Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Getting Saucy

For Valentine's Day, John and I celebrated by staying in and cooking a steak dinner here at home. I made filet mignon in our cast iron skillet, scalloped potatoes, brussels sprouts in an onion and balsamic vinegar reduction, and béarnaise sauce to top it all off. It came out to $25 a person, which is a great deal for a Valentine's dinner. Plus, we had much better company...


I got this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa a back in college when I would sit in my dorm room and watch the Food Network non-stop. If you've never had béarnaise, you should run, not walk, to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients. It's somewhat similar to a hollandaise sauce, but it's easy to make and I like it much, much better than hollandaise because it's lighter and more acidic. I love this recipe so much that it's one of the ones I made into recipe art to hang in our kitchen.


Most of my framed recipe art hangs vertically, like so.


This recipe hangs a little lower, to the side of the shelves, which makes for quick and easy referencing.


Ingredients
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 stick butter, melted



Directions
In a small saucepan, combine the shallots, white wine vinegar, and half of the tarragon over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Blend yolks and béarnaise reduction together in a blender. With the plunder running, add ⅓ of the butter in a slow, steady stream. Once it emulsifies, turn the blender speed up to high and add the remaining butter. Add the rest of the tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.


This picture would have looked snazzier if I had some tarragon sprigs to place on the lid, but I had already thrown them in the trash with the egg whites. Snap! Luckily, the taste matters more than the picture, and this recipe will make you never want to order béarnaise in a restaurant again.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of our meal either because once it was made, we ate fast fast fast because it was yum-o. Just picture perfectly cooked steak (which was mainly luck... still mastering that skill), delish potatoes, the best veggie that exists, all smothered in this sauce.

On an unrelated note, you may have seen on my Facebook or Instagram that Sweet Olive got a hair cut so she'll stay cooler on all of these sunny days we've been having. Unfortunately we had bad timing and decided to go in yesterday, and today it's in the 30s. Whoops! We already miss her long hair, but we know she's much more comfortable this way.


Also, how funny is it that she hoards her toys like this? Is this common dog behavior?

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