Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: buvezdevin on September 30, 2012, 07:06:54 PM

Title: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: buvezdevin on September 30, 2012, 07:06:54 PM
A week ago, a group of friend came over and spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon helping me with some in progress house stuff.  A friend and neighbor knew I was "stuck" moving forward, and I welcomed him in the morning to come over and offer advice.  He came saw, suggested and said he would be back shortly to help (with my blessing and thanks).  He came back, and within the hour four other friends "materialized" - and we knocked out projects which had been frustrating me (my boyfriend does a lot around the house, but we had both agreed these were mine, and didn't want to be jointly frustrated).

So, as a thank you, I'm having these friends over for a steak dinner next Sunday.  We grill a lot, and I have my "go to" sides and accompaniments - but I would like to make this meal special.  Have already got massive bone-in rib eye steaks, and loads of some great wine, but am wanting some new ideas for side dishes and appetizers.

I was checking my favorite recipe sites, then had the "could have a V-8" head slapping moment of realization - put the question to e-hellions, of course!

Would love suggestions and recipes.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: SamiHami on September 30, 2012, 08:00:38 PM
Asparagus! Steak is always better with asparagus!
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: sourwolf on September 30, 2012, 08:17:37 PM
I love potatoes au gratin with steak, or any type of potatoes really.  That and maybe green beans (I like them quick fried with garlic and a smidgen of breadcrumbs) or spinach (wilted with lemon and garlic) would be yummy and easy.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: buvezdevin on September 30, 2012, 08:24:07 PM
Asparagus! Steak is always better with asparagus!

I could not agree more!  The friend who initiated the impromptu "saving buvezdevin from herself" is known for his roasted asparagus with Parmesan (which I have liberally copied for dinners for boyfriend and myself).

I guess my dilemma is, when we have friends over for dinner, we tend to either grill out, with side salads and apps made in advance or also grilled, or have a more formal dinner party where I like to have some more elaborate dishes (I love to play in the kitchen, not afraid of trying new things).

I don't want this dinner to be "formal" - I want everyone to relax, enjoy good food, wine and company before plunging back into the work week.  But, due to my great appreciation of the special effort these friends made for me - I would like to have something new or special to serve.  We have often shared meals at each others homes, all are good cooks, and by now - we also recognize or copy some dishes amongst ourselves.

So - I am totally with you, SamiHami about asparagus - do you, or others have a special way you like to prepare it, or sauce? 

There are dishes, or general ideas I have used/applied for years, and then I have read something here which gave me new insight or a great new approach - and really changed, for the better, what i had long done without much reflection (true for many things, but also true for food and recipes). I am most humbly, and appreciatively open to all suggestions.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: QueenofAllThings on September 30, 2012, 08:24:19 PM
A potato-leek gratin or roasted new potatoes or baked potatoes

Roasted veggies or a veggie tart of some sort - perhaps mushroom?

Sauteed wild mushrooms

Halved stuffed roasted acorn squash

Caeser salad is a classic

Roasted brussel sprouts

Lightly steam some green beans, then saute quickly with hazelnut oil and chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts)

Mashed sweet potatoes and apples (with a hint of maple syrup & cayenne)
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: rose red on September 30, 2012, 08:24:56 PM
My suggestion is also some kind of potato (because I love them and no steak meal is complete without them  ;D)

I've heard grilled peaches is good.  With vanilla ice cream sounds heavenly.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Valentines Mommy on September 30, 2012, 08:31:17 PM
I have a recipe for goat cheese, peas and leak Mac and cheese. It is delicious with steak. Add a green veggie and dinner is served.

I'll post the recipe if anyone wants it.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: oz diva on September 30, 2012, 08:32:20 PM
We halve a nice tomato and bake it with garlic. Then on the plate we add some good quality balsamic vinegar, just a drizzle.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: buvezdevin on September 30, 2012, 08:40:42 PM
I love potatoes au gratin with steak, or any type of potatoes really.  That and maybe green beans (I like them quick fried with garlic and a smidgen of breadcrumbs) or spinach (wilted with lemon and garlic) would be yummy and easy.

