Steak and Potatoes, for a Special Occasion

May 13, 2013

Now that Food52's Editorial Assistant Brette Warshaw has stocked her First Kitchen, she's ready to throw parties in it: no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.

Today: A party to comfort and to celebrate.

Champagne Cocktail

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Comfort -- deep, heavy, flannel-blanket comfort -- comes in many forms. For some, it's pot roast, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, cinnamon toast. For others (and for me), it's lavish, indulgent, oh-my-god-I-kinda-can't-believe-I'm-letting-myself-do-this foods: plates of oysters, towering soufflés, champagne cocktails, lobster.

So for my last dinner party of college -- I graduate today! -- I cooked steak and potatoes. Because after four years of chickpeas and eggs, of too many one-pot, twenty-minute, thrown-together meals, steak and potatoes were the comfort we all needed: the kinds of comfort that dance between the simple and the lavish, the comfort that will stick to our ribs as we don our caps and gowns.

Here's a dinner party to smooth the edges, to sustain, to comfort -- and for when you have something to celebrate. Cheers!

The Menu:

Champagne Cocktails
Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad
Cowboy Rubbed Rib Eye
Roasted Slap Fries with Srirachannaise
Buttery Braised Leeks with a Crispy Panko Topping
Nigella Lawson's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

The night before: Make the spice mix for your steak, and rub it all over. Set it in the fridge. Bake your chocolate loaf cake -- it'll be even better the next day.

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

As soon as you get home from work: Time to prep. Clean and slice your leeks. Rinse your asparagus. Mandolin your potatoes, and set them in a bowl of water. Take your steak out of the fridge, and let it come to room temperature.

An hour before your guests arrive: Make the crispy panko topping for the leeks. Whip together your srirachannaise. Whisk the dressing for your asparagus salad. 

When people start coming over: Hand them champagne cocktails, and enlist a friend to shave asparagus. Get your leeks braising on the stovetop and your potatoes in the oven. Sear your steak; it'll need time to rest. (Note: I didn't make the pan sauce, but if pan sauces don't make you nervous and you're good at multi-tasking, then go ahead.)

Cowboy Rubbed Rib Eye

Dinner time: Toss together your salad, and mound it onto plates. Serve.

Shaved Asparagus Salad

As people finish the first course: Take your leeks off the stove and your potatoes out of the oven. Sprinkle the leeks with the panko mixture, slice your steak, and watch your friends' eyes light up. 

ROasted slap fries Braised Leeks

When the plates are cleared, and the champagne makes everyones' eyes twinkly, finish off the night with chocolate cake. You deserve it.

Read more:
9 Chocolate CakesGraduation Celebrations
Sunday Steak with French Butter

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • QueenSashy
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
  • jvcooks
  • Pegeen
  • laurenlocally
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


QueenSashy May 14, 2013
Lindsay-Jean H. May 13, 2013
Congratulations Brette!
Brette W. May 13, 2013
Thanks so much!
jvcooks May 13, 2013
Congratulations Brette!
Brette W. May 13, 2013
Thank you Jennifer! Can't wait to cook with you!
Pegeen May 13, 2013
Congratulations, Brette! This looks like a lovely meal. Enjoy your success!
Brette W. May 13, 2013
Thanks Pegeen!!
laurenlocally May 13, 2013
Congrats Brette!
Brette W. May 13, 2013
Thanks Lauren! See you soon!
Waverly May 13, 2013
Congratulations to you, Brette! This meal looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Brette W. May 13, 2013
Thanks, Waverly! My pleasure.
ChefJune May 13, 2013
Congratulations on your graduation! and also on cooking your own graduation party!!! :)
Brette W. May 13, 2013
Thank you! Cooking it was just as much of a treat as eating it.
Marian B. May 13, 2013
Congratulations Brette!
Brette W. May 13, 2013
Thank you!!
hlabonte May 13, 2013
Mmm...this menu is right up my alley. I'm bookmarking it for my birthday!
Brette W. May 13, 2013
That's great news! It's a perfect birthday dinner.