By Jade Arroyo
Nico is a young chef who specializes in French and Portuguese cuisine and keeps a special place in his heart for family recipes. He is a freelance chef at Nicolas Marcial Catering and believes there are no secrets to good cooking, but that in addition to using good ingredients the thing is to enjoy the process, take the time to cook and pay attention at every step in order to make every dish special. “You have to learn how to cook in order to survive. In my case, with nine brothers, life led me to cook. It was not a conscious decision; it was just what I felt I needed to do,” says Nico. He has a gastronomy degree and learned the secrets of regional Portuguese cuisine from native Portuguese cooks, who passed along to him the secrets of their grandmothers and taught him the authentic flavors. Nico shared a typical recipe of this cuisine: Lisboa beef. The flavor of this dish is somewhat different from what our palates are accustomed too—it is also delicious, easy and quick to prepare. Coffee gives the meat a unique touch, a subtle taste between toasted and aromatic spices that combined are very rich. Nicolas Marcial Catering offers menus with international options; French, Portuguese, Mexican and Italian. Nico designs menus together with his clients so they sure to please, whether a buffet, dinner or snacks, Nico can also come to your kitchen and prepare a special meal for you and your friends or help you plan the event. You can contact him through his Facebook page Nicolas Marcial or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 medallions of beef
½ cup of espresso
2 tablespoons of beef bouillon powder
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of butter
3 tablespoons of brandy
Salt and pepper
Preferably, use meat that has not been frozen. Remove meat from the refrigerator 10 minutes before cooking and season both sides with freshly ground black pepper.
For the sauce, in a bowl combine freshly made espresso, beef bouillon and bay leaves. Mix well and set aside. In a hot pan, sear the steaks and cook to the desired doneness, turning the meat only once. Remove meat from pan. Without turning off the heat, use the brandy (you can substitute rum) to deglaze the pan and add butter to enrich the pan sauce. Add this to the previously prepared coffee sauce.
Salt the meat to taste and top it with the sauce. Mashed sweet potatoes or pecan gratin potatoes are suggested as side dishes.