I was also thinking "potatoes" in some form, and was mulling over doing roasted quartered Yukon gold potatoes with roasted shallots (haven't tried this yet, but saw a recipe on epicurious.com, my fave recipe site because of the commentator reviews).  Agree, this veg is most fitting, not yet sure how to best prepare.  I once made what seemed to me a huge portion of gratin potatoes (love'em) but for that dinner group of 8 (same number for this dinner), it seemed less than enough (some large appetite guys).  So roasting seems better to allow a more than sufficient quantity - without buying a new bigger gratin pan (mine is big, but seems not big enough for 8 generous servings).

Re the green beans - if I don't go with asparagus in some form, green beans are a contender - and it sounds as though you cook them much as I do, though I haven't tried adding breadcrumbs - great suggestion!

And I just saw a couple of other posts - but rather than revise the above, I am going with the idea of a potato leek gratin as Queen suggests.  I have never *had* one but it sounds heavenly.  I can do two gratin pans, to make that work - will look for recipes and welcome any.

Sautéed wild mushrooms.  Yesssssss, my precious. 

Rose red, I also love grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream.  We are a bit past the local peach season, but thank you for reminding me so I can see if there are still some good ones to be found!

Thank you all!  This is really helpful and much appreciated!

Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Sharnita on September 30, 2012, 08:43:04 PM
Sauteed mushrooms
your favorite pasta
creme brulee (that might be fancier than you are thinking but that is always my favorite dessert)
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: buvezdevin on September 30, 2012, 09:03:49 PM
Sauteed mushrooms
your favorite pasta
creme brulee (that might be fancier than you are thinking but that is always my favorite dessert)

Sharnita, thank you so much.  I could not agree more that creme brûlée is *always* great - and I can make the creme pots the day before, do the sugar burning right before serving and top them with grilled peaches (another thanks to Rose Red).  My favorite thing about this is that it will require little effort at the moment, but will be a lovely way to end the dinner on a special note.

Happy sighs.

I'm good, though will certainly welcome any other thoughts or suggestions.

Many, many thanks - I am so happy to have the input from you all!
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Black Delphinium on September 30, 2012, 09:34:38 PM
I love curried squash soup this time of year.

Just get a decent sized butternut squash, peel and cube it, peel and chop a few carrots, put them in a big pot with salt, pepper and curry powder, add vegetable broth to cover, simmer until the veggies are soft, then blend until smooth. I also like to add a bit of unsalted butter to my bowl for creaminess.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: doodlemor on September 30, 2012, 11:11:11 PM
Here is my recipe for potato leek gratin, which I have made many times.  It works with onion, too, if that is what you have.  This is enough for a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Potato Leek Gratin

4 cups half and half
2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced thinly [white parts]
3 lbs.  russet potatoes - about 6 - sliced thinly
salt - about 1 teas.
pepper - about 7 "grinds"
2 garlic cloves - minced/chopped
1/4 teas [big pinch] nutmeg

Combine in a large, heavy pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Pour half of mixture into buttered 9 x 13 pan.  Put about 6 oz or so of sliced deli Swiss cheese on top.  Pour the rest of the mixture in, and add another layer of cheese.  Dot with about 2 oz of butter on top of the cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour or so, until the middle is tender and the top is browned.  Don't cover, and don't overcook. 

I think that this could probably be made ahead and refrigerated before the baking, but I've never done that.  My husband loves this so much that he would be unhappy if I didn't bake it right away.

More half and half can be added as needed.  The potatoes should be covered to the bottom of the top layer at the beginning of the baking.

It sounds like you have a wonderful dinner planned.  Your guests will be really happy, and very full.

For what it's worth, here is my rule for desserts.  Something chocolate, and something not.   [Not chocolate, that is.] 

Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: buvezdevin on September 30, 2012, 11:29:04 PM
I have a recipe for goat cheese, peas and leak Mac and cheese. It is delicious with steak. Add a green veggie and dinner is served.

I'll post the recipe if anyone wants it.

Please excuse my missing this post earlier, that dish sounds amazing and I would love the recipe!
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: buvezdevin on September 30, 2012, 11:35:00 PM
We halve a nice tomato and bake it with garlic. Then on the plate we add some good quality balsamic vinegar, just a drizzle.

