Steak! (and potatos)

March 19, 2011

A gorgeous spring Saturday here in the Spa City; an afternoon at the races, a few winning tickets, and a good dinner and decent bottle of wine. Life gets a little better, but not a whole awful lot.

A veritable pile of flank steak, cooked just a tad more toward the rare side than I would have preferred, but still awfully damn good.

NS loves flank steak more than most anything in the world, except for maybe pizza and hamburgers. And he’s had a lot of pizza and burgers since he’s had a flank steak. I intended for this one to go on the grill, but the races ran long, and I seared it off on the stovetop, instead. I believe we’ll be grilling tomorrow, as it is supposed to be yet another beautiful day.

I put the steak in a marinade of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, with some meat tenderizer, before we left for the track, and stuck it in the fridge. Stopped by and picked up salad makings on the way home, and let the steak come up to room temp while I made the potato gratin.

Potatos, cheese and cream. What's not to love?

This thing was astoundingly good. Foolishly good. So good I nearly swooned from the pleasure of it. I peeled about five medium sized russet potatos, sliced them thin, and par-boiled them. A bit too long, in fact, because some of them came apart. I layered them in a nine-inch, deep-dish pie plate with a healthy helping of cheese in between the layers — about three-quarters of a cup of a combo of cheddar, monterey jack and asiago — sprinkled with white pepper, then topped with another half-cup or better of cheese. Poured about 3/4 of a cup of heavy cream — I didn’t measure, it may have been less; just enough to come around the top layer of potatos — on top, and topped it off with panko. Baked it 45 minutes at 375, and it was absolutely marvelous. I may eat what’s left for breakfast.

I cooked carrots, mostly because I got a bag out to cut some up for the salad and decided I’d just cook the rest of them. And toasted some of my hoagie rolls as garlic bread. It was a marvelous dinner, if I did make it myownself. And it was done in just a little over an hour from the time we walked in the house until the time we sat down and ate, and would’ve been done before that except I didn’t decide on the carrots quickly enough, and had to put everything on hold for about 10 minutes while the carrots cooked, or I’d have been under 60 minutes.

Good. Not great. Good.

Last night was no slouch, either. I made Greek meatballs I’d found on the Thibault’s Table blog. I did as the author noted she’d done on eGullet, where she referenced them, and made them with turkey ‘sted of beef and pork.  We had them over orzo, with avogolemo sauce, and zucchini fritters alongside. They were….OK. Not great, but not bad. This may have had something to do with the fact we’d drank a whole boatload of red wine by the time they got done.

Hey. It was Friday. I was entitled.

This breakfast? Purely and simply heavenly. That's all.

Oh. And breakfast, this morning? Corned beef hash and an over-easy egg and toasted spicy cheese bread. May possibly have been the best thing I made all day. I made myself leave it in the pan long enough that it got that good, crispy crust all over it, and up inside it from where I turned it and broke it up a bit. I used left-over corned beef from last Monday, along with left-over mashed potatos. Worked like a charm. The egg was a farm-fresh one, and tasted like it. It was a right wonderful start to the day.

Tomorrow, we’ll bake bread much of the day. I made NS’s weekly Guinness whole wheat loaf and some pizza dough today, and I think I’m going to try a different hoagie roll recipe and maybe some rye bread tomorrow. I still have a loaf of whole wheat in the freezer from last week, so no need in going that route.  Or I may make some Anadama bread, just because it sounds cool. I also went by the natural foods store and picked up bulk spelt, buckwheat, and all kinds of stuff like that, so I may experiment with some of those, instead. We shall see what we find in the recipe searches this evening.

Beyond that, we’ll grill something and cook something to go with it. When I figure it out, I’ll tell you and y’mama ‘n ’em about it.

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