Oct 12

First and foremost before anyone thinks I have developed mad food photography skills, this picture is lifted — or borrowed from Williams Sonoma.  I feel fine about this because it links back to their Steak au Poivre Sauce.

Williams Sonoma has been offering free cooking classes every Sunday.  I went to a couple of them fully expecting to have them use these classes as an opportunity to sell their wares.  That was fine by me because I also went with the intention of picking up some stainless steel saute pans I’ve been coveting and they give you a discount for attending the class.  I did not however expect to buy any finished sauces or seasonings.  If you read my blog, you know I am passionately against sauce in a jar ….  I guess the old adage never say never applies here …

Tyler, Bill’s 17 year old is an avid fan of steak; all things beef really.  Tyler wanted to take the class so I thought I’d tag along and get my pans (you get a 10% discount on anything related to the class).  I chatted with the store manager while Tyler took notes.  I’m an accomplished cook! I didn’t think I had much to learn on a class that relied on sauce in a jar.  I did learn something; I learned that I had to get a jar of that sauce!

We all have our nights when we don’t want to cook — this is the perfect answer.  Rub this sauce (it’s really more of a marinade) on your steaks (we used NY Strips) and let them rest for at least a half hour.  Then either grill them outside or cook them on a smoking hot grill pan (it’s still so hot in Florida I went for the grill pan — but the smoke was more than I had anticipated so consider yourself warned).  I  pre-heated a cast iron grill pan (8 on my electric range) and cooked 3/4 inch thick NY strips about 6 minutes per side for a perfect medium rare.
Since I was cheating with the steaks, I made cream of mushroom soup from scratch.  This was incredibly worth it, but time consuming.  Over the weekend Bill took me to see Julie & Julia (I know, I don’ t like to rush into things).  I cried the entire movie — why I don’t know; but it made me cry!  The good news is that the tears lead to inspiration and I decided to tackle one of her recipes, Cream of mushroom soup.  Below is my version.  I’d never argue with Julia (or Julie) but the great thing about cooking in your kitchen is you adapt to your own tastes and based simply on the recipe this soup was not achieving it’s flavor potential.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (Click here for printable recipe)

6 Tbs butter separated
1/2 onion diced  (you are going to strain this out later so no points for neatness)
3 Tbs flour
About 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock (preferably homemade, but store bought will work, be careful with salt)
2 pounds mushrooms stemmed, caps sliced thin (I used cremini  and a few oyster but pick your favorite, keep stems separate from caps)
1/4 cup Marsala wine
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Over medium low heat cook onions in 3 Tbs butter until soft (less than 10 minutes).  Meanwhile bring stock to boil.  After onions are softened, stir in flour and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.  Off heat whisk boiling stock into onions, add mushroom stems and cook on a low simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat remaining 3 Tbs butter over medium heat until it foams and then the foam subsides.  Add sliced mushroom caps and Marsala wine (this is my addition)  and season the mushrooms.  Put a lid on the pan and cook until soft, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Strain soup-base of stock, onion and mushroom caps. pressing to get all the juices.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks and cream.  Slowly, by spoonfuls, whisk in hot soup base.  Don’t do this too fast or  your eggs will scramble instead of thickening the soup.  Once you have about half the mixture you should be fine to return it all to the saucepan.  Then add the mushroom caps and any liquids released by cooking to the soup base.  Return to medium low heat and cook for a few minutes to thicken.  Do not let it come to a simmer, you could still get scrambled eggs and to go through that at this point would be heartbreaking.

So, what did we drink with it you ask? The Sly Dog Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon that Bill and I love!  The picture below is a link to their website.

One other thought I want to leave you with!  I recently discovered the art of “White”  Really cool, funky art with attitude.  The image below will take you to his site.

6 Responses to “Steak Au Poivre and Cream of Mushroom Soup.”

  1. A friend of mine went to one of the free classes and walked away with a jar of the sauce they featured. She LOVED it! 🙂

    The soup sounds great!

  2. Free cooking classes? Wow, that’s nice! I love Cream of Mushroom 🙂 Thks for sharing this lovely post!

  3. So simple yet so yummy and impressive looking! You’ve totally made me want this for dinner now!

  4. Sometimes we all need a shortcut! The whole meal sounds delicious– loved the movie, too, and just finished reading My Life in France. Great read!

  5. Shortcuts sometimes help us enjoy the rest of our lives. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks for writing this great blog I really enjoyed.

    Greetings from Tim. 🙂

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