Thursday, July 2, 2015

Tomahawk Steak with Garlic Chile Padrón Bordeaux Blanc Crème ~ Black Truffle Gouda Mashed Heirloom Finger Potatoes

     Tomahawk Steak!
     When it come to beef steaks, you get what you pay for.  USDA Choice Grade Beef is what most grocery stores carry and the fat marbling tends to be fairly lean.  USDA Prime Grade Beef has plenty of fat marbling and the grading standards are much more strict.  
     If a backyard chargrill chef wants to impress guests with the best steak that money can buy, then USDA Prime Grade is the best choice.  Prime Grade Beef is limited in availability and it costs nearly twice as much as Choice Grade Beef.  All that I can say is that from a quality and flavor standpoint, Prime Grade Beef is well worth the money spent.
     Tomahawk Steaks have been a trendy item at steakhouses in recent years.  A Tomahawk Steak is a full ribeye steak that has the rib bone attached.  The rib bone is Frenched and the bare bone looks like a tomahawk handle.  
     Tomahawk Steaks can weigh well over 24 ounces, so they are big enough to share.  "The bigger, the better" is the motto of many steak fans and a big thick Tomahawk Steak certainly fits the bill.   
     The 27 ounce USDA Prime Grade Tomahawk Steak in the pictures above was purchased at The Butcher Block shop in Las Vegas.  I visited this shop yesterday and they are all stocked up with good meat choices for the holiday weekend.  Good butcher shops are the only place to find Prime Grade Beef. 

     Garlic and chile peppers taste good with steak.  The peppers do not necessarily need to be extra spicy hot.  Today's accompanying crema sauce for steak is made with Padrón Peppers.  Padrón Peppers are used extensively in Spanish tapas cuisine and they have a nice mild chile pepper flavor.  
     For the most part, Padrón Peppers are within the mild spicy hot flavor range, but about 1 out of every 10 Chile Padrón will be very spicy hot.  When cooking with chile Padrón, it does pay to taste the peppers, just to avoid surprising guests with a sauce that might be too spicy hot for their taste preferences. 
     Créme Fraîche is similar to Mexican Crema.  The flavor of a garlic and green chile pepper flavored crema sauce wakes up when white wine is added.  Usually an acidic white wine is the first choice, but I decided to take a departure from that path for today's recipe.  
     White Bordeaux Wine can be sweet or dry.  It depends on whether Noble Rot grows on the grapes.  Noble Rot creates a naturally sweet White Bordeaux that is served as a dessert wine.  The most famous Sweet Bordeaux region wine is Sauternes.  Classic Sauternes does command a high price.  
     Sweet White Bordeaux that is produced outside of the Sauternes Appellation usually sell for a lower price.  A good example is Cheval Quancard.  Cheval Quancard is a 100% Semillon Grape Varietal Sweet White Bordeaux that sells for a very modest price.  This fine dessert wine tastes so rich, that a little bit of goes a long way when flavoring a sauce.        
     The undisputed king of classic mushroom flavor is the Black Truffle.  Young Gouda Cheese has mild sharp nutty flavor that is perfect with Black Truffles.  Truffe Noir Gouda is a popular cheese from Holland and it is fairly easy to find at grocery stores.  This cheese is flavored with just enough minced Italian Black Truffle to enhance its savory appeal.  All that one has to do to create a nice gourmet mashed potato, is to a few tablespoons of Truffe Noir Gouda.  Nothing else is needed.  Black Truffle Gouda Mashed Potatoes is a fitting accompaniment for a top notch steak!  
     Fancy finger potatoes have been popular in fine dining restaurants in recent years and there are some interesting varieties.  Yukon Gold, Peruvian Purple and Red Skin Finger potatoes are fairly common.  I found some yellow skin finger potatoes that had a red color center the other day and I gave this heirloom variety a try.  Only a few were available, so I mixed them with a pale golden color finger potato variety.  The result was a pale rose color mashed potato that looks nice on a plate. 

     Black Truffle Gouda Mashed Heirloom Finger Potatoes:     
     This recipe yields 2 portions of mashed potato!
     Step 1:  Place 2 to 3 yellow skin red finger potatoes and 3 to 4 white or gold finger potatoes in a sauce pot.  (About 2 cups total volume.)
     Cover the potatoes with cold water.  
     Boil over medium high heat, till the potatoes are soft and tender. 
     Drain the water off of the potatoes.
     Step 2:  Leave the potatoes in the pot off of the heat. 
     Add 2 tablespoons of cream.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter. 
     Add 3 tablespoons of grated Truffe Noir Gouda cheese. 
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 3:  Mash and whisk the potato mixture, till it becomes very smooth, thick and creamy. 
     Spoon the mashed potatoes into a star tipped pastry bag. 
     Keep it warm on a stove top.

     Garlic Chile Padrón Bordeaux Blanc Crème:
     This recipe yields 1 portion of sauce!
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 3 crushed garlic cloves.
     Sauté till the garlic becomes a light golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 1 chopped seeded green Chile Padrón.
     Add 1 teaspoon of shallot.
     Briefly sauté, till the pepper start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Add 3 ounces of Sweet French White Bordeaux Dessert Wine.
     Add 3 ounces of cream.
     Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of thyme.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Step 4:  Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Step 5:  Use a blender, blending wand or a food processor to puree the sauce.
     Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a small sauce pot.
     Step 6:  Simmer and reduce the sauce over low heat, till it becomes a medium thin cream sauce consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Step 7:  Remove the sauce pot from the heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter while stirring with a whisk.
     Reheat the sauce just before serving.  Add a splash of milk if the sauce is too thick.

     Fluted Portobello:
     Trim the stem of a medium size portobello mushroom so it is flush.
     Peel the mushroom.
     Use a paring knife or a sharp channeling tool to flute the mushroom.  (Save the mushroom peelings for other making stock or other recipes!)
     Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Sauté the portobello, till it becomes tender and golden brown highlights appear.
     Season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Keep the portobello warm on a stove top.
     Tomahawk Ribeye Steak:
     Step 1:  Select a full thick Tomahawk Ribeye Steak.  (USDA Prime Grade is the best choice.  A Tomahawk Steak usually weighs over 25 ounces!)
     Be sure that the bone is scraped clean.  (Frenched)
     Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a chargrill or cast iron ribbed griddle to a medium/medium high temperature.
     Cook the steak to the desired state of doneness.  (Medium/rare to medium is best for ribeye steaks!)  
     *Be sure to occasionally brush the steak and bone with melted unsalted butter.  If the bone starts to become a dark color, then try to position the steak on the grill, so the bone is over a lower temperature spot or cover the bone with aluminum foil. 
     Step 3:  Place the steak on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan and let the steak rest for 2 minutes. 

     Tomahawk Steak with Garlic Chile Padrón Bordeaux Blanc Crème and Truffe Noir Gouda Mashed Heirloom Finger Potatoes: 
     Use the pastry bag to pipe a mound of the Truffe Noir Gouda Mashed Heirloom Finger Potatoes on the left center of a large plate.
     Place the Tomahawk Steak on the plate, so the bone end leans on the potatoes.
     Spoon a generous portion of the Garlic Chile Padrón Bordeaux Blanc Créme on the plate around the front of the steak.  
     Serve with a vegetable of your choice.  (Buttered brussel sprouts are a nice choice.)
     Garnish the steak with the fluted portobello mushroom.
     Garnish the potato and tail of the steak with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     Voila!  A huge brontosaurus size Tomahawk Steak with an elegant tasting sauce and gourmet mashed potato!  

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