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Marinated Strip Steaks with Horseradish Crust, Corn Fritters, and Red Currant Sauce

  • Marinade:
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced (or pressed) to a paste
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Steaks:
  • Red Currant Sauce:
    • ¼ cup red currant jelly
    • ¼ cup port wine
    • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
    • ½ teaspoon finely minced orange zest
    • ½ teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
    • Juice of 1 orange
    • Dash of hot pepper sauce or Tabasco sauce
    • Salt
  • Corn Fritters:
    • 2 eggs, separated
    • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears)
    • 3 tablespoons minced scallions
    • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Horseradish Crust:
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
    • 2 shallots, minced
    • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 cup fine bread crumbs
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground white pepper

Crusting meat, poultry, and fish has become a popular style of preparation over recent years. This technique adds flavor and sometimes texture as well. In this recipe the marinade provides the steak with a flavor base that the crust elevates to a zesty peak, so your taste buds will really have a treat with this lively, succulent dish. Corn fritters are the perfect way to enjoy the bounty of summer corn, and there's no better tender fresh corn than in the Midwest. Some of the best red currants I've ever tasted came from Michigan. The red currant sauce is an adaptation of the classic Cumberland sauce, a traditional accompaniment for beef, venison, duck, and other game, and it brings the whole dish together wonderfully well.

  1. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Place the steaks on a platter and pour the marinade over.
  3. Make sure the steaks are thoroughly coated.
  4. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. To prepare the sauce:
    1. Combine the jelly, port wine, shallot, and orange and lemon zests in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
    2. Cook the mixture for 2 minutes, until the jelly has completely dissolved.
    3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the orange juice and hot sauce.
    4. Season with salt and keep warm over very low heat or in a double boiler.
  7. To prepare the corn fritters:
    1. Whisk the egg yokes in a mixing bowl.
    2. Add the corn, scallions, flour, cumin, and salt, and beat until thoroughly blended.
    3. Beat in the milk and melted butter, and set aside.
    4. Beat the egg whites in a separate mixing bowl until stiff peaks form.
    5. Fold the egg whites into the corn batter.
    6. If the mixture is too thick, stir in a little milk.
    7. Pour the batter into the molds of a non-stick muffin tin (allow about 2 to 3 tablespoons per fritter).
    8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
    9. (Alternatively, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on a griddle or non-stick skillet.
    10. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the griddle or skillet for each fritter.
    11. Cook the fritters for about 1 ½ minutes on each side, until golden brown.) Keep warm.
  8. Preheat the broiler.
  9. To prepare the crust:
    1. Combine the butter and shallots in a mixing bowl.
    2. Stir in the horseradish, parsley, and bread crumbs, and season with salt and pepper; the mixture should form a paste.
    3. Let cool slightly.
    4. Place the steaks on the middle rack of the broiler and sear for 4 minutes on each side, until almost medium-rare (sear for 1 or 2 minutes longer for medium-done steaks).
    5. Remove the steaks and spread the crust mixture on top of each steak.
    6. Transfer to a roasting pan or baking sheet and finish in the oven for 1 or 2 minutes, until the crust browns slightly.

To serve, ladle the sauce in the center of each serving plate and place the steaks on top.
Place 2 or 3 corn fritters on each plate and serve immediately.

Serves: 4

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