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Steak Dinner!!! No Idea what I'm doing!!!!

I'm making a steak dinner for the lady...and I have no idea what I'm going to do. Not sure what cut, side ideas, etc. I have a George Foreman, a cast iron skillet, and an oven. HELP!!!!!! thank you!!!

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  1. I think a rib eye is a great steak. High in fat, but that will make it harder to wreck, and very flavorful. Probably would do fine in the George Forman. If you use the cast iron skillet, which would be my first choice from what you listed, you could get a nice sauce from the pan after the steaks are done by using some liquid (red wine, balsamic vin., or beef stock) to sizzle the stuff from pan bottom into the liquid. When the liquid gets a bit thicker, add some butter for a nice sauce. You can season with garlic, herbs, S & P. Steam some brocolli and nice salad!

      1. re: stolenchange

        agree with the above recipe...it's what i do and makes the best home-cooked steak you'll ever have...ditto on the ribeye, i prefer it to any other cut...for a lovely side, i'd do asparagus tips or green beans quickly sauteed in olive oil, garlic, garlic salt, lemon pepper, a splash of lemon juice and and some crushed red pepper. i'm not big on starches, but i'm sure someone else can suggest a killer potato dish..

        good luck w/ the dinner and i hope it goes well. :o)

      2. For a side, blue cheese stuffed potatoes:

        2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed
        4 oz. of good blue cheese ( I use St. Agur, which is very creamy and smooth -- if using a stronger blue cheese such as Roquefort, I would use a little less)
        Mayo
        2 pieces of bacon, crumbled
        chopped green onion
        Freshly ground pepper

        Prick potatoes and bake at 350F until you can pierce easily with a knife, maybe about an hour. Cool enough to handle, then slice a thin piece off the top. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the insides. Mash in a bowl with the cheese and a tbsp of mayo per potato. Add a few grinds of pepper. You can add some salt, but I find the cheese salts the dish enough. Add green onions and bacon bits, and stir in. Rebake in oven until tops are browned, and enjoy!

        You can also make these a day ahead and bake when ready.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sweeterpea

          Never ever ever make steak in a Foreman grill. It'll turn gray and nasty.

          1. re: ariellasdaddy

            I'd have to agree. I like my Foreman, but steak is not something I would use it for.

            The Alton Brown recipe listed above seems a safe bet ... the man really knows his stuff.

            1. re: ariellasdaddy

              Yes, step away from the GF grill. Put that steak in a cast iron pan where it will be much better suited.

              DT

            2. re: sweeterpea

              I use mayo in mashed potatoes all the time, never tried it in a twice baked! Great idea sweeterpea! I love twiced bakes, they are great side to make ahead.

            3. We love flat iron steaks--I'd suggest cast iron skillet, medium to high heat. Dry rub on the steak if you like a crusty exterior, but it will smoke up your kitchen. Just salt and pepper is fine too, flat iron steaks are very flavorful. Drizzle a little oil on your hot pan.

              Sear the steak till it looks nice and brown then flip (use tongs, not a fork). Usually 3-4 minutes does the trick. Same on teh other side (we like medium to medium rare.) Let it rest, slice thinly.

              With this, I'd probably do roasted potatoes or smashed/mashed potatoes and a good salad--wilted spinach or baby greens with a vinaigrette and some blue cheese. Or use the Foreman grill to roast some veggies--peppers, fennel, zucchini and onion, or asparagus (although it's out of season, the stuff out there now will be OK roasted)

              I would definitely suggest a dry run for yourself first--practice your technique and see if you like the steak and the method is viable for you.

              2 Replies
              1. re: coney with everything

                When dealing with steak two things are paramount. First have your pan screaming hot to sear in the juices and form a nice crust on the steak(which in turn will leave nice carmelization on the bottom of the pan. Also key for deglazing to make a nice sauce after the steak is done. Second be sure to leave the steak rest inverted on a plate for a good 5-7 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. And don't forget to use the juices from the rested meat in your sauce.

                1. re: EricShawnSmith

                  FYI searing in the juices is a myth. Searing adds flavor and better presentation. It actually causes slightly more moisture loss. Alton Brown did the proof of that on one of his shows. But searing a steak is super important for flavor.

              2. Whatever cooking method you use for steaks indoors, don't forget to pull the battery out of your smoke alarm. :-)

                2 Replies
                1. re: Suzy Q

                  Excellent tip. :) At our old apartment, one of the steps for preparing the steak was to move a chair underneath the smoke detector with a dish towel for clearing the air.

                  1. re: Suzy Q

                    A shower cap also works to keep the smoke detector from going off.

                    I concur with the recommendation to use Alton Brown's recipe. Simple, classic, foolproof. The main thing is that the outside of the steak must be absolutely dry when it hits the pan. If it isn't, you'll never get that great crust on the outside. Pat the meat dry with paper towels and then let it sit on a rack over a plate for half an hour or so before you apply the heat.

                  2. Jfood has never met a lady that did not like a filet. It may not be the first choice for many CH'ers, but this is a date not a resto review.

                    Buy 2 filets , about 6 oz each and a nice ripe tomato. Use the pan not the GF grill. Pepper the steak and tut the end off the tomato and cut in half. Get the very hot, add a little EVOO and sear the outside of the two steaks. Have the oven at 375 and after you get a nice crust place the tomatoes fat side down in the pan next to the steaks and place in the oven. Cook to desired temp and let rest. Serve with a nice salad with a little crumbled blue cheese. Very simple very elegant and should be easy enough to pull off.

                    Good luck.

                    1. One more tip to add... before cooking the steaks, make sure that you leave them out on the counter until they come to room temperature. Probably about an hour.
                      If you go to a reputable butcher - they should dry age their steaks at least 30 days, but even better if it is 40-45 days, grocery store meat will just not do, especially if you are making a special dinner. I usually like the fattier cuts - ribeye (delmonico) or striploin. Lots of other folks like tenderloin, but I find that although the cut is tender, it is not as flavourful. There are lots of other cuts out there, but I am not an expert on this subject, I just stick with the standard cuts.
                      If cost is an issue, then you can go for a cheaper cut - sirloin, and dress it up with a sauce of shallots, crushed green peppercorn (the ones that are in brine) and heavy cream/creme fraiche.
                      If you are quite new to cooking, I would keep the dinner simple: steak + green salad + great bread + wine. Simple. Low stress. Guaranteed to please anybody.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mightycheesehead

                        It's too late for the original poster to get any benefit of this for his lady, but my favorite method of bringing steaks up to temp is using one of those ziploc/onezip resealable bags (like you'd use for a marinade), seal the steaks up in it (squeezing out as much air as possible), and then letting them soak for 10 minutes or so in a pot of warm water. In my experiences, this little trick brings the temperature of the meat up much quicker (and more effectively) than leaving it out.

                      2. I don't have much to add, the other posters have pretty well covered the basics of how to cook a steak. But I have a few thoughts.

                        (1) Agree that George Foreman is Really Great for burgers, not so good for steak. A Really Great burger can be much sexier than a rather ordinary steak, by the way, but that's another thread. So given we're doing steak, use the cast iron or the broiler. Be aware cast iron takes *forever* to come up to temp evenly. Be patient, and let the pan preheat at a lower temp for a while. It's ready when a small splash of oil just begins to form rings or shimmer, and emits a *little* smoke. The Alton Brown instructions posted in the thread will see you through.

                        (1a) Pan-broiling a steak, which is what the hounds here are proposing, makes a great steak, and it's hard to go too far wrong, but it makes *HUGE* amounts of smoke. Open the windows and turn off the smoke alarm. It also splatters a bit, so don't wear your best silk shirt without an apron.

                        (2) flatiron is a great steak, and relatively cheap, but gets really tough and dry if not cooked perfectly. Not good for a n00b. Stick with a rib(eye) steak or filet. You've got more room for errors.

                        (3) As a person whose most (only?) successful dating strategy is cooking a meal, I have this to say: it really isn't about the food per se'. It's about you putting out the effort and care to prepare a meal and serve it to your date. If your culinary skills aren't strong, and you don't customarily cook for your dates, let her know that; it'll only work in your favor that you're making a very special effort for her. If the steak is a little overcooked, or the potato a bit raw, laugh it off and keep going. That's what wine is for. Uh...You've got wine, right?

                        (4) See 3. Get your date involved in the process. You want her in the kitchen with you, pitching in and working together with you.

                        (5) Keep it simple; don't overreach. Steak, spud, salad, some really good bread. Uh...You've got wine, right?

                        (6) what's for breakfast?

                        2 Replies
                        1. Skillet Steak
                          Serves: 2

                          Ingredients:

                          • 2 boneless New York Strip steaks (Kansas City Steak or Strip Loin) Steaks should be at least 1 inch thick.
                          • - olive oil
                          • - kosher or sea salt
                          • - coarse, fresh-ground pepper
                          • - garlic-infused, extra-virgin olive oil.

                          Note: Let raw steak come to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking. If the kitchen's hot or humid, make it no more than a half-hour.

                          Method:

                          1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
                          2. Rub steak with olive oil; coat with a salt-and-pepper seasoning mix.

                          Note: Put your black cast iron skillet on the burner and turn it on high until fully preheated, 10 to 15 minutes.

                          3. Sear in hot skillet for 2 minutes per side until you have a crust.

                          Note: Don't turn it over more than absolutely necessary. Always use a long-handled spatula or a pair of tongs. No grilling forks.

                          4. Rest seared steaks on wire rack over shallow baking pan.
                          5. Baste seared steak with a garlic-infused, extra-virgin olive oil.
                          6. Place baking pan with rack of steaks in oven.
                          7. Finish steaks in 325° F oven for up to 25-30 minutes "to reach a rosy pink medium."
                          8. Steaks are done when an instant-read thermometer, plunged deep into the steak from the side, registers 140°

                          1. Try serving her Bearnaise sauce with your steak.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Westy

                              Béarnaise Sauce

                              "A Béarnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar, and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect."
                              Fernand Point (1897-1955) 'Ma gastronomie'

                              Ingredients:

                              • 2 shallots, minced
                              • 1½ ounces tarragon white wine vinegar
                              • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
                              • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
                              • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
                              • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
                              • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
                              • 3 egg yolks
                              • ¼ teaspoon salt
                              • - Fresh lemon juice

                              Directions:

                              1. Mix together shallots, vinegar, tarragon and peppers in a non-aluminum pan. Reduce by ¾
                              2. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
                              3. Transfer reduction to a round bottomed stainless steel bowl.
                              4. Add egg yolks and mix well.
                              5. Place the bowl over a hot water bath (barely simmering) and continue to beat until the yolks are thick and creamy. Be careful not to scramble the egg yolks; pull the bowl away from the hot water bath if it starts to get too hot.
                              6. Remove from heat. While whisking, gradually add the clarified butter to the egg yolks, drop by drop at first.
                              7. If the sauce is too thick, thin with lemon juice or warm water.
                              8. Strain the sauce through cheesecloth.
                              9. Season with salt and a little lemon juice

                              Note: If you see even a hint of curdling in the eggs, take the bowl off the heat, but keep whisking. Keep going back and forth from the heat until the mixture turns thick and lightens in color.

                              4. Whisk in a tablespoon of warm water.
                              5. Add softened butter, a tablespoon or so at a time. untill all the butter is incorporated.
                              6. Whisk in the cayenne, lemon juice, and the herb mixture from the first step.
                              7. Keep warm, but not over heat or it will break.

                              1. re: speyerer

                                Thanks! I did not have a cookbook handy to provide. It really is such a nice complement tot he meat. And if you are going for a knock 'em dead steak dinner, but do not want to add another course, it can be really, really special.

                                Matt

                              1. re: Davwud

                                Must have gone well, he hasn't gotten back to us yet.
                                Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

                                1. re: Davwud

                                  IM DOING IT TOMORROW. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Thank you everybody for your suggestions!!!!!! I'm PSYCHED.

                                2. Ya know, the only time I do steaks on the George Foreman Grill--- and they turn out great---
                                  is when I do a cut of meat that tastes great 'super well done'...
                                  That's the only time when you'll get carmelization enough...

                                  Seasoned marbled Flat Iron & Chuck Eye steaks so far have been the best...

                                  I like steaks rare and medium rare generally, and use cast iron---but my wife and other occassional people like it well done...
                                  You have to be ready for those people, and The George comes thru with these Chuck Eyes... A magnificent cut of meat for $4.00lb... Shoosh!
                                  Let 'em rest, then toss some browned onions on them!
                                  A very good meat experience...

                                  A little Worcestersire or soy helps with the crust and color...

                                  With this method, you put them on The George and you go and play on the computer for a while...

                                  Well done meat can be fantastic when it's crusty, but still moist and tender...

                                  1. Thanks everybody so much for this thread! My wife came down with the flu right before Christmas, so we were stuck at home with nothing in the freezer except fish sticks and lasagna. I found an Asian market that was still open at 2 PM on Christmas day, picked up the ribeye and some asparagus, and pretty much saved the day. It came out so good that I did a repeat a couple of days later while visiting a friend out of town, and it was a huge hit. Cheers!

                                    1. There's so much good advice here. I expect anyone making their first steak dinner will feel so much better about the whole thing after reading this. One important thing I've learned over the years is to be sure to season the steak liberally with salt and pepper, and do it before you sear the steak or lay it on the grill. The seasoning will become part of the crust and keep the steak from being bland. I've tried many different dry rubs and steak seasonings, but somehow there's just no substitute for good ol' S (kosher of course) & P.

                                      And oh yeah, if you're not using a sauce, finish the steak with a nice chunk of real, unsalted butter. It rounds everything out nicely.

                                      http://everydayfoodie.wordpress.com/

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: everydayfoodie

                                        Oh, yeah, I did a red wine reduction and used that to deglaze the pan. Perfection!

                                      2. Well we haven't heard from the OP since he posted.

                                        I wonder if his date is still on going!!!

                                        ;-)

                                        DT

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. Thank you everybody for the tips. I went with a boneless rib eye and I prepared it with the Alton Brown recipe using the cast iron/oven. Came out perfect. Sides of manchego mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts with panchetta.

                                          Once again, chowhounders to the rescue. y'all are the best! Thanks!