How to Make Flaming Steak Diane


“Oops!” the crowd roared as flames danced over the food.

Imagine good friends, fabulous food, and entertainment that magically transport you to a foreign land.

I always assumed that saganaki, the flamed cheese appetizer that is dramatically doused with brandy and set on fire in a spectacular tableside display, originated in Greece. However, while vacationing in Greece in the 1980s, I learned that Saganaki did not originate in Greece at all. Rather, saganaki is claimed to have originated from my hometown.

Dining in the restaurants of the Greek city of Chicago during my younger years left a searing impression on my penchant for theatricality in food and entertainment.

As spring approaches, my imagination ignites with visions of flaming entrees illuminating serene moonlit dinners under the swaying canopy of backyard trees. With or without the reflective ripples of a backyard pool, a Tallahassee spring garden setting is perfect for hosting a dazzling soirée.

Looking through my culinary archives, I picked up an old favorite flamingo recipe that I used to make often for special dinners.

For a unique spring dinner, Steak Diane’s ease and elegance provide the sizzle and romance that will leave your guests singing complimentary “oohs” and “aahs” to you.

Steak Diane is an excellent classic cuisine meal. I’m not exactly sure when this dish originated. My research suggests it was an American invention of the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the French-inspired menus of Julia Child and the Kennedy White House brought a rich and spicy consciousness to our nation’s culinary landscape. Before and during that same time, many of the best restaurants in the country were well known for presenting food with extravagant staging.

Executive Chef Michael Lomonaco of New York’s legendary restaurant “21” painted an appetizing depiction of the Steak Diane entree and the glamorous era in the “21” cookbook. Lomonaco writes: “In ’21,’ the Captains or Maitre Walter Weiss traditionally prepare Steak Diane tableside. The meat sizzling in a large copper skillet with brandy flaming and the sauce bubbling up makes for a wonderful show reminiscent of the days when Humphrey Bogart and his friends would join at midnight after the new opening on Broadway.”

But you don’t need to travel to New York, Chicago or Athens, Greece! You can create a fabulous Flaming Steak Diane at home.

If you’re not comfortable with lighting the food, the dish is just as delicious without the dramatic flame.

Serve with a classic Caesar salad, rustic bruschetta, aged red wine, a hearty dessert and a dash of artistic expression for a timeless, great-tasting dinner with or without pyrotechnics.

flaming steak diane

Beef Tenderloin Medallions, 1 per person pounded to 1-inch thickness

1 tablespoon. butter

sea ​​salt, to taste

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Greek seasoning mix, to taste

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

garlic, to taste

shallots, to taste

lemon juice, to taste

1 cup cognac or brandy

2 tbsp. Sherry

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 cup reduced beef or veal broth

1 cup of cream

2 tbsp. green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon each parsley and chives

1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.

2. Season meat with sea salt, pepper, and Greek seasoning.

3. Add 2 steaks at a time and brown no more than two minutes per side.

4. Transfer the steaks to a hot pan in the oven.

Repeat steps 1 through 4 for additional steaks.

Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms, garlic, and shallots for about 2 minutes in butter, a dash of your favorite seasonings, and a squeeze of lemon. Lower the heat, remove the saucepan from the heat and add cognac or brandy. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a simmer. Add the sherry and Dijon mustard. Add the beef or veal broth and cook for another minute.

Add the cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the chopped green onions, parsley, and scallions. Sauce the veal medallions. If you’re comfortable with flambé food, you can do it in the kitchen or tableside. Carefully tilt the pan with the sauce and steak, pour a little more brandy on the front edge of the pan and light it with a match.

(c) Kathi Dameron, Kathi Dameron and Associates

This article from the “Entertaining with Kathi” newspaper column originally appeared on February 28, 2007.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *