Eight ingredients. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a weeknight feast for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our new feature, "8 & $20." We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
Of the many life lessons that can be gleaned from Steve Martin’s L.A. Story (brunch in Los Angeles always starts two hours late, the Spring Equinox marks open season on the freeway), the most important, at least kitchen-wise, might be Marilu Henner’s rule for accessorizing: After you get dressed, turn around to look in a mirror and the first thing that you notice, take it off.
Take a steak sandwich for example. It’s easy to get carried away with toppings—really, what doesn’t belong? The super-simple version here channels some less-is-more Marilu, using greenmarket produce as a guideline, but maxing out the toppings at just three ingredients: morels, frisée and spring onions. Fresh morels add earthy texture, and frisée dressed in lemon juice keeps things bright and refreshing. Spring onions have a little less bite than mature onions, so they are just a touch more wine-friendly, but go ahead and use regular onions if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
The other good part about keeping things simple? It makes coming up with a wine pairing easy. A Sangiovese-based wine from Italy was just the ticket. The bright fruity flavors provide lift to the meat and mushrooms, and the acidity rings true with the lemon accents in the dish.
Pair with: A Sangiovese-based wine such as Badia di Morrona Chianti I Sodi del Paretaio 2009 (87 points, $10)
Total Time: 20 minutes
Approximate Food Cost: $27
1. Squeeze half of the lemon into a medium bowl. Add the steak, turn to coat and let sit at room temperature.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook for 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until the mushrooms are tender, around 5 minutes.
3. Remove the steak from the lemon juice marinade and season with salt on both sides. In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook until medium-rare, around 3 minutes a side. Remove the meat from the pan and place on a cutting board to rest. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.
4. While the meat is resting, toast the baguette slices in the pan with the meat juices. Dress the frisée with the juice from the other half of the lemon. Assemble the sandwiches with steak, the mushroom mixture and frisée. Serves 4.
Joshua Kates — Indiana — May 24, 2011 7:48pm ET
Clinton W Mitchell — Naperville, IL — May 25, 2011 11:21am ET
Barry Meyers — Eugene, Oregon, USA — May 25, 2011 8:35pm ET
Jennifer Fiedler — New York, NY — May 26, 2011 5:16pm ET
Craig Thomas Roelke Md — Rochester, MN — May 28, 2011 12:47pm ET
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