Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Broiled Steak & Mashed Potato

Shopping List (FOR 2)

  • 2 Steaks
  • 2 Potatoes
  • Fresh Chopped Garlic
  • Cali Garlic Powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Ground Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Country Crock
  • Soy Milk
  • Basil

Rumor has it that it is going to snow tonight. In light of this, I have been food shopping for basic necessities... such as tofu, avocados, tomatoes, soy milk, ravioli, soy yogurt, green tea with coconut milk ice cream, and limes. (I know, I know, these sound like silly "necessities" but if you've ever met me and know anything about my personal eating habits, I wouldn't have survived being snowed in for five minutes without these goodies about!) After working all day and then shopping, however, I wanted to eat something a little less involved.

Enter: My Mother.

Low and behold, there were three little steaks sitting in the refrigerator just waiting to be prepared for dinner that night. How on earth did I overlook them? Well, that's simple. #1 they weren't mine and #2 I've only recently been trying to convert back to an omnivore. Anyway, they were there and they were about to be cooked. Lucky me.

Now, my mother had plans to broil these steaks lightly seasoned and to the point of near charcoal. (she likes everything VERY well done) and I decided to save mine from that horrifying fate. Originally asked to simply find some fresh garlic and chop it up to perfection, I found myself once again digging through my cabinets in search of the goodies I knew were hidden somewhere within its depths to further enhance my dining experience. Out from the abyss came some ground cumin, california garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Delighted, I sprinkled generous portions of each respectively and rubbed it in to the meat with my fingertips. Flipping the steak over, I rubbed this mixture into the other side. Finally satisfied, I grabbed the garlic I'd been chopping and sprinkled it on top of both mine and my family's steaks, giving them a double dose of flavor by pressing the garlic into both sides of the meat. (I really should have sliced little incisions into the meat and placed the garlic INSIDE while it broiled, but I didn't think of that until now. Next time!!!)

My mother took over from here and placed the steaks in the broiler... for I'm not sure how long or on what setting... but I do know that it was far longer than I ever would have. The steaks came out "well done" for lack of a better phrase.

Okay, so the steak is cooking. Meanwhile, we began debating what sort of side dish to include. French fries were apparently out, even though I was itching to try out my newly acquired deep fryer. Baked potatoes were also dismissed because no one really seemed interested. My solution? Mashed Potatoes!

Alas, we did not have enough time to make the mashed potatoes. ("But but but, there is photographic evidence that you DID in fact MAKE THE MASHED POTATOES," you might say? Well, I am getting to that point, so hang tight.) There was not enough time before the steak was cooked to make the mashed potatoes traditionally. My next best bet (because I could not lower myself to using instant when the resources were right there in front of me to make fresh ones) was the microwave.

Grabbing two of the biggest potatoes in the bag, I quickly peeled them and threw the skin in my bin to compost. I then made tiny incisions on all sides of both potatoes and threw them in the microwave for a little while to soften up. I tried the potato button which took longer than I anticipated, but still not nearly as long as if I'd tried boiling them. Low and behold, my idea was a success. The potatoes were cooked and soft enough to mash with a fork and spoon together (much like mashing avocados). I added a bit of soy milk and country crock to make them creamy and continued mixing in some dried basil, fresh garlic, sea salt, and pepper. They were quick and simple. That was just what I needed after such a long day on very little sleep.

The steaks were done by the time I was finished and I divvied out the mashed potatoes onto each plate alongside the meat. Realizing that I did not prepare any gravy for the potatoes, I used the juices and spices left in the pan from the steaks to create a light sauce that I poured on both the steak and potatoes. It was a little tough due to how long it was cooked, but overall the meal was successful despite limited resources and time.

What would I do differently next time?

Cook the meal for less time. I would also improve the gravy.

All in all this was a great learning experience to reintroduce myself to the world of meat

I, however, would take seitan over steak any day... but that's just me.

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