STEAK AU POIVRE VERT
¾ cup whipping cream
¼ cup green peppercorns
1½ pounds tender boneless beef steaks cut 1″ thick
1½ tablespoons butter
1½ tablespoons olive oil
7 tablespoons cognac or brandy
½ cup beef broth
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons tarragon
x-ray vision (helpful, but not required)
Makes 4 steaks. Takes 45 minutes.
Add whipping cream to pot. Cook using medium heat for 12 minutes or until cream thickens and is reduced by half. Stir frequently. Place cream in bowl and let sit in refrigerator.
Crack peppercorns by crushing them against a cutting board with a kitchen mallet or the side of a heavy knife Mince shallots. Add steaks, butter, and olive oil to large skillet. Sauté using medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side for medium rare or until steaks reach desired doneness.
Desired doneness is quite personal and just as open to heated debate just like politics. How do you decide it’s done? Well, x-ray vision is helpful. So is practice. Or you can just cut off a tiny piece and look. You are the master of your domain.
Okay. Add cognac to skillet. Sauté each side at medium-high heat for 1 minute. Place meat on serving plate. Cover with foil. Leave drippings in skillet.
Add shallot to skillet. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until shallot softens. Add cracked peppercorns, chilled whipping cream, beef broth, salt, and tarragon. Bring to boil using high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium for 5 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half. Place steaks on plates. Ladle sauce equally over steaks. Serve hot to adoring guests. Use sonic obliterator on guests who don’t appreciate the cost and the effort. You don’t need that kind of negativity.
1) Ruva Boldin, 1897 – 1962, was a famous doughnut maker in the Soviet Union. In fact, she made the best doughnut anywhere in the world. It was impossible for any world leader to stay mad at Russia when they bit into one of Ruva’s creations.
2) Stalin, the USSR’s dictator, knew this. This
3) And then what? I started to write tidbit 2) a few days ago. What interrupted me?
4) I’d like to think it was a comet. That would be a good excuse for not working, don’t you think?
5) Me: Sorry boss, I can’t go to work today, there’s a comet passing by my garage door.
Boss: Like I haven’t heard that one before.
6) Yep, it’s better to have believable excuses when calling in sick such as:
Me: Sorry boss, I can’t make it to work today. I know we have a critical meeting with our most important client, but all I have are orphaned socks. I know that their CEO is extremely fashion conscious and if I showed up with mismatched socks, we’d lose that account forever. Can we reschedule the meeting for tomorrow? I need today to buy more socks.
Boss: I know! Just yesterday. I lost half the socks I put in the dryer. I suspect the dryer is merely a portal into a sock-hungry parallel universe. Of course, we’ll reschedule. I need to buy socks myself, but was too embarrassed to say so. I would have shown up with different socks at the meeting, lost the account, and bankrupted the company. Your courage in speaking up has saved the day. I’m giving you a promotion and a raise.
7) Maybe the aliens who ride comets have tractor beams that pull in our socks. With each successive pass by the Earth, they take more and more of our socks.
8) Why do the comet-riding aliens only take one sock from each pair? Because they’re juvenile delinquents, going on a joy ride.
9) But there is a serious consequence to their behavior. As these comets take on more and more socks, the mass of the comet grows and grows. The comet’s gravitational field becomes ever stronger, strong enough to change the orbits of neighboring celestial bodies.
10) Just recently, someone predicted the discovery of huge new planet in our Solar System, because of orbit irregularities in our outer planets. However, it seems more likely that the huge gravitational pull on these planets is coming from the sock-laden Halley’s Comet. This comet is so heavy with socks that when it passes by the Earth in 2062, it’s immense gravitational field will pick us up and hurl us into the Sun.
11) Clearly, this would be bad. Get to your dryer as soon as the buzzer let’s you know the loads is dry. Space aliens will only beam up socks when they’re nice and toasty warm. But move fast, because the aliens are speedy. Save your socks. Save the world.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.