Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Turtle Shell + the Maillot Jaune = Podium Time

The Tour de France is completing their last mountain stage in the Pyrenees today, starting in the historic town of Pau, the birthplace of King Henri IV of France, who was born in the magnificent Pau Castle. The castle dates back to the 14th century and is now a museum featuring a valuable collection of tapestries, paintings, furniture, Sevres porcelain, and the turtle shell that was King Henri's cradle. Apparently, at that time, a turtle shell was believed to bring long life to bodies placed inside! Who knew?

Although it's almost certain that the Italians are taking home the maillot jaune (yellow jersey), there will no doubt be quite a show at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday. I strongly advise that you check it out! In addition, why not try this super simple and amazingly delicious recipe for "Seared Steak with Red Onions, Spinach, and Roquefort." As long as you have a cast iron pan, this chic meal takes less than 30 minutes and will transport you to a Paris bistro, just in time for the festivities! Vive le Tour!

Seared Steak with Red Onions, Spinach, and Roquefort

Serves 4
*Serve with a crusty baguette and red wine.

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 strip steaks, 1 1/2" thick (Buy the best steak you can and have your butcher cut it for you.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, sliced into rounds, rings separated
2, 8 ounce packages of baby spinach, thick stems discarded
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 1/2 ounces Roquefort cheese, broken into 4 pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and cook until browned on one side, approximately 3 minutes. Turn the steak.

Scatter the onion rings around the steaks, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and cook for 3 minutes, turning the rings occasionally to make contact with the pan. 

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook to desired doneness, 4-5 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

While the steaks rest, continue to saute the onions for another minute or so over medium-high heat. Add the spinach to the onions in the hot skillet. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss with the onions until the spinach is beginning to wilt, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the spinach and onions to 4 plates and drizzle with the vinegar. Slice the steaks and divide among the plates along with the Roquefort. 


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