Thursday, October 11, 2012

Irish Butter & Scottish Cheffing

Okay, today I wanted to share with you a meal that I cooked last week that turned out deliciously fantastic!  Pan-fried steak with a port wine mushroom sauce, sesame stir-fried asparagus with peas, soft rolls and honey butter.

Now, first off I have to confess that I have never cooked steak in my life!  Well, I make cubed steak all the time, but that's totally different than say, a New York strip.  Honestly, I never really cared for steak but maybe once or twice a year, so I never thought about making it myself.  But then I found this video from Gordon Ramsay's new Ultimate Cookery Course on how to cook steak:

OMG!  Did you see that?  What, with the butter, and garlic, and thyme, and butter?  Did I say butter twice?  That's because first and foremost, I heart butter in/on anything, but to mix it with such aromatic flavors and baste a steak in it?  Forget about it.  So, for the first time ever, I decided to give it a go and cook a steak at home.  For the occasion I decided to give that block of Irish butter I'd been eyeing a try.  In case you are wondering, as I was, Irish butter has a higher butterfat content, giving it a richer, creamier flavor/texture than normal American butters.

Well, then I just had to think of a veggie to do this steak justice as a companion.  So I thought and thought about recipes I knew, I tossed a few ideas around in my head, and wound up surfing the web for something new.  That's when I stumbled across this little gem:

Sesame Stir-Fried Asparagus and Peas from a Best Health Magazine website in Canada.  Here is a link to the recipe. The recipe measurements are in milliliters, but don't panic, here is a milliliter to ounce conversion calculator to help you.  

Next, I decided I was in the mood for mushrooms with my steak.  So I tossed some of the Irish butter in a saucepan, added the other half of the red onion and let the onion cook down a bit.  Then I sliced up some Portobello mushrooms and stirred them in, mixing it all around for about 10 minutes, then I added some port wine and a little water with a bit of corn starch.  I let that all bubble together for a few more minutes until it started to thicken up a bit, then poured it into a small ramekin to serve on the side.  Mmmmm!  (No, I didn't get a picture of it- curses!)  

I got some soft bread rolls from the bakery and thought it would be cool to make some simple honey-infused butter.  But I over-softened the butter, which means that I completely melted it and it was ruined, so I settled for the plain ol' Irish butter and OMG!  Seriously, you've got to get a hold of some of that butter...oh, unless you're on a diet or something, but you should give it a taste at least once in your life, regardless.  The difference can really be tasted as a spread, not as much in cooking, just FYI.

So, considering I made everything in this meal new for the first time with only the honey butter being a failure, I sat that's a win!  Next time I'll be reviewing the local restaurant "The Garage."

**Don't forget, I will be selling and signing University of Oklahoma Cookbooks this Saturday, October 13th at the Duncan Public Library in Duncan, Oklahoma from 10am-1pm with other local artists.  So come on down!