Steak dinners

Easter Dinner was two two-inch thick porterhouse steaks slathered with olive oil and melted butter, sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper, and laid in a 12-inch cast-iron pan that had been heating in a 500 degree-oven for twenty minutes, and pan-roasted--8 minutes one side, 7 minutes the other. Steaks put aside to rest for five minutes, said pan was placed on medium stovetop heat, deglazed with half a cup of cognac, splashed with a cup of heavy cream, and whisked till sauce is thick, around five minutes.

Served with a crusty baguette and a spinach-and-arugula salad with apple-butter dressing (extra-virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, dijon mustard, crushed garlic clove, cider, and enough apple butter to drown in, all whisked together).

Dessert was strawberries and blackberries in mascarpone cream (two egg yolks mixed with 4 ounces sugar and 4 ounces mascarpone; whipped two egg whites till foamy then folded whites into egg-cheese-sugar mix a little at a time; chilled for an hour before adding the berries).

Tonight did a variation on pan-fried steak. Slathered olive oil on four bone-in ribeyes, sprinkled them with kosher salt and cracked black pepper, laid them in two 12-inch pans (the cast iron one worked so much better, have to buy another one) on medium high heat, two minutes on each side, and maybe a few extra minutes searing the fatty sides. Set aside steaks to rest, poured out the extra oil (leaving around two tablespoons in each pan).

On medium heat, dropped half a cup of sliced shitake mushrooms in each pan, fried em for a few minutes; poured in maybe half a cup of Madeira wine followed by half a cup of heavy cream, whisked a few more minutes till thick; poured sauce over steaks, and sprinkled everything with chopped Italian parsley.

Served as side a spinach salad with an orange marmalade vinaigrette (extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a crushed garlic clove, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, a tablespoon of dijon mustard, and plenty of orange marmalade). Topped salad with mandarin orange segments.

Sliced a ciabatta bread open, spread herbed butter (garlic crushed with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, Italian parsley, chives in softened butter) on each side, and toasted the whole thing in an oven at 350 degrees till the bread is lightly browned.

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