Just in the last few months, two or three new artisanal steak restaurants have opened in town. I'm usually the last to know that something is trendy, catching on just as it goes from cool to cliché--but even I can notice that locally sourced steak is a hot food trend right now. A hot and expensive trend. Happily married as I am, thinking about going to a nice restaurant for a fancy steak dinner makes me wish I were still dating (it's not as much fun when you have to pay for both dinners: "Oh, I'm not that hungry--I'll just have a salad.")
Don't Miss: Download a FREE Budget Dinner Recipe Cookbook!
It may not be as trendy to eat dinner at home, but the EatingWell Test Kitchen's revelatory new recipe for Seared Steak with Caramelized Onion & Blue Cheese Sauce makes it a whole lot cheaper than going out.
There are a couple more things I love about this recipe, too: it costs less than $3.50 a serving and it's ready in 30 minutes and you can cook the whole thing in one pan. And it's a nice steak dinner!
With these three steak-cooking secrets you won't miss the taste of the restaurant experience (or the bill!)
How to make a fast and flawless steak dinner at home:
1. Get the pan nice and hot, add the steak.
2. Don't fiddle with it! Flip it only once.
3. Use the "browned bits" left in the pan as the base for a quick pan sauce.
Once you've mastered this easy technique, you can indulge in a restaurant-worthy steak dinner at home--and use the money you'll save for a grown-up night out another time.
Seared Steak with Caramelized Onion & Blue Cheese Sauce
Makes: 4 servings, 3 ounces steak & about 2 tablespoons sauce each
Active time: 30 minutes | Total: 30 minutes
Cost per serving: under $3.50
It only takes one skillet to make this restaurant-worthy pan-seared steak recipe with creamy caramelized onion and blue cheese sauce.
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1-1 1/4 pounds boneless strip steak (about 1 inch thick), trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1. Pat steaks dry and cut into 4 equal portions. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add the steaks and cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn over, reduce heat to medium-low and cook to desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare. Remove the steaks from the pan and set aside, covered with foil.
2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium. Stir in onion, water and brown sugar, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown and the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. (Add more water a tablespoon at a time if the onions are browning too quickly.)
3. Remove from the heat. Stir in blue cheese and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the steaks with about 2 tablespoons sauce each.
Per serving: 262 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat, 8 g mono); 67 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 1 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 1 g fiber; 306 mg sodium; 388 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Zinc (30% daily value).
What restaurant dinners would you love to make cheaper at home?
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
Related Links from EatingWell: