Cooking despite the mishaps
May 4, 2015
The single major problem with gas grills: the running out of gas in mid-meal.
This happened Saturday evening, and me with a pair of perfectly lovely T-bones that had been in the sous vide bath for 2 1/2 hours before being taken out and cooled, and wanted only searing before dinner would be ready. Accompanied by asparagus in the grill basket. All of which got revamped to cook indoors.
I had been smoking a bacon-barbecue meatloaf for Sunday, figuring I’d get that out of the way before I put the steaks and asparagus on. I had Hasselback potatoes in the oven, red wine in a glass. Life was good.
Until the damned gas ran out.
So I brought the steaks back in, picked up the partially-cooked meat loaf on its foil sheet and brought IT in, went back for my wine and the asparagus, dodging dogs and toddlers and cursing fluently (if silently; the toddler is in parrot mode, and KayKay tries to set a good grandmotherly example) all the while.
The meat loaf went to the side. I could deal with it later. The asparagus went into a skillet with a tablespoon of butter. The broiler got turned on as hot as it would go, and the steaks went in. Meanwhile I made some hollandaise in a soup mug, covered it with foil, and set it on the back unit on the stove.
The one where the oven vents, which put off too much heat, which caused the hollandaise to curdle a bit. No matter. Didn’t look as pretty, but it was good.
I sauteed the asparagus on medium high heat for a minute in the melted butter, shaking it to get all sizes just a bit of butter and heat. Then I poured in about a half-cup of water and let that steam away, pan uncovered. When it was all but gone, I covered the pan and moved it off the heat.
This was the purple asparagus from the market that morning, and it was absofreakinglutely the best asparagus I ever put in my mouth. The bitter edge that green asparagus has? Absent. Completely. The grower was right — it IS a bit sweeter. It was, in fact, stunning, and I am contemplating whether I can plant asparagus in pots, as opposed to beds, so I can have some of my own.
The steaks were perfection. They were in the sous vide bath at 125 degrees for 2 1/2 hours, then cooled to room temperature before being put in the broiler. Three minutes on a side gave them a nice sear and produced perfectly medium rare beef that was fork-tender and astoundingly good. Lawd, they were fine.
I’m fond enough of Hollandaise — and Child A is not — that I had extra, so I put it on my potato as well. Because I could. It was a fine dinner.
I went back to the kitchen, when I could move again, and moved the meat loaf to a loaf pan so I could bake it the next morning. We had it with mac and cheese, more asparagus (the green this time), fried green tomatoes and purple hulled peas for Sunday dinner. There were no complaints, even though the bacon wrap on top of the loaf had scorched. I cooked the noodles and then put them in the crockpot with the sauce ingredients — grated co-jack and Velveeta, butter, half and half — until the Velveeta chunks melted, then turned it to “keep warm” and let it sit until after church. Perfect. The kids allowed the fried green tomatoes were pretty good, too.
I even made creme anglaise to go with strawberries, which was pretty exceptional. All in all, it was a good weekend for food, and no one went to bed hungry.
But if you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em decide to duplicate it, make sure your gas bottle is full, or you have a spare close at hand.