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PAN-SEARED RIB-EYE STEAK WITH A MUSHROOM CREAM SAUCE

TWICE-BAKED POTATOES

I am….

…excited to celebrate the week leading up to the Oscars.  Not because I’m a huge movie buff.  I watch a movie once in a while.  But more because this is a good excuse to create themed food.  It’s a way to venture away from a comfort zone.  So why not make it fun too?

For the first night of Oscar week, the honors go to “The Artist”; a movie that takes place in 1930’s Hollywood.  In researching foods of that era and location I found that it would not be unheard of to find on a restaurant menu a pan-seared rib-eye steak with a Bearnaise sauce. The side dish might be twice-baked potatoes. 

I researched Bearnaise sauce and found that the uncooked egg yolks made me a bit uncomfortable.  Not to be deterred, I set on finding a cream sauce to accompany the steak that I could feel good about and that my family would embrace.  It didn’t take long as I found a wonderful tangy creamy mushroom sauce. 

I have a confession to make.  I have NEVER made twice-baked potatoes!  Weird.  They are so simple and yummy.  Why I haven’t prepared them I do not know. 

Twice-Baked Potatoes:

3 large russet baking potatoes

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 c milk

salt & pepper to taste

1 green onion thinly sliced

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Scrub each potato and dry with a clean towel.  Prick each spud with a fork a couple of times.  Bake them in the oven until cooked through (about 1 hour depending on their size).

Remove the potatoes from the oven but do not turn it off yet.  Using an oven mitt or a kitchen towel, cradle a potato in your hand and cut a canoe-shaped slit in the top of the potato.  Gently scoop out the insides leaving a thin layer all around the sides so that the potato will still stand up.  Do this will all the potatoes.  Place the scooped insides in a medium bowl and add the butter, salt and pepper.  Mash the potato pulp.  Add the milk and continue to mash until it reaches a consistency you like.  Add the green onion and 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Stir to combine.  Gently spoon the mashed potatoes back into each potato shell, rounding each up a little bit.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top of each potato and return to the oven.  Bake until the cheese is melted. 

Rib-Eye Steak & Creamy Mushroom Sauce:

2 rib-eye steaks

1/4 c shallots (finely chopped)

1 c sliced mushrooms of your choice

1/2 c water

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 c sour cream

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and sour cream.  Set aside.  In a medium pan over medium-high heat, sear steak(s) in 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Cover pan and cook over medium heat until the steaks are close to the doneness you prefer.  Place steaks on a plate to rest while you prepare the cream sauce. 

In the same pan, saute shallots until tender.  Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are near done (be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all of the wonderful crud left by the steak.  When the mushrooms are close to cooked through, slowly add 1/2 cup water and continue to scrape up the bits left by the steak.  Add the sour cream mixture and lower the heat to medium-low, stirring once in a while.

To serve, place a small portion of the steak on a plate and spoon some of the sauce over it.  Place a twice-baked potato next to it and don’t forget to salute “The Artist”.  Enjoy!

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