Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A little Steak, A little Shrimp, A little Fun

Wine reduction may be simple if you are a cook who is learning to be a chef and you have to repeat the process 200 times in a semester. If you are me with hungry people to feed and they don't have so much patience or really want to hear. . ."can you give me a minute, I think I am going to redo this part" without thinking that maybe you now live in a third world because starvation has set in and loud sighing has become the new language of choice, then you may just do the best you can the first time and call it good! I made a wine reduction out of Merlot. Not just any Merlot. This Merlot won a silver medal in 2003. I opened the bottle of wine and let it breath for about an hour. No, I didn't let it breath so that I could cook the stuffings out of it but because I was only using 1 1/2 cups of the wine and the rest was going to be savored with dinner. I think my efforts were going rather smoothly. Steaks cooked and set on a platter with a wedge of Boursin cheese set on top of each steak to melt. First sign of a problem? Cheese is not melting. Pour Merlot into the skillet and mix with steak flavorings in bottom of pan. The idea is to reduce the wine into a sauce consistency. It was suppose to only take about 5 minutes. I did reduce the wine but the sauce was not as thick as I thought it was suppose to get. The addition of butter and herbs really brought everything together but I wish I didn't feel like I had to rush the whole process because people were telling me that they were starving and that I really didn't need to go all out. I should have let everyone else fix peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and took my own Damn time. I don't want to throw a dinner together at night. I get bored and there is no excitement. I like to have something to look forward too when I cook. I don't think I am asking a lot! I mean, I could cook a bag of Top Ramen and throw a bag of frozen veggies in it and call that cooking but then my stove would feel SO offended. I really want to make this again, but this time I will GIVE myself more time to do the recipe. I had all the ingredients pre-measured and waiting their turn but sometimes cooking is about patience and allowing the cooking process to actually work its' magic. Just like custard. If you rush custard, you have custard syrup instead of custard pudding. Letting things come together requires drinking the wine while the dinner cooks. . .so that you are calm and relaxed. All those other voices just seem to fade away. =) Okay, they don't but I feel better now.
RibEye Steaks with Boursin and Merlot Sauce
1 T. olive oil, divided
3 9 to 10-ounce RibEye Steaks, rimmed (about 1-inch thick)
1/4 of 5.2 ounce package Boursin or other French garlic cheese cut, into 3 wedges
1 1/2 c. Merlot or other fruity red wine
1/4 c. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 t. chopped fresh Italian Parsley
2 t. chopped fresh chives plus whole chives for garnish
Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over edium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to platter; top each with 1 cheese wedge. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Pour off drippings from skillet; add wine to skillet and boil over high heat until reduced to a generous 1/2 cup, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and stir until melted. Mix in parsley and chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over steaks. Garnish with whole chives.
Included with dinner was:
Romaine with Viniagrette
Shrimp marinated in Beer and herbs
Baked Potato with sour cream and herbs

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