Texas-Sized Steak, Flavor, on a Shoestring

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that definitely applies to steaks.

David Holben, executive chef of the Dallas-based Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, has worked in some of the finest restaurants in the world, but has always returned to Texas, where Del Frisco's is known as one of the best in a state known for its steaks.

Holben agreed to take on "The Early Show Saturday Edition"'s "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge of preparing a three-course meal on the lean budget of just $35.

All our Chefs on a Shoestring are automatically entered in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition, in which the ones with the lowest ingredient totals will be asked back to prepare our elaborate year-end holiday meals.

• Seared Sea Scallops & Sweet Corn Pancake
• Pepper-Crusted Beef Tri Tip Steak with Vegetable Mint Couscous
• Baked Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream


Sea Scallops: Scallops have two beautiful fan-shaped shells that are often used as containers in which to serve dishes. Though the entire scallop including the roe is edible, the portion most commonly found in U.S. markets is the adductor muscle that hinges the two shells. There are many scallop species but in general they're classified into two broad groups - bay scallops and sea scallops. The muscle of the larger, more widely available sea scallop averages 1 1/2 inches in diameter and is not as tender as the smaller varieties. Though slightly chewier, the meat is still sweet and moist. (Source: "Food Lover's Companion")

Tri-Tip Sirloin: This cut of beef is found in the round which is the section of the hind leg that extends from the rump to the ankle. Since the leg has been toughened by exercise, the round is less tender than some cuts. The tri-tip or sirloin tip is part of the tougher bottom sirloin and the better grades can be oven-roasted; otherwise moist-heat methods should be used to tenderize. (Source: "Food Lover's Companion")

Frangipan: A rich pastry cream flavored with ground almonds and used as a filling or topping for pastries and cakes. (Source: "Food Lover's Companion")


Grilled Sea Scallops & Sweet Corn Pancake

Pancake Mix
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup soda water
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons corn flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons stone ground corn meal
1/16 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup sautéed spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1/4 cup fresh corn kernels, blanched
4 slices lean bacon, diced and rendered crispy (reserve half for garnish)
1 red bell pepper, cut into very small dice and sautéed in olive oil
Salt, pepper & cayenne to taste


Blend the flour, corn meal, baking powder and sugar in a stainless bowl. Set aside.

In a blender add the cream, soda water and peppers. Pulse 5 to 6 times. Using a whisk, mix the wet into the dry ingredients. Stir in the pecans, bacon, spinach and corn. Season with salt pepper and pinch of cayenne.

Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
8 ounces chicken or fish stock
8 ounces heavy cream
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste


Place shallots, wine, bay leaf and stock in a sauce pot and reduce until almost dry. Add cream and reduce to sauce consistency. Pass through a fine strainer. Whisk in mustards and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sea Scallops
4 jumbo sea scallops, cleaned
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Toss the scallops with the parsley and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until medium.


Reserved bacon


In a heavy bottom skillet with a small amount of olive oil, using 1/2 cup of pancake mixture form pancake approximately 3/4 inch thick. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly brown.

Place pancake in center of plate and grilled sea scallop on top. Surround the pancake with mustard sauce. Sprinkle with chives and bacon.