Sorry for the distinct lack of food posting lately, we’ve been busy getting hitched! But in midst of wedding planning chaos, we made sure to take the time out to cook some good food together and enjoy some quality couch surfing to catch up with Top Chef season 4.
As big fans of the farmers market, it was fun to watch the chefs run around the Chicago farmers market with a mandate to purchase only five ingredients. It was also enjoyable to see New Zealander Mark forget one of his five (and a reminder of just about every time I leave the supermarket and go, “D’oh…I forgot butter/olive oil/crackers, etc.”). So what does one chef from New Zealand do with steak, peaches, turnips, mushrooms and not much else? Steak with turnip puree, sautéed mushrooms and peach butter, of course! (recipe can be found in the Top Chef Quickfire cookbook)
This won the Quickfire challenge but we were both *very* skeptical that peaches, mushrooms and steak would work together. Despite this, K went to town pureeing the peaches and butter together and seasoned the steaks generously with sea salt and pepper while I peeled turnips and cut mushrooms.
There is a lot of butter in this recipe — saute the mushrooms in some butter, butter and peaches, add butter to the turnip puree, etc. Butter is good, but it must be at room temperature to make peach butter! At first, we ended up with pureed peaches with little globs of butter floating around. K heated it up with a very low flame on the stove and soon everything melted into a glossy, buttery, peachy pool of loveliness.
The turnips, on the other hand, were cut up and boiled (like potatoes) until tender. Then I pureed them. And added salt. Still bland. Added butter. Still bland. More salt, more butter. Still bland. Added a dash of hope that it would taste good when combined with everything else.
While K popped the steak on the grill pan, I sautéed the mushrooms with some thyme and things started to smell fantastic. When everything was ready, K plated it up and we closed our eyes and dumped peach butter over a perfectly awesome steak. And it was good. So good.
The steak was nearly over-the-top savory and meaty and the mushrooms were also very earthy. The peaches (we had to use canned because fresh are out of season) were very sweet and peachy. The three elements balanced each other out so nicely that we were surprised with every bite. The losing element of this dish? The turnip puree which was bland to gross. K soldiered on trying to get it to work with different combinations of bites, I gave up and tried to keep it away from the *good* food on the plate.
Whether you’re waiting for fresh peach season or if you have a few extra in a can, puree your peaches with some butter and put it on top of some steak and sautéed mushrooms. You will be happy. Skip the turnips and you’ll be even happier.