Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Steak Frites!

Note the clever presentation of frites in flower pots lined with coffee filters.  Serve with mayonnaise as well as all American ketchup

This French Bistro stand-by is within your reach and makes for a dinner party that is pure fun.  They key is simple ingredients served up with a little flair.  For a mini-reunion of high school friends (some of whom have know each other since kindergarten) there’s no need to impress, only to enjoy, which is how we approached this meal a few weeks ago.

The menu is grilled steak, french fries and a glorious salad filled with all the season's best and most colorful favorites—garden lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow peppers and red onions with a handful of freshly chopped herbs and a light vinaigrette dressing.  Baby spinach steamed in the microwave with shaved garlic and a douse of extra virgin olive oil completes the bistro meal. 
Start off with a platter of cheeses and a freshly baked baguette and finish everything off with a bakery chocolate mousse cake or fruit pastries.  Guests who’d like to bring something can help with these courses or bring one of the many affordable French wines  on the market these days—red or white. 

Select either individual boneless NY strip streaks or one large sirloin to serve six.  If you are still lucky enough to have a great butcher near you, ask for their advice.  Set the steaks out about 45 minutes before grilling and trim any large edges of fat to keep the fire in line.  There are plenty of sites to guide you if you need help cooking the steak.  My top advice—let the steak sit 8-10 minutes when it comes off the grill  to redistribute the juices while you place the finishing touches on the meal. 
Use frozen french fries that are plain-plain-plain.  Just potatoes, oil and a bit of salt.  Follow the package directions to bake them at a high heat in the oven and time them to be ready when the steak is served (10 minutes past taking it off the grill).  Now just toss the salad with dressing and microwave your spinach for three minutes before tossing with some olive oil. 

Sit down, enjoy.