So, why is red one of the colors of Christmas? It is one of the colors of Christmas for a few reasons. The first being that the holly berries (which are popular during the winter months) are red in color. They have been used for generations to represent the blood of Christ. Red is also the color of the bishops of the period. Today, as previously mentioned, red is continuously found during the Christmas season. I am using red in this Christmas colored themed meal in the beautifully cooked steak!
Perfect Pan-Seared Steak (thanks to www.afamilyfeast.com)
- 1 bone-in or boneless rib-eye steak or sirloin steak at least 1 ½ pounds, cut to at least 1 ½ inches thick
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 peeled garlic cloves, left whole
- Few sprigs fresh parsley, including stems
- Optional: Wine and stock (chicken, beef, veal,etc.) and butter for deglazing the pan and making a delicious pan sauce
- Optional: Roasted potato wedges (see note above)
- Salt and pepper one side of the steak.
- Heat your seasoned cast iron skillet to smoking hot. Add oil and swirl around to coat. Add steak seasoned-side down (place it in pan away from you so you don’t get splattered), and then salt and pepper the other side of the steak. At this point do not touch it for two minutes. Using tongs (never pierce the meat with a fork), flip the steak and add butter, garlic, and parsley to the pan next to the steak. Allow the steak to cook for 2 more minutes.
- Right after you flip the steak for the first time, with a spoon or small ladle, keep basting the melted butter over the steak. Baste continually for the full two minutes (tilt pan a little if you have to, to get the butter onto the spoon).
- After two minutes on each side, keep flipping and basting the steak each time leaving the steak for 30 seconds before turning. Test the steak with the poke test (see note below) and remove at medium rare at about the five to six-minute mark of total cooking time. Cook a minute or two longer for medium to well. A thicker steak (such as a sirloin) may take longer.
- Turn off the heat and baste one more time. Leave the steak in the pan loosely covered with foil for 10 minutes and allow to rest before cutting. Baste one more time, and remove to a cutting board. Either cut the steak in half for each serving or for a nicer presentation, slice on the bias and serve slices.
- Discard the pan drippings or if desired, deglaze the pan with a little wine, then and stock and simmer for a few minutes to reduce the drippings. Add a tablespoon or two of butter to thicken for a nice pan sauce.
Why is green considered a Christmas color? Green is often found in plants popular during the winter months such as evergreen trees, ivy, and holly. Today, green is found in several aspects of Christmas decor including the Christmas tree. I am including green in my Christmas colored themed meal with this Rachel ray green bean recipe!
Green Beans with Toasted Almonds (thanks to www.foodnetwork.com)
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Toasted slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish
- Cook green beans 5 minutes in 1-inch boiling water, covered. Drain beans and return pan to heat.
- Add oil and butter pat to the pan. Toss beans in oil and melted butter. Season beans with a little salt and transfer to a serving plate.
- Garnish green beans with toasted slivered or sliced almonds.
White is also a Christmas color due to many parts of the world having snow on the ground during the Christmas season. It is also associated with the church as purity and faith. I am introducing white in my Christmas color-themed meal in the form of roasted cauliflower!