Let us Begin
Let’s begin with a dinner menu. I constantly search for exciting, funky, delicious dinner menus online but I generally come up with individual recipes. The problem my lie in my search technique, but I find other junk for which I look. Whether the issue lies in my searching or in the lack of the resource online doesn’t really matter. Here is a post of our gorgeous, wonderful, mostly-healthy dinner from Thursday (Boxing Day) night. I didn’t choose this because of the holiday, but it worked well for a nice dinner.
***Ribeyes with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and a Savory Mixed Greens served with MollyDooker’s The Scooter 2010 Merlot
Start with a heavy cast-iron skillet perfectly seasoned with years of bacon grease, butter, and cornbread cookin. Turn the heat on med-high and add a tbsp. of olive oil. When the oil glistens, add 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion and two crudely diced cloves of garlic.
(Note: my knife skills are sub par so crudely diced is my go-to technique).
Saute the onion and garlic until they smell fantastic but aren’t yet totally cooked (about 3 minutes). Stir with a wooden spoon.
Next add clean chopped greens. I used two smallish bunches of collard greens and a few leftover leaves of kale, but you could use whatever you have available that’s fresh and crisp. (Note #2: when you chop greens, remove the thick parts of the stems. You could cook these down eventually but they are equally important for a healthy compost pile).
As soon as you add the clean, chopped greens, begin stirring with a wooden spoon. The heat is still pretty high and you don’t want to burn any leaves. Continue moving the greens and onion-garlic mixture around the hot pan until the leaves are just slightly wilted. It’ll take a few minutes and really, you’re just looking for the color to go nuts. Think springtime on an Alabama interstate where the green is bright and exciting. It sort of jumps at you.
When the leaves appear brighter and glisten in the fluorescent glow, turn the heat down to medium-low and add several nice glugs of broth. You can use beef, chicken, or veggie broth. I used beef this time because it was open in the fridge and because we’re eating with steak.
While the greens simmer in the broth, start the creamy mushroom sauce. Use a deep frying pan. Put it over medium heat and melt 2-3 tbsp. of real, unsalted butter. You want the butter to melt completely and even begin to brown. So watch it, but don’t freak out when it starts to sizzle.
When the butter smells incredible and is just the tiniest bit browned but long before it burns, add about 1/4 cup of diced yellow onion and one or two cloves of crudely-diced garlic. Stir those to cover in the melted butter. Then add your quartered mushrooms. You can make this with any mushroom variety. I live in the VI where groceries are insanely expensive so I use button mushrooms. Let me know how your trials with shitaki and oyster and all the others goes.
You want to sauté the shrooms, onion, garlic, and butter mixture until the water they produce starts to sizzle away. Then add a fat glug of red wine (use the old stuff you opened and didn’t finish; it’s okay to cook with vinegary wine in this recipe) and some salt and pepper. Simmer down until the red wine gets almost gooey. You’ll see a definite reduction in the amount of liquid. Then add several solid glugs of broth. I used beef for reasons noted above, but you can use any kind. Heck, you can use water or more wine really, but adding a savory broth helps to enhance the complexity of finished sauce.
Continue simmering until the broth starts to thicken. This will take somewhere around 6-8 minutes. Keep your eyes on it. Don’t forget to stir your greens. Don’t let the green s cook dry, add more broth–don’t be skared. Add a pinch of cayenne, a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper, and salt. Don’t oversalt your greens–you can add salt at the table!
As soon as the broth on the mushroom mixture starts to thicken, add about a 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Turn the heat down low. The pan should simmer but not boil. Stir frequently so you don’t grow a cream-skin (won’t hurt the dish just isn’t pretty).
Check on your greens; don’t let them cook dry. Add more broth (or water) if you need to and cover lightly. The lid should allow the greens to vent while simmering.
Allow shrooms and greens to simmer over low heat for ten minutes more. Check frequently as you don’t want either to cook dry! Add more broth to greens and more cream (by the tablespoon) to the mushrooms.
At ten minutes, remove the greens from the cast iron and move to a serving dish. Cover to keep warm. Turn the heat off the shroom sauce and cover to keep warm.
Place the same cast iron over high heat and add two tablespoons of real, unsalted butter. Salt and pepper both sides of your room-temperature steaks. When the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, add your ribeyes to the pan. I can only do two at a time and that is perfect for the two of us; you need a single layer of ribeyes so don’t overcrowd your pan.
Ribeyes are best at medium rare. That’s the truth. Cook for four minutes on one side and flip each with a fork. Cook another three-four minutes and put on your dinner plate.
BOOM! Stir and top the steak with a spoonful of that creamy shroom sauce. Have hot sauce, salt, and pepper on the table and serve greens there. Do the Molly Dooker shake and enjoy your fancy pants dinner!