhouse side dish, it seems everywhere has their own version of this recipe. However, its rather simple - sliced potatoes, caramelized onions, butter. We wanted a potato side dish that we hadn't done before and wouldn't overpower the deliciousness of the sauce. I would suggest some changes to this recipe, though. First... no need to melt a stick of butter in the bottom of the pan. There was way too much butter and it was only on the bottom! I'd suggest using pats of butter and using them on each layer, so that when it melts, each layer gets the buttery goodness. Also, cook time is off. We ended up baking almost 30 minutes, and then broiled the last few for the golden goodness. Another idea - some gruyere cheese in the layers to turn this into a "gratin" dish. Yum!
Side Dish - Garlic Bread
Please believe me when I say that we have attempted to make every garlic bread recipe under the sun ourselves. NOTHING has compared to this store-bought bread that I can only find at Stew Leonards. (If you know where else carries it, please let me know!) The ratio of butter to garlic and the crispy and soft ratio is just incredible. We very rarely tout store-bought items, because we'd like to think that anyone bought at the store can be made at home even better - but on this, we wave the white flag.
Entree Wine - 2009 Adelsheim Pinot Noir
Wine Enthusiast - 91/100
Okay, so you'd think we'd go with a rich Cabernet, right? We thought so, too. But many reviews said that with the bearnaise, you wanted a lighter red, or perhaps even a Chardonnay. Unfortunately, due to the impending "Frankenstorm", we weren't about to brave the crowds and hit up Harry's, so we went with the reviews and stuck with a Pinot Noir from the stockpile. It was a great choice! This rich red had arrays of pomegranate and candied cherries on the nose with flavors of brown spices and raspberry on the palate. It with smooth and silky with polished tannins. Surprisingly, a very good complement to our steak!
Dessert - Manhattan Mousse
Remember what I said about tying the cocktail to the dessert? This was, hands down, our favorite mousse to date. However, I want to point out that it doesn't really have the texture of the mousse, but almost a thicker fudge. (Or I made it wrong, which is definitely another possibility.) It was super rich and had a nice bite from the whiskey that wasn't overpowering. (Dark rum could be another alternative.) We topped it with the macerated berries, and it was perfection! A perfect finish to a lovely meal.
So there you go - another steakhouse night! (And always a favorite for us!) Although, I'd like to point out that our Baby Back Ribs post has now jumped ahead of our Filet Mignon post for the #1 read Culinary Sunday. I may have to start stockpiling on some southern cooking recipes. (Trust me, I don't mind!) We're going to a little healthier next week with a lovely fish dish that I know everyone will enjoy, and no one will expect! For all our New England friends out there, stay safe over the next couple days!
Next Week - Fish