February 18, 2010

Our Valentine's Dinner

For Valentine's Day I really, really wanted to make nachos for dinner. I'm not joking. I had some spicy chorizo, a couple of ripe avocados, and, as you might expect, a huge stash of cheese, and aren't holidays an excuse to splurge and eat unhealthy things that you wouldn't normally eat? I think so. Unfortunately my valentine wasn't down with the nachos idea, so I ended up going a little more traditional and made steak. It worked out for the best, as Matt told me that it was the best meal I've made in a very long time. A compliment like that is the best Valentine's gift a girl could get. At least I think. Now that I'm repeating it it sounds a little backhanded, but I can assure you that he meant it in the nicest possible way.

The menu:

Homemade rye bread
Roasted broccolini
Blue cheese mashed potatoes
Rib eyes with chimichurri
Chocolate mousse with freshly whipped cream

The bread recipe is from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I recommend both the book and the bread.

I bought these gigantic rib eyes because they were on sale at Whole Foods for something like $10.99/lb, far cheaper than the $23.99/lb. filets I was planning on buying. Between the two of us we didn't even eat one, which means steak salads all week for me! Just as I started to get nervous about how my pesky fire alarm was going to react to me cooking a steak on the stovetop I saw Matt's friend Sarah's tweet about Bittman's method for pan-cooking a steak in a poorly ventilated apartment with no smoke. Miraculous!

Speaking of Bittman, I used his recipe for chimichurri to top off the steak. It was so good that I used it top off the potatoes and the broccolini as well. Then I used my bread to sop up every last drop. You can find a recipe here, and I would recommend making it in a food processor as he suggests in his book rather than chopping it by hand.

I had some red potatoes that I'd boiled earlier in the week for a salad that I turned into blue cheese mashed potatoes. Simply mash up some boiled potatoes and add any combination of milk, cream, sour cream, cream cheese, and butter, season with salt and pepper, and crumble in a generous amount of blue cheese.

Since my potatoes were cold I transferred them to a baking dish, topped them with some pats of butter, and baked them with the broccolini until they were heated through.

Oh yeah, the broccolini. Toss it with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and bake on a cookie sheet at 375 or so for maybe 10 minutes. It's to die for. I may be exaggerating, but only slightly.

This meal was incredibly delicious and very easy to whip together. The chocolate mousse was the only thing that took more than about 15 minutes to make, but it was far from difficult. For as delicious as it is, it's totally worth the effort. If it weren't for the sinfulness of the mashed potatoes and the fact that I don't eat much steak I would make this meal all the time.

All of that chocolate is proof that this dessert is worth making. And check out my reflection in the double boiler. Hello, me!

The chocolate mousse recipe I used was from Orangette. You can follow the link to her recipe; I'll just show you some pretty pictures of the process. The only change I made was the addition of a little cinnamon to give it a little Mexican flavor. It was my consolation prize for not having nachos, I guess.

Molten chocolate.

+ egg whites

Folding in the egg whites.



Sigh again.

There's nothing better than licking a spoon and discovering a second layer of chocolate underneath. NOTHING.

Extra whipped cream to top it off.

The big blue bowl remains. Who wants to help polish it off?

Labels: , , ,


Blogger -Sarah- said...

Thanks for the shout out! We had a very similar V-day dinner. Caveat to Bittman's method: even on moderate heat, and with steaks patted totally dry, I had a...uh...smoke issue in my apartment, and nearly ruined our filets after I marinated them in a totally underwhelming balsamic marinade. Balsamic + searing = burn! I should have known better than to marinate such a good cut of steak.

February 18, 2010  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home