The Science Nerd

Steak au Poivre

January 16, 2012

Gayle has been wanting to have this dish for a long time.  Yesterday I decided it was time.  So, after obtaining the necessary ingredients and searching for the sherry, I got to cooking.  My recipe was combined from a few places – mainly here and here.

This is my take on Steak au Poivre:

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 2  6-8 oz. steaks about one inch thick or less
    • Olive oil as needed
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/4 cup sherry
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/4 heavy cream

METHOD

1. Sprinkle salt generously over both sides of the steaks and let them come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over high heat.  When the oil begins to smoke, take the pan off the heat. Press peppercorns into steaks and place in the hot pan. Return the pan to the heat and turn the heat down to medium-high. Sear, without moving the steaks, for at least 4 minutes.

3. Once the steak is done, remove the meat to a baking sheet. Tent with aluminum foil and let the steak rest while you are preparing the sauce.

4. Make the sauce. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the sherry and as it boils, deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge all the browned bits. Once the sherry is almost cooked away, add the water and turn the heat to high. Boil the sauce down until there’s a noticeable trail when you drag a spoon through the center of it (4-5 minutes).

5.  Pour in the heavy cream and resume boiling. Again, boil down until you can make that telltale trail from the spoon.

6.  Pour the sauce over the steaks right when you serve.

I also made Parmesan cheese mashed potatoes by adding 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese to my mashed potatoes.

Everyone really loved this one – including Wrigley!  Although, he didn’t get to eat much.  The only complaint that we both had was that the steak was not cooked enough, and that was my fault.  We will definitely be trying this one again.  We might switch up the alcohol we use – we’ve heard cognac or bourbon work well.  Stay tuned for updates!

 

 

 

 

 

One of my self improvement goals is to find 3 good things that I have done each day.  By coming up with new things each day my hope is to learn more about myself and build up my self worth.  You can read more about why 3 Good Things  here

  1.  Participated in a productive staff meeting. (Staff meetings at the house can be long and unfocused, since there are many distractions, but this one was short, on task and very productive.)
  2. Figured out how to change to color of the title of my blog.
  3. Ran my fastest two miles yet – well, since the beginning of the year.

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

January 11, 2012

I have attempted Chicken & Dumplings on two separate occasions, and neither time turned out that great.  In fact, they were both pretty awful.  So, I was a bit trepidatious about trying a third time.  But, as they say, “Third time’s a charm.”

The recipe I worked with was found on BubbleCrumb.com.  I made a few changes, but not many.  Here’s my take on Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings:

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
1 can cream of celery soup (I didn’t have cream of chicken soup)
1 can chicken broth
1/2 onion diced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 cup milk
1 can Grands Jr. flaky refrigerator biscuits

 

 

Directions:
Place chicken in crock pot
Add butter, cream of *WHATEVER* soup, chicken broth, and onion
Cook on high for 4 hours
Remove chicken and break into pieces with a fork, return to crock pot
Put cornstarch in a bowl and mix with milk, add to crock pot and stir well
Cut each biscuit into fourths and place in pot
Cook an additional 30 minutes

 

Notes:

 

I used Cream of Celery soup, but next time I will stick to Cream of Chicken.  The celery flavor didn’t quite fit with our idea of Chicken & Dumplings.  I also will dice the onion very fine.  The pieces were too large and didn’t blend in well.  I added the cornstarch to thicken the broth, but if you wanted your dish more like soup, you could leave it out.  You could also add in whatever you wanted to make it yours – mushrooms, peas, corn, etc.

 

This dish will also be put in the rotation.  It was easy and tasted great.  It was especially good on this rainy blustery day.

 

UPDATE (2/16/12) – We had this for dinner again and I made some changes, check them out here.

 

One of my self improvement goals is to find 3 good things that I have done each day.  By coming up with new things each day my hope is to learn more about myself and build up my self worth.  You can read more about why 3 Good Things  here

  1. I revamped this blog (with Gayle’s help) to create something that I am very excited about and that will suit my needs.
  2. This one is not just today, but I’m proud of it so – I have run/walked at least a mile every day in 2012.
  3. Again, not just today – I am trying new things in the kitchen with a good amount of success.

Anything wrapped in bacon is great. But stuff it with blue cheese (or any cheese, for that matter)as well, and it becomes downright divine! Tonight’s dinner did not disappoint. The recipe was a slight variation on Rachel Ray’s recipe found here. Since I didn’t have spinach or arugula, here is how the prep went for me:

Ingredients
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in half
Black pepper
4 to 5 ounces blue cheese crumbles
4 slices bacon
1 large potato
Salt
1 can french cut green beans
1 cup chicken stock

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a small sharp knife cut into the thick end of the chicken and make an incision reaching 2/3 the way down the breast. Loosen up the incision with your fingers to make a hole. Season the chicken with pepper. Stuff chicken breasts with blue cheese. Spiral-wrap the breasts with the bacon tightly to cover the meat evenly. Place chicken on a nonstick baking sheet and roast 20 to 22 minutes until bacon is crispy and chicken is firm. I also placed a meat thermometer in one of the breasts and removed the chicken when the internal temperature was 175 degrees F. (I think 165 F is the recommended temperature, but it didn’t hurt anything to cook them a bit longer.)

I also peeled and diced my potato, then cooked the pieces in the chicken broth for some additional flavor. The can of beans was opened, the beans put in a saucepan, a tablespoon of oil was added and they were cooked until done.

The meal was a huge hit. Everything tasted great, and the prep was not too difficult. We will definitely be having this one again.

3 Good Things – Dec 15, 2011

December 15, 2011

One of my self improvement goals is to find 3 good things that I have done each day.  By coming up with new things each day my hope is to learn more about myself and build up my self worth.  You can read more about why 3 Good Things  here

  1.  I got most of the Christmas decorations up
  2.  I made potato soup with minimal help, and it tasted pretty good
  3. Marshall got some quality time out of his house (crate)

Promise To Me

December 14, 2011

This is one of those private posts I was telling you about.

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One of my self improvement goals is to find 3 good things that I have done each day.  By coming up with new things each day my hope is to learn more about myself and build up my self worth.  You can read more about why 3 Good Things  here

  1. We ate all three meals at home today, even though I wanted to go out to dinner
  2. Enjoyed a fun facebook chat with some new friends.
  3. Had a fun, productive day.

One of my self improvement goals is to find 3 good things that I have done each day.  By coming up with new things each day my hope is to learn more about myself and build up my self worth.  You can read more about why 3 Good Things  here

  1. Was able to focus well on work this morning and get a lot accomplished.
  2. Was able to enjoy myself this evening and have a fun relaxing time at dinner.
  3. I got up earlier than I needed to, even though it was cold out.

One of my self improvement goals is to find 3 good things that I have done each day.  By coming up with new things each day my hope is to learn more about myself and build up my self worth.  You can read more about why 3 Good Things  here

I’m running a bit late on posting my three good things, but I’m happy that I’ve been remembering to write them, so I want to make sure they get posted, even if it’s a few days late.  So here they are for Wednesday.

  1. I’m proud of the work I was able to get done for both of my jobs.
  2.  Made a decision without having to get anyones approval.  Even though it was a little decision, I was still pleased to do it.
  3. Recognized that I was tired and went to bed.  Didn’t try to stay up and work with would have probably been a waste of time.