Friday, November 30, 2012
Date Night Dinner
It's Friday night; date night! Well, for me it's usually first a date with Wegmans, and then with my DVR, but that's the quiet life of a single lady. Anyway, just because I don't have someone to cook for doesn't mean I don't enjoy a delicious dinner, and this certainly is one of my favorites. Although I have never cooked this for a date with another person, I am fairly certain it would go over very well. I would date me if I made this... Anyway, here we go.
This meal includes many foods that I have only as an adult discovered to be delicious (risotto, mushrooms, and brussel sprouts.) If you aren't a fan, leave out the fungus, and sub in your favorite vegetables for the sprouts. If you don't eat steak, I do something similar with chicken. I will try to remember to blog about it soon!
So the meal is pan cooked, grass-fed beef tenderloin (a Wegmans favorite of mine), mushroom risotto, mushrooms in red wine sauce, and roasted brussel sprouts. It is SO GOOD and pretty easy to make, you just can't walk away. Never walk away from risotto!
First, take out your steak to rest and pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees (I used my toaster oven and it worked just fine!) Start by dicing a small onion, and add it to 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Let them soften up while you prep some other ingredients. Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add a little butter with a few turns around the pan of olive oil, then throw in your mushrooms. I used a package of slice baby bellas, but buttons would work too. Let them brown up before you season because the salt will draw the water out and they won't get the yummy brown color.
Now you can add the Arborio rice to your onions and let them brown up a bit. While that's all going, take a small sauce pan and heat your 1.5 cups of chicken stock over medium low heat. This is what you will add to your rice.
Now get your sprouts groovin' by rough chopping 4 cloves of garlic, and then toss your halved and quartered brussel sprouts (I just eye-balled a serving, and Wegmans sells them this time of year all ready clean and cut, so that was awesome! I used about half of that package) with olive oil, salt and pepper. I just threw it all in a tupperware container and tossed them around to coat, then laid it all out in a single layer on my foil lined baking sheet and put them in the oven. my friend, Holland taught me this way, so thanks, Holland!
Once that's in the oven, leave it be, and get back to the stove. It's time to add about a third of the hot chicken stock to the rice and stir, stir, stir. The stirring is what makes the rice creamy, so whenever you think of it, give it a few turns around the pan. Your mushrooms are probably ready for salt and pepper, and a good stirring, also. Once they are nice and brown, move them to the sides of the pan, turn up the heat, put down a little bit more olive oil, and add your steaks. Make sure they have been salt and peppered on both sides, and are room temperature. Let it sear on one side, then give them a flip, add about a third of a cup of good red wine, and let it simmer.
Once the stock has been absorbed by the rice, add another third of the stock, and stir some more. Once that's been absorbed, add in half of the mushrooms, and the last of the stock, stirring some more. Also, add some pepper, but no salt because the stock has plenty.
When your steak is done (probably about 3 minutes on each side for medium rare) remove it from the pan and let it rest before you cut it. When your risotto is creamy and when you taste a little it still has a tiny bite to it, but isn't crunchy or mush, take it off the heat, add a tsp. of good butter and a quarter cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You can probably take the sprouts out now and check if they are tender. If so, leave them out, if not, give them a few more minutes.
OH! I almost forgot one of my favorite parts. Now, this is absolutely not necessary, but since I had some tasty garlicky Italian bread left over from the other night, I made something my friends and I call "meat bread." It was born at one of those restaurants where you cook your own meat, and we always throw our buttered bread down on the grill after all the meat has been cooking, and vala! Meat bread was born. So, for this meal, after I take the steak off, I put my mushrooms and what's left of the reduced wine and transfer them into my now empty chicken stock pan until I'm ready with them, add a little butted to the meat pan, and toast off some good bread on both sides.
It is so good, but if you don't have bread around, trust me, it's just a bonus, you won't need it. Now you just have to plate it all up, pour some wine and enjoy! Whether you have a date with the person of your dreams, or your DVR, you will love this meal.