Tag Archives: steak

Steak sauce, not A1

18 Apr

Red Onion Marmalade is something you might not be familiar with but it makes a darn good sauce for a steak. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a great sauce can save a mediocre steak. Tonight I made sirloin. It was a little under-seasoned, but the sauce brought up the flavor perfectly. I wanted to have a sauce that made the steak extra special. I decided to make the marmalade in leu of A1 to add a little sweet instead of salt. Here’s the recipe:

Red Onion Marmalade

1/2 large red onion, small dice
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup red wine
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

In a hot sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon of the butter to melt. Add in the onions and garlic and cook until softened (about 10 minutes.) Add in the rosemary and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the wine, sugar and mustard and reduce to 1/4 cup. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the butter one piece at a time. Be sure to wait until each piece is incorporated before adding the next piece.

This a great recipe to use if you have a little bit of wine left after a party or one that’s a day away from not drinkable. I’m not saying a day away from vinegar, but you know what I mean. This sauce will last up to a week in the fridge. If you don’t use it all in one night spread it on a roast beef sandwich with arugula or spread in a baked potato for something unexpected.

Always thinking of the next meal


The Chain Gang

30 Jul

So last night Ryan and I ate at Outback and it got me thinking. Ever since graduating culinary school, people ask me if I can eat at places like McDonald’s and Panera Bread. The truth of the matter is that education does not make (or at least should not) make you better or above what you once enjoyed. What education does for you is give you the sensibility to know what to expect and how to gauge a great experience from a poor one.

For example, McDonald’s promises fast, hot food. Beyond that there isn’t much. So if I go to McDonald’s and I get a cold burger that takes a long time. I have the right to feel disappointed. McDonald’s had failed to live up to the promise of a fast, hot meal. At a place that is a little fancier, say Le Bec Fin, the promises are a little higher and involved. Understanding what to expect is the biggest part of being happy with your meal out.

Last night, we were unfortunately disappointed. Outback promises a uniquely spiced steak at a reasonable price in an “Australian Outback” theme. So, why were we disappointed? Besides the slow service, the steak was not seasoned, not cooked  to the right temperature, and the sweet potato I had ordered as my side was closer to a dessert than a potato. And the amount of cinnamon butter on top of this so called tuber was melting all over the plate. This made everything taste like cinnamon and brown sugar. Not exactly the spices I was expecting on my meat. Ok ok, so I’m a little picky when it comes to my steak and I probably should have known better, but for 9.99 a 6oz steak is a deal.

I feel like in general that most chain restaurants fall into this category of disappointment. The food stylists and photographers that are hired to make the food at these place look amazingly mouth-watering do their job to the “T”. They get you in the door and then fill your plate with average, uninspired food. Don’t get me wrong, how can you miss the soup and salad at Olive Garden or the fried food at Friday’s during a game? But the honest answer is that you shouldn’t order the pasta at Friday’s, or the seafood dish at Olive Garden. If you do, you are just asking for trouble.

From now on Ryan and I will be sticking to the local individually owned places. They are always better. Or going to those places that we know to order the right things. Pasta at Maggiano’s, nachos or quesadillas at Chili’s, and burgers at Champps. Sorry Outback it will be a very long time before we return.

Always thinking of the next meal,