Steakhouse Dinner In the Comfort of Home

I spent this past lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon watching hours of Food Network which resulted in 1) me being veryy hungry and 2) motivated to cook a lavish dinner.  Since the freezer is packed with steaks/meat from Omaha Steaks, I decided to plan a steak dinner worthy of the best steakhouses around. Yeah, you Bourbon and BLT ;)

I marinated beef tenderloins and let set for most of the day, covered and in the fridge. Also on the menu was shrimp scampi, garlic roasted potatoes, corn on the cob with herb butter, popovers using BLT Steak's recipe and a hot fudge brownie sundae. Below are helpful recipes for the perfect dinner for two.

Shrimp Scampi:
6 frozen shrimp, deviened and tail off
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil and butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, saute the garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the shrimp and saute until curled and pink. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure to not overcook the shrimp. Top with fresh parsley.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes:
2 large russet potatoes, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place potatoes on a non-stick baking sheet in single layer. Roast for 45-50 minutes.

Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter:
2 ears of corn
4 tbsp butter, softened, separated
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil. Place cobs in the water with 2 tbsp of butter and liberally add salt.  Mix the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and parsley in a small bowl and place in the fridge to harden up a bit. Boil corn for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with herb butter.

Popovers: (BLT Steak's recipe)
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of salt
1/4 c of gruyere cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place popover/muffin pan in oven while it heats.  Warm milk gently in small saucepan. Meanwhile, beat eggs until frothy. Slowly stir in the milk, be careful not to add to quickly which will scramble the eggs. Add the flour and salt and mix until well blended. Take the pan out of the oven and spray with non-stick spray.  Fill each cup 3/4 full and top with grated gruyere cheese. Bake 15 minutes then turn the pan a quarter of a turn. Bake another 35 minutes until each have puffed up and turned golden brown. Serve immediately.

Beef Tenderloins:
2 6 oz beef tenderloins
1/4 c of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c of Asiago and Parmesan dressing (Kraft)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine marinade and steaks. Let sit, covered in the fridge for 3-5 hours. Preheat grill. Place each steak on grill and cook 5 minutes per side for the perfect medium rare steak. Baste each side with leftover marinade after each turn and also before plating. Once cooked, place steaks in an aluminum tent to rest for another few minutes. This helps to redistribute the juices inside.

Brownies with Hot Fudge Sauce and Ice Cream:
1 package of brownie mix
1/4 c of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c of heavy cream
Vanilla bean ice cream

Prepare brownies according to package.  Make a double boiler with saucepan and glass bowl. Boil water in saucepan. Make sure when the bowl is placed on the saucepan, the bottom does not touch the water. This will cause the chocolate to burn.  Add the chocolate chips and cream. Stir until melted. Serve with brownie, scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and drizzle the fudge on top.

This menu was the perfect steakhouse dinner that can be done at home! I also paired this meal with a great Virginia Merlot from Prince Michel. It was a great hit and allowed for a more intimate experience. Although, we will still have dinners out, this was a good alternative especially on a not so pretty Sunday.

Burger Lovers Rejoice!

I always find myself on a certain quest to find the best eats in town. So this week...who has the best burger?! My burger options often include Five Guys, McDonalds, you know the usual.

My friend was curious to see if BGR: The Burger Joint was comparable if not better than those so I offered to try it out for lunch. Having been on TV with Throwdown with Bobbly Flay and also Man vs Food, I had high expectations. They definitely lived up to the hype.

It's a small burger joint and a great lunch option for the many business people who were there diving into their juicy burgers. The menu is much more diverse than Five Guys. You have the options of regular beef burgers, lamb burgers, veggie burgers, sliders, etc. They also offer regular fries, sweet potato fries, asparagus fries, and gigantic onion rings. Literally, this onion rings are over 2 inches thick, each! The best deal is the box set for $8.99 which is what I got. It comes with the option of a regular burger, veggie burger or sliders, fries and a drink. This deal is only good for lunch between 11-2pm. I chose the regular burger with the works meaning lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and they're special mojo sauce. I came to the conclusion that the mojo sauce is mayo with a bit of spice, maybe hot sauce?! The only downfall was the bun was not sturdy enough to support the burger and all the toppings. It was a bit of a mess but so worth it.

With this chain taking off and opening new stores in the DC metro area, it's definitely worth a quick trip to try it out. Prices, value and the amount of food is comparable to Five Guys but BGR takes the cake! More options and better tasting burger, how could it not be the best!

Fun, Tasty Way through DC

So I'm sick and tired of accounting. I mean how long can one sit in a cubicle and feel like their life is fulfilled. C'mon. My passion is of course food and wine. I got my start in the wine industry a few years ago working part-time for a wine shop/cafe in Richmond, VA (Barrel Thief). Probably the best job I've had to date. Drinking, serving, learning, what's not to love. Ever since then I've gravitated back to wine as potential career.  Luckily beginning in September I am starting the WSET courses to gain more knowledge of wine and the industry.

Now that that's on track, how do I get into the food industry without making big sacrifices and a pay cut? DC Metro Food Tours to the rescue! This is such a great idea and I have told everyone I know about it since finding it myself.  They host tours through neighborhoods in the DC metro area but it's not just any tour. They're called "culinary walks" meaning you may learn a little history and fun facts but stop at restaurants along the way for tasting menus.  Right now I'm working on the Old Town Alexandria tour and have learned so many fun facts about the area. Other tours include Georgetown, Capital Hill, Little Ethiopia and even in Baltimore. Each tour is about 3 and a half hours and guides you around important/cultural parts of the neighborhood.  In the Old Town tour we make 6 different stops at restaurants ranging from American, to Lebanese to a coffee and tea shop.  The restaurants on the tours may not be ones you would typically go to or feature dishes you may not typically order which is a great way to see the city and taste numerous dishes.  This is probably the best kept secret for locals and tourists alike. I highly recommend trying out a tour one weekend and enjoy a diverse food menu. There's no other tour like it!

Can't wait to see what the future may hold! Oh and don't forget to sign up for a tour. Maybe even the Old Town one and I can show ya around. And please show up hungry!

Cheers :)