Monday, September 8, 2008

Meat and Potatoes, Again?

As it is becoming more and more of a rarity for our family to be able to eat dinner together, I try to make those occasions memorable. Now, my husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and he really doesn't appreciate having that tried and true formula messed with. So of course, I do what I can to spice things up. Today's offering? Argentine steak with Chimichurri Sauce and a Potato Bar.

Chimichurri sauce is to Argentinians what catsup is to Americans.

I opted for Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Cimichurri Sauce.

Unfortunately, black swallowtail caterpillars are attacking my flat-leaf parsley, so I decided to halve this recipe. As this still made quite a bit of sauce, that ended up being a good call on my part.

And no, I have no intentions of moving or harming the caterpillars. I can share. (Besides, by the looks of these guys, they are about to pupate, so they won't be eating much more of my parsley anyway.)

So here are my players for the sauce: chopped garlic, shallot, basil, oregano and flat-leaf parsley. Extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and freshly squeezed lemon juice are in the mini-processor bowl. Freshly cracked black pepper, sea salt and red pepper flakes will also be added.

The ingredients are ready for processing.

And now you can see why I just knew that I should have ignored the recipe and gone with my instincts. The olive oil should have been added at the last, being slowly drizzled in while the processor ran so that it could form an emulsion. But, since I followed the recipe as written, I ended up with an oil slick on the top of the sauce. Listen to your instincts, folks.

Now we're moving on to the Baked Potato Bar. First, I fried up some bacon. Set aside, and reserve the bacon grease in the pan.

Add some sliced Crimini mushrooms and saute in the bacon grease. At the very end I add in some chopped chives, thyme and rosemary. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

And here we have the Chimichurri sauce and some of the toppings for the Baked Potato Bar. In the dish are the bacon, mushrooms, chopped green onion, minced celery, finely shredded carrot and broccoli florets. Diced chives, sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheeses round out the Baked Potato Bar toppings.

And finally two boneless rib eye steaks are added to the hot pan. The steaks are seasoned simply with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook to desired doneness and set aside, covered, to rest before slicing.

This was a nice, filling dinner. In fact, it was so filling that we three only ended up eating one of the steaks. Oh goody. Left overs for me for lunch.

And I'm definitely emulsifying the Chimichurri Sauce next time.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

I love your potato bar idea.
And I've been meaning to try a chimmichurri sauce for some time now.
You have inspired me. And I have 1/2 a flat iron left over from last night.

By the way, you could have just sauteed those caterpillars and added them to your potato bar fixin's for extra protein and crunch.

Marilyn said...

But, Rosie! Then there would be 3 less beautiful black swallowtail butterflies flitting around my garden next year.