So the 26th was my 1 year blogiversary. Who knew?! I cooked up an awesome dinner, and I’d like to say I did it for my anniversary, but alas, I did not. It just worked out that way!
We’ve been cooking a lot more at home these days. We really enjoy it – and it was something we used do regularly together prior to having children. These days, we divide and conquer. But last night, it was all me.
A little background – we had a fantastic dinner downtown last Friday while celebrating Wilson’s clear ultrasound, and the side dish was parsnip potato mash. It was awesome, but obviously potatoes are not something we want to be making at home. We headed to Wh.o.le Foo.ds on Saturday and bought parsnips, not knowing what in the world we’d do with them. We figured I’d sort it out later (famous last words with produce!).
So when it came time to cook yesterday, I decided steaks would be our meal and I’d come up with something to do with the parsnips. Then I got a wild hair that I should just try to re-create the entire entrée from last weekend, because well, we both loved it. So that is what I did.
An internet search for “parsnip mash” yielded many results, mostly with potatoes, but this parsnip-apple mash sounded right up my alley… and I had lots of apples in my fridge. My parsnip mash did not end up white like Martha’s, but it was so tasty!
I decided that we had mushrooms so let’s go all out and make a rich mushroom sauce. I usually just saute them up with garlic, pepper, and salt and call it a day, but I wanted to make an awesome sauce. I got on BING and searched for “awesome mushroom sauce.” I’m not kidding – that was my search, and this little dandy popped up. It included a method for cooking the steaks as well – so I was all set. AND? I had all of the necessary ingredients for both recipes in my fridge, ready to go.
I got the mash started (sautéing the parsnips and apples) and then moved onto the mushrooms. Once they were going, I started the steaks. Everything was done at 6:03 (we usually eat at 6:00) and we were sitting down to dinner at 6:06. PERFECT!
I’m not one to post recipes because I don’t think my cooking is all that great (B would disagree, but I would then disagree in return), but this? This was fantastic! The only deviations I made from the steak and mushroom recipe were using an espresso balsamic instead of regular balsamic, topping the steaks with espresso salt as well as the called-for rosemary and pepper, and using baby bella mushrooms because that’s what we had at home.
Usually, recipes like this cost a fortune because I need to run to the store to buy things – but I had the steaks in my freezer (thank you, Wallace Farms!), the parsnips and mushrooms in the fridge, and the special balsamic in the pantry.
Happy blogiversary to me!
(I am posting the text of the recipes here in case they ever leave the internet. I don’t want to lose these little gems!)
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1 pound tart apples (about 3), such as Granny Smith, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 1/2 cups water
- Coarse salt
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook parsnips in a single layer until just golden on bottoms, about 10 minutes. Flip, and add apples, water, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Raise heat to medium-high, and simmer, covered, until parsnips and apples are very soft, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and let stand, covered to retain moisture, until slightly cooled, about 5 minutes. Puree mixture in a blender until smooth. With machine running, add remaining tablespoon butter.
Steak with Mushrooms and Awesome Sauce
- 2 sixteen ounce rib eye steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick
- Coarsely cracked black peppercorns
- Dried rosemary
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 5 ounces fresh whole oyster mushrooms, trimmed
- 5 ounces fresh whole shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
Awesome Sauce (My name, not Bon Apetit’s)
- 1/4 cup canned beef broth
- Start by rubbing the steaks with the peppercorns and rosemary and letting them sit for a little bit. I don’t think the sitting accomplishes anything other than making you really really want steak. I substituted fresh rosemary for dried and used more than the amount called for, which certainly looked nicer on the plate, as you can see below:
- The entire dish is fairly simple to cook. For the mushrooms, combine garlic, rosemary, and olive oil and sauté over medium-high heat for about half a minute before tossing in the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for 3 minutes or until they start to soften up and then add the balsamic vinegar. Throw in some salt and pepper and the fungi are ready to party.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy iron skillet, put about a tablespoon and a half of oil (for every two steaks) over high heat. Cook the steaks for 2 minutes per side, letting them brown. After the outside has browned, turn the heat down to medium-high and cook for another 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how thick the steaks are and how rare you like them. Before you know it, the steaks are done!
- BUT WAIT! There’s more! Whatever you do, do not slice the steaks immediately. Think of the juices, people! Here’s something to keep you busy while you’re waiting: Awesome Sauce. In the pan in which you just cooked your rib-eyes, there will be deliciously meaty scraps, just itching for a second lease on life. Crack open a can of beef broth, and pour ¼ or ½ cup into that pan. Let it heat, stirring and scraping until it has reduced to a succulent glaze. By the time it’s done and saucy, the steaks will be prime for the slicing.
- Order them like this: steak, glaze, mushrooms. Consume. Celebrate heartily.