Hatchet Recipes: Bites and Booze

Follow these simple recipes to add just the right amount of flavor to any celebration.

Rose-Scented Tarragon Wine Spritzer

No beverage goes better with steak than a glass of red wine, the base of my wine spritzer. To bring out the tarragon flavor of the béarnaise in the accompanying recipe, make tarragon simple syrup as a sweetener. Scenting it with my secret ingredient, rosewater, lends a delicate floral bouquet to the wine. For the finishing touch, lighten it with club soda to allow the new flavors to come through. Make this wine spritzer for your friends, and they’ll beg you to divulge your secrets.

Ingredients
Makes 2 cocktails

  • 1 shot sugar
  • 2 shots water
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon (two de-stemmed and one for garnish)
  • 3 tbsp rosewater
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, or your favorite red wine
  • 2 shots sparkling water
  • 1 lime wedge

Directions

  • In a medium-size saucepan, dissolve the sugar into the water along with the rosewater and de-stemmed tarragon. Add an ice cube to cool it down and set it aside in a bowl.
  • To a wine glass, add one shot of simple syrup and fill the glass halfway up with wine. Add two shots of sparkling water and stir.
  • Garnish with a sprig of tarragon, a lime wedge to squeeze into the drink) and serve.

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Steak Béarnaise

Set the finest table you can, splurge on a bottle of red wine and craft this recipe for steak béarnaise to host a steak-out that would please even the haughtiest Frenchman. Although a bit complicated to make – this is French cooking, after all – this steak béarnaise, accompanied by a béarnaise sauce made with tarragon vinegar, white wine and lemon, boasts a delicious interior that is pink throughout.

Ingredients
Béarnaise Sauce

  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Kosher salt

Steak and Asparagus

  • 3 thick sirloin steaks
  • salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of asparagus

Directions
Béarnaise Sauce

  • Melt the butter over low heat and skim off the white milk solids, leaving behind a clear, clarified butter.
  • In a small sauté pan, combine the vinegar, white wine, pepper and shallots. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid evaporates.
  • Remove from heat and add an ice cube to cool down the liquid. Drain it through a fine mesh strainer and into a metal bowl. Whisk in egg yolks vigorously.
  • Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water only. Drizzle in the clarified butter while whisking so it slowly emulsifies. Be careful: If the yolks get too hot, they may curdle.

Steak and Asparagus

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the steaks well with salt and black pepper and lightly oil them.
  • Heat a cast-iron grill pan or metal pan on high. Sear for about four minutes on each side, rotating 45 degrees halfway through to achieve perfect grill marks.
  • In a baking dish, bake the steaks for about 15 minutes until they are perfectly pink throughout.
  • Cut the fibrous ends of the asparagus and discard. Boil the rest of the asparagus in very salty water until tender.

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