Tuesday, June 13, 2017

T-Bone Steak with Candied Smoked Bacon and Twisted Peppers

     A Modern Tasty Steak Topping!   
     T-Bone Steaks have a superb Strip Steak on one side and a piece of Tenderloin on the other side of the bone.  Tenderloin piece can be just a sliver of meat or it can be the size of a full Filet Mignon Steak when cut close to the Porterhouse Section of the beef loin.  Steak aficionados tend to disregard the Tenderloin side of a T-Bone and they focus on the wide Strip Loin side, because of the rich flavor.  However, a T-Bone that has a large Tenderloin piece does appeal to the ladies.    
     Candied Bacon has been featured as an accompaniment in fine dining restaurants since the 1990's.  Candied Bacon is relatively easy to make, but it is just as easy to make a batch that is unpalatable.  If the brown sugar is not cooked to the melting point, the candy coating will be brittle and the Candied Bacon will have an unpleasant texture.  If the brown sugar is caramelized too dark, the flavor will be bitter and the candy coating will look black.  When lightly caramelized, the sugar coating will adhere to the bacon and the color will be a golden brown shade.   As one can see, a moderate oven temperature and the length of roasting time are critical when making Candied Bacon.
     The state of doneness of the bacon also is critical when making Candied Bacon.  The bacon must only be partially cooked before it is sugar coated or the brown sugar will cook to an undesirable dark color before the bacon turns golden brown.  If the bacon is cooked crisp before it is sugar coated, then the bacon will be burnt by the time the brown sugar becomes molten.
      Classic Candied Bacon is made with perfectly flat full strips of bacon.  To accomplish this, the bacon must be covered with parchment paper on both sides and sandwiched between two sheet pans before baking.  A perfectly flat full strip of Candied Bacon is a very nice looking garnish, but it has limited applications.  
     Many modern chefs prefer to candy bite pieces of bacon.  Bite size pieces of Candied Bacon can be sprinkled on everything from salads to steaks.  Candied Bacon pieces do not have to be perfectly flat, so this style of Candied Bacon is much easier to make.    
     For today's recipe steak the smoked bacon is cut into bite size pieces then cooked till the bacon is blanched.  When the brown sugar is added, the Twisted Peppers are also added, so the peppers infuse with the flavor of the Candied Smoked Bacon in the oven.  As can be seen in the photos above, the Candied Bacon has a nice color and it is not overly dark.  The molten brown sugar clings to the bacon and it also is not too dark.  The cooked peppers are still green, yet fully cooked.  The result is a great tasting topping for a good T-Bone Steak!
     Twisted Peppers are Hybrid Shishito Peppers.  The Twisted Pepper spicy heat level is somewhere between green bell pepper and a mild green jalapeño.  The flesh of a Twisted Pepper is very thin and these peppers cook quickly.  There is no need to remove the seeds in Twisted Peppers that are served whole, because these hybrid peppers contain relatively few seeds.  Popping off the stems is all that needs to be done.   

     Cumin Tomato Northern Beans:
     This recipe yields 2 petite portions.  (About 1 cup.)
     Fancy beans are a nice accompaniment for a steak!  
     Step 1:  Place 1 cup of rinsed cooked Northern Beans (or rinsed canned Northern Beans) in a small sauce pot.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of virgin olive oil.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add enough water to cover the beans.
     Stir the ingredients together. 
     Step 2:  Place the sauce pot over low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the tomato sauce is thick enough to cling to the beans.
     Keep the Cumin Tomato Northern Beans warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie. 

     Buttered Miniature Hybrid Beets and Turnips:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Select 6 or 7 colorful hybrid miniature beets and turnips.
     Trim the root end and cut off the excess green tops.
     Step 2:  Place the mini beets and turnips into a small sauce pot.
     Add enough water to cover the vegetables.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt.
     Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the sauce pot with a lid.
     Cook the root vegetables till they are tender.
     Step 4:  Cool the vegetables under cold running water.
     Carefully use the back of a paring knife to scrape the skin off of the root vegetables.
     Step 5:  Place the mini root vegetables in a sauté pan.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 6:  Place the sauté pan over medium low heat just before serving, to reheat the root vegetables.  

     T-Bone Steak with Candied Smoked Bacon and Twisted Peppers:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     It is best to cook this steak topping to order, so the peppers do not become faded and mushy.
     When the candied smoked bacon and twisted peppers are ready to be finished in the oven, then it is time to start grilling the steak!  Be sure to heat the chargrill or cast iron ribbed griddle, before it is time to cook the steak.
     Step 1:  Preheat a chargrill or cast iron ribbed griddle to a medium/medium hot temperature.
     Step 2:  Trim any excess fat cap off of a 16 to 20 ounce T-Bone Steak.  
     Lightly season the steak with sea salt and crushed black peppercorns.
     Set the prepared steak aside.
     Step 3:  Cut 2 slices of Hickory Smoked Bacon into 1 1/2" long pieces.
     Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Place the smoked bacon pieces in the pan.
     Gently sauté the bacon till a few golden highlights appear and the bacon just starts to become crisp.  (Cooked a little more than blanched.) 
     Step 4:  Use a slotted spoon to remove the lightly cooked bacon pieces from the pan and set them aside in a container.  
     Leave the bacon grease in the pan.
     Step 5:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Add 10 to 12 of Hybrid Twisted Peppers (Shishito Peppers) that have the stem end cut off.
     Briefly sauté the peppers till they just start to cook.
     Use a slotted spoon to remove the peppers and add them to the bacon in the container.
     Step 6:  Drain the excess bacon grease out of the pan.
     Return the pan to medium heat.     
     Add 1/3 cup of Light Brown Sugar.
     Heat the sugar till it starts to become molten.
     Step 7:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Return the smoked bacon pieces and twisted peppers to the pan.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 7:  *Start cooking the seasoned T-Bone Steak at this time!  Grill the steak with a crosscheck pattern, so the steak looks nice.  Cook the steak to your desired state of doneness.  
     Step 8:  While the steak is cooking, place the pan with the molten brown sugar, smoked bacon and twisted peppers in a 350ºF oven.
     Once every 2 minutes toss the ingredients together in the pan, so the sugar glazes the ingredients.
     Bake till the molten brown sugar lightly coats the bacon and peppers are still green.  
     Remove the pan from the oven.
     Keep the Candied Smoked Bacon and Twisted Sweet Peppers warm on a stove top till the steak finishes cooking.
     Step 9:  When the T-Bone Steak is cooked to the desired finish temperature, place it on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Let the steak rest for about one minute before serving.

     Step 1:  Place the T-Bone Steak on the front half of a plate.
     *For a T-Bone steak that has a big tenderloin piece, face that side of the steak toward the customer to show it off.  For a T-Bone with a smaller tenderloin piece, face the big strip side of the steak toward the customer.
     Step 2:  Place the Buttered Miniature Beets and Turnips on the back half of the plate.
     Mound 1/2 cup of the Cumin Tomato Northern Beans on the back half of the plate.
     Garnish the beans with a cilantro sprig.
     Step 3:  Cascade the Candied Smoked Bacon and Twisted Peppers over the back edge of the steak, but try to leave the bone exposed.
     Spoon any remaining brown sugar glaze in the pan over the Candied Smoked Bacon and Twisted Peppers.
     The flavors of this T-Bone steak entrée are mouthwatering!  The smokey sweet candied steak topping is certainly different and it surely will draw compliments from guests.     

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