“Blizzard” Meal: Steak with Brandied Mushrooms and Oven Fries

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I made this meal for what I like to call the Blizzard Bust of 2015 — when everyone said New York City would get three feet of snow and we got a couple of inches. Meanwhile, everything shut down — subway, no cars allowed to drive on streets after 11 p.m., etc. etc. I looked out the window the next day, and…nothing. Whomp, whomp. Quite the anticlimactic event.

And I was rather excited, actually! My first blizzard in 12 years! The plan was to curl up on my couch and get snowed in, drink a few glasses of wine and cook myself an amazing dinner. And that I did, despite the snow bust. This is a nice little indulgent meal for a night in, recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence.

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The steak is seasoned simply — salt and pepper — and the mushroom sauce is just awesome. It’s got great flavor from the garlic and thyme, and is fantastic alongside the crunch from the oven fries, seasoned with parsley and parmesan.

TW’s Tips

  • Shockingly, I couldn’t find NY Strip at the grocery store I went to; I used alternative cuts, but NY Strip is where it’s at
  • Get the pan nice and hot to get a sear on the steak. Don’t move it around in the pan — let it caramelize and form a good crust
  • If you don’t want to buy a whole bottle of brandy (who drinks brandy anyway?), grab a couple of nips at the liquor store
  • Always, always let the steak rest
  • Serve with a green vegetable: spinach, broccoli, asparagus

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Steak with Brandied Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 4 New York strip steaks, each about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds wild mushrooms, trimmed, brushed clean with a towel and stemmed, caps left whole
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Sprinkle the steaks all over with salt and pepper. Put the steaks in the pan and cook, turning to brown all sides completely, until medium-rare, 8 to 10 minutes depending on how thick the steaks are. Remove the steaks to a platter with tongs and cover loosely with a tent of aluminum foil to keep the meat warm while you make the sauce.

Put the saute pan back over medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup olive oil. When the oil is smoking, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Then add the thyme and garlic, and season well with salt and pepper. Toss a few more times to cook the garlic, then dump the mushrooms out onto a platter. Take the pan off the heat, add the brandy, and cook until almost evaporated. Add the cream and cook that down 2 to 3 minutes until reduced by about one-half and thickened. Return the mushrooms to the pan with whatever juices have collected on the platter and simmer the whole thing another 2 minutes until thickened again. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice the steak thin against the grain. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper and serve.

Oven Fries

Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, halves cut lengthwise into fourths to make 16 big, fat wedges
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Preheat a baking sheet in the hot oven for at least 5 minutes.

While the baking sheet is heating, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Then dump the potatoes out onto a baking sheet, spreading to a single layer. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then, until the potatoes are cooked through, brown and crispy. Toss the fries in a big bowl with the parsley and cheese.

Herbaceous Beef Burgers

“Is that cheese oozing out of that delicious-looking burger?” you ask. Why yes. It is.

Which is reason #1 why you need to make these awesome “Herbaceous Beef Burgers” (recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray). You form the burger — beef with a mix of dill, parsley and chives, around a chunk of creamy goat cheese, so when you bite into the burger all of that melty goodness lies in wait inside. The herbs in the burger give it a great, fresh taste, and I love the unconventional burger toppers of cucumber and radish.

I made these burgers with my “Little Sister” through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. It’s a pretty simple, straightforward recipe so it’s great for cooking with someone, and she loved the results! The honey mustard sauce is a great finisher.

TW’s Tips

  • More than 1/4 pound burgers are too big for me — I used about a pound of meat instead of the recommended pound and a half, which makes the burger look sadly small on the huge kaiser roll, but it’s more than enough for a filling meal.
  • I served this with potato salad and fresh corn on the cob from the farmers market — yum!
  • Add on tomato or avocado if you want more veggies involved.

Herbaceous Beef Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dill (a generous handful)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 4 ounce log goat cheese, quartered
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 crusty whole grain kaiser rolls, split
  • 4 leaves green-leaf lettuce
  • 1/4 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 thin slices red onion

Directions

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the beef, parsley, dill, chives and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 4 mounds. Press 1 piece of cheese into the center of each mound, then form a patty around the cheese. Drizzle the patties with EVOO and grill for 4 minutes on each side for medium.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mustard and honey; season with salt and pepper. Layer each roll bottom with lettuce, cucumber, radish, onion and a burger. Spread honey mustard sauce on the cut side of the bun tops and set into place.