Friday, March 14, 2008

While the Mice are Away, the Cat Will Play

My family left me on my own today, as my daughter and her friend decided to go shopping in Downtown Indianapolis this morning before heading over to watch the second session of the Big 10 Tournament. Luckily for them, they will get to watch one of their friends play for Purdue University before settling in to see Indiana University in action.

In a strange twist of fate, my husband also managed to procure tickets to that same session, so he headed up this afternoon with a couple of his co-workers. They plan on eating out before the game.

So, where does this leave little ole' me? Home alone, of course! Too bad my husband 'borrowed' my car, it rained most of the day and I had laundry to do. However, I did decide to play to my palate for dinner tonight. I absolutely adore main course salads. In fact, I'd say that only a really great sandwich could eclipse my love of entree salads.

I pulled out a rib eye steak and played with a new salad dressing. Meanwhile, I cut and chopped the ingredients for a fabulous salad and hard boiled an egg. Just as always, whenever I need to hard boil one egg, I do more so that I can then have them on hand for other dishes or just a snack. There are many different suggestions for how to get the perfectly cooked egg. This is my version and it never lets me down: place egg(s) in a pot, add water till it almost covers the egg(s). Set the timer to 9 minutes, 20 seconds. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down the heat to a simmer. Turn the timer on. Put ice and cold water in a bowl that is large enough to hold the eggs. When the timer goes off, place the eggs in the ice water and add more ice if necessary, to completely cover the eggs. Once the eggs have cooled, remove them from the ice water and store in a dry container in the refrigerator until needed.

Now onto the rest of the meal...

The starting line-up for my Asian-inspired salad dressing. Here we have reduced sodium soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, canola oil, honey, garlic and ground ginger. Unfortunately for you, I did not follow a recipe, but simply added and tasted and adjusted until I was happy with the results.

And the final plating. I chopped romaine lettuce, julienned a carrot, sliced some cucumber, celery, roma tomato, red onion and a crimini mushroom, and added a few sugar snap peas. I seared the steak and allowed it to rest before slicing about half of it for my salad. I then added a sliced hard boiled egg and topped with shredded smoked gouda cheese. A drizzle of my Asian dressing finished the dish.

And it was good. I am full and happy. And I don't have to fight to get the remote from anyone. Maybe the mice should go out more often.

Post script: Starting with the previous post, you can now click on my pictures to enlarge them. I must tell you that I have to go through some extra steps in order to get them to cooperate, but you are all worth it.

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