As a southern US gal with an ardent and decades long love affair with fresh tomatoes (buying heirloom seeds and celebrating or mourning the success or failure of my tomato plants, or as my boyfriend aptly terms them, my "tomato babies"), there are few things which can be done with a tomato that I would not enjoy trying.

Do you bake the tomatoes and garlic together, but not combined, or do you combine in some way?
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Redsoil on October 01, 2012, 03:26:04 AM
Wha about something like this as nibblies prior to the main?  Looks really interesting, and sounds like it would taste good, though I've not tried it yet.

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cheesy_jalapeno_pull_bread/

Quote from site:  It's like a bread version of nachos. In the shape of a hedgehog. That you have to get your fingers messy with melted cheese to eat.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: QueenofAllThings on October 01, 2012, 06:35:22 AM
B, here's my Potato Leek Gratin - feeds, in theory, 6 ppl.

2 tbl sweet butter
2 large leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1.5 lbs peeled Yukon Gold
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 sprigs thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup Gruyere, grated

Preheat to 350. Butter a 2 quart gratin dish. Wash the leeks and slice thinly crosswise.
Slice potatoes into thin rounds - 1/8" - (a mandoline helps). Toss with 1/2 of the salt and a pinch of the pepper. Layer in gratin dish.
Melt the butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, remaining salt & pepper, and thyme. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard thyme; scatter leeks over the potatoes.
Add cream, garlic and bay leaf to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Stir in nutmeg; remove bay leaf.
Pour the cream over the leeks and potatoes; top with Gruyere. Cover with foil and transfer to oven. Bake for 40 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden, about 15-20 minutes longer. Let cool slightly before serving.


Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Oh Joy on October 01, 2012, 08:29:12 AM
Hmmm...reading your posts and updates, you're looking for something special.  But when I do Big Beautiful Steaks and a Good Bottle of Red (yuuuuuuuuuum) I find we enjoy the meal most when I - with great restraint! - don't upstage the hunk of meat and the glass.

I usually just stick to really high quality versions of two or three of these:
* Fresh crunchy green salad
* Piping hot bread with herbed butter
* Steamed green vegetable (asparagus, broccoli, green beans - whatever looks fantastic) with black or lemon pepper
* Big baked potatoes (steakhouse style, coated in kosher salt and individually wrapped in foil)
* Sliced tomatoes with basalmic and olive oil (and maybe thin sliced onion or soft cheese).

To try something special, how about a beautiful display of toppings for the meat itself?
* Sauteed mushrooms (I saw that trips your trigger, too)
* Quality bleu cheese or gorgonzola crumbles
* Bits of crab meat
* Homemade steak sauce (think A-1)
* Other e-Hellion inspirations

Keep us posted on the final menu...there of several of us eating vicariously through you!   ;)

Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 01, 2012, 08:46:06 AM
On our annual camping trip the end of August, I make potatoes that are wrapped in foil and cooked on the barbecue.

Wash the potatoes, leaving the skin on.  Slice them or quarter them if they are small.  Take a piece of foil, spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  Put down a layer of potatoes, a layer of sliced garlic, sliced wild leeks, a little seasoned salt and black pepper.  Put down another layer of potatoes, another layer of garlic and leeks and seasonings, add a good sized sprig of rosemary, a little butter or olive oil and a final layer of potatoes.  Wrap up in the foil, then put a second layer of foil around the whole thing, with the second seam on the opposite side of the packet.  Cook on the barbecue until tender.

You could substitute onion or shallots or regular leeks for the wild leeks.  I use them because they are abundant where we camp.  Or should I say rampant, since the other name they are known by is ramps.  Most people dig them in the spring when they can see leaves but we know how to find them in late summer/fall.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Valentines Mommy on October 01, 2012, 12:08:15 PM
I'll post it tonight.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: NyaChan on October 01, 2012, 01:16:30 PM
I've always enjoyed gougeres for a light app.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Giggity on October 01, 2012, 03:01:19 PM
Baked potatoes and sauteed mushrooms.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: mbbored on October 01, 2012, 08:40:39 PM
Twice baked potatoes and sauteed spinach.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Deetee on October 01, 2012, 09:05:27 PM
You already listed my favorite side : wine ( deep bold red please)

Grilled prawns are fantastic side and make steak extra special. They are also a special grill friendly appetizer.

