From Too Many Chefs -

June 23, 2004
A Quick and Elegant Steak Dinner

Sometimes a seemingly elegant dinner can actually be pretty quick to make. This combination is one that I first tasted at the San Remo in Barnes, London (see my review here). It's not the Critic's choice, but I love the combination of a juicy steak and spinach and mushrooms. Our friend Michael was over for dinner on Monday to watch The Game (England v. Croatia) and I was tired and had a bit of a headache. So I was really in the mood for something full of iron and vitamins. Now the Critic was so involved in the game I'm not sure he would have noticed if I served fish heads. But Michael finished his plate and wiped it clean with a bit of bread, which either meant I didn't serve enough or he really liked it. Anyway, I really liked it. So, presenting... Steak and mushrooms on a bed of wilted spinach la San Remo in Barnes. In 20 minutes.

steak dinner.jpg For some reason, I find that a good steak rarely (oops, a pun) photographs well. This is why I haven't included this photo on the main page: if you have read this far, you are presumably interested and not to be deterred by a mediocre photo.

To start with, put your water on to boil for the side of spaghetti. Rinse and drain your spinach (two large boxes in my case). Wash/wipe and trim the mushrooms and slice them in large pieces. Slice two small cloves of garlic in thin pieces. Put the spinach in a large frying pan with just the water clinging to the leaves. Cover and put on a medium heat. Melt some butter in the bottom of another pan, add the garlic and after a moment add the mushrooms.

By now, the water should be boiling. Add enough spaghetti for three side dishes. Start a fire under the cast iron grill pan for the steaks. Sprinkle Lawrey's salt and a little pepper on the steaks. Stir the mushrooms. Check the spinach and turn off the heat if the spinach is wilted, but leave the cover on to keep warm. (I also added a little butter and salt.) Grate about 1/4c Parmesan per serving of spaghetti. Stir the mushrooms and add a little Marsala wine. When the juice has reduced and the mushrooms are soft, turn off the heat and leave covered.

When the grill pan is nice and hot and the spaghetti is nearly done, slap the steaks on it. Check the pasta. When it is done, drain it, add liberal amounts of butter (go wild!), then the parmesan and a bit of salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm and check the steaks - they probably need to be flipped.

When the steaks are just about done, put a layer of spinach on each plate and a mound of spaghetti next to it. Place a steak on the spinach and then spoon some mushrooms onto the steak and a few on the pasta. Dribble a tablespoon or more of the mushroom juice on each of the pasta mounds and serve with salt and pepper.

If your steaks are not too thick (mine were about an inch thick) the whole thing shouldn't really take more than 20 minutes to make. And - despite the evidence of the photo - I can tell you it looks, smells and tastes delicious! Serve with a nice rich red wine.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at June 23, 2004 9:20 AM | TrackBack

I think you're too paranoid about the photo. It has a certain Ramada Inn restaurant menu quality to it, sure, but I'm sure it's delicious.

Posted by Barrett on June 23, 2004 at 3:02 PM

I don't think the photo would have supported my claim that it's an "elegant" dinner. Ramada Inn doesn't do "elegant"...

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 24, 2004 at 2:42 AM