Dinner with McMarks and Friends

March 9 (San Diego) —

Super fun dinner with Mark, Julie, Rob and Eileen.    Spinach salad followed by steak au poivre and smashed golden & purple potatoes.  Salted caramel apple tart for dessert.  Recipes below.
dinner march 9

steak au poivreSteak au Poivre

  • 4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 shallot, sliced very thinly

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking.  Sprinkle all sides with salt.

Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or whatever heavy object you have handy.  Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate.  Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, place the shallots and steaks in the pan.  For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.

Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or lighter.  Gently shake pan until the flames die.  Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream.  Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the teaspoon of Cognac and season, to taste, with salt. Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the sauce over, and serve.

Smashed Potatoes

  • small potatoes, no larger than 1.5 inches in dimension
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh rosemary, or dried rosemary soaked in olive oil

Boil potatoes for 15 mins until you can pierce easily with a fork.  Drain and let cool.  Place on cookie sheet and smash them gently until less than 1/2 inch thick.   coat in olive oil and salt and pepper.  add rosemary to top.  Roast in oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy.