Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Entertaining: Ribeye, Sage Roasted Potatoes, Smoky Asparagus and Popovers

Our friends Dave and Deniz were in town for the weekend. The last time we saw them, Deniz was preparing an over the top fabulous dinner for Dave's birthday so I had a lot to live up to. Normally I'd agonize over picking just the right thing that I knew for sure I could handle, but I ran out of time to plan and had to choose recipes at the last second. Fortunately for me, watching football is such torture that I easily picked a menu while my guests watched the Michigan game.

My menu:
Roasted potatoes with bacon, onion and sage
Smoky glazed asparagus
Popovers with vanilla honey butter
Served with a 2003 Drinkward Peschon Entre Deux Mers and 2001 Neil Second Chance Vineyard Cabernet (heavenly!)

The great thing about this menu is that the timing magically works together. Even though my planning was way off and I didn't actually have time to do everything, in some weird fluke, it all came together perfectly.

I started by prepping the asparagus so it could sit while I moved on to the potatoes. I got the potatoes roasting in one oven (yes, I have two, which was essential in getting this done at the same time), while I mixed the popovers. The popovers went in the other oven and were finishing up just as the steak came off the grill. As the steaks settled, the asparagus went on the grill, and once those were done, we were ready to eat. We broke out the good china, opened up a couple of amazing bottles of wine, and sat down to probably the best meal I've had in ages!


Roasted Potatoes with Bacon, Onions, and Sage 
Bon App├ętit | November 2009
by Josie Le Balch

Yield: Makes 10 -12 servings

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 5 pounds assorted baby potatoes (such as red-skinned, white-skinned, and Dutch yellow), rinsed, dried, halved
  • 2 large red onions, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup 1/3-inch pieces torn fresh sage leaves (from about 2 bunches), divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • Coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp and golden. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve 4 tablespoons drippings from skillet.

Combine potatoes, onions, 1/2 cup torn sage leaves, melted butter, and reserved 4 tablespoons bacon drippings in very large bowl. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat. Spread potato mixture evenly on 18x12x1-inch baking sheet. Roast 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand on baking sheet at room temperature.

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Stir bacon into potato mixture and continue to roast until potatoes are tender and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer mixture to large serving bowl. Season to taste with more coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with remaining torn sage leaves and serve.

Smoky Glazed Asparagus
Food & Wine June 2009
Nate Appleman


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pound thick asparagus, trimmed

Light a grill. In a shallow dish, whisk the mayonnaise with the oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt and cumin. Add the asparagus and toss; let stand for 30 minutes.

Grill the asparagus over moderately high heat, turning, until tender and blistered in spots, 6 minutes; serve.

Gourmet | January 1991
Yield: Makes 6 popovers

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • melted unsalted butter for brushing the popover pan
Into a bowl sift together the flour and the salt. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and the milk. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring, and stir the batter until it is smooth. In a preheated 450°F. oven heat a six-cup popover pan or six 2/3-cup custard cups for 5 minutes, or until it is hot, brush the cups with the melted butter, and fill them half full with the batter. Bake the popovers in the middle of the 450°F. oven for 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 375°F., and bake the popovers for 20 minutes more, or until they are golden brown and crisp.

These popovers couldn't be easier and will definitely be in high rotation at my house for special dinners. Next time, I might add some parmesan to take them to the next level! Many who'd posted reviews for this recipe had suggested different timings, so I had no idea what to expect. My oven seems to run hot, so I baked them at 450 for about 10 minutes, then at 375 for another 10. They had popped and were a nice golden brown right about when everything else was ready, so said screw the recipe and took them out in half the recommended time, and they were perfect. 

Not sure how on earth you're supposed to get the timing right given it was so far off for me, but basically if they look golden and puffed, give them a few minutes more and take them out. If you take them out too early, though, you risk them collapsing before you can put them back in. Guess that's the chance you take for such deliciousness!

I mixed some softened butter with a dash of vanilla and some honey, and they were heaven! This recipe yielded 8 popovers in my standard cupcake tin. 



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