Monday, December 26, 2011

Simple Steak with Carrots en Papillote and Butternut Squash Risotto

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm going to go back to a dinner that is a prime example of the necessity of flexibility in the kitchen. I was planning on making salmon en papillote (which means baking it inside a parchment pouch to trap all the flavors and juices!), but, much to my dismay, it smelled funny after I thawed it. If it smells too much like fish...think twice before eating it. :)

So I rummaged around in my freezer and found some small steaks (perfect portion size, actually). I had been planning on putting julienned carrots in with the salmon, but I just cut up a few more and put them in there with some soy sauce, a drop of honey, lemon slices, a little rosemary, salt, and pepper.

To make the pouch, tear off a square of parchment paper. Fold it in half. Draw a half heart on there and cut it out so that you have a heart-shaped piece of parchment. Put what you want to cook on one flap, fold the other side over, and start twisting/folding the edges together, starting at the dip in what would be the center of the heart. When you get to the bottom tip, twist the excess.

I baked my carrots at about 400 degrees for around 10 minutes.

Since the steak was literally a last-minute decision, I thawed it in the microwave, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and flashed it in the pan with a little olive oil.

The Butternut Squash Risotto was the recipe I planned for that did not go awry.

Butternut Squash Risotto
From Cooking Light
3 cups of 1/2" cubed butternut squash, divided
3.5 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
5 oz (about 5 slices) applewood-smoked (or other high quality) bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine 2 cups squash and 2.5 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Place mixture into a food processor or use an immersion blender to process until smooth. Return to pan, stir in broth, and bring to a simmer. Reserve 1/4 cup squash mixture. Keep pan warm over low heat. Heat a large dutch oven (guess what I got for Christmas?!?!) over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining squash mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each cup is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in reserved 1/4 cup squash mixture. Top with parsley and bacon.

For dessert we finished off with the chocolate pot pie from Jonathan's cookbook.

Here is the recipe.
Note: I did not make the "lid," so I did not include that recipe. I also quartered the ingredients so that it would only make two, and they turned out beautifully!

Chocolate Pot Pies
Makes 8
18 oz semi-sweet chocolate
10 oz butter
2 tbsp bourbon
6 egg yolks
4 whole eggs
1/4 cup sugar
vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sauce (I melted more chocolate and added a little bourbon to thin it a little)

Preheat oven to 400.
Brush the inside of 3 4-oz ramekins with butter. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (one pan set inside another filled with water) with the butter and bourbon.
Mix the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar for 2-3 minutes in a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the mixer bowl. Mix well enough to blend. (Or just blend with a hand mixer)
Fill each ramekin almost to the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The outside perimeter should be cooked with the inside still runny. Top each off with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

This recipe is a keeper! Be prepared to feel very indulgent!

1 comment:

  1. This looks great! I love the idea of just cooking the veggies en papillote. I usually do chicken (because I'm not a huge fan of fish), but never really thought to do the sides that way. The presentation is fantastic!