Eat Well in Under 20 Minutes

Petra, the very first person to post a comment to my blog, seems to suggest (albiet obliquely) that perhaps the recipes I've added so far are too complex. She indicated was looking for something in the make-it-in-20-minutes range. So, here's one. It's from a new book I'm working on called "Gourmet Real Simple: What You Should Have Learned When You Lived With Your Parents. Smart tips on how to be a gourmet cook without trying."

I worked on it about a year ago and had some of my kids and their friends review it for difficulty. It received fair marks from those who took the time to read it, but they wanted even more simplifed recipes and suggested that I add menus with wine suggestions as well. So I'm working on those updates now. Once I finish it--with luck within a month--I'll make it available as an e-book, probably through the same folks who are bringing you "The Seductive Chef." In the meantime, I'm plugging away on the menus and drinking far too much wine.

Here's one that is a meal unto itself. I'd accompany it with a California Syrah, an Australian Shiraz or a French Côtes du Rhône. They are all made from the same grape. Parallèle “45” is a good Côtes du Rhône for under $10. If your tastes run to Australian wines try a Rosemount Shiraz. If it’s California you want, Fetzer and Beringer are good bets.

Get a good loaf of crusty bread and have at it. By the way, another feature of the recipes is a shopping list at the end.

Sirloin Steak Salad
Serves 4 (or two generously)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

This recipe is schizophrenic. It could have gone in the salad section. But since the key to it is a fast sauté, it’s here instead. And the dressing is actually more of a sauce than a dressing. But it’s good and fast, just the perfect dish for easy gourmet.

Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup flour
1 pound of sirloin strip steak about an inch thick
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup water
2 or 3 green onions sliced thinly
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup blue cheese crumbled
Bag of salad, any kind you like
  • Salt and pepper the steak on both sides.
  • Put the flour in a shallow bowl or on a piece of waxed paper. Dredge the steak in the flour.
  • Pre-heat a heavy sauté pan, preferably non-stick. Add the oil and butter.
  • When the butter stops foaming and begins to turn brown, sear the steak over high heat, about two minutes on each side. Remove the steak from the pan; cover with foil and let it rest while you make the dressing (sauce).
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the water and vinegar. Stir to loosen and dissolve the browned bits.
  • Reduce the mixture to about half, add the cream and the onion and return to the simmer for a minute or so.
  • Pour cream and onion mixture into a small bowl to cool.
  • Slice steak thinly at an angle and set aside.
  • Dump the bag of salad and the blue cheese into a salad bowl.
  • Add the dressing (sauce) and toss.
  • Heap the salad onto the plates and top with steak slices. Serve immediately.

The shopping list

1 pound of sirloin strip steak about an inch thick
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
A bunch of green onions
Half pint of heavy cream
Package of blue cheese crumbles
Bag of salad


Petra said…
How nice. A recipe just for me. Thanks. I'm going to try it this weekend. Do you ever do vegetarian stuff?

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