It’s summer. A light breeze is in the air and the temperature is perfect. You’re cooking for a special person and they love grilled steak. In this menu we’ll grill the steaks American style but then accompany them with several great French traditions. We’ll start with a fresh summer salad and have some fun with it. For the steak a rich wine based sauce will add dimension and excitement. Traditions can be good thing with a romantic meal. Serving this with potatoes and the traditional green bean almandine will be comfortable for everyone. With the recipes below you’ll be able to execute these with great results and be relaxed while entertaining your guest.
The main meal is fairly heavy so a light salad or appetizer is in order. This California vegetable tartare is a hit and celebrates fresh summer ingredients. It’s a simple preparation of cutting up vegetables and can be done hours in advance.
California Vegetable Tartare
The star of the show will be excellent quality grilled steaks with a sophisticated red wine reduction. I recommend ribeye or New York strip steaks although the sauce will work great with any cut including the filet tenderloin. You should go to the butchers counter and spend a little extra for better quality beef. Look for USDA Choice graded steaks they will be tender and more flavorful than the USDA Select. If you can find a source for USDA Prime grading this is the best you can buy and often only sold to the restaurant industry.
Dry age at home. To add more beef flavor I recommend replicating the dry aging process by getting the steaks a day in advance and drying in the your refrigerator. To accomplish this pat the steaks dry with paper towels and place on a wire rack. Set the rack over a baking sheet or plate. Place in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours before your dinner. Remove and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before you grill.
Make ahead items. This is a reasonably simple sauce that you can make ahead if you wish. It takes about an hour to reduce and will fill your kitchen with wonderful aroma.