I’ve been a ‘good girl’ for most of my life, or at least during those crucial childhood and teenage years. Sure, I dropped a couple of breakables (and a fib here and there) and engaged in sibling rivalry bouts, but there were no major episodes of rebellious, teenage acting-out. I would even put a stirrer and a lime in my Sprite in the years of quinceañeros when my classmates poured stronger libations into their sodas. Some of these suppressed bad girl behaviors surfaced slightly belatedly – well over fifteen years later and at this year’s Semana Santa to top it off. While looking through the kitchen in the Humacao apartment, we came across the liquor cabinets. Yes, there were two liquor cabinets.
‘Dude… there’s cognac here for Dorie’s steaks! Let’s take that bottle home, they’ll never know!”
Of course we didn’t take it… but those words escaped my mouth and DH laughed it off after he gave me a look. Had we known, I would have planned to make the steaks while on holiday. That’s how I found myself yesterday in the checkout line at Costco during my lunch break, buying a bottle of cognac and a couple of ribeye steaks – the impulse buy I couldn’t resist this time around. I guess I found my way to be bad although if I had to argue my way out of that one, it would be that we were kicking off DH’s birthday week in style. There was also the NFL draft and the Royal Wedding to celebrate!
After crusting the steaks with the crushed peppercorns, I seared them in an overly hot cast iron skillet which resulted in the crunchy, blackened edges. The steak was a perfect medium rare to medium – yay! What surprised me while reading the recipe was that the steaks were not seasoned with salt until after cooking. My cognac sauce didn’t thicken too much – I loved the taste but should have simmered it longer.
I served the steaks with the broth boiled potatoes (page 358) and lime-steamed the last bit of spinach I had on hand (page 331). Everything was cooked and served within 45 minutes, which I loved. For the wine, we opened a bottle of 2007 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet, which was awesome but maybe a little overshadowed by the peppery beef. We really enjoyed the meal, although I have to admit that the cleanup activities that followed sapped off a little bit of the joy.
I did get around making the Mustard Bâtons (page 15) from last week’s FFwD assignment. For lack of poppy/sesame seeds, and inspired by the mustard, I studded my batons with chunks of pink rock salt. Pretzel française, anyone? I did half of the pastry dough with mustard, and the other half became guava bâtons, a different presentation to the guava pastelillos that are ubiquitous in bakeries all over Puerto Rico. Those weren’t overly photogenic, but quite delicious.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group that is working its way around Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table and posting about these recipes on a weekly basis. Check out how my fellow Doristas did with the Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak here!