The next class starts on January 15, 2009. I have been cooking with a new attitude. Recipes as guidelines, not instructions, and trying to develop my own philosophy about cooking and what it means to me. One day I plan to use my culinary school education to work with food, so in the meantime I want to cook with passion and creativity, not copying what others have done.
Whenever I eat something really wonderful I try to figure out how it was made so I can make it for myself and my family or friends. One such dish is tenderloin steak with pepper sauce.
I have been eating at a local restaurant, Cafe Soleil, in Azle, Texas and the chef, Paula Ambrose,
makes fantastic food, including her special tenderloin steak with hash and pepper sauce. I asked her about the sauce and she said it was “just beer and broth with different peppers, depending on what I have”. Her restaurant has been closed for the past couple weeks and I’ve been out of town and she won’t open up until January 10, so my craving for the steak with pepper sauce had to be satisfied. I decided to make it for New Year’s Eve. I purchased some choice tenderloin steaks at the Naval Base for $10.99 a pound. Being active duty is a big advantage for getting great meats on base! I bought some potatoes, Niman Ranch Chipotle bacon, onions and field greens as well. For the pepper sauce I reduced Shiner Bock beer, (1 bottle) and about 4 cups of beef stock to which I added 2 roasted, peeled and seeded Jalapeno peppers and 2 Serrano peppers, some onion and bacon, and garlic. After this reduced down to about a cup and a half I added some honey, salt and pepper. I cooked it some more and ended up with a very tasty
and rich pepper sauce. I rubbed my steaks with oil, salt & pepper and let them sit out until they were not so cold, put them on my very hot gas grill and cooked them until they were medium for me, medium well for my husband and daughter. I also had pre-cooked, then sauteed the potatoes, onion and bacon to make a hash. I served the steak on top of the hash and pepper sauce with a salad of field greens dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. My husband said the food was better than what we ate at The Vault last week and better than some steak houses we’d been to where they charge $40.00 or more for a filet not even as big. My five year old granddaughter kept asking for more steak as well. I plan to experiment with this meal and make other steak sauces.
I want to share my favorite vinaigrette recipe with you. I adapted this from The Nest, a wonderful restaurant in Fredericksburg, Texas. I found out the ingredients by asking our server, the owner and wife of the chef, what was in it.
The Nest Vinaigrette
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 T Balsami vinegar
4 T canola oil
4 T Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Combine mustard, vinegar, garlic, and shallot, slowly add oils until combined.