We’re eating sirloin steaks seared to a perfect medium-rare and topped with a sauce of sauteed wild mushrooms, sherry, sherry vinegar, and heavy cream. Braised artichoke halves and roasted brussels sprouts simply seasoned with salt and pepper were served along with the steaks.
T: it’s not too often that we eat steak, eh?
A: dis is very true! it’s not that i’m against red meat… i just don’t tend to buy it all that often. fortunately for us, as a fabulous christmas present from your uncle johnny, we were given the gift of omaha steaks. damn. i sound like some kind of horrible commercial.
T: It sounds more like you just won the price is right. What does Amanda get today? The fabulous gift of Omaha Steaks!
A: it’s my “lovely parting” gift for those unlucky few contestants that don’t make it in to the actual games.
T: Indeed. It was a funny gift actually. My uncle Johnny, in his bachelor days, was known to stop by the grocery store on the way to the family christmas party, and buy everybody a steak. Whatever the butcher had. It was not the most planned out thing, but it did the job. After years of being made fun of, he has redeemed himself! We received a big box of Omaha steaks and fish in the mail about a week ago.
A: which is a total delight since we are about to be on a mega-budget – what with me quitting my job and all. we definately are thankful, johnny! they were actually quite good, although since i don’t eat red meat too frequently perhaps i’m not the best judge of steak character out there. I really enjoyed the creamy sherry wild mushrooms with the steak! omg, seriously dude. that was rocking.
T: That sauce totally rocked. I enjoyed taking a mushroom with every bite. I can’t believe I’m saying that I enjoyed taking a bite of mushrooms, but it’s true. They were good. Years of forcing myself to eat them is starting to pay off.
A: you sure it has nothing to do with the heavy cream and sherry that was involved? 😉
T: i don’t know why I liked it, but I did. It is quite possible that the sherry and heavy cream had something to do with it.
A: even so, i really thought you could taste the earthiness of the mushrooms through the rest of the sauce. and it really did go fantastically with the medium-rare basically-seasoned sirloins.
T: I’ve been hearing you talk about “earthiness” with every meal we’ve had for the last, i don’t know, 3 weeks.
A: okay, well actually, you’ve only heard me talk about “earthiness” for three meals: mac&cheese, hoppin’ johns, and this steak. it’s actually the mushrooms in the steak and pasta dishes that give them earthiness, and the black eyed peas are nothing if not earthy!
T: i’m all about the earthy kick. It’s been different than your previous “kicks”, and seems appropriate for the freezing weather we’ve been having lately.
A: i don’t know what it is about winter but it reeeeally makes me want to eat all kinds of wonderfully rich foods! for the most part i think my current “earthy” trend has come from the ingredients that i’ve been stocking our fridge with.
T: have you been stocking the fridge with earthy ingredients because that’s what’s available, or have these ingredients just seemed appealing lately?
A: mostly it’s been what’s available but to some extent it’s what calls to me, as well. i’ve seen a lot of different kinds of fresh mushrooms lately and they’ve really been hooking me.
T: I’m glad they’ve hooked you. They’re starting to hook me. Of course, I loved these brussels sprouts, too.
A: what’s not to love with brussels sprouts!…. unless you’re a FREAK 😉
T: They’re just lil’ baby cabbages! I believe if you don’t like them it’s because you haven’t had them done right. Of course, people would say the same to me about eggplant, but eggplant just sucks.
A: hehehe whatever! eggplant does NOT suck! i’m going to have to find ways to sneak it in to your diet without you knowing until you absolutely love it!!!
T: that’s an evil plan! Well, I’m going to play reruns of “my two dads” until you absolutely love it!
A: and I’m going to move out when that happens! so there!
T: well at least I wouldn’t be eating eggplant all the time! 😛
T: ok, then. I am going to rate this meal a 4.54/5. It was great through and through in my opinion. I guess it’s not ranking as high as some other meals because it isn’t as much my kind of meal as some are. You know, I’m a carb monster.
A: oh boy, do i know! while i like carbs, they aren’t necessary for me. I really enjoyed this meal too. I give it a 4.5/5. For me, it doesn’t receive a higher rating because of the simplicity and lack of creativity in this meal. each element was wonderful and simple. it all went well together, it just wasn’t that exciting, you know.
T: Yeah, I heard ya. One thing we have not mentioned at all is the boiled artichoke! I. Love. Boiled Artichoke.
A: um…actually, T… it was a braised artichoke… not a boiled artichoke. 😛
T: ok… um. What’s the difference?
A: when you braise, the cooking liquid isn’t up to a full boil. it was more of a light simmer.
T: is that the only difference?
A: for the most part. braising really is just cooking in liquid at a simmer, boiling is, well, boiling.
T: alright, simple enough. soo… why is that an important difference in this case?
A: well, if it was boiled the outside would be mushy and falling apart before the inside was fully cooked.
T: the outside was a touch undercooked, though
A: actually, the naturally tough leaves were tough. i didn’t remove all the tough outer leaves when i trimmed artichoke so we would have more leaves to scrape and dip in vinaigrette!
T: it just seems like if you cooked it at a slightly higher temperature the tough outer leaves could get tender and the inside would be just right.
A: not really. the stem and heart would become water logged and mushy and the tough outer leaves would be tender. i’m willing to give up the tough outer leaves for a perfect heart!
T: I suppose I just want to have my tender outer leaves and eat the cake too, or something like that.
A: heheh i feel ya. so i’ve been thinking about something you said while we were eating this meal. you said that you felt like you could eat artichokes all day long and never get full off of them.
T: yes, I believe that.
A: well, i would like to challenge you to that! next saturday. i will buy MANY artichokes, braise them, then we will blog how long it takes you to get “full” of artichoke!
T: 😀 this is a great idea! I’ll never get full! Can’t wait!
A: oh, it’s on!
3 tbsp extra dry sherry
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 cup shitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 thick slices bacon, cut in small strips
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place bacon in pan the pan and saute the bacon until mostly crispy and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add olive oil to the pan and allow it to heat for a few moments, then add the crimini and shitake mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to saute for about another 5 minutes, until they start to caramelize, stirring/tossing every couple of minutes. Season the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar and extra-dry sherry, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to get up all the tasty bits on the bottom. Add the heavy cream to the pan and allow the sauce to simmer until the liquid has reduced in half. Taste the sauce and season as necessary with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste. Great served over steak, chicken, or roasted veggies. Enjoy!
10 large brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half
1-2 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, add the brussels sprouts, olive oil, and a rather liberal amount of salt and pepper. Toss the sprouts making sure that all the surface area is coated with olive oil. Spread the sprouts out on a baking sheet. ( I prefer cut-side down so the lighter flesh gets a wonderful caramelization to it.) Once the oven has fully preheat, cook the sprouts at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes until tender yet still crunchy and caramelized on the bottoms. Serve hot. Enjoy!