Oh Barefoot… August 8, 2007Posted by Sarah in Baking, Dinner.
Last week I was flipping channels and I came upon the Food Network. Normally, I don’t watch it because it comes in really crappily on my TV. I figure, if I can’t watch it and see the beautiful food I don’t want to watch it at all. However, after hearing about what Ina Garten was going to be making that day, I couldn’t resist.
It was the “Memory Lane” episode where she makes Jefferey a steak sandwich and peanut butter swirl brownies. Even through the crappy reception on my TV the food looked amazing.
In an attempt to disspell a grouchy mood, I decided to make her special “Memory Lane” lunch for me and my husband. As with any Ina Garten recipe, it starts with a pound of butter! Actually, the steak sandwich starts with olive oil, but the brownies have a pound of butter and well over a pound of chocolate! Yum!
I skipped the arugula on this sandwich, although I’m sure it would taste great if you did use it. I also used ciabatta rolls instead of focaccia buns and had success. I cut the mayo-mustard recipe in half and it was still too much for just two sandwiches. If I made this again (and I probably will) I would not add any more oil to the pan after cooking the steak in order to caramelize the onions. The olive oil left in the pan plus the fat from the steak were more than enough to caramelize the onions. When I added more olive oil, the onions were almost too greasy. Alternatively, you could drain the oil from the pan and use a fresh addition of olive oil to caramelize the onions in.
1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless beef top loin steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 yellow onions, sliced in rings (or 1 large Vidalia onion)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 recipe Mustard Mayo, recipe follows
2 mini focaccia buns, sliced in 1/2
1/2 cup baby arugula
Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking, then sear the steak on each side for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steak for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into strips.Using the same saute pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread a tablespoon of Mustard Mayo on the bottom half of each bun. Place a layer the steak strips on top of the mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the caramelized onion rings. Place the baby arugula on top of the onion rings, and cover the sandwiches with the top half of the buns.
3/4 cup good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature.
Yield: 1 cup
Of course, no Barefoot Contessa episode would be complete without a rich decadent dessert. What I love about Ina Garten is the way she calmly says things that sound slightly outrageous. When she started making the brownies, she serenely said, “We start off these brownies by melting a pound of butter and a pound of chocolate.” To be fair, this recipe actually makes a ton of brownies (a 12″x18″ sheet pan) but it still is not something you hear every day especially when someone is talking about preparing brownies for herself and her husband.
This recipe was actually quite easy to put together. I didn’t have a 12″x18″x1 1/2″ pan so I used a 12″x17″ baking sheet with sides. I lined the sheet with a big piece of foil and built the sides up so it was about 1 1/2 inches high. I melted the butter and chocolates in the microwave which cut down on the prep time. Her recipe calls for 6 extra-large eggs. If you don’t have extra-large eggs on hand, you can just use 7 large eggs and the recipe will be just fine. Also, before I spooned the peanut butter onto the batter, I whipped it with a whisk for a little bit to make it more fluid and easier to swirl. These brownies are great from the pan, if not a little underbaked seeming. If you put them in the refrigerator (as Ina recommends) they become thick, chewy and fudgy. I recommend eating them both ways! These brownies are supreme, just don’t think about the calorie content as you are eating them… The Barefoot Contessa wouldn’t!
Peanut Swirl Brownies
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.