Longhorn's Steaks Across America: Nashville Style!
I think Dan's favorite meal at home is steak night. We've always been red-meat people! So when Longhorn Steakhouse reached out to ask if we'd like to try their new Steaks Across America menu, it was a resounding yes for us. Even better, I'm part of a multi-week culinary trek where bloggers in different states come up with a steak recipe that represents our city.
First up, our meal at Longhorn. While we were waiting for our table, I started sipping on a delicious skinny sangria that I could not believe was "skinny" in any way. DELICIOUS. I could have had a pitcher. Dan had a margarita. Then, they started us off with some warm bread.
Dan chose a salad before his meal, while I chose some awesome tomato soup. It's one of the best tomato soups I've had at a restaurant, and that's saying something. Super tasty.
I also ordered the Steakhouse Mac & Cheese as a side with my steak, which was pretty good, while Dan splurged on some grilled corn and a lobster tail. But THE STEAKS.
We each chose a steak from the special menu. The quality of the meat was great (we always go medium or medium-rare), and the new recipes offer a lot of flavor. Dan is a mushroom lover, so he picked the Manhattan Stuffed Mushroom Filet, a grilled (6 or 8 oz) filet topped with cheese-stuffed mushrooms and a housemade béarnaise sauce. It was definitely the right steak for him, with a ton of taste all-around.
I chose the Kansas City BBQ Sirloin, a grilled (9 or 11 oz) signature sirloin glazed with warm bourbon BBQ sauce and topped with delectable candied bacon. Yup, candied bacon. I have to say, this was the perfect selection for me. The BBQ sauce glaze actually tasted a lot like Korean BBQ to me, which my regular readers know is my fav. There was a definite tangy flavor, and the bacon was a great compliment.
The other steak, the one we did not get to try, is the Texas 3-Chili Pepper Ribeye. It's a juicy (6 or 8 oz) ribeye drizzled with a smoky, three-pepper blend and topped with crispy onion straws. Sounds yum! We both left the restaurant feeling very full, having gorged ourselves on a fantastic meal. It was honestly our first time at a local Longhorn Steakhouse, and the service was really great. I have to give a shoutout to the Longhorn in Brentwood, on Old Hickory Blvd., for providing great service, food, drinks, without even knowing I would be writing about the meal.
Next up, a Nashville-inspired steak prepared at home. And I knew exactly where I was heading with this one. You see, while Nashville is truly a melting pot of music goodness, it's also known for one culinary treat in particular: HOT CHICKEN. Hot chicken is a religion here (we even have an annual festival), and the story goes that it was created by a jealous girlfriend who wanted to punish her womanizing boyfriend with a fried chicken that would light his tastebuds on fire. But, as it turns out, it was delicious!
I knew I would need to create a steak in the spirit of our hot chicken fanaticism. I then figured the best way to do that with a steak would be to create a compound butter, using some cajun spices (focus on cayenne and paprika, to your own taste) and garlic. I usually leave half a stick of butter out on the counter overnight or during the work day, then whip it up with spices and re-refrigerate it for spreading later. You could even mix in sriracha if you're feeling froggy. For this steak, I mixed up the butter and then spread it immediately while soft on the top sirloin I picked up from my local grocery. Both sides, please!
When I make steak in our apartment, I don't use a grill, because another thing Tennessee is known for is our Lodge cast-iron skillets. Seriously, buy a Lodge, they've had a working foundry in South Pittsburg, TN since 1896. I heat up a little oil in the skillet (use a pot holder, these babies get sizzling!), then sear the buttered steak on both sides for 90 seconds, to lock in the flavor.
From there, you have two options: continue to cook it in the skillet via stovetop, or stick it in a pre-heated oven until it reaches your preferred temperature. I know, steak in/on an oven? Trust me, it works, and that's how many restaurants get your steak to the perfect temp. You lock in the flavor, and you control the pinkness. Let your steak sit for about 10 minutes before you cut into it.
"Hot" Nashville Steak!
And, because it's a tradition with hot chicken, the steak is served on top of a slice of white bread with some pickles. Because that's how it's done with hot chicken in Nashville, y'all.
Next up on the culinary journey:PHILADELPHIA! Love that city. Check out Leslie at And Her Little Dog Too as I pass her the baton (or rather, the tongs) on our steak adventure.
The Longhorn Steaks Across America Summer Road Trip: