Monday, April 28, 2008

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich

Brendan found this on Food Network and requested it for his birthday. It is AWESOME - I cannot explain how good it is...we did it without the Fennel Slaw and it was still awesome - I might recommend increasing the amount of meat...

Tyler Florence's Ultimate Steak Sandwich

Gruyere bechamel:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups grated Gruyere
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

Arugula mayonnaise:
1 bunch baby arugula
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Steak sandwich:
2 soft hoagie rolls
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound rib-eye, finely sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Fennel Slaw, recipe follows

To make the bechamel cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly to incorporate - you do not want any color. Gradually pour in the milk as you stir, and whisk out any lumps. As the mixture thickens up continue to stir until it reaches a boil - this ensures the flour is cooked completely. Dump in the cheese and stir for another minute until the cheese is completely melted. Stir in the horseradish and season with salt and pepper, then set aside to keep warm.

Tomake arugula mayonnaise: Put arugula in a food processor with the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Top with mayonnaise and process until well combined. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Prepare the steak: Take the finely sliced steak and shingle it out into 2 portions on a clean cutting board lined with parchment. Put the shingled meat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound out using either a saute pan or a meat mallet. After first pounding, remove the plastic wrap, fold in the edges, replace plastic and pound the meat some more. Store wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator. Now the meat is ready when you want to cook it.

Heat a large, flat grill-pan over medium heat. Split hoagie rolls in half, drizzle with olive oil and place onto griddle.

Take the meat out of the refrigerator. Peel off 1 side of the plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper. Put this side down in the pan and then quickly peel off the other side of the plastic wrap and season again. Cook slowly in the pan until juicy and tender and just past pink in color. Turn the meat over and then fold with some of the cheese sauce.

To serve, smear each half of the roll with arugula mayonnaise. Top the bottom with the steak and cheese, then lay a scoop of fennel slaw over the top.

Fennel Slaw:
1 large fennel bulb, fronds removed and halved
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 heaping tablespoons sour cream
1 bag coleslaw mix
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely slice fennel using a mandoline, or the grater attachment on your food processor. In a large mixing bowl combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, and sour cream and stir to combine. Add the finely sliced fennel and coleslaw mix, herbs, and olive oil and fold together. Season with salt and pepper.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jimmy's Shrimp Gumbo

This is my friend Mark's favorite Gumbo recipe. Be warned: it makes enough to feed an army, and it's a bit on the spicy side. Enjoy!

Jimmy's Shrimp Gumbo
from the Blue Star Cookbook

3-4 yellow onions, medium chopped
small head of celery, medium chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 lb. butter
1 1/2 T. chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 T. black pepper
3/4 tsp. white pepper
2 c. water
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Tabasco
4 c. canned tomatoes, with liquid
1 c. chopped green onion
1/2 c. fresh Italian parsley
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water

1 1/4 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined

Saute yellow onion, celery, and bell peppers in the butter (yes, all
the butter) until onions go translucent. Add garlic, thyme, basil, and
bay leaves; cook until all vegetables are soft. Add the wine, cayenne,
and peppers. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the water and stir. Add Worcestershire, Tabasco, and tomates. Stir
well. Add green onion and parsley. Adjust flavor using pepper and
Tabasco. Bring to a boil.

Combine water and cornstarch; add to sauce and stir to desired
thickness. Turn down the heat and let simmer until you're ready to

Grill or saute the shrimp. Either mix them into the creole or serve
them on top of the creole and rice, optionally garnished with more
green onions. Makes 6+ generous servings.

MARK'S NOTES: When I made this, I varied widely from the letter of the law.
In place of the thyme and basil, I just used a healthy amount from my
bag of "Mixed Italian Spices". I skipped the parsley entirely--it was
expensive--and the two types of pepper (that's white versus black, not
the red versus green ones) left me mystified enough that I only used
black. I also forgot to add the green onions when it said to and so
used them only as a garnish, which worked just fine. Perhaps most
critically, I'm not a huge fan of shrimp, so I sauted a couple of
decased sausages. He explicitly mentions andouille in here, but Kiwis
are afraid of hot things in general, so I went for a similarly piggy
sausage with no spicings. The recipe also has a page-long substitute
for my "water" above where you basically make a spicy stock out of the
shrimp shells, but it was too much work for me--especially since I
wasn't using shrimp--and I figure this recipe is already long enough.
I can get you the addition if you're interested. Finally: what the
recipe does NOT mention is that if you're anything like me, you'll
need a boatload of rice to go with this. Plan on 6-9 cups of cooked