Steak with Pasilla-Shitake Sauce
This is a terrific dish for a small dinner-party. The sauce, made of healthful ingredients, can be made well ahead and the steaks prepared at the last minute in one skillet. Please note that the recipe calls for pasilla chiles, which are now available in many areas and on the internet. The more common ancho chiles, which are often called pasillas in California, are not a good substitute
2 pasilla chiles
3/4 cup white onion cut across into 1/2 inch slices (as if to make unseparated onion rings)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 green onions, chopped, keeping white and green portions separate
2 pounds small to medium Roma tomatoes, about 12
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
1 canned chipotle chile
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons brandy
4 corn tortillas
4 fresh shitake mushrooms
4- 6 ounce tenderloin or ribeye steaks
1 tablespoon butter
4 thin slices of smoked provolone cheese
1. Toast and soak the chiles. Remove and discard the stems ands eeds of the pasilla chiles and toast them briefly in a dry skillet over medium heat to bring out their flavors, but do not allow them to scorch. Place the toasted chiles in a food processor or blender.
2. Broil the vegetables. Place the onion, garlic, and white portions of green onions in a medium-sized, oven-proof skillet or on a baking sheet, pie pan or casserole dish, then place the Roma tomatoes on top of them. Put the pan about 2 inches under your broiler and broil until the tomatoes are well blackened and soft, about 15 - 20 minutes.
3. Process the sauce. Add the broiled vegetables to the food processor or blender with the pasilla chiles, and then add the cilantro, green portions of green onions, and the chipotle chile. Pulse the mixture two or three times or until it is just barely chopped, then allow it to sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate the pasilla chiles. Pulse the mixture again until it is well chopped and combined, but still quite chunky and not pureed. Pour the sauce into a bowl and stir in the brown sugar, vinegar and brandy, and reserve.
4. Cook the tortillas. Spray the tortillas with oil. Cook each tortilla in a skillet over medium heat until it just begins to become firm. But do not allow them to become hard or crisp.
5. Cook the mushrooms. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat, add just enough olive oil to barely film the pan, and sear the mushrooms until they begin to brown. Remove the mushrooms, chop them coarsely, and add them to the bowl with the sauce.
6. Sauté the steaks and finish the dish. Add a little more oil to the pan and sear the steaks until a brown crust has formed on both sides. Remove the steaks to a small plate. Turn the heat to medium, and then add the butter to the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the steak and mushrooms. Immediately stir in the reserved sauce, and then add the steaks, including any juice that has been released from them. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or a total of 4 to 6 minutes (for rare to medium rare). Place one of the fried tortillas on each plate then place a steak on each tortilla. Top each steak with a slice of cheese, then mound on the sauce.