Let me start this off with a big Happy Steak Day too! But on to business. I, seriously, just made the most amazing meal I’ve ever made, and we haven’t even tried dessert yet. (I’m not much of a dessert cooker, but I keep trying! One day I’ll get it right!)
is the finished product. What is it? Asparagus Risotto and a perfectly cooked Filet Mignon. Did I mention I do not own a grill? That’s all cast iron, my friends, and it’s all lovely. Let me tell you how it’s done:
Then, I set my steaks (fresh from the butcher at HEB) out to get to room temperature before they cooked. I went for herb crusted this time: thyme, basil, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. It is important that your steaks reach room temperature so they cook evenly, and it is important for them to be thick so you can get a nice crusted outside without overcooking the center.
I started my salted water boiling to blanch my asparagus for the risotto. I made sure to have an ice bath ready for them too. While I was waiting for that magic to happen, I prepped my shallot and garlic for the risotto.
The base for most of my dishes is sautéed onion and garlic. This time, I opted for shallots instead. I own a garlic press, but I prefer to mince it up myself. I love the taste, smell, texture, and life of garlic. It’s good for your heart and it’s amazing. I fucking love garlic. And the more you mince it, the more prominent the flavor will be in your dish.
Ok. (I love garlic) Once the flavor boosters were prepped, the water was finally boiling. I threw the asparagus in and set my timer for 2 minutes while I heated my skillet (sprayed with cooking spray and a half tbsp of real butter melting) over medium for the risotto. When the 2 minutes were up, I immediately took the asparagus out and set it in the ice bath to stop the cooking.
I then put 32 ounces of chicken broth on to boil then simmer. Meanwhile, I threw in the shallots to soften first which takes about 5 minutes. You want them translucent but not burned. Then I threw in the garlic for about 30 seconds, then 1 cup of arborio rice to heat and coat.
Once the rice was coated, I added some lemon juice. I usually do dry white wine, but I was out. I always want a bit of citrus, and thought this would work well. It did folks, it really did. Once the fresh lemon juice was all absorbed, I added a ladle-full of chicken broth. You want it to be hot because if it is cold or room temperature, it will shock the rice and you will get a hard center with a flakey outer shell. Nasty. Heat your broth. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I kept adding the broth a ladle-full at a time, making sure the broth was all absorbed before I put more in. I kept going until all of the broth was used, and my rice was creamy yet not mushy, between 20 and 30 minutes. Of constant stirring. It’s worth it. Trust me.When the amazingness was done, I removed it from the heat, added salt, pepper, pecorino ramano, and chopped asparagus and set aside. It was time for the steak.
OK. I live in an apartment. I have a tiny kitchen, and smoke detectors that are way too sensitive. This steak process takes a lot of heat. I mean A LOT of heat. I had every window open and every fan on. The Bug was even on smoke detector duty just in case they went off.
Hahaha he likes to fan the smoke detector with the potholder because he saw me do it once. 🙂 I love that little guy.
But I digress. Steak. Oven at 400, burner on high. Cast iron skillet (or grill pan, IthankyouPatty) on burner, and wait until it gets smoking hot. Super smoking hot. You don’t need anything but salt and pepper (I chose to add thyme and basil) on the steaks and nothing on the skillet. Just throw those room temperature babies on there. For 30 seconds. Don’t even think about touching them during those seconds, but once time is up, flip them to the other side.
The steaks I bought were HUGE! So I also seared the sides for about 10 seconds each. Then I quickly placed the skillet in the oven and closed the door. 2 minutes. Just trust the process. Once that timer goes off, open up the oven and flip your baby over. Wait another 2 minutes.
Maybe I should clean my oven. Anyway, right when that timer goes off, use tongs to take the steaks off the skillet and put them on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. This is important because it helps the juices set in and keeps your steak from drying out. While they’re resting, you can take your skillet out and set your table or do some dishes. I don’t care. But don’t touch those damn steaks.
And that, folks, is how I made the most amazing dinner of my life. The dessert is still cooling. I’ll post pictures of the success or failure tomorrow 🙂
Here’s the risotto recipe, if you would love it:
1 lb asparagus
1 large shallot minced
3 cloves garlic (more or less depending on your pallet) minced
1/2 tbsp butter
1 cup arborio rice
About a tbsp of fresh lemon juice or 1/2 cup of dry white wine (hot)
32 ounces low sodium no fat chicken broth
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated to taste
Bring salted water to a boil and blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes, letting soak in an ice bath while the risotto is cooked.
Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth in a sauce pan to boiling then reduce to a simmer. Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Once hot, saute shallots until translucent and add garlic and rice. Stir rice until it is coated. Add lemon juice and stir until it is absorbed. Start adding broth one ladle-full (about a half cup) at a time. Do not add more broth until the broth in the skillet has been absorbed. Stir constantly (wooden spoons work the best for me). This process should take about 20-30 minutes. Once all of the broth is absorbed, remove the risotto from the heat. Add salt pepper and cheese. Chop the asparagus into 1 inch sections and stir into the risotto. Enjoy!