Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Herminator Cooks and Entertains: Ribeyes, Potato Prosciutto Gratin and Gorgeous Salad

Wednesday rolled around and as I sat at my desk with a little black raincloud over my head, I realized out loud that I hadn't left the house since last Saturday. Which prompted my husband to immediately dub me "The Herminator". I remarked that I was awfully glad his parents were coming over for dinner, because I truly do need more company than just him and the dogs from time to time, much as I love them.


We were past due for dinner and a spades game here. I've been happily busy with work, and just haven't had a lot of time for entertaining much lately. But we took a lunch hour, went out for provisions, and came back with some outstanding ribeyes, pretty prosciutto, and some absolutely beautiful red butter lettuce so that I could put together a simple dinner for all of us.


Truly there's not much easier in my book than steak and potatoes. I'm perfectly happy with a baked potato, but tonight I decided to do a gratin with them, and also went vertical instead of horizontal. I thinly sliced some idaho potatoes, then stacked them vertically in the pan on top of a thin layer of olive oil, salted them, then stuck some of the delicious prosciutto slices in between some of the potato layers. (I know it was delicious because I checked it first to make sure it wasn't poison.) Like this:
 I poured a little chicken stock over that and drizzled some olive oil and baked it with a lid at 400. I took it out and my mother-in-law looked at it and said "That's...interesting..." But she ate it and there wasn't a crumb left, so I'm assuming it met with her approval.


The lettuce I bought was just way too pretty to pass up. I saw it in the produce section, screaming its siren song to me. And as most of you know, I'm not a "green" kinda girl, so joyfully depositing a vegetable besides a potato in my cart is a bit of a rarity. I buy the green variety, just not "joyfully". But look at this lettuce! Isn't it pretty?

It didn't just have good looks, either. It tasted good! I do wish I'd gotten an avocado to go with it, though. Once I tasted it, it really kind of wanted that. Oh well. Next time.

Red Butter Lettuce Salad with Fresh Mandarin Oranges and Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Paprika-Rubbed Grilled Ribeyes
Potato and Prosciutto Gratin
Asparagus with butter and shallots


In all, dinner really only took me about 45 minutes total to put together. My father-in-law informed me that I could cook him that meal every time they came over and he'd be just fine with that. My mother-in-law, despite her "interesting" comment, ate every bite of her dinner and loved the salad, and she is the Salad Queen. (Seriously, she loves her some salad, and makes the some of the best. Period.)


Oh. By the way. My father-in-law and I KICKED BUTT at spades! My husband and his mom got PWNED!!


Red Butter Lettuce Salad with Fresh Mandarin Oranges and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
I got seriously lucky with ingredients with this. I pulled a gorgeous head of lettuce, and the grocery had those wonderful tiny mandarin oranges (fresh, not the canned kind).
Serves 4
1 head Red Butter Lettuce
4 tiny mandarin oranges, peeled, pith removed (don't substitute the canned kind here. Just do a regular fresh orange instead, peeled and cut out the sections)
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
Dressing:
3 Tbs. Blood Orange Vinegar
1 Tbs. minced shallot (I saute mine - I don't like raw shallot in my salad dressing)
1 pinch kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
6 - 7 Tbs. salad oil


Wash and dry lettuce, and tear into bite-sized pieces. Add almonds and cheese and oranges. For dressing, mix the vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper together, then whisk in the olive oil. Toss the greens with the dressing - you probably won't need all of it.


Potato Prosciutto Gratin
Serves 4
2 large Idaho (russet) potatoes
4 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup (about) chicken stock
4 Tbs. olive oil
kosher salt

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Place in a large bowl and toss with kosher salt and 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Stack vertically in a casserole with lid. Tear the prosciutto into smaller pieces and stuff between potato slices, spaced fairly evenly in the dish. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbs. of olive oil, then pour the chicken stock over the potatoes. Place in a 400F oven with the lid on and bake about 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes.
Paprika-Rubbed Grilled Ribeyes

Serves 4
3 lbs. ribeye steaks (2 large or 3 medium)
kosher salt
pepper
2 Tbs. paprika
Salt and pepper the ribeyes on both sides. Sprinkle paprika evenly over both sides. Place on hot grill and cook to desired doneness - about 3 minutes per side for rare, 5 for medium and 7 -8 for well done. Let the steaks rest for five minutes, then slice thinly across the grain and serve.

Asparagus with Butter and Shallots
Serves 4
2 lbs. asparagus
kosher salt
1 large shallot, diced
2 Tbs. butter

Saute the chopped shallot in butter and add a pinch of kosher salt. Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the asparagus, then toss with the shallots and butter.

Produce
2 idaho potatoes
1 head Red Butter Lettuce
1 box fresh mandarin oranges
2 lbs. asparagus
2 shallots

Meat/Deli
1/8 lb. prosciutto

3 lbs. ribeye steaks
Aisles
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
olive oil
chicken stock
toasted almonds
blood orange vinegar

Dairy
butter
goat cheese

Click here for a printable .pdf version of the recipes and shopping list.

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