I might put my fancy stuff as apps and have just steak, greens and bread as the meal ( did I mention the wine already?)

OK I might need to fire up the BBQ myself after reading this thread.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: TZ on October 01, 2012, 09:28:07 PM
If you and your guests like spicy food, these potatoes are awesome:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/deluxe-twice-baked-potatoes-with-shrimp-recipe/index.html (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/deluxe-twice-baked-potatoes-with-shrimp-recipe/index.html)

I recommend cutting the butter in half and eliminating the mayo completely. They're both unnecessary. You can buy the cajun seasoning, but I prefer to use the Commander's Palace recipe:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Creole-Seafood-Seasoning-104680 (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Creole-Seafood-Seasoning-104680)

We had these with steaks and asparagus the last time we had dinner guests, and they were the best thing I have ever made. I also made a couple without shrimp and cajun seasoning to accommodate for shellfish allergies and people with an aversion to spicy food.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: sweetonsno on October 01, 2012, 11:32:56 PM
I haven't had steak in about ten years, but I did used to eat them on occasion (and always with enthusiasm). I'm not sure how much the cut matters in deciding on the cooking style or sides (I'm remembering my old favorite, which was a less manly cut), but here are my ideas:

The traditional
- Wedge salad
- Steak, cooked to desired doneness
- Baked potatoes with all the trimmings (butter, sour cream, chives/scallions, bacon bits)
- Creamed spinach (prrr)
- Chocolate lava cake (just get a mix) a la mode

The heart attack (my favorite)
- Mixed greens with fennel and a snappy, mustardy vinaigrette
- Steak, peppercorn style (have an extra pile of caramelized shallots to put on top of the steaks and a bathtub of the sauce)
- Mashed potatoes (garlic'ed if you desire)
- Creamed spinach with melted leeks and sundried tomatoes
- Creme brulee (the best I ever had had slices of fresh strawberry baked in and I actually hit people with my spoon to keep them away. . . not eHell-approved, but justified, I promise!)

The twist
- Wedge salad, made with grilled romaine instead of iceberg (grill only the cut sides over high heat just long enough to leave marks)
- Steak, again cooked as desired (top with some herbed butter)
- Twice-baked potatoes (top with cheese before you toss under the broiler, bring extra sour cream and chives to the table)
- Creamed kale (cook the kale until very tender in white wine, butter, and lemon sauce, then add dill and cream)
- Individual chocolate fondues or a selection of truffles

A bit out-there, but why not:
- The steak, done as you desire
- Red-eye gravy (usually goes with ham or roast beef, but I bet it'd be good on steak)
- Grits, cheesy or plain
- Collards
- Corn spoonbread
- Chocolate pudding

That was fun to think about, thanks!
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Isometric on October 02, 2012, 12:05:22 AM
Definitely agree with potatoes!

Roasted potatoes with rosemary - chuck the potatoes, fresh rosemary, chopped garlic & some olive oil together and roast, yummy!

Honey carrots with sesame seeds, roasted pumpkin & parsnips. A salad with creamy dressing, maybe with pumpkin (I just love pumpkin!)

Agree with hot, fresh bread. It's easy to make, if you're up for it! Just need time for the yeast to do it's magic. (Google easy home made bread)
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Missy2U on October 02, 2012, 03:52:50 PM
When we do steaks, we usually do twice baked potatoes with cheddar, sour cream, bacon bits and chives, along with pan roasted asparagus with toasted garlic, lemon and shredded mozzarella, and sauteed mushrooms and onions.  I do an herb butter to put on the steaks, then cover the steaks with the mushrooms and onions when they're off the grill.  And crescent rolls (yes, the ones from the tube - they just "fit" with that kind of meal - this is our comfort food orgy meal.

