My preference for a steak is a rib-eye, about six ounces for one person. If you can’t find one this size, you have the option of purchasing a small cut of strip-loin or cutting a larger rib-eye steak in half and freezing the extra piece for another occasion. Or, pick up the telephone and invite some deserving friend for a tasty meal.
The compound butter used in this recipe is a favourite of mine from the time I had my restaurant. One of my customers was so enamoured with this colourful butter that he surprised me one day with a present. I unwrapped the gift at the bar when the restaurant was very crowded, discovering a red silk negligee inside. My staff deserted me for the dish pit to laugh hysterically, leaving me alone with a trí¨s rouge face!
Roquefort and red pepper butter
To prepare the Roquefort and red pepper butter, heat oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Cut one large red pepper in half, remove seeds, and place on baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.
Peel the charred skin off the pepper and cut into chunks. Place in a food processor with ¼ pound (114 g) butter, cut into four pieces, and ¼ pound (114 g) crumbled Roquefort cheese. Mix until smooth. Remove the mixture from the processor and place on a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Form into a log; wrap and freeze until needed.
Pan-roasted rib-eye steak
To prepare the steak, place an ovenproof fry pan over medium-high heat. Heat 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil to a gentle bubble. Rub 1 teaspoon espelette salt and a grind of black pepper onto both sides of the steak and add to the hot pan. Sear the first side for about 1 minute or until the meat releases its grip and refuses to stick to the pan. Flip the steak over and sear on the second side for about 30 seconds. Place the pan with the steak into heated oven, 400 °F (200 °C), and roast for 5 to 7minutes, depending on thickness and desired doneness.
When meat is done, remove steak from the pan to a plate. Cut a round of the prepared butter, about ½-inch thick, and place it on top of the hot meat.
Steamed green beans with toasted almonds
Allow about nine green beans per person. Place beans in a steamer over a pan of 1 cup (250 mL) water and a layer of thin slices of lemon. Steam for about 4 minutes. Drain and pair the beans with the steak on a plate. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) toasted slivered almonds.
Serves one with leftover butter
Adapted from Cooking for Me and Sometimes You: A Parisienne Romance With Recipes by Barbara-jo McIntosh (French Apple Press, 2010). Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.