Saturday, April 16, 2005

Food & Friends III

Klay, Nana, Uyen & Charles came by for dinner, then we added Colin for a couple insane games of pictionary. We had New York strip steaks (which were on sale at Safeway), Garlic Rosemary mashed potatoes, and grilled zucchini, along with some salad greens. The steaks turned out ok - some were mildly overdone, 'cause they happened to be a bit thinner than the rest, but by and large, not too bad. I still haven't really figured out in practical use what the "good" cuts of meat are, and what the "bad" cuts of meat are. These had a good amount of flavor, but had some gristly connective tissue - not much, but it was definitely there. I liked the texture and the flavor - we just pan-seared them with butter, and broiled 'em in the oven. One thing - tomorrow, I'm going to find a decent probe thermometer, dammit. Ours now doesn't read properly, and I'm so used to using the probe that I'm used to not paying attention. Probably a bad habit, but if the technology's there, and it's more accurate than my perception, why not use it?

The grilled zucchini was simply coated in olive oil, with salt & pepper, and put onto our grill pan (a cast-iron griddle/grill pan from Lodge) and cooked 'till it looked done. We had a bunch of brown mushrooms that I sliced, and used them to deglaze the pan - the mushrooms give off enough moistrure on their own, but I hit it with a shot of vermouth, then mounted it