If you find a local store that consistently sells high quality beef grades like USDA Prime or Choice, the main component of your steak meal can be purchased with confidence. Choose the best menu accompaniments to that steak to complement its taste and texture without competing with them.
Planning the Menu
Each course should be tasty enough to be remembered as fondly as the steak but keep portions on the small side so diners do not get full before the entrée is served. Avoid repetitive flavors and make the food visually appealing by mixing colors and serving foods on white dishes. Serve each course at a leisurely pace to allow contemplation and digestion between each dish.
This course can be hot or cold, simple or elegant. Favored choices include crostini or bruschetta topped with imported cheese and heirloom tomatoes, crab cakes with a light sauce or a chilled shrimp or crab cocktail. You can make these starters yourself or buy them at a market or deli partially or fully prepared. Keep them light, as they are meant to whet the appetite not satisfy it.
Salads and Soups
Choose soup or salad; serving both is too filling. Mixed fancy greens lightly dressed with a fruit juice-infused vinaigrette, a Caesar salad with crisp Romaine lettuce and garlic croutons or a simple plate of sliced ripe tomatoes interspersed with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves are all good salad choices. Keep soups simple and light. A creamy broccoli or cauliflower soup made with half-and-half instead of heavy cream is a palate pleaser, as is a clear broth with a smattering of vegetables, such as sweet and sour or garden vegetable soup.
Baked potatoes with all the trimmings are often paired with steak. They provide a soft, complementary texture to the flesh of the meat. Scalloped or au gratin potatoes are appealing alternatives. To add a touch of color to the plate, serve grilled or steam asparagus, fresh haricots or green beans, or stir fried broccoli or spinach tossed with Parmesan shavings, toasted nuts or freshly prepared bacon bits.
A sweet treat at the end of a satisfying steak dinner ends the meal on a high note. Preferred desserts on the lighter side include fresh strawberries tossed with a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar and topped with a dollop of real whipped cream or a simple scoop of fruit sorbet garnished with a fresh mint leaf. If you prefer a richer ending to the meal, serve molten chocolate cake, a moist brownie with warm caramel sauce swirled on top, or your favorite fruit pie or cobbler, slightly warmed and dressed with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
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