Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another Snowy Day

The weather forecasters really missed this one. We were supposed to get 1 to 2 inches of snow by the end of the day. Instead, we got 3 inches in about 2 hours. Oh, did I mention that it was during morning rush hour? My husband's normal 20 minute commute to work took 45 minutes, while my daughter's 20 minute commute to campus took a full hour. At least they arrived at their destinations safely, and for that I am thankful. White-out conditions caused some nasty accidents in the state, including a multi-vehicle accident with fatalities within sight of my son's house. And you still wonder why I don't like winter?

At least I have the luxury of being able to stay home most days. Ah, the joys of retirement.

And the snow from last week had just started to melt. At least I had been able to get out to fill the bird feeders the day before.

This seems to be a 'sticky' snow.

All right, I'm stuck inside once again, so obviously I need to cook something. Since my daughter and I were eating alone, I asked her for ideas for dinner. After some thought, she requested steak with Jack Daniels sauce and mashed potatoes.

Of course, her favorite mashed potatoes come from the store. She absolutely adores Yoder's mashed potatoes. The daughter doesn't like lumpy mashed potatoes, while I like to have lumps in my mashed potatoes. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that while growing up we often had instant mashed potatoes made from dehydrated potato flakes from a box?

I made an executive decision that in order to make a proper meal we would need some green vegetables. Ah ha! We have some leftover broccoli, carrots and celery from our Super Spread. I think a quick saute is in order.

But first, I have to make the Jack Daniels Sauce. Yes, I know that that is not Jack Daniels whisky. It's what I have on hand. My red wine vinegar was skanky, so I had to substitute white wine and cider vinegars. But hey, I was snowed in. I also subbed real garlic for the garlic powder. That should even things out, right?

My daughter asked me to make a triple batch so that there would be sauce for later.

That's it! No more tears! I'm getting out the chopper to finish off these nasty onions.

All of the ingredients go into the pot. Notice that the level of the liquid is just under 1 liter.

Now, the recipe directs you to bring the liquid to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Since I was making a larger batch, the actual time was more like 45 to 60 minutes. But that's okay. I wasn't going anywhere.

The sauce has reduced to a nice syrup.

I ended up with just 2 cups of the sweet/spicy sauce. My daughter is one happy girl.

I pulled out some veggies for yet the side dish. Here I have carrots, broccoli florets, green onions, celery, crushed red pepper flakes, canola oil and soy sauce. I think I can make this work.

The veggies cook quickly over high heat. A pinch of red pepper flakes nicely seasons the veggies. A splash of soy sauce is added at the very end.

I like my veggies to be crispy, so I made sure to pull them out before they lost their 'bite'.

And now it's time to cook the steak. I have a boneless rib eye steak that I seasoned with kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and olive oil. Both sides seared before the cast iron pan was pulled off the heat and a double layer of aluminum foil was placed over the pan. After several minutes, the steak was removed to a plate and allowed to rest with the foil over the top.

This was a nice meal for a snowy winter evening. I also had some tabbouleh left over from the day before.

The veggies were cooked just the way I like them. Tender-crisp, with a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes and the umami from the soy sauce.

The steak was cooked to medium-rare. The Jack Daniel's Sauce added just the right piquancy to the meat. The potatoes satisfied my daughter's craving for the creamy goodness of real mashed potatoes.
My poor husband doesn't know what he missed.

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