WINE & FOOD CORNER BLOG

Porterhouse Steaks and Bananas
February 22 8:12 PM

Porterhouse Steaks

In my honest opinion, porterhouse are the best cut of steaks and there are only 2 per side of beef. In essence a Porterhouse is a very large T-Bone, the first two steaks on the short loin are Porterhouse and the rest are T-Bones. Both Porterhouse and T-Bone are two steaks—a filet mignon on one side of the bone and a NY Strip on the other side. Note that at the better steakhouses one Porterhouse serves two people.

Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks are very lean and should be cooked rare or medium rare. The trick is to get steaks thick enough that you can create a flavorful outside crust without over cooking the inside. The best cooking method is to first sear in a hot skillet then finish cooking in the indirect heat of a moderate oven. Incidently, there is some food science showing that the slower cooking in the oven tenderizes the steak.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. Liberally season both sides of the steaks with coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a hint of sugar.
  3. Next heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Once the skillet is hot then add 2 tablespoons of canola oil and when the oil shimmers and starts to give off a whiff of smoke place the seasoned steak to the pan.
  5. Cook on each side just long enough to create a brown crust on both sides, about 2 or 3 minutes per side (A thick steak should still be raw inside at this point).
  6. Move the steaks from the skillet to rimmed baking pan and place in the oven.
  7. The steaks are done when the internal temperature reaches 125 f for rare and 130 -132 for medium rare.
  8. Once the correct temperature is reached remove from heat and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes before cutting.

Porterhouse Dinner Menu, suggestions

  • Salad of Dole Spinach with Cherry and Almond Bleu
  • Fresh Green Beans, blanched then sauteed in olive, garlic, balsamic, with salt and pepper.
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms sauteed in Robert’s Butter
  • Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes (cut in half, tossed in olive oil, seasoned with coarse salt, coarse black pepper, and thyme.)
  • Pan Seared Wohlner’s Porterhouse Steak for 2
  • Banana Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce (see recipe below)

Wine Pairings

  • Poema Cava Brut Sparkling, chilled, with the salad course.
  • 2006 Campo Viejo (Spain, Tempernillo) with the steak.
  • For dessert course pair either the Cava Sparkling or a chilled frizzante Moscato, and serve some Wohlner’s Ground Coffee.

Banana Macadamia Nut Tilapia with Citrus Sauce and Salad Greens

On Coronado Island in San Diego there is a very special restaurant at the water’s edge which serves Mahi Mahi with Banana and Macadamia Nuts. This isn’t exactly the same but it is my inspiration for this recipe.

Citrus Sauce Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

Bananas Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Small pinch Asian 5 Spice powder—very optional

Fish Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) tilapia filets (or use halibut or mahimahi)
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups mesclun (or use Dole Ultimate Caesar Blend)
  • 1 cups julienned cucumber, for garnish
  • 6 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts, for garnish

Citrus Sauce Directions

  1. To prepare the sauce, in a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat, decrease the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce becomes syrupy.
  2. Add the honey, orange zest, lemon zest, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, syrup, and canola oil.
  3. Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is syrupy and reduced by one third. Pass through a fine-meshed sieve and keep warm.

Banana Directions

  1. Split the bananas in half lengthwise. Coat the cut side of each banana piece with the coconut (and the optional 5 Spice Powder).
  2. Place a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the bananas, coconut side down.
  3. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Fish Directions

  1. Season the fish filets with salt.
  2. Place a sauté pan over medium high heat and add the oil.
  3. Then the oil is hot, add the fish filets. Cook for 2 minutes or until browned. Turn and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes or until the flesh flakes with slight pressure with a fork.

To assemble:

  • Divide the greens among 4 plates.
  • Place the cooked fish on top of the greens and then the bananas on top of the fishi.
  • Drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce around each serving.
  • Garnish with the cucumber and macadamia nuts. Serve immediately.

Wine Pairings

  • Marques de Caceres Satinela wine (slight sweetness)
  • Bodegas Ostatu white (Crisper)

Banana Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce

Bread Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raisins or currants
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 4 bananas, peeled, halved crosswise and then lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces firm white bread slices, crusts trimmed, each slice cut into 3 strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (about 2 ounces)

Bread Directions

  1. Combine raisins and 2 tablespoons rum in a small bowl. Let stand 20 minutes.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bananas and 2 tablespoons sugar and cook until bananas are tender, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Combine whipping cream, eggs, vanilla extract and remaining 1/4 cup rum and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9X5X3-inch loaf pan. Arrange 1/3 of bread strips crosswise in bottom of prepared pan. Arrange 6 banana pieces atop bread. Sprinkle with half of raisins and half of pecans. Arrange 1/3 of bread strips crosswise atop bananas. Pour half of egg mixture over. Arrange remaining banana pieces atop bread. Sprinkle with remaining raisins and pecans. Arrange remaining bread strips crosswise atop bananas. Pour remaining egg mixture over. Press gently on top layer to compact. Let stand 15 minutes.
  4. Bake bread pudding until puffed and golden and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly.
  5. Cut bread pudding into slices. Arrange on plates; drizzle with warm Rum Sauce and serve.

