Who doesn’t love steak, blue cheese and horseradish? It’s a fantastic combination, almost like they were meant to be together. There’s only one thing that could make them better.
Caramelized onions. Well, really, caramelized onions can make almost anything better, can’t they? They develop such a delectable sweetness. Once made, it’s hard for me to stay out of them. They’re ridiculously simple to make, too. All you need is a little patience. Can you spare thirty minutes for some onions that will turn any dish from fantastic to fabulous? Sure you can! Caramelized onions can even turn simple cheese and crackers into a snack that will have any food lover begging for more. Don’t forget to try your onions in a sandwich!
This month’s Kitchen Play focuses on storage onions. Now, I must confess--before this assignment, I didn’t even know there was a difference in onion types! I mean, different varieties, sure, but some that are good for storage as opposed to best eaten sooner than later? I had never thought of it that way.
Storage onions are lower in moisture, with thicker skins, making them perfect for braising, roasting, caramelizing, etc. Spring onions have thinner skins and a higher moisture content, making them more suitable for raw preparations. To be clear, we are talking about red, white and yellow onions, not green onions or scallions. Check out the National Onion Association for more information!
What is Kitchen Play? Kitchen Play is dedicated to connecting bloggers with PR professionals through different “assignments.” These assignments vary throughout the year, and highlight different products and seasons. If you’re interested, contact Kitchen Play today!
Read through to see how you can win one of six $100 prizes!
My assignment for use of the storage onions is appetizers or soup. I chose an appetizer using some of my favorite flavors. The components in this recipe all come together to make a bite sized appetizer that even the heartiest of meat eaters will approve of. Speaking of components, don’t be fooled by the wordy recipe. You’re caramelizing onions, which is non-thinking activity--you just need to stir them occasionally. The sauce takes two minutes, if that, to mix up. Cook the steak in under 8 minutes, then bake up the puff pastry squares. These bites will impress at your next get together, for sure!
Steak, Blue Cheese and Horseradish Cream Bites with Caramelized Onions
Makes 24 squares
3 small to medium-ish yellow onions, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp horseradish (you can find it in the grocery store, usually near the mustards)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed for 20 minutes before you work with it
1 petite sirloin (approx. 3/4 lb.), or the cut of your choice, at room temperature
Asiago, parmesan, provolone, fontina, mozzarella shredded cheese blend
crumbled blue cheese
fresh snipped chives
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Start by caramelizing the onions. In a large skillet set over medium low heat, add the butter and oil. Let it get nice and hot, but not burning, and add the onions. Sprinkle with a couple pinches of the salt, and add some pepper. Stir every few minutes. You should just hear a little sizzling action in the pan, but not too much.
Continue to do this for about 30 minutes. You should end up with about 1 cup of caramelized onions. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
While the onions are caramelizing, mix the sour cream, horseradish, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Cover and set in the fridge. A note about the horseradish--I saw some premade horseradish sauce in the store, and it's got HFCS syrup in it. No one needs that, so avoid it if you can.
Next, prep your steak. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. I used my small cast iron skillet, but use your favorite pan. Get it nice and hot, then add some oil, just to coat the bottom. Next let the oil get hot-this is very important for good searing.
This video from Gordon Ramsay pretty much covers the best way to cook steak in the house. My steak was about 1 1/2 inches thick, and I gave it 3 1/2 minutes on one side, then 2 1/2 minutes on the second. The butter basting adds such a nice flavor, so give it a try!
Set the steak aside to rest and cool.
Take the puff pastry sheet and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle. Even the edges up with a knife or pizza cutter, and cut into as even squares/rectangles as you can. I used a very sharp knife and a clean ruler, and cut 24 squares.
Transfer the squares to a parchment lined baking sheet, and prick them with a fork a few times. Next, sprinkle some of the shredded cheese blend over each one. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and with a spoon, make an indentation in the middle of each square. Set pan aside.
Slice the steak into very thin strips, slicing across the grain. Take the strips, and slice each one in half, lengthwise, to make even thinner strips. Take the horseradish sauce out of the fridge, and spoon it into a small zip top bag. Seal the bag and snip off a very small tip on the corner. Set aside.
Divide the steak between the puff pastry squares. Next, using a fork, add some caramelized onions to each one. A nice dollop, but not too much-you don't want too much moisture on the squares. Top each with some crumbled blue cheese, and return to the oven, and bake for about 5 minutes, till the cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and using a small spatula (I use an offset spatula for small jobs like this.), remove each square to a cooling rack. Transfer the cooling rack to the baking sheet that you just cooked them on. Let the squares cool to almost room temp, this way the cream won't melt and slide off when you add it.
Pipe some horseradish sauce on top of each square, and top with the snipped chives.
- If you’re not into bite sized foods, or making individual bite foods makes you feel tired just thinking about it, consider taking the flavors of this recipe to a sandwich or flatbread pizza-type deal. You won’t regret it!
You can play along with Kitchen Play and WIN!
The National Onion Association is also sponsoring a wonderful giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s Progressive Party, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter. All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win $100 (6 prizes total). The deadline is October 31, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!