This lesson involves making a three-course meal: a spinach salad, steak, and a chocolate tart. Potato hash forms an additional component. Prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time. Also prepare potatoes by peeling and cutting them. Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork-tender. Additionally, soak thinly sliced onions in buttermilk overnight.
Spinach Salad, Steak, and Chocolate Tart
Yield: 4 portions
•4 ea cut of choice
•700 g Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, large dice, and cooked
•50 g pancetta, slice #20 and small dice
•75 g sour cream
•75 g trinity (onions, celery, and red peppers—small diced and par-cooked
•red wine vinaigrette, as needed
•240 g spinach, cleaned and stems removed
•32 ea butternut squash, medium dice and roasted
•20 ea candied walnuts
•28 ea grapes, thinly sliced
•100 g goat cheese, whipped and held in piping bag
•120 g farro, cooked pilaf method, held cold
•20 g shallots, pickled
•salt and pepper, to taste
•balsamic reduction, as needed
•40 ea pepitas, seasoned and toasted
chocolate hazelnut tart
•2.5 C flour
•8 oz butter, cold and cubed
•2 oz water, iced
•1 t salt, kosher
•2 C cream
•1 C sugar
•4 ea eggs
•1 C milk
•12 oz chocolate
•8 oz hazelnut praline
•hazelnuts, as needed, roasted and rough chopped
•250 ml raspberry coulis
•Chantilly cream, as needed
•1000 ml cream
•100 g sugar
•10 g vanilla paste
•450 g raspberries, cleaned
•sugar, as needed
•Grand Marnier, as needed
red wine vinaigrette
•50 g extra virgin olive oil
•1 ea garlic clove
•100 g tomatoes
•2 g basil
•15 g bread
•30 g red wine vinegar
•salt and pepper, to taste
•butter, as needed
•2 fl oz tarragon, dry
•3 ea tarragon stems, fine chopped
•90 ml tarragon vinegar
•8 ea black peppercorn, mignonette
•45 ml white wine
•750 gr lipids, cool and cubed, medium dice
•10 ea egg yolks
•9 g tarragon leaves, cut fine
•5 gr chervil, plushes, cut fine
•lemon juice, as needed
•90 ml water
(if using fat other than butter)
•salt, to taste
crispy fried onions
•500 g yellow onions, sliced #14
•buttermilk, as needed
•500 g all-purpose flour
•75 g trisol
•50 g spice mix
(paprika, cayenne,onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt, white pepper)
Starting the Tart
Start with the tart’s crust. Put flour in a mixer with a paddle attachment, along with butter and salt. Mix at a low speed. Once there are pea-sized pieces of butter in the flour, add a small amount of ice water. Strain the ice out first so that chunks of ice don’t enter the dough.
The next step is to roll the dough into a ball. Make sure everything is mixed. Next, take a knife and divide the dough into fourths. Each piece should be between 65 and 75 grams. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap, and then put in a refrigerator for one hour.
When the dough is ready, take it out. Put flour on a board. Beat the dough down flat, and then roll it. When rolling, start half an inch in on one side, roll the dough, stop half an inch before the other side, give the dough a quarter turn, and repeat.
Once the dough is thin, spray your mold with a neutral pan-coating spray. Put the dough on top of the mold. Following the chef’s demonstration in the video lesson, push the dough into the mold. Repeat the process for the rest of the dough. Put a cartouche in each dough mold, and then put beans on top. This will keep the dough from puffing up during the baking process.
Place the molds on a small tray. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Making the Tart Filling, Sauce, and Cream
Next up is the filling. In a small bowl, add chocolate, sugar, and two eggs. In a tall pot, place milk, cream, and sugar. Bring this to a boil. While you are waiting for the cream to boil, you can begin the sauce, which is a raspberry coulis.
Put raspberries in a small bowl, adding sugar if desired. Add a small amount of Grand Marnier and mix the ingredients together. Let that bowl sit until it is time to plate the meal.
To make the Chantilly cream, put cream in a bowl with a 10 percent ratio of sugar. For instance, 500 grams of cream would call for 50 grams of sugar. Add 5 grams of vanilla paste. Use a whip attachment to whip to soft peaks. Finish whipping to medium peaks by hand. Cover and refrigerate.
When the other portion of cream is up to a boil, pour it over the chocolate, mixing constantly. Use a small amount of cream at first, mix it in, and then add the rest. The gradual adding of the liquid is called tempering, which prevents curdling. Continue to mix until all of the chocolate melts. Once it has melted, use a whisk to continue mixing. When it is ready, put in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes to help the temperature come down.
Finishing the Tart Shells
Check on the tart shells. Take a look underneath the cartouches. You shouldn’t see any raw dough. Take the cartouche and beans out. Store the dough molds in a cool area.
Cleaning and Preparing the Steak
To begin working on the steak, use your hands and a boning knife, and follow the chef’s demonstration in the video lesson to clean and prepare the meat. If you are preparing a filet, try to end up with portions of 6 to 8 ounces. An 8-ounce piece of meat will be three fingers thick in the center. Position them standing on their sides. Flatten them if necessary to make them round.