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum

Sauce Directions

  1. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add cream, sugar and salt.
  3. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in rum. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat, stirring constantly.)

Banana Bread or Muffins

(Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, 1984)

Here is what has been my favorite Banana Bread Recipe ever since 1985. Truth is that once I made this recipe I haven’t bothered to try another, imo, it’s that good. Be sure to oven roast the pecans for a few minutes, the roasting really brings out the flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (about 3 large) well-mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 Tablespoons buttermilk (or a mixture of 3 Tablespoons milk and ½ teaspoon vinegar which has been set out for 1 hour) Note: I usually use the milk and vinegar.
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, oven roasted at 350f for about 5 minutes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 350f
  2. Roast pecans for about 5 -8 minutes until fragant---be careful as they can quickly burn.
  3. Melt butter and allow to cool while you mash the bananas.
  4. In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or the back of a spoon. Add the sugar and eggs and mix with a spoon until well blended. Gradually add the butter, mixing well. Stir in the flour and baking soda until well mixed and creamy. Stir in the buttermilk(or the milk and vinegar mixture), then fold in the pecans.
  5. For the bread: Spoon batter into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the muffins: Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups (they will be very full). Bake at 300* until brown and done, about 30-45 minutes (the time really depends on the oven). Let stand about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Spiced Rum Banana Bread Bundt

I like the idea of a bundt size bread as well as the flavor of the spiced rum in both the bread and the sauce.

Bread Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bananas, smashed
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum (Use Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Rum Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons pecans or walnuts to garnish, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a mixer, cream together butter and both sugars until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Take bowl off mixer and stir in the bananas, applesauce, rum, and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet being careful not too over mix.
  5. Fold in chopped nuts. Scrape batter into a prepared bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a large plate. Make glaze.

Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Banana Pudding Recipe

(from an unknown blogger who got the recipe from the L.A. Times who got the recipe from the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook.)

Thomas Keller is arguably America’s best chef, Ad Hoc of our best restaurants, and I’d try anything from Keller’s Ad Hoc. I tacked this recipe at the end of today’s newsletter because it’s richer than I tend to eat and the preparation more involved than most easy to make bread puddings (it’s not difficult, just more steps than usual.) Still I bet it is well worth the effort. Please give it a try and let us know what you think.

Adapted from "Ad Hoc at Home" by Thomas Keller with Dave Cruz. This can be made up to 2 days in advance. The bananas can be replaced with a similar quantity of dried fruit or omitted altogether. To make clarified butter, melt butter over low heat, skim the milk solids off the top and ladle out the butter without disturbing the remaining milk solids and water at the bottom. Start with 1 cup (2 sticks) butter to get about one-half cup clarified.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 8 slices of brioche or good-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed (each slice should be 7 inches long, 3 inches wide and one-half inch thick)
  • 10 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • About 1/2 cup clarified butter

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, cream, one-half cup of the sugar and the vanilla paste (not extract, if using) and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and if using vanilla extract, stir that in.
  2. Toast the slices under a broiler on a baking sheet or in a toaster until both sides are golden-brown.
  3. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the remaining one-half cup sugar. Whisk several ladles of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the milk. Strain through a fine-mesh basket strainer into a bowl and cool the custard, or chill over an ice bath to room temperature.
  4. Spread about one-fourth inch of the custard in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  5. In a separate baking dish, place 2 slices of the bread and pour in enough of the egg mixture to cover. Soak them, turning once, for about 1 minute; do not soak too long, or they will be difficult to move. Carefully place the slices of bread crosswise in the baking pan. Repeat with two more slices so that you have one full layer of soaked bread in the bottom of the baking pan.
  6. Cut the bananas in half crosswise, then cut each half lengthwise into 3 slices. Place the banana slices side by side, running lengthwise in the pan, to cover the bread. Soak the remaining 4 pieces of bread in 2 batches and lay them over the bananas. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the top.
  7. Cover the bread pudding with a piece of plastic wrap and press down gently. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the egg mixture to soak into the bread.
  8. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer. Remove the plastic wrap and place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the bread pudding. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  9. Put the baking pan in a larger pan, such as a roasting pan. Carefully pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about two-thirds up the sides of the baking pan. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the pudding reaches 180 degrees (a knife inserted in the pudding should come out clean), up to about 2 hours, checking after the first hour. Carefully remove the baking pan from the water bath (using a turkey baster or ladle to remove some of the water from the roasting pan first will make this easier), set on a rack and cool, still covered, to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours; it will keep up to 2 days.
  10. Cut the bread pudding into 24 pieces and remove as many as desired from the pan. Trim them as necessary and scrape off any custard from the bottom of the squares.
  11. Heat about one-fourth-inch of clarified butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add several pieces of the bread pudding, cut side down, without crowding. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, to warm and brown the pieces. Keep warm (in a 275-degree oven) as you continue to brown the remaining pieces.

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Midtown Crossing
3253 Dodge Street
(ground floor of the Element
by Westin hotel building)
Omaha, NE 68131

Store Hours:
Monday thru Friday: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Phone: (402) 504-1025
Fax: (402) 504-9778
E-mail: wohlners@wohlners.com


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