On the second of January, Mom and I had our fancy New Year's meal (just one day late). Mom really wanted some sort of TJOC potato dish but I have made almost all of them. We decided to make Twice-baked sweet potatoes I (p. 302).
I baked three sweet potatoes and scraped out their guts:
I mashed the sweet potatoes with butter, hot cream, and salt.
I spooned the potato mixture back in to the potato shells, covered them with Au gratin II (p. 961) (which is breadcrumbs and dots of butter) and popped it in the oven:
Honestly, the twice baked sweet potatoes tasted pretty much like just like buttered baked sweet potatoes. Not really worth the extra steps, even though they were good. They heated up really well, which was great, because mom and I ate them for two additional meals. I did like the au gratin topping--TJOC says you can use au grain III, which uses cheese (I think that would be really strange on sweet potatoes).
The main dish was Steak Diane (p. 475). I had originally chosen against steak Diane because we didn't have brandy--I was going to make an orange, leek, and rosemary sauce for the steak. It was only after I was halfway through steak Diane that I realized I was making the wrong recipe--I'm not sure how that happened, the recipes aren't even in the same chapter. We still didn't have any brandy, so mom had to run out and get a small bottle.
The first step is to make Sauteed steak (p. 475). I seasoned a couple boneless ribeye steaks with salt and pepper and cooked them in a pan with a little olive oil:
After five minutes, I flipped the steaks:
Five more minutes and it was done! An extremely easy way to cook steak. I tend to broil all meat but this is a much better way to cook steak in the summer if you don't want to grill but don't want to turn on the oven.
Back to the steak Diane....
I cooked shallots in butter until softened:
I added beef stock, brandy, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to the shallots.
I swirled in a little butter and added some parsley.
The sauce was poured over the steaks and it was done! The steak Diane was really good. I can't say it was anything amazing but if you like shallots, this is a great match for you.
I thought Black pepper vinaigrette (p. 573) would be a good match to the meal. I chopped up a garlic clove, added salt, cracked peppercorns, red wine vinegar, and a little bit of lemon zest. I slowly whisked in olive oil:
Delicious! This was a really great salad dressing. I love black pepper. I LOVE black pepper. So this was a great match for me. Vinaigrette is so simple that I don't know why anyone ever buys it--in fact, almost all salad dressings are so easy that you might as well just make them from scratch.
It was a delicious meal and a good start to the year!