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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Connie's Day

Connie's three boys called him on Father's Day.  They're all wonderful young men.  And, I'm really fired up because I'll get to see all three of them in July.  I've been trying to figure out if I'm going to fix them the old faithfuls or if I should try some new recipes.  One that stands out is the potato, cabbage and bacon tort that I made again a couple of weeks ago.  They're all good eaters so it should be pretty easy to cook for them.  Unfortunately, Matt doesn't like beans and Greg doesn't like fish or seafood and he can't eat a lot of fruits.  And, we eat a LOT of all three.  And, when I can't use ingredients it seems like those are the ones that come to mind.  That being said, I'm so lucky to have non-picky stepsons!!  I think all three of them would love the menu I made for Connie for Father's Day. 

What did we think?  I've never used smoked sea salt before.  OMG, it is GOOD!!!  The flavors of the steak and the bacon played wonderfully together.  The sweet potato gratin was savory unlike a lot of sweet potato dishes.  That's what initially caught my eye.  I was a bit worried about the quantity of sweet potato versus that of red onion (lots of potato to a small amount of onion.)  I'd bought apple cider but left it in the office fridge so I substituted spiced cider from Trader Joe's.  Once the gratin came out of the oven, all those fears went away.  This was great.  Last, but not least, the salad recipe called for fresh figs.  There's no way I'm going to break the bank and use those.  So, I chopped dried figs and popped them in a saucepan with the port.  Yum!  Now, I will say I bought a really small piece of Maytag Blue at Jungle Jim's.  Really small because it's pricier than the stuff I normally buy at Sam's Club.  Guess what?  It was a little creamier but the flavor wasn't that much different in my opinion.  I'll stick with the less expensive blue from Sam's. 

Bacon Wrapped Steak
Sweet Potato Gratiin
Port Poached Fig Salad

Bacon Wrapped Steak
serves 2

2 - 4 oz steaks (filets are great for this)
2 strips bacon
freshly ground pepper
garlic powder
smoked sea salt


Wrap the edges of the steaks with bacon.  Secure with toothpicks. 

Mix the pepper, salt and garlic. 

Roll the bacon in the mixture. 

Grill on direct heat.

Sweet Potato Gratin

serves 2 very generously


2 small sweet potatoes or one large one
1 small red onion
1 t brown sugar
1/2 c apple cider
1 t  fresh thyme leaves
1/2 T butter


Peel the sweet potatoes and the onion and slice them very thinly on a mandoline. 

Pour the cider into a small saucepan.  Add the brown sugar and stir until it's heated through and the brown sugar has dissolved. 

Layer the potatoes and the onions in a rectangular baking dish. 

Pour the warm cider over.  Dot the top with the thyme and butter. 

Cover the baking dish with foil.  Bake at 350 for an hour.  Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.

Port Roasted Fig Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles


5 dried figs, diced
1/4 c port
1/3 c crumbled blue cheese
fresh greens
extra virgin olive oil
fig balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic will work)


Poach the figs in the port in a medium saucepan. 

Stir regularly.  Remove from the heat when the port evaporates. 

Put the lettuce on salad plates.  Top with the figs and crumbled blue cheese.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Sweet potato gratin and port roasted fig salad adapted from House Beautiful cookbook.


Evan @swEEts said...

Oh my word everything about this meal looks amazing! I also wanted to mention that I think its amazing thing you and Lizzy did for Monet- she is an absolute fantastic person and deserves all the love and friendship she receives!

The Slow Roasted Italian said...

The sweet potato gratin s fantastic! I have to try it! Thanks for sharing, I love your blog.