Wednesday, August 7, 2013

beyond trader joe's

I blame two things for the fact that I rarely cook from a recipe now: 1) the heat wave, which makes cooking in my tiny  kitchen practically a death sentence, and 2) the discovery of all sorts of "short cut" food at Trader Joe's. I've gotten spoiled over the summer, because SS has had time to go to TJ's at off hours, thereby being able to browse freely and avoid the checkout lines that often (no joke) wrap around the entire store. And while my main purchases at TJ's tend to be the $4 La Finca wine or the $5 bubbly, SS has delved beyond the booze section, and come away with amazing things like pre-marinated curry chicken and frozen fried rice. So, when it's 98 degrees outside, and we're both tired, it's a lot more appealing to fall back on those options than to try something new that requires prep work and time in front of an open flame in a 3' x 8' room.

But, with a slight respite from the crazy temperatures, and a desire to enjoy the fruits of my rampant recipe-Pinning spree a few weeks ago, I insisted that we try this bistro steak with red wine sauce recipe.  

(photo from recipe)

I somehow managed to totally overcook our steaks, and start the sauce too late, making us wait on that to finish before we could eat. Despite those snafus, I really enjoyed the sauce. The only thing I'd potentially do differently next time is cut down on the shallot quantity, potentially by half. There were just too many in the sauce, and it was kind of distracting. 

By the way, in the interest of making your lives easier, I'm going to start copying the recipes into the posts (at least when I remember), in addition to adding them to the LKTC-tested recipes page. So, here goes...

Bistro Steak with Red Wine Sauce (Cooking Light)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 (8-ounce) top sirloin steaks, trimmed
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup full-bodied red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted beef stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle steaks evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add steaks to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add shallots and thyme to pan; sauté 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add wine; cook 2 1/2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add stock; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half and mixture is slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, butter, and mustard; stir with a whisk.
  3. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices; serve with sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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