"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Steak & Potato Kind of Night

This weekend, I was in the mood for some easy-to-make steak. Here's a recipe of my version of a "Steak and Potato" dinner. It is very easy to make, but packed with delicious flavors. Serve that with your favorite wine, or try the Carménère below, and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Appetizer - "Melon Wrapped w/Prosciutto & Mild Goat Cheese"
I got a small cantaloupe-type melon at the Farmers' Market on Saturday that tasted so sweet and refreshing. I had some prosciutto from Trader Joe's and some goat cheese in the refrigerator. I sliced up 1/2 of the cantaloupe. I took 3 slices of the prosciutto, and split them in 1/2 (you do not need a lot; save the rest for lunch). I placed a small amount of goat cheese inside the prosciutto, and wrapped them around each slice of the cantaloupe. Voilà! A delicious and light appetizer. [For the kids, you can use ham or turkey.]

Entree - "Grilled Steak Topped w/Blue Cheese, Served w/Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans"

"Roasted Tri-Color Fingerling Potatoes"
I got some purple, red, and yellow fingerling potatoes at the Farmers' Market. After washing them, I cut them up (bigger ones in 1/4, smaller ones in 1/2). I placed them in a baking sheet. I seasoned them with salt and pepper. I added the stems of 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, about 1/4 red onions sliced, and extra virgin olive oil. I mixed everything with my hands. Then, I placed the potatoes in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes (temperature and cooking time may vary depending on your oven). The aromas of the rosemary and onions emanating from the oven are absolutely amazing. I took them out and kept them covered until the steak is ready.

"Grilled Steak" (use whatever kind of steak you like)
While the potatoes are cooking, I took a couple of steaks (I had some Loin Top Sirloin from Costco), and seasoned them with salt and pepper, and some grilling spices. After grilling them to our desired temperatures, I placed some blue cheese on top of each, and melted the cheese. I let them sit for about 5 minutes before serving (that helps keep the juices in).

Vegetables - "Sauteed Green Beans w/Garlic"
In the meantime, I boiled a pot of water. I took some fresh green beans from the Farmers' Market, rinsed them under cold water, and cut the ends off. (Remember my green beans that were accidentally taken last week? Well, the Farmer replaced them for me.) I boiled them for about 4 minutes. I drained the water out, then placed them back in the pot. I seasoned them with some salt and pepper, and added some extra virgin olive oil. I crushed a clove of garlic, and put it in the pot. I stirred the beans until the garlic is cooked, but not burned (about 2 minutes). Then, I served the beans with the steak and potatoes.

Wine - "Carménère" (Reserva; from Chile)

This wine is different from the traditional wines that you may find at the market. But, it goes really well with meat dishes that are cooked with fresh herbs and spices. Carménère is a member of the Cabernet family of grapes, and was originally planted in the Bordeaux region of France. It is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon in that it has a deep red color, and has a rich aroma of spices and fruit. At the same time, it is somewhat different from Cabernet Sauvignon as the tannins in Carménère wine are often much softer, and the wine is drinkable at relatively young ages. Check out Wikipedia's website for a nice description and more information about this grape: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carm%C3%A9n%C3%A8re

I bought this particular vintage (Montgras, Reserva 2008) from BevMo about a month ago when BevMo was having its 5-cents sale. I bought 1 bottle for $16, and got a second bottle for 5 cents. It is a great deal.

Dessert - "Fresh Strawberry Salad w/Cinnamon-Lime Syrup"
In a small saucepan, I put about 1 cup of water, with about 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the zest of 1 lime. (I often eyeball this, and you can use lemon if you like.) To that, I added 1 cinnamon stick (you can also use cinnamon powder). I brought everything to a boil until the sugar is melted and the water is reduced a bit (by about 1/2), giving an almost syrup-like consistency.

In the meantime, I rinsed some fresh strawberries that I got from the Farmers' Market, cut off the stems, and sliced them up (smaller ones in 1/2; larger ones in 1/4). I put the sliced strawberries in a bowl. I poured the syrup over the strawberries, and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Then, I served them in a martini glass (for the grown-ups) with a small amount of whipped cream. Sooooooo delicious, and a nice refreshing end to a wonderful meal!

If you try any of the above, please write a comment and let me know what you think. If you have a recipe using similar ingredients, please do share by posting a comment!

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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