Teri Robl’s recipe for Salsbury Steak uses moose meat instead of the traditional beef, as seen here on Feb. 10, 2020, in her Homer, Alaska, kitchen. (Photo by Teri Robl)

Teri Robl’s recipe for Salsbury Steak uses moose meat instead of the traditional beef, as seen here on Feb. 10, 2020, in her Homer, Alaska, kitchen. (Photo by Teri Robl)

Kachemak Cuisine: Make Valentine’s Day dishes with love — and chocolate

Friday is Valentine’s Day, and on this special day I make the Other Fisherman something extra delicious for dinner if we don’t venture out to eat. My menu usually includes beef or moose and a chocolate dessert. Whatever I decide to cook, it is prepared with lots of love, as that is one of the best ingredients. I truly believe when I am not in the mood to cook my dishes reflect it.

I like this recipe as it uses moose burger, which I have plenty of and is a bit different in taste than meatloaf or hamburgers. The sauce is rich and savory, making it a perfect winter comfort meal.

Salisbury Steak With Mushroom Brown Gravy Recipe

Serves 6

Salisbury steak is a classic American dish, seasoned with onion, garlic and black pepper. Formed into a oblong thick patty, and pan-fried, it’s served with a rich and meaty mushroom brown gravy that’s made in the same pan. Mashed potatoes and buttered peas make particularly good accompaniments, just like the TV dinners of my childhood.

Ingredients

4 ounces crust-less white sandwich bread ( about 4 slices), diced

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups homemade beef stock, if you have it, if not, store bought beef or chicken stock will work fine.

1 1/2 pounds (680 g) ground beef or moose, preferably about 20% fat

1/2 pound (225 g) ground pork

1 medium yellow onion, half finely minced and half diced, divided

2 large egg yolks

4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt; if using table salt, use half as much

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, such as Wright’s, (optional)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutral cooking oil, plus more if needed

10 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons ketchup or tomato paste

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon butter

Apple cider vinegar,to taste

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine bread with milk and soak well, breaking up bread pieces with your fingers until no

firm or dry bits remain. Set aside.

2. In a measuring cup or medium bowl, combine cornstarch with a couple tablespoons beef or chicken stock, stirring to

form a smooth slurry with no lumps. Add remaining stock, stir well, and set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, finely minced yellow onion, egg yolks, salt, a very generous grating of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and liquid smoke (if using). Add bread mixture, along with any liquid. Using clean hands, mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

(Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to combine these ingredients; scrape down sides occasionally.)

4. Form meat mixture into small palm sized balls; Flatten each ball into an oblong shape about 3/4 inch thick and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add meat patties, and lower heat to medium. Cook, using a thin metal spatula to rotate steaks for even browning, until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip patties and repeat on other side until browned, about 4 minutes longer. Adjust heat as necessary to ensure meat patties brown but don’t burn.

Continue cooking and turning patties every couple minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the steaks registers 145°F (63°C). Transfer to a platter when done.

6. Increase heat to medium-high and add a little oil and mushrooms to skillet, scraping and stirring until mushrooms release their liquid and you can scrape up browned bits on bottom of pan, about 1 minute; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mushroom liquid has evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown.

7. Add diced onion and cook, stirring, until onion releases its liquid and cooking until onion liquid evaporates and onion is softened and beginning to turn lightly golden, about 2 minutes longer.

8. Stir in ketchup or tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir stock mixture to lift any settled cornstarch from the bottom,then add to skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Continue to cook until stock has reduced by about one-third and has thickened slightly.

9. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat and add butter, stirring vigorously, until butter has melted and a smooth, emulsified sauce forms that lightly coats the back of a spoon. Add just enough vinegar to taste to balance out the sauce. (Use small increments of about 1/2 teaspoon,tasting after each addition to ensure you don’t add too much.)

Note: Liquid smoke adds a hint of flame-broiled flavor, but is entirely optional.

Blender Chocolate Mousse

This recipe for chocolate mousse made in a blender comes from a Junior League cookbook published in the 1980s. Straightforward, adaptable and extremely satisfying, it’s one of those recipes that you want to pass along. Instead of separating the egg yolks and whites, this technique simply involves pouring hot sugar syrup into a blender with chocolate and whole eggs, then folding that mixture into softly whipped cream.

The resulting texture is so creamy and rich, it doesn’t need anything at all, though you can top it with extra whipped cream, if you like.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups heavy cream

½ cup granulated sugar

12 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped, approximately 72% cacao

4 large eggs, at room temperature

¼ cup espresso (or very strongly brewed coffee )

¼ cup dark rum (or Grand Marnier, amaretto, brandy or cognac)

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

1. In a large bowl, or in a stand mixer on medium speed, whip the heavy cream to glossy, medium peaks, about 5 minutes. Set aside in the fridge. In a small saucepan over gentle heat, melt the sugar with 1/4 cup water until dissolved. As soon as the syrup begins to boil, turn off the heat.

2. Add chocolate and eggs to a blender. Blend on medium-high speed while slowly pouring in the hot sugar syrup, which will melt the chocolate and cook the eggs. Keep the machine running until the mixture is extremely smooth, then stream in the espresso, rum, vanilla and salt. Keep blending until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 1 minute, pausing to scrape the sides as needed.

3. Fold 1 cup of the chocolate mixture into the chilled whipped cream until smooth, then add the rest of the chocolate mixture to the cream mixture and fold until there are no streaks.

4. Pour into individual bowls, ramekins or glasses, and set in the fridge until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve chilled.

Here’s hoping that your family enjoys wonderful meals every day of the week, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, as someone most likely made them with love. Hugs, Teri.

Reach Teri Robl at easthood.queen@gmail.com.

What better way to please your sweetheart than chocolate mousse, as seen here on Feb. 11, 2020, in Teri Roble’s Homer, Alaska, kitchen. (Photo by Teri Robl)

What better way to please your sweetheart than chocolate mousse, as seen here on Feb. 11, 2020, in Teri Roble’s Homer, Alaska, kitchen. (Photo by Teri Robl)

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