One of the First Romantic Meals I Cooked For My Wife
The first time I made this dish, I was trying to impress my girlfriend (now my wife) with my cooking skills. I would like to think this dinner contributed to our getting married. This was not the first time the Reluctant Gourmet has made his kitchen an arena for romance...... but that's another story. So, what did I cook for her? One of my favorite restaurants in NYC is Raoul's; they make the best Steak au Poivre (peppercorns) in the city. So I decided to reproduce this dish. Since I am a city apartment dweller, I grilled the filet mignons on my anodized aluminum reversible range top grill.
Just beware they can be a little smoky if you don't have good ventilation. In addition we had mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and a tossed salad. I also served a wonderful California Cabernet Sauvignon. The result? Well, we had another date.
My Tips for Preparing Steak au Poivre
- Prepare what you need before you start. It’s how the pros do it and it simplifies the process when you are scrambling to put it all together.
- Make sure the grill is hot, really hot. This will sear the outside of the meat and keep the juices in.
- And don’t use a fork to turn the steaks, use tongs or a spatula to prevent juices from leaking out. If you are using a broiler, you want to preheat it to get it hot for the same reason as above.
- Buy yourself a potato ricer for mashed potatoes. It a great gadget to have in your kitchen, it looks like a giant garlic press, costs about six bucks, but there’s nothing better for smooth airy mashed potatoes.
- A folding steamer platform that sits in almost any pot works great for your steamed veggies. Important, be careful not to overcook the broccoli, you want it to be crisp but tender.
- Invest in a salad spinner. They’re inexpensive and work great. There’s nothing more unappealing than soggy lettuce. And speaking of lettuce, you may have grown up on iceberg, but try some red or green leaf lettuce for a little diversity.