Monday, June 12, 2006


For a simple dinner, I made steak au poivre. It's really easy. Take a small (6-8oz) filet mignon or other steak of your choice, dry it off, and crack peppercorns and push them into the sides and edges. I used a mixture of pink, green, and black peppercorns. Heat a frying pan (not non-stick) until it's quite hot, and cook the steak on both sides, and sear the edges, until it's done almost as you like it (I like it very rare, almost still mooing), and put it on a heated platter. Turn the heat down a bit and add some cognac. Add enough so that you think "that's too much cognac." Boil it and scrape the brown bits and cooked-on peppercorns in the bottom of the pan, and cook for a few minutes, until it reduces. Add some heavy cream (again, when you think "that's too much" you've probably got it right). Cook that down more, until it's thick and brown. Pour any accumulated juice from the platter on which the steak sat into the sauce. Add some salt to taste. At that point I added the steak back to the pan just to get it a little warmer on the outside, but that's optional. Put the steak on a heated plate, and whisk a pat of butter (unsalted if you've got the right saltiness already) into the sauce until it's melted and the sauce is smooth. Pour the sauce over the steak, and serve. You should end up with just enough sauce to cover the steak.

This was the first week of our CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) share from Persephone Farms in Indianola, so we also had some really amazing leaves (lettuce, arugula, etc.) with a tarragon-shallot vinaigrette that Debbie made. Olive oil, finely diced shallots, chopped tarragon (finally we've got some herbs growing in the garden!) and sherry vinegar. If you have time, soak the diced shallots in the vinegar first. Also, La Brea Bakery baguette, which up here is sold slightly underbaked, so put it in the oven at 350 until it's brown, about 10 or 15 minutes.