Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

I absolutely love living so close to my parents. They are about 10 minutes down the road, so we get to spend time with them. For my mom's birthday, Curt and I thought that it would be nice to have them over for dinner at our place rather than go to a boring old restaurant. I decided to make a feast, so here's what was on the menu!
  • Mussels Josephine (My mom's name is Josephine, so I thought it was perfect!)
  • Steak Au Poivre
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Raspberry Tiramisu
Mussels Josephine

If you haven't had the Mussels Josephine from Bonefish grill, you are completely missing out! I love the way the sauce has a garlicky, lemony, licoricey (is that a word?) taste. It's delicious to dip the mussels in... when you're out of mussels, it's perfect to dip in fresh, warm bread! I found a copycat recipe online. The only problem I have with cooking mussels is that I get annoyed when you buy a whole bunch of them and some of them are dead. I always wash them and if some of them are open a little bit, I tap them on the counter to see if they close... if they do then they are still alive and ok, but if not, you have to throw them away.

Here's a picture of what they look like! I just followed the recipe, except I doubled the recipe for the lemon butter sauce since that's my favorite part!

Steak Au Poivre
Traditionally, this recipe calls for the steaks to be crusted in black peppercorns, but, of course, I made my own modifications!
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup Brandy
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 small ribeye steaks
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
First, I let the steaks come to room temperature so that they would cook evenly. Then I patted them dry with a paper towel. I covered both sides of the ribeyes in a mixture of the pepper and kosher salt, then set aside. Next, I heated a pan to high heat and melted the butter with a little bit of the olive oil so that the butter wouldn't burn. If you just put butter in the pan, it would burn a lot faster than the butter and olive oil. I wanted to sear the outsides of the steak to capture all of the flavor. Once the pan was nice and hot, I added the steaks and didn't touch for about 2 minutes. If you want to form a nice crust, you can't touch the steaks... just let them cook. After 2 minutes, flip the steaks and let them cook for 2 more, then remove to a plate.

In the pan, I added a bit more olive oil and then, once that was warm, I added the onions and garlic and sauteed until tender. Steak Au Poivre really isn't supposed to have the onions or garlic, or the mushrooms, for that fact, but I love the flavors they add, so I added them. :)

After cooking the onions and garlic, I added in the brandy to deglaze the pan. Since Curt and I really don't drink brandy, I just bought a few small airplane bottles from the ABC store. The brandy did a good job of deglazing the pan (this means that all the yummy brown bits from the steaks cooking and the onion and garlic, were dissolved into the brandy which helps to flavor the base of the sauce that the steaks will finish cooking in.

After adding in the brandy, I added the sliced mushrooms. I had button mushrooms, so that's what I used, but I bet that portobello mushrooms would taste delicious! Once they were cooked, I added in the heavy cream and stirred until it thickened a bit. I think I added a bit more salt and pepper until I found a taste that was just right!

Once the sauce was made, I returned the steaks to the pan with the sauce and let the steaks continue to cook through. For a rare steak, (like Curt likes) I cooked it for about 5-8 minutes. For the others (medium rare), it took about 10-12 minutes.

So overall, it wasn't exactly traditional, but it was really good!!!

Roasted Potatoes

This is a easy go-to recipe for me. Curt and I love potatoes... baked... fried... mashed...scalloped... and roasted!
* 2 lbs of red potatoes
* 2 tbs olive oil
* 2 tsp garlic salt
* 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I cut the potatoes into chunks about 1 inch thick and put them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Then I just sprinkled the olive oil, rosemary, and garlic salt over the potatoes. With my hands, I just tossed everything together until it was throughly covered, then popped them in the oven. I made sure to move the potatoes around and stir them every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes, or until they were a nice, golden brown!

Raspberry Tiramisu

I wanted a nice summery dessert and thought a trifle would be perfect! This recipe was absolutely amazing, although it was a bit intense to make because you needed so many little steps to put it all together... the result was well worth it though!

  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 6 tbs orange liqueur
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 28 lady fingers
  • 3 baskets of fresh raspberries

In a small bowl, mix the raspberry jam and 4 tbs of the orange liqueur. In a separate bowl, combine the mascarpone and cream cheeses with the remaining 2 tbs of orange liqueur. In yet another bowl, combine the whipping cream and vanilla. Mix with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form (for a short cut, just buy some Cool whip or ready made whipped cream!). Once the stiff peaks form, slowly fold in the mascarpone cheese mixture until combined.

In the trifle bowl, line the bottom with a layer of lady fingers. Brush the tops with the jam mixture, then layer the whipped cream/mascarpone cheese mixture. Lastly, add a basket of the fresh raspberries on top. Then you just repeat until you are out of ingredients. I think that I made 3 layers... but I'm not 100% sure. Once assembled, cover and let it all set in the refrigerator for a few hours.

The flavors were delicious and after the steak au poivre, this was a great way to end the dinner. It was a great dessert that was satisfying and not too heavy!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! Im so jealous! Everything looks amaazing!!!!