Thursday, February 18, 2010

top chef experiment: take seven (flat iron steak, mascarpone bechamel, tomato sauce and parmesan)

Wow! It took me sooo long to write this post.

(Also, please forgive any typos as I'm typing with an index finger the size of a sausage. As for typos in any other of my posts? Well, I'm just not that into reviewing my's called laziness people.) 

I did manage to complete the Top Chef meal that was so abruptly interrupted by my kitchen appliance related misadventure last night. And I will say it was well worth it.

I'll admit that I didn't include the herb puree pictured here on our actual supper plates just because it's the element of the dish that I was working on when I did the stupidest thing ever and I really couldn't stand eating with it anywhere near does look nice on the plate though!

This is the first dish of Jenn Carroll's that I've cooked during my Top Chef experimentations. There is something about her style that intimidates me - and this dish certainly includes a lot of elements for one plate (at least for a home cook like me.)

I am extremely happy that I decided to tackle this recipe though. 

This was Jenn's version of a deconstructed meatloaf (though it seems more like a deconstructed meat lasagna to me - either way, it's good so I'm not complaining.)

The tomato sauce is the best sauce I've ever made...and so simple, so very, very simple. I was licking that stuff off my plate.

The bechamel was brilliant and a perfect balance to the basic flavours of the tomato. I am always a fan of adding chilis to my Italian cooking, so this bechamel made perfect sense in my mind (and in my mouth.) 

The lasagna tossed in lemon butter lifted all the other flavours and added an element of freshness. 

And of course, a well sauteed steak never goes amiss.

The outcome of this dish is worth the effort for sure.

Another word about the sauce: If you try cooking nothing else from this recipe, make the sauce! I beg you! I love it so much that I plan to make it again on its own as a soup. I might add something akin to the bechamel to make a cream of tomato.

I'm drooling.
Flat Iron Steak, Mascarpone Bechamel, Tomato Sauce and Parmesan
adapted from Jenn Carroll's recipe on

Tomato Sauce
1/2 head garlic finely sliced
2 shallots sliced
1/4 lb butter
1/2 bottle white wine
1 16 oz. can san marzano tomatoes with juicw

Sweat garlic and shallots in a large saucepot until transluscent.
Deglaze the pot with wine and reduce mixture.
Add tomatoes and juice and cook out acidity.
Blend until smooth.
Pass through chinois.
Season with s&p.

1/8 lb butter
1/8 lb flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
*1/2 cup creme fraiche
pinch nutmeg

Combine butter and flour in a pot to make a roux.
Cook out flour.
Slowly add milk whisking constantly.
Simmer until thick.
Whisk in mascarpone and creme fraiche.
Season with nutmeg, s&p and crushed chili flakes to taste.

Herb Puree
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1/2 bunch fresh basil
1/2 bunch fresh oregano

Blanch herbs in salted water.
Shock in ice bath and drain.
Blend until smooth.
Season with s&p.

*4 sheets of fresh lasagna
1/4 lb butter
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

Cook pasta.
Melt butter and mix in lemon juice and zest.
Toss cooked pasta in lemon butter.

*The original recipe calls for handmade pasta. I intended to make my own but the mangled hand demanded that I take a store bought shortcut.

8 oz. flatiron beef (2 steak portions)
ground chili flakes or very finely diced hot pepper

Heat pan on stovetop.
Dry steak thoroughly.
Season with S&p.
When pan is well heated add steak.
Sear on all sides and cook to medium rare.

To Plate
Lay tomato sauce on plate.
Steak on top of sauce.
Pool bechamel on either side of steak.
Lay lasagna on top of steak.
Herb puree on lasagna.
Garnish plate with grated parmesan and pecorino.


Sook said...

What happened to your index finger? The tomato sauce looks great, too! I am glad that you had success with this recipe. Yum!

Porsha said...

Jenn, it looks beautiful!

How's your hand doing today?

When I was a teenager working in my mom's restaurant, I mangled my hand in an unfortunate fry chipper accident - it hurt like a bitch but I was super proud of my battle scars all summer, too :)

Jenn said...

the hand is better today - sort of. The problem is trying to stay out of the kitchen so I don't end up popping stitches or infecting it or something. boo!

Joy said...

Jenn you are such a rock star look at you go! Get well soon with your finger, accidents are never fun :(

Jeannie said...

Absolutely beautiful dish! Love the colour and presentation. Sorry to hear about your accident.

Heiko said...

So I take it the red sauce is the tomato sauce, not the bechamel. Looke after that finger of yours!

Rosy said...

Looks so good. And sorry about the finger!

Food and Fate said...

great recipe and love the presentation

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