Cooking the Tart
For the next step of preparing dessert, use praline paste. You can buy this or make this. It is hazelnuts and sugar that have been roasted and then made into a solid block. Place a small amount of hazelnut praline on the bottom of each tart shell. Next, retrieve the chocolate base from the refrigerator and fill up each shell. Stop an eighth of an inch from the top. Put hazelnuts on top. Put the shells on a tray and cook them in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Starting the Potato Salad and Searing the Meat
Next, start the potato salad. If you are cooking a filet, this is the time to sear it off. In a pan, heat a small amount of grapeseed oil. Render small-diced pancetta.
Heat up a second pan. Add grapeseed oil. It is recommended that you sauté a filet. If you have a ribeye or New York strip, those would do well on a grill, but filets are better sautéed. Season the meat on all sides. Once the pan is smoking, add the meat and sauté it. Periodically move the meat. Once one side has a Maillard reaction, turn the meat over. From start to finish, the meat will take around 35 minutes to cook to medium rare, or an internal temperature of 125 degrees.
In the first pan, once you’ve rendered out the pancetta, turn the heat down. Add the trinity—that is, onions, celery, and peppers. Cook on medium heat.
The next step is to get the onions ready for the garnish. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour and a seasoning mix of paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and white pepper. Mix these together. Also add trisol, which is a pure starch that keeps fried foods crunchy for an extended period of time. Use 10 percent of the weight of the flour in trisol.
Check on the trinity. If there is color forming, add the precooked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook on a low temperature. Check on the beef as well, flipping if necessary.
Retrieve your onions from the buttermilk and squeeze the buttermilk off of them. Add the onions to the flour. Mix the ingredients and shake the bowl to coat the onions in flour. Wash your hands. Check on the beef, potatoes, and tarts once more. If the tarts are fully cooked, hold them at room temperature to let them cool.
Give the meat another turn if necessary. To finish the potato salad, add sour cream and green onions. Mix the ingredients through. Store in a warm area.
When the beef is ready to go in the oven, remove the fat from the pan so it doesn’t burn. Place the beef in a 325-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Making the Vinaigrette and Preparing the Salad
The next phase involves making the vinaigrette. This lesson uses a semipermanent emulsion. The ingredients are diced tomatoes, white bread, basil, and vinegar. Season this with salt and pepper. Blend it at a low speed. Drizzle in oil. Turn up the speed in stages until the blender reaches a high speed. This will produce a thick vinaigrette.
Refer to the ingredients list at the top of this chapter and the video lesson for guidance on the other components of the salad. Preparing those will take about 20 minutes. When they are ready, gather them in one place.
Finishing the Meat and Preparing the Sauce Béarnaise
Check on the meat. If it is nearly done, remove it from the oven and put it on a resting rack so that it can finish carryover cooking. If it is not yet done, give it some more time in the oven before taking it out to rest.
The next component of this meal is the sauce béarnaise. In a small pan, melt butter until it reaches 220 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, make a reduction with tarragon, tarragon vinegar, peppercorns, white wine, and chervil and tarragon stems. Reduce until the mixture reaches au sec.
Meanwhile, check on the raspberries. Moisture should have been drawn out of them. Give the raspberries a mix to speed the process up. Use an immersion blender to create the coulis.
Place some tarragon reduction and water in a container. Once the butter in the sauce béarnaise pan is nearly to 220 degrees, put egg yolks in the container with the tarragon reduction and water. Add fresh tarragon and chervil.
When the butter mixture reaches 220 degrees, transfer it to a container with corners to make it easier to pour. Then, begin mixing the tarragon, chervil, water, and egg yolks with an immersion blender. Pour the butter mixture in as you do so. After 30 seconds, stop and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Continue to mix until it is done.
Final Steps and Plating
The final steps are frying the onions and sautéing the spinach. Prepare a pan with a rack as well as oil heating in another pan for the onions. Once the frying oil is hot, place the onions inside. Use a utensil to move them around. When they are golden brown, turn the heat off, take the onions out, and put them on the rack. Season them immediately with salt. Take the frying oil to a safe location to cool down.
Put grapeseed oil in another pan and begin sweating diced onions. Once they are translucent, add spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté the spinach. Once it is ready, you can begin plating the meal.
Plate the salad first, putting it in a mixing bowl. Add the farro and walnuts next, followed by the pepitas, sliced grapes, and pickled shallots. Add the butternut squash, then season with salt and pepper. Put the dressing on the side of the bowl. Mix the salad into the dressing. Once everything is dressed, add goat cheese and lightly mix it in. Layer the ingredients into smaller bowls for serving.
Next, put a serving of potato salad in the center of a plate. Put sautéed spinach on top of that. The beef goes on top of the spinach. Press down to make it sit evenly. Top with béarnaise sauce. Finally, place crispy fried onions on the top.
For each dessert plate, begin with the raspberry puree. Put a portion on the plate. Gently tip a raspberry tart out and place it in the center. Next, with a warm spoon, put cream on top of the tart.