We have finished off the month of February with two yummy meals that have been given "thumbs up" both here in California and Chicago. Our last two recipes to be tested for February were Rib-Eye Steaks Florentine with Parsnip and Potato Galettes and Hungarian Beef Goulash with Paprika and Dumplings. Here's what we had to say about those:
Shannon: In a very short time this Rib-Eye Florentine has made it to the top of the charts around here. I’ve actually made it three times this month. If you are a carnivore I think it may also become a family favorite for you too! I’m not really sure what I like best about this dish…could it be the crispy slightly sweet potato pancakes? Or maybe it’s the squeeze of lemon and a shaving of Parmesan that take the juicy Rib-Eye to another level? And then the spinach, although generally not a stand out, but when it gets finished off in the same pan as the steak it picks up all of those crispy browned flavor morsels that make it a flavor bomb. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it. Pair this with a lush, full Italian red wine like a Barolo or a Merlot and be transported…this might be the closest thing to an Italian vacation.
Rib-Eye Steaks Florentine with Parsnip and Potato Galettes
2 8 oz. boneless rib-eye steaks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and grated
1 parsnip, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. baby spinach
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Parmesan shavings for serving
About 30 minutes before you plan to eat, transfer the steaks from the fridge to the kitchen counter. (This step removes the chill from the meat so that it cooks faster and more evenly, resulting in a juicer steak.) Pat them dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
While the steaks warm up, combine the potato and parsnip in a medium bowl and add the flour, thyme, ¼ tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the potato-parsnip mixture in two mounds. Flattening them into galettes (or pancakes) about 5 inches wide. Using the back side of a fork, scrunch and press on the top and sides of the galettes to make them neat and compact. Don’t try to move them until they’ve brown o the bottom and firmed up overall, about 3 minutes. Using a thin-bladed spatula, carefully flip them over and press lightly with a spatula to flatten and compress. Cook until browned on the second side and cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the galettes to a warmed plate and keep them warm under aluminum foil or in a low oven while you cook the steaks.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to the hot pan and return to medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the seasoned steaks. They should sizzle and spit a little. Remember how you didn’t bother the pancakes until they’d browned? Same thing here. Cook the steaks until a crust forms on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook the other side for about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare meat, 4 minutes for medium. Transfer the meat to a warmed plate and let it rest while you cook the spinach.
There should be some oil left in the pan along with some cooked on steak juices and seasoning, which will effortlessly add flavor to the spinach. Add the spinach to the pan along with the nutmeg and cook it just until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Add a splash of water and scrape up the browned meat bits on the pan bottom if they haven’t already incorporated into the spinach. Taste for seasoning and remove the pan from the heat.
Put a galette on each of the warmed plates and top them with the spinach and steak. Garnish the top of the steaks with some of the cheese shavings, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Here's what Lauren has to say about the Goulash.
Lauren: Despite living in the Midwest for twelve years, I am continually surprised by the negative temperatures each and every day throughout the harrowing month of February. Fortunately for my stomach, cold bodies are best remedied by warm liquids, preferably in the form of soup. I will eat anything these days that you can throw into a pot of boiling stock. Seriously, I make different soup every week and I never grow old of it. While I primarily stick to vegetable soups, the goulash served as good an excuse as any to something a bit heartier. It was also a chance to cook with one of my best friends who was just as enthusiastic as I was to make dumpling stew. The dumplings, beef, and broth make for the ultimate winter comfort trinity. About those dumplings-do yourself a favor and double them. We didn’t regret it and neither will you.
My only comment would be "You had me at dumplings!"-s
Hungarian Beef Goulash with Paprika and Dumplings
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 slices bacon, chopped
12 oz. top sirloin or flat iron steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. sweet paprika
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½ inch dice
2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ cup milk
1 Tbsp. butter
¼ cup sour cream
Heat a 12-in skillet over medium-high heat and all the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until it has given off its fat but isn’t crispy yet, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and ½ tsp. salt and spread the beef cubes out in an even layer in the pan. Let the meat brown on one side without moving it, about 3 minutes. Turn the meat with tongs or a fork to brown on a second side, another 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, and tomato paste and continue to cook until the vegetables begin to soften and the bottom of the pan gets nice and brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add the potatoes, beef broth, vinegar, and a sprinkling of pepper. Scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and ¼ tsp. salt. Combine the milk and butter in a cup and microwave on high for 10 seconds at a time until the butter is melted. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Drop the batter by tablespoons into the simmering stew; you should have enough for about 8 dumplings.
Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the stew until the vegetables and dumplings are tender, about 15 minutes. (Don’t peek! The steam will be released and you dumplings may not be as puffy and light as they could be.) To check for doneness, run a toothpick into a dumpling. It should come out with dry crumbs adhering to it, not wet and gooey. If it’s wet, cover and cook another 3 minutes and check again.
Scoop the dumplings into warmed bowls. Taste the stew for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle stew over the dumplings and top each portion with a dollop of sour cream. Serve hot.
Both recipes are from One Pan, Two Plates by Carla Snyder