Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Sunday Tradition

This will be another photograph-free post, I'm afraid.  My week got away from me again!  I agreed to watch B.'s kids, as well as my sister's 4 girls, and had a pretty busy schedule besides that.  And, to top it off, I spent today with some odd flu-like thing.  Appetizing to think about, right?

Being all queasy and chilly meant that our weekly trip to the North Market didn't get to happen.  My Dude, being the awesome guy that he is, did the market shopping by himself, brought me back egg salad on challah, and skipped soccer to stay home and make sure things stayed mellow.  Fortunately, my stomach settled down in time for me to take part in the other half of our Sunday tradition: the preparing and consuming of the steaks.

It's serious business at our house.  We get 2 filets from Bluescreek Farms (not only do they now know our order, they tend to prepare ours in advance and age them a little longer.  It's seriously good enough to cry over.), baking potatoes from the Greener Grocer, and stop whatever we're doing to sit down as a couple and eat.  It's the only night of the week that the Little Dude eats something different from us, and usually before we sit down.  It doesn't stop him from coming back to mooch bites of steak and potato, either.

Our potatoes are pretty basic-wash them, stab them full of holes, rub with olive oil, pat on some kosher salt, and wrap them in foil.  We bake them at 400 degrees for at least one hour.  At the one hour mark, we start the steak, and the potatoes come out when the steaks are done.

For the steak, we've found a method of cooking that seems pretty foolproof to us.  We let the steaks sit out to reach room temperature (we usually get them out and unwrap them when we put the potatoes in to bake.), and then season them with salt, pepper, and dill on both sides.  We then cook them in a hot, dry skillet on medium heat.  This part is important, either use an oven-safe skillet, or preheat a baking dish in the oven.  Cook the steaks for 3 minutes on each side-if they seem to be getting a little too done for your liking, lower the heat a bit.  After both sides have cooked, put them into the oven with the potatoes.  We like our steaks pretty rare, so we let them bake for 5 minutes.  If you want them cooked longer, add another minute or two to the oven time.  We also check for doneness by gently pushing the tops of the steaks.  Rare feels like pushing your cheek with a fingertip, medium feels like pushing the tip of your nose.  If you want your filets well-done...I'm not sure how to advise you, because I consider a well-done steak to be about equal to chewing on a leather wallet.  ;-)

Anyhoo, once the steaks are done, take them out of the oven and let them sit.  I sometimes put a small pat of butter on each one, and let it melt.  I think it gives a richer taste to the juices.  While the steaks are resting, get your potatoes out and drop them on the counter.  I mean that.  Drop them a few times.  Make sure you're dropping on different sides of the potato.  They'll be ridiculously soft, and any butter or sour cream you add will melt and get into all the nooks and crannies.  Top them as you wish-we like to use garlic butter, but whatever floats your boat!

These steaks will be juicy, flavorful, and out of this world good.  I promise.  Pair your steak and potato with some nice wine, a salad, some decadent dessert-it'll make any night special, and with a minimum amount of effort.  And, as one-half of a couple with a kid, it definitely helps to take a little time out during the week to focus on your significant other, and enjoy time together.

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