Swell Supper: Italian Steakhouse Birthday Dinner

by Jan 9th, 2011 // Swell Suppers

Swell Supper: Italian Steakhouse Birthday Dinner

Hi. Macki here, bringing you another Swell Supper. For this weeks Swell Supper we are serving up Chicken and Mushroom Bolognase, a Steakhouse Steak (I’ll teach you how!), Lemony Broiled Artichokes, and Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. I chose this menu for 2 reasons, other than the fact it’s delicious!  First, it’s my baby daddy’s birthday and he’s Italian and loves steak and pasta and banana chocolate chip cake is always a treat. My daughter’s favorite meal is a medium rare steak with artichokes, (Yes I’ve got a 5 year old foodie on my hands!)

Start this meal with dessert, or at least cooking it!  Mix up the banana chocolate chip bundt cake according to recipe and place it in the oven. While your cake is baking prepare the chicken and mushroom Bolognase and let it simmer while you prepare everything else. At this point your neighbors might start ringing your bell asking about the divine smell.

Take the steak out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. The takes about 15 minutes. Move on to the artichokes. Trim them according to the recipe. I use scissors to cut the tip of each leaf to ensure tiny fingers don’t get pricked. Place the artichokes in a steamer. Time to take the cake out of the oven and let it cool. Start water boiling for the pasta and cook according to package. Prepare the lemony mixture for the artichokes or as my daughter calls it ‘butter stew”. Turn on the broiler for the oven and place a cast iron skillet without the steak inside so it can get really hot. Flip the cake over onto a plate and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.  Now season the steak with salt and pepper. I use three twists on the salt grinder and three on the pepper grinder. Take the artichokes out and broil them according to the recipe. Remove the cast iron skillet with double oven mitts and place it on a burner turned up to high heat. Remove artichokes from the oven and switch it from broiler mode to bake at 500 degrees.

Time to sear your steak. Turn the exhaust fan on and crack a window because it’s about to get smoky! I like to buy one 3/4 lb organic, grass fed New York Strip steak at least 1 inch thick. It is lean but still has a little marbling for flavor. If you have a larger family, buy two. It may not seem like enough meat, but when you are serving multiple dishes, the serving size should be smaller. Your kid can help season the steak, but it might be best for them to set the table while you cook it. Pour about 1 Tbsp of canola oil (not olive oil – the skillet is too hot for that) into the hot cast iron skillet. Place your steak in the pan and let it sit still so a thing crust will form. Sear for one minute. Flip steak and set timer one minute again.  After you sear the other side return the skillet to the oven oven for 6 minutes for medium rare. (Add two minutes for medium.)

Meanwhile serve up the finished dishes. By the time all the plates are filled the steak will be ready.  Take it out of the oven using two oven mitts and immediately plate the steak so it doesn’t keep cooking in the hot skillet. Your family will be impressed by this restaurant quality meal!  Now doesn’t that sound swell?

I have to admit, I was nervous about serving this Bolognese to an Italian who loves his sauce.  As it turns out I had nothing to worry about he LOVED it, said it is one of the best sauces he has ever tasted and the entire meal was better than a restaurant!  And the artichokes were a huge hit with everyone. Here’s a photo of my daughter, proof that she hearts her artichokes.


Leave a Reply