Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Dinner: Steak Sandwich and Banoffee Pie

If you ask me (and I am pretty certain you did) Valentine's Day is best when you don't have to beat crowds, have a "set" dinner menu when you go out, and it isn't going to cost you an arm and a leg to eat. That's why, this year, we decided to have a meal in that we could cook together, and just be the two of us. We wanted to make something we haven't had before, but also something easy, and most importantly, very tasty. Last year, I bought Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals cookbook, along with a friend of mine. We have been enjoying making recipes out of it, and this Steak Sarnie was the perfect Valentine's meal. Here is the entire recipe out of the book, including two sides that we did not make. We made the sandwich and the mushrooms. Since the recipe served 4, we wanted to make as little as possible, so we didn't have leftovers. The picture below is the dinner lineup. 

 Nothing too crazy right? Ciabatta bread, steak, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon, horseradish sauce, cheddar cheese, thyme. jarred peppers, parsley and rocket leaves. First, you take the steak and pound it a little bit with your fist to make it thinner, then season it with salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil on both sides.

Yum. I could eat it here. But I didn't. Luckily. Then you cook it for 1-2 minutes on each side until it is as done as you want it to be.

We were afraid we overcooked it, but when we sliced into it, we could see it was perfect. This is what it should look like. You also take the ciabatta bread and crisp it up in the oven. I poured olive oil on it before doing this, then when it was out of the oven, and the steaks were sliced up, I rubbed the bread in the steak juices and also other juices which I will tell you about right now. It was divine!

The other juices comes from the jarred peppers. You take a small handful and chop them up finely. You also take a small handful of parsley (note: you are suppose to use flat leaf, I didn't; I used the other stuff. note 2: it worked just fine) and chop it up finely as well. Combine these two and then rub the ciabatta bread until they become happily acquainted.

Then it is time for the assembly of the sandwich. See? It was that easy! Easiest meal in the world! On the already yummily flavored ciabatta bread, spread a small (or large- your choice) amount of horseradish sauce, then layer on the sliced steak, then come the peppers and parsley, then adorn with rocket leaves, and put the lid on.

We used a large ciabatta loaf as it called for, but cut it in half, then in half again when it was assembled. You could also use small ciabatta loaves, or really any bread, but man I definitely recommend the ciabatta. So perfect with the steak. In case you don't know how to cut a sandwich, here is a demonstration.

Alright, maybe it was just a good picture and I wanted to include it. Side note, Matty is the always incredible photographer. We all know that those skills don't lie within me. Now, back to the food.

For the mushrooms, get a package of portobello mushrooms, trim the stalk and place in a casserole dish. take some garlic (we used crushed, but recipe calls for whole, peeled) and place on top of each mushroom. Then take a small chili (we didn't want to spend the money on the chili so we used the jarred peppers and they were amazing!) and chop and add to the top, along with chopped parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil (we forgot the salt and pepper, and they were great- did I already say that?) Top the mushrooms with a slice of cheddar cheese, any kind and broil for 10 minutes or until golden on top, as so.

 Oh yeah! Now that is the stuff! Here is the plate of our finished meal.

 And to accompany such a fine meal, we got a red wine.

Here is our lovely dinner table.
I also forgot to mention, along with our amazing steak sandwiches, we also indulged a little bit in a really refreshing pie. Another one from Jamie Oliver's book, called Banoffee Pie. There is not a great recipe online, so at the bottom of the post, I will write out the recipe for ya! I am a spaz and didn't get pictures of the entire process of making the pie, so just pretend you see pictures when you don't. Thanks.

Start out by putting some sugar in a frying pan. Heat the sugar over high heat until it melts and all the sugar dissolves.
This is what it starts to look like after a very short amount of time.
While the sugar is dissolving, blitz two bananas and 100 ml (a little less than 1/2 cup) milk in a blender until fully mixed. I happen to not have a blender, so I did this the human blender way. I didn't mind though, because I enjoyed the chunks of banana. Do as you please.
Once the sugar is dissolved and turned brown, pour in the banana mixture. Stir constantly, until dark and golden. Pour this mixture into a store bought pie crust (if you can get this. I couldn't so I bought pre-rolled pastry and froze it then baked it for a short amount of time). Put this in the freezer to cool down while you make the cream.

To make the cream, take some double cream (in Australia or UK), cream (in New Zealand) or heavy whipping cream (in USA) and whip it until it is fairly thick. Then take Camp brand instant coffee, if you can get it, or I just made my own coffee and stirred in a little sugar. Take a tablespoon of the coffee and lightly fold it into the whipped cream. You want it to have a slight marbled look to it, if you can get it that dark. I couldn't, but it sure still tasted nice.

Take a banana or two, and slice it up at an angle. Take the pie out of the freezer and top it with the banana slices. Use a spatula to put the cream on the pie and top with shaved chocolate. Here is what the final product looks like.
I have to warn you, this is not the sweetest pie in the world, but boy is it refreshing! And even better the next day. Keep it in the freezer overnight, and it will taste like ice cream banana smoothie pie. Yum!
Aww, don't you love the roses my amazing husband bought me for Valentine's Day? What a guy!
I hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day, and even if you are single, I hope you find the time to make this amazing sandwich and pie. You wont regret it. As promised, here is the recipe.

Jamie Oliver's Banoffee Pie (serves 8-10)
-4 heaping tablespoons sugar (golden caster sugar if you can get it)
-3-4 ripe bananas
-100 ml (a little less than 1/2 cup) semi-skimmed milk
-1 200g pre-made sweet pastry case (or pre-rolled pie pastry, or graham cracker crust- go creative here)
-300ml (about 1 1/3 cup) cream, double cream or heavy whipping cream
-1 tablespoon Camp coffee, or any other coffee mixed with a little bit of sugar
-Good quality chocolate shavings, as much as you would like

-Put a medium frying pan on high heat and add the sugar. Shake the pan to spread out the sugar. Heat until sugar starts to dissolve and browns.
-As the sugar is browning, blitz 2 bananas and all of the milk in a blender, until fully combined. You can do this by hand, it just takes a little longer. If doing it by hand, make this the first step, because you don't want to burn the sugar while you are making the smoothie mixture.
-Once the sugar is golden and bubbling, stir in the banana mixture, making sure to stir constantly until dark and golden. Pour this mixture into the pastry case. Immediately put this in the freezer to cool down.
-In a large bowl, whip the cream with a balloon whisk or an electric mixture until the cream is fairly thick. Lightly fold through the Camp (or other coffee) through the cream to give a marbled effect. Slice 1-2 bananas at an angle, and place the slices over the cooled pie, then use a spatula to tip the cream on top. Adorn with chocolate shavings and freeze until ready to eat.

Enjoy guys, and thanks for checking in!

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  1. I love it! Where can I find this restaurant ;) hehe. Your steak sarine looks a lot like Jamie's, well done! Btw I love that last photo :D

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