It also may be the reason my husband married me. :D
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2012, 04:05:44 PM
I love mushroom risotto with steaks with grilled asparagus. 

I also like au gratin potatos with blue cheese or Roquefort.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Mikayla on October 02, 2012, 04:14:18 PM
Wow, I feel like bookmarking this thread!  Tons of great ideas.

Here's my thoughts.  If you want more grillable ideas, my fave is veggie kabobs.  I just baste them with oil (usually canola), salt/pepper and then grill.  The nicest combo for color is thick onion slices, bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes.  I've found that quarters work best, or even halves of a roma tomato.

Also, one of my favorite alltime veggies is sweet creamed corn.  You just remove it from the cobs, making sure to add the "milk" into the pan.  Then add a little butter, cream, salt and pepper. 

ETA:  This is the closest to what I do, but I don't use bacon grease.  I don't want anything taking away from that pure corn flavor!:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/neelys/southern-creamed-corn-recipe/index.html

An easy salad is get some quality mixed greens, sprinkle good quality blue cheese over and then add some chopped or whole walnuts.  Sprinkle with balsamic and pepper.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Thipu1 on October 03, 2012, 09:52:27 AM
Potato pie.

This is best with left-over mashed potatoes but fresh made will work well too.

Mix well-buttered mashed potatoes with bits of ham and some grated cheddar cheese.  Finely chopped sautéed onions are a nice addition. 

Press into a 9x9 inch Pyrex pan and sprinkle more cheese on top. Bake until the top is nicely browned. 

Serve in scoops.

This was a specialty at a steak house we used to frequent.  Everybody who knew the place never ordered any other sort of potato. 
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: NyaChan on October 03, 2012, 11:02:58 AM
Potato pie.

This is best with left-over mashed potatoes but fresh made will work well too.

Mix well-buttered mashed potatoes with bits of ham and some grated cheddar cheese.  Finely chopped sautéed onions are a nice addition. 

Press into a 9x9 inch Pyrex pan and sprinkle more cheese on top. Bake until the top is nicely browned. 

Serve in scoops.

This was a specialty at a steak house we used to frequent.  Everybody who knew the place never ordered any other sort of potato.

This sounds so interesting, I'll have to try this minus the ham.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: Peregrine on October 03, 2012, 06:13:40 PM
One of my favorite late summer appetizers is Salami tomato salad.

Thinly sliced good salami

Marinade salami for 3-8 hours in the refrigerator in the following ingredients whisked together thoroughly:
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
clove of garlic crushed
2-3 TBSP chopped parsley

About a half hour before serving remove marinated salami from the refrigerator to come to room temp.  Thickly slice your best tomatoes, salt and pepper them liberally. Then lay a slice or two of salami over each tomato.  Drizzle leftover marinade over the salami and tomatoes for service.  Utterly delcious with your best quality tomatoes.

Can also be made with a little slice of buffalo mozzarella, but I find just the salami and tomato to really be good.  This is a hearty and man pleasing appetizer and been a favorite for many years in my family.
Title: Re: Hosting a steak dinner as thank you, and looking for suggested sides
Post by: jpcher on October 03, 2012, 07:16:53 PM
I don't want this dinner to be "formal" - I want everyone to relax, enjoy good food, wine and company before plunging back into the work week.  But, due to my great appreciation of the special effort these friends made for me - I would like to have something new or special to serve.

I getcha . . . you want to make a special splash.

Someone upthread mentioned doing the specialty items as appetizers. I tend to agree with this. If it's a long party rather than just a sit down for dinner, specialty WOW! apps can go a long way. Take your time, nosh and enjoy. I love parties like this! ;D

Stuffed mushrooms . . . baked in the oven with a crab-meat/cream cheese stuffing is delish for a warm app and partners well with a bruschetta. You could also do the asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto for an app.

On the grill for dinner? Outdoor Girl's potatoes are close to mine and they are awesome and different.

Shrimp-stuffed tomatoes on the grill would be a nice and different side with the meal.

For the main meal I would keep it simple with a steak (ribeyes are the best! ;D), a salad, a potato and a veggie.

Make your splash with the apps.



Don't forget the fresh horseradish! ;D