So, yesterday I was thinking of a special, and I thought to myself, why not utilize our sirloin steak which is round, about 3-31/2"" across and 1 1/2" thick to make a pittsburgh-style black n blue special. For the sides, I served some of those delicious morrocan seasoned carrots(finished with tarragon butter) and a panko breaded blue cheese, cream cheese and asparagus cake. Eric Hassard, a chef I work with came up with a delicious red burgundy gastrique to go with it, as well as helping with the plate set-up, and slicing my carrots.
To start, I mixed some blue cheese crumbles, grilled asparagus slices(1/8" sliced), and cream cheese together and to make medallions (about 2 inches across, 3/4" thick) and threw them in the freezer for ten minutes. I purposely made them with a 3oz. ice cream scoop becasue I wanted them to be bigger than our similar goat-cheese medallions(1 oz.) on the menu for a specific reason, which I will get to in a moment(if you can't already guess). While the cheese medallions were solidifying(for breading purposes), I grabbed some carrots.
I had Eric slice the carrots to just under 1/8" thick and at a bias while I was finishing-up the cheese. I then mixed a littel cumin-curry lime and garlic with a little allspice with some olive oil. Once again, I did not blanch the carrots off since they were sliced very thin to begin with. I tosed the carrots in the sauce repeatedley until mixed together very well, and then left them sit in the seasonings for the duration of dinner. I took about 4 oz. of these carrots and sauteed them appropriately and finished(off heat) with tarragon butter. DELICIOUS!
Now I had taken my cheese medallions out of the freezer and coated lightly with some all purpose flour. Then into the eggwash(just eggs beaten) and into the panko bread crumbs. Then back into the eggwash, panko again and sit aside til finished with rest. I used a hot, small, 1 quart saute pan with some olive oil in it and set the the medallion into the oil. It should bubble and sizzle right away and takes about 30 seconds to crisp the bottom side. Then, flip it over and place in the oven at around 400 degrees for around 5 minutes, or when the cheese is just visible, starting to slightly ooze out the sides, it is ready. It is basically like a yummy cheese hot pocket, to give you the basic idea of it if you aren't sure.
I took one of our thick cut sirloins and seasoned with olive oil, sea salt and fresh black pepper. Sorry, no fleur de sel here...I wish though! Anyways, with the simply seasoned sirloin in hand I placed on the hottest part of my grill and marked off one side with some nice diamonds, making sure not to cook the steak inside. This took approximately 2 minutes or so. Then I removed from the grill and let sit for a moment. I then seasoned the other side of the steak thoroughly and dropped into a smoking hot pan of olive oil(only on the side opposite from the grill marks!) for approxiamtely 3 minutes and then tossed into the convection oven for about another 3-4 minutes. I removed the steak from the oven and let rest at least 3-5 minutes before slicing. When sliced, in this case, the meat inside should be rare, if not slightly raw(pittsburgh style), and thoroughly seared on the outsides. In this case, I grilled one side for flavor as well as presentation. Even though we sliced it, the grill marks where still visible across the tops of the slices.
While this is happening, Eric was making a burgundy gastrique. A gastrique is a reduction of wine, or can be vinegar, sugar and sometimes carmelized fruit as well. In this case, Eric used red burgundy wine and sugar. Seemingly simple, the key to perfecting this, is realizing the correct flavor, consistency, and texture(not too thin, or too thick), which can only come with practice. A gastrique is a classic french comoponent used primarily to accompany meat and seafood on the side or drizzled over top.
So with the steak resting, gastrique done, cheese madallion done and the carrots sauteed and finished with the tarragon butter, we plated it up. Taking a square plate(about 10" x 10"") we used a ring-mold off to one side of the plate, centered, to dump the carrots(about 4 oz.) into so when removed, they would stay in a formation, which was the base to the fried medallion. The cheese medallion was then placed over the top but just slightly slanted down towrds the center of the plate. After resting the meat, we cut the steak into 1/4" thick slices(slight bias) and fanned them out around the medallion. After resting, the steak, when sliced, is able to reserve all the juices inside. If you cut your steak right away, no matter what cooking method you have used, all the blood and juices will run out and after about 30 seconds to a minute you have your self a nice dry piece of meat(sarcasm), that has been succesfully ruined! A respective drizzle of the gastrique across the meat and serve! When you cut into the bleu cheese medallion(bleu cheese is the main component), you get a nice little river of cheeses with the asparagus that you may dip your steak into or just eat it as is. For a basically dead night (thanks to halloween!lol) we sold 5 or 6 of these specials and the ones who tried it, raved about it! Another jobe well done!
With the help of Hassard(Eric), who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2007, we are considering designing a winter menu together, as well as a special "Beer Dinner" menu, but only if time permits with our both of our busy schedules.....basically we're just gonna do it anyways!
So I was gonna write this last night but ummm...yeah...house party after work(thank you Alena!)...beer....more beer....wine...more beer. I felt fantastic getting up at 730 this morning for work after getting to bed around 5...<---more sarcasm.LOL Thank you for taking interest in my blog(if you have). I am so passionate about food, that I literally cannot wait to get to work everyday to make some new delicious special!!
Tuesday, I go back to Le Cordon Bleu to officially enroll and hopefully start November 8th!