If I ever owned a restaurant, I would put this dish on the menu and that is exactly what I would name it: Surf and Turf With Kris Kringle. Well, now that I think about it, I might name it Pan Fried Rudolph. Either way, it would definitely be on the menu.
What is on the menu, you ask? Nothing less than delicious, but you need back story, and story is my speciality.
Years ago, I don’t know when, the exact year and time has been lost in the fuzziness of eggnog and peppermint candy, but years ago Mrs. Greenbean informed me she was tired of turkey or ham for Christmas dinner. She fumed that by the time we got to the big day, she was already so tired of it that she couldn’t stand it. I tried to talk her into something dramatic like goose or turduken or maybe even lamb with those funny white hats on the bone arranged like a crown but she wasn’t buying it. “Then,” I lovingly asked, “what do you want.””
Ever since that fateful day steak and shrimp has been what we serve at Christmas. Every year it is good, but this year, ohhhh, this year I nailed it.
4 large ribeyes salted, peppered, sprinkled with garlic powder, basil, and oregano on top.
Heat cast iron skillets (it takes me two skillets with the four steaks) on stove top and put generous amounts of butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, and oregano (If you like a little punch, put a tad bit of red wine or white vinegar in the pan as well). Let the pans get hot—sizzling hot. Pop the steaks into the pan unseasoned side down. Let it cook for 2 minutes, then flip it over. Let it cook for two more minutes.
Pop steaks still in the skillet into a preheated oven at 450 degrees and allow it to finish cooking. Six more minutes in the oven is a medium rare steak. Eight more minutes is medium. Ten more minutes is well done. I cooked mine six. Had I been alone and not having anything else with it, I would have cooked mine five and served it bleeding. Yum.
1 pound of raw shelled, cleaned, and veined shrimp. I could go fresh and raw, but its Christmas, and the whole point is to not spend all day in the kitchen.
Dredge the washed shrimp through flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Drop them into a skillet (not a cast iron skillet, but one with a lid) that has been drizzled with olive oil and fresh diced garlic. Let them saute about 1 minute on each side, and then fish them out of the pan. Drop a stick of butter and a half a cup of chicken broth into the pan and bring to a boil (it will not take long). Resist the urge to put flour into the butter/broth soup and make gravy. Put the shrimp back in, cover, and let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Turn off heat and let set, but serve soon.
Now, here is the joy. I cook the steak and the shrimp pretty much at the same time. So, there are skillets, butter, and seasonings flying like reindeer all over the kitchen. The real benefit though, is that the total cook time is only about 25 minutes and it is so delicious it feels like you are in a fancy smancy restaurant. I served these two delights with a bit of shrimp cocktail, steamed broccoli, raw carrots, dinner rolls, and large foil wrapped baked potatoes.
Maybe, in my imaginary restaurant, I will call this dish a Sizzling Santa’s Sleigh.