Monday, January 22, 2007

Unlike my friend Molly, Jeff and I hardly ever go out on Friday nights. It is just too exhausting to even think of getting back in the car after a work week, so we are either condemned to take out or we have a home-cooked date-type meal. The problem is that I am also usually too exhausted for any elaborate date-type meal, but the good news is that is not too much of a problem when you love steak. Grilling up a steak with some sauce is simple, and indoor cooking of steak in a cast-iron skillet is also super simple, if sometimes smoky. My favorite method involves a ton of butter and some hollandaise (somehow the reward of hollandaise makes me forget I am exhausted) but this week we had Jeff's favorite, the "black and blue" beef from Forever Summer. I am not entirely sure what a rump steak is but find this works best with a flank steak- although with a thin flank steak it is hard to get both the char on the outside and an especially rare center, so black and blue is very rarely how I actually serve it. The most important thing to remember is to wipe the marinade off the steaks before searing- the moisture will inhibit the searing, otherwise, and the scallions will totally burn. Also, serve it over rice and feel free to pour any juice from the rested steak right over the rice.
Accompanying the rice was the teeny tiny just in asparagus- I love the thin spears, way more than the thick stubs you get later in the spring. And my favorite way to cook them remains this method, from A New Way to Cook:
-Brush however much asparagus you want to eat with up to a tablespoon of the fat of your choice. (Brown butter is excellent, olive oil is fine, but for this I used Sally Schneider's Five Flavor Oil, which appears in both ANWTC and The Improvisational Cook- one of a few repetitions that sort of annoyed me until I realized she had repeated the recipes I use constantly, so at least she was revisiting the best. I always have some of this oil in my fridge.)
-Toss on a pan and roast at 450 for 20-25 minutes, turning once. (Fatty stubby asparagus takes longer, and you can roast it to your desired level of crispiness, too. I like them extra-crispy.)
-Pepper liberally.


Unknown said...

My Fridays have devolved...last week we ordered sushi and made a big deal out of using the table instead of our laps...your Friday looks pretty good to me!! There is no such thing as too much asparagus! Charred asparagus (on purpose) and some sort of seared meat are a fave meal around here -- I usually use my LC grill pan and am an olive-oil-sea-salt-lots-of-pepper person. Yum!

Hannah said...

You still out-sophisticate me-- if only for your willingness to wash a grill pan. (Have grill pan, have not used it in years.)