Savory Steak Frites

December 4, 2007

steak frites Here’s my twist on a french classic.  The coriander and mustard provide savory, earthy notes that balance the saltiness of the blue cheese butter.  Add some julienned yam fries and a glass of Cabernet and you’ve got an unbeatable meal.

Makes: 2 enthralled Frenchmen
Total kitchen time: 45 mins

Shopping list:

  • 2 8-10 Ounce New York strip steaks
  • 2 yams, peeled (try to find evenly shaped yams)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 5 tsp sharp blue cheese (I recommend Rogue River)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • coarse salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and set the upper rack about 8″ from the top. 
  2. Using a mandolin or v-slicer, julienne the yams.  You’re looking for thin strips, about 1/8″.  If you don’t have a slicer, you’ll spend the next 2 hours doing this by hand.  Oh well, it’s fun, right?
  3. Toss the yams with olive oil and garlic to coat.  Salt generously and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400, tossing often to prevent burning.
  4. In a mortar and pestle or small food processor, combine the coriander seeds, mustard power, white pepper, 3 wrists of black pepper, about 1 tsp of coarse salt and about 4 tsp of olive oil.  Blend until the coriander seeds are relatively small.
  5. Coat the steaks with the coriander mixture and set aside. 
  6. Preheat a very heavy skillet over high heat.  Seroiusly, get this thing hot.  Once it is smoking (literally) add the steaks and sear each side until a delicious crust forms, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the steaks to a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, combine the butter, blue cheese and half of the thyme in a small bowl.  Remove the yam fries from the oven and toss with the remaining thyme. 
  8. Plate the steaks and fries.  Place a generous dollop of blue cheese butter atop the steak and watch it melt in a ballet of buttery flavor.

Pour yourself a full-bodied glass of red wine and light a few candles.  This dinner can’t be beat.

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