Day 30: A 20-Minute Steak Dinner? C'est Possible!
Funny how every time I have a bout of discouragement, God gives me little reminders that I'm on the right path. Yesterday after I put up the post, I received several encouraging emails from women who told me they look forward to reading the blog every day. That it's a source of inspiration for them - both in matters culinary and life. And that they're spreading the word to friends, colleagues, gyms, etc. Hearing that is so humbling and encouraging - thank you! Later last night I was talking on the phone to a dear friend, and she reminded me that building a strong foundation takes time. It's better to go slow and build something that will last, rather than rush to put up a house (so to speak) with no foundation that will quickly crumble. Again: words of wisdom that I needed to hear.
So no more complaining - my chin's up and I'm going to keep on keeping on! Life is good, and I'm grateful to be doing exactly what I'm doing. The biggest lesson in this is that we need each other: we aren't meant to struggle through life alone. We need the support and encouragement of friends and family and community. And the more authentic we are, the more others can support us in the hard times, and celebrate with us in the good. I'm so grateful for this Yellow Table community. Wish I could have you all over for dinner!
So let's talk about steak. I've got a recipe that's so delicious and so easy (always a winning combo in my opinion!), it will blow your socks right off. The lucky recipient of this dinner will think you slaved for hours. And in fact, it only takes about 20 minutes. Total. This meal was inspired by the many steak frites meals I've enjoyed in France: the steak always comes served with combo of potatoes (usually French fries, but sometimes roasted potatoes) and a big pile of salad greens in a spicy Dijon vinaigrette.
To be honest, I'm not a huge red meat eater. But my husband loves steak, so I try to make it for him every once in awhile. If I'm going to eat meat, I buy the good stuff, and just eat it in smaller portions. I like buying humanely-raised, grass-fed beef - it tastes better, and I can eat it with a clear conscience. Usually I buy skirt steak, NY strip, or hanger steak - both for the cheaper price and the great flavor – but recently I was craving a good filet mignon. The filets at a local butcher counter were cut into 8-ounce pieces (and were quite pricey) so I bought one, and cut it in half crosswise once I got home. That gave us two 4-ounce steaks, which was plenty of meat when served with roasted potatoes and salad.
So what's the secret of this magical steak? It's all in the ingredients: olive oil and butter, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and the real kicker: blue cheese. For the rest of the meal you need some baby potatoes (fingerlings are epsecially good), some mixed greens, Dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. That's it! Get your potatoes roasting while you work on the steak and salad, and everything will be ready at once.
For the steak, you need a good oven-proof frying pan (cast iron is especially good). The flavor for the steak comes in several layers: first, you salt and pepper the meat. Then you saute the garlic and rosemary in the butter and olive oil - you're essentially just flavoring the oil. Then you sear the steak on both sides until it gets a nice crust. Crumble some blue cheese on top, and stick the pan in the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking and just barely melt the blue cheese. Serve it medium-rare with roasted potatoes, a simple salad, and a good bottle of red wine. Then light some candles and pretend you're in France. Bon appétit!
ROASTED POTATOES + BABY GREENS SALAD
1 1/2 cup baby potatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 cups mixed baby greens
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. (Let the potatoes roast for about 10 minutes, then add the steak to the oven for the final minutes of cooking. Then your meal will be ready all at once!).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, Dijon, and olive oil until smooth. Toss with the salad greens until evenly coated.
Serve the potatoes and salad with the filet mignon (recipe above).