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Make Your House into a Steakhouse

For most people, dinner at a steakhouse is a big occasion, but it doesn't have to be.

In her new book, "The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions," "Early Show" contributor Katie Lee shows that a steakhouse dinner is perfect for any occasion. And on "The Early Show" she shared how you can transform your own house into a steakhouse.


Shrimp Cocktail

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I love a good shrimp cocktail. When I was a kid and I'd see the grown-ups eating shrimp cocktail, I thought it looked so adult. Even though it's a really simple appetizer, there's something about it that just says "special."

1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
Juice of 1 lemon
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons creamed horseradish sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce (optional)
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the Old Bay and lemon juice. Add the shrimp and cook, uncovered, just until pink, about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp and immediately place in a bowl of ice water until cool, about 2 minutes. Drain well.

In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire, and hot sauce (if using).

To serve, place the sauce in a bowl and arrange shrimp and lemon wedges alongside.

Iceberg Wedge with Bacon and Blue Cheese Dressing

Oh yeah, bring on the iceberg wedge. I don't care that iceberg lettuce doesn't have as much nutritional value as other leafy greens -- it's still my favorite part of a steakhouse dinner. It's so crunchy and crisp, and pairs perfectly with smoky bacon and creamy blue cheese dressing.

8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 heads iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed, cut into quarters
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until well blended. Stir in the blue cheese.

Arrange the iceberg wedges on a platter and scatter around the tomatoes. Spoon the blue cheese dressing over the lettuce. Top with bacon and chives.

Porterhouse Steaks

The mere thought of these steaks makes my mouth water. And they are super simple to prepare-you only need four ingredients. Buy good-quality meat and there's no need to dress it up with anything. My dogs get so excited when we have porterhouse steaks because they know there's a bone coming their way.

4 porterhouse steaks
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Combine the salt and pepper and sprinkle on both sides of each steak. Drizzle each side of steaks with canola oil.

Grill for 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Let the steaks rest a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Baked Potatoes

A good old-fashioned baked potato is worth its weight in gold, in my opinion. I eat mine almost ritualistically. First: butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Then, when I get to the skins- my favorite part- I spread them with a thick layer of butter and more salt and pepper.

8 baking potatoes
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Toppings: butter, sour cream, chopped chives, crumbled cooked bacon, grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a fork to poke holes in each potato. Brush each potato with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place directly on oven rack and bake for about 1 hour, or until tender. Serve with a choice of toppings.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is a great way to make a really healthy food taste good! A little butter and cream never hurt anybody, right? If you have any leftovers, make an omelet the next day and fill it with creamed spinach and cheese.

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
2 pounds baby spinach
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spinach and lemon juice. Cover and let steam for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the cover and use tongs to toss the spinach until all of it is wilted. Place the spinach in a colander and let any liquid drain.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet, heat the cream and nutmeg until the cream has thickened and reduced a bit, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan until melted. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

For Martini and Cheesecake with Cherry Sauce recipes, go to Page 2.

Cheesecake with Cherry Sauce

I can't eat a steak dinner without a piece of cheesecake for dessert. This recipe is New York-style, so it's more rich and creamy and a little more dense than regular cheesecake. While it is not a difficult dessert to prepare at all, the most common problem is that the top cracks. If this happens to you, no worries; just pour the cherry sauce all over the top and no one will be the wiser!

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/2 vanilla bean pod (split lengthwise)
For the Cherry Sauce:
2 1/2 cups frozen cherries (or fresh, pitted)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the butter. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan. Use your fingers or a measuring cup to evenly press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

For the Cheesecake:
Using an electric mixer on the medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to mix. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream. Use the back of a knife to scrape out the vanilla seeds. Stir into cream cheese mixture.

Pour the batter into cooled crust and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until lightly browned on top. The center should still jiggle a little. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, until ready to serve.

For the Cherry Sauce:
While the cheesecake is cooling, in a small saucepan over the medium-low heat, combine the cherries and sugar. Cook, stirring frequently. Combine the lemon juice and cornstarch until the starch dissolves and stir into the cherry mixture. Bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir until sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Serve the cheesecake with the cherry sauce.

Dirty Martini

Bond. James Bond. I always feel like saying that when I order a Martini. I'm an olive fanatic so I like my Martinis on the dirty side. If you like yours cleaner, just leave out the olive brine.

2 ounces gin
1 ounce olive brine
Splash of vermouth

Combine the gin, olive brine, and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with an olive.

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