…and did I mention beef?
College students, or recently graduated college students, seem to be a hungry lot. My eldest has been home for a few weeks before going to her internship, and then off to graduate school for a Masters degree. Thankfully, I’ve lost some weight recently, and don’t resemble the side of beef that I did a short while ago, or I might have been made a snack!
Being not so good at this blogging thing, I didn’t take photos of one of the first meals I made for her. It was a New York Strip with fried onions and mushrooms with an incidental salad of mixed greens and multiple varieties of chopped veggies and nuts and cheese. I was actually very impressed with the salad, but my daughter only had eyes for the 12 ounce strip steak. I believe it may have been the very best steak I’ve ever made, but I have no photo evidence of that.
I prepared it by patting the steaks dry, and then putting them on a wire rack in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. Overnight is what I normally do. Thirty minutes before grilling these steaks (Who am I kidding? They were fried!) I took them out of the refrigerator to let them warm up a bit. then I sprinkled them very liberally with kosher salt. I let the cast iron pan get blazing hot, and then added a bit of peanut oil to it and threw in the steaks. I gave the steaks about four minutes before turning them over. I achieved the perfect browned crust! And no proof! Argh! The other side got about five minutes. I decided that the steaks were still a bit blue inside and flipped the steaks again and let it cook for just another minute. Perfect medium rare! I had already grilled some nice radially sliced Vidalia onions and Cremini mushrooms, sliced, in some tallow and butter. My daughter really appreciated her fix of beef!
The next day, for lunch, I made beef sandwiches from some Eye of Chuck I had gotten from the meat market. They were sliced about a 1/4 of an inch thick, and I bashed them into submission with a French rolling pin to about an 1/8th of an inch thick. I flash fried them on cast iron and smothered them in onions and mushrooms again, this time on a crusty, chewy batard (sort of). I added a bit of mayo and hot sauce for my sweet girl. She loved it! I thought they were pretty good too!
That evening we had a Sirloin steak which I prepared in the same way as the Strip steak, but which failed to achieve a nice, brown crust. The pan must not have been as hot as I thought it was. This was served with caramelized onions and avocados on top of the steak. The steak was quite tough – much worse than I would have expected from a sirloin. Still, the flavor was quite good, and though it provided more exercise than I had hoped for, it was passable.
For lunch the following day we repeated the steak sandwiches, but this time used avocado instead of mushrooms and onions.
Sadly, the beef extravaganza came to and end two nights ago when I made Filet Mignon, which did sear properly. It has been a long while since I’ve had Filet. More onions and mushrooms adorned these beefy medallions. It was so good.
Now there will be no more beef for quite some time. That should give me a bit of time to recover. Tonight I made a nice grain and chicken salad with a lime juice and oil dressing. I used some fresh tarragon and chive from my garden, and plenty of veggies. It was a nice change from the heavier meat based meals I’ve been making lately.
Now I leave you with a final thought from a grand old gal, Clara Peller. “Where’s the beef?”