Friday, February 12, 2010

Dinner and Dessert ~ 2.12.10

Two foods that spell love in my book are steak and ice cream. For some reason, they just resonate with Valentine's Day for me and this is the perfect time of year to share them with you!

As I was looking back through my archives at She's a Crafty Pumpkin, I came across these two recipes. They're too good not to share. The first is from Eating Well magazine (fabulous publication, BTW) and the second for sweet Elise at Simply Recipes. These were originally posted way back here at my "other place".

Beef Stroganoff with Portobello Mushrooms

Meaty portobello mushrooms add to the richness of this meal without adding a lot of fat and calories. Ensure the tenderness of the flank steak by slicing it against the grain.

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes

2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 pound flank steak, trimmed

4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, halved and thinly sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy- I used cognac- the little bottles you buy at the liquor store were a perfect size
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley, divided

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add steak and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (The meat will be rare, but will continue to cook as it rests.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut lengthwise into 2 long pieces then crosswise, across the grain, into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are very tender and lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Stir in broth, cognac (or brandy) and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer, and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in sour cream, chives (or parsley), the sliced steak and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 329 calories; 16 g fat (5 g sat, 7 g mono); 56 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 2 g fiber; 383 mg sodium. Nutrition bonus: Selenium (42% daily value), Zinc (31% dv), Potassium (18% dv), Iron (15% dv).

And the next recipe was supposed to be a nice treat for my family (mom, dad, sister, niece) on Sunday night, but someone (who shall remain nameless) forgot to freeze the ice cream container. So it was a no go.

However, it was AWESOME the next night and we still have some left!!! If you'd like, click on the recipe title and it will take you straight to the recipe. Elise always posts pictures of the process (love that). And although it was a bit labor intensive, it was worth it. And honestly, I'm not going to have much time for fun in the kitchen sooner than later- I need to get these recipes out of my system before the boys arrive! (remember, it's a repost... from right before I had the twins!)

Butter Pecan Ice Cream- via Elise at Simply Recipes

6 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans

Special equipment needed- ice cream maker

1 In a medium sized heat-safe bowl (metal, ceramic, or glass), whisk together the egg yolks until well blended. Set aside.
2 Pour the cream into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and set a medium-mesh sieve on top. Set aside.
3 In a medium thick-bottomed saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter cook it, stirring constantly, until it just begins to brown. Add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar completely melts.
4 Slowly add the milk, stirring to incorporate. It will foam up initially, so make sure you are using a pan with high enough sides. Heat until all of the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not let boil or the mixture may curdle.
5 Whisk in hand, slowly pour half of the milk and sugar mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to incorporate. Then add the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk sugar mixture.
6 Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden or heatproof rubber spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, about 5-7 minutes.
7 Pour the custard through the sieve and stir it into the cream. Add vanilla and stir until cool over the ice bath. Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
8 While the mixture is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay out the pecans on a roasting pan in a single layer. Bake for 6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Let cool. Once cool, roughly chop the pecans and set aside. Note, if you want an extra punch to this ice cream, brush the pecans with melted butter and sprinkle with salt before roasting.
9 Once the ice cream mixture is thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
10 Once the ice cream has been formed in the ice cream maker, it will be fairly soft. Fold in the chopped pecans. Put in an airtight plastic container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours. If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

So go and cook up something delightful this weekend, your family will thank you for it.

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