Monday, July 26, 2010

What You Should Have Eaten #5

Couple-of-Minute Steaks and Potato Ragout

Again, I've forgotten to take a picture of the recipe, so here's a link.

Since the recipe calls for some dry white wine, I did what I always do: I went to the liquor store and got a bottle of some cheapo stuff. I went with a purpose, though. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I do enjoy it. I think the best I’ve had is a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. Of course, that runs a shade more than $20 per bottle, so I get that only for special occasions. This isn’t one, so I tried to find a cheap alternative. I’ve been getting Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc, but Plantation Fine Wine & Spirits was running a sale on Smoking Loon, so that’s what I got. It is now my favorite brand based on the name alone.

I hate to see an open bottle of wine just sitting there, so my cocktail won’t be a cocktail. Tonight I’ll be drinking the Smoking Loon Sauvignon Blanc. At about ¼ of the price of the Kim Crawford, I’m not expecting it to blow me away. I guess I’ll be comparing it to the Barefoot.

Well, I don’t like the aroma of the Smoking Loon as much as the Barefoot. That was weird to type. It’s less fruity, which is what I like about the Sauvignon Blancs I’ve had. Hmm, after tasting it, it actually reminds me of a sherry. It’s smoother, and again, less fruity. I think I’ll have to stick with Barefoot and admire this wine for only its name.

I’m out of rosemary, so a quick Google search, and now I’m substituting some Savory for the dried rosemary. It was either that or tarragon, and I’ve got more of the savory to waste use.

After earlier stating that I’m exclusive to broth over stock, I’m actually using chicken stock this week in an attempt to see if I can notice a difference. I’m doubting I will. [Yup, didn't notice a thing.]

I don’t like using basic ground black pepper, but I ran out of peppercorns a while back and forgot to refill my pepper mill. Some new peppercorns are already on the grocery list for next week.

Here’s the LamsonSharp knife I mentioned earlier. I’m using it to cube the potatoes. I’ll be using my favorite knife later on to slice the onions, then I’ll use the Lamson again to chop them.

I’ve only got one large skillet, and this recipe calls for two. I’m going to fix the steaks in the large one and hope that my medium one is sufficient for the potatoes.

I love cooking. I love it I love it I love it. I love it the same way I love writing or, when I used to do it, drawing. You’re taking this random conglomeration of ingredients and creating something new. You’re CREATING something. It’s magical. But you know what I hate more than anything having to do with cooking? Dealing with onions. I hate slicing them, dicing them, or chopping them. They sting the eyes, they smell nasty, and they really don’t taste all that well. I only include them in recipes because I feel like I’m cheating or failing a recipe if I don’t. I guess it’s a little part of my OCD. I also hate the way my hands smell after taking a knife to an onion. I still have yet to find something that’ll take the smell off. I’m scrubbing for about two days to get that stench off.

According to the checkmark next to this recipe, I’ve made it before. But I honestly don’t ever remember cooking a minute or cube steak (which I’m using) before. They’re thin and neatly scored, so I’m interested in seeing how big these cuts of meat end up being after they’re cooked. I’m expecting them to be somewhat small.

FYI, Parker (my oldest) came in and told me that the steaks smell like Chex Mix. I don’t agree, but you know what they say about “Out of the mouths of babes.”

I’m letting the kids eat their steak with ketchup. I’m a firm believer that good steak doesn’t need any sauce, but that’s only for adults. Kids get a pass for a LOT of things.

In both texture and taste, this steak reminds me a lot of liver, at least the liver that Dad made when I was little. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, ‘cause I don’t mind liver. But when I’m having steak, I want it to taste like steak.

I think I might have cooked the potatoes too long, because they’re about the consistency of mashed potatoes. I was expecting something more along the lines of hash browns. Either way, they’re still pretty tasty.

Okay, personally, I didn’t think this meal was a bust. My kids, on the other hand, did. I think the youngest would have cleaned his plate had the older two not decided to complain. He copies them like a parrot with low self-esteem. [And I turned out to be correct. My sister came over about an hour after dinner and I warmed up a plate for her. The little turd ended up eating half of her steak.]

I think I’d have to classify this meal as a big pile of meh. Definitely edible, but the best thing was the potato ragout. The steak was generic and passable. And it was a bust for the kids, so there’s no real hurry to make it again.

Of course, it was GREAT as a leftover. The potatoes were great with a smidge of ketchup, and the steak was wonderful warmed up as a sandwich with a slice of muenster and a dab of mayo.


Kate said...

Mmm, steak sandwich. Sounds awesome.

I think my dad gets Smoking Loon every now and again, but tends towards Barefoot as well. I think I've had Smoking Loon more frequently but to be honest my wine palate has been completely spoiled by 1. living close to the Wilamette Valley for so long and 2. having a friend who works in the French wine import business (he said, "You like anything from the Rhone Valley," and he was right.) Most of the Australian and American imports here are crap. Nowadays there's a good white Fume from a local vineyard - and I've had more people look at me in shock and say, "this is an ENGLISH wine??" - but I'm sort of sol on the stuff that I like, Cote du Ventoux being the best substitute I can find but still too expensive for a grad school income. I had this idea that French wines would be so much cheaper in England. They're not.

Rob Rosenblatt said...

I tend only to drink wine when I'm cooking with it, otherwise I'm a beer guy all the way. I'm finishing up a Sam Adams Summer Sampler pack right now, and their new IPA (Latitude 48, I think) is pretty good. I've found that I REALLY like their brews except for the regular lager or the light. I'll drink them after I've already had something else, but not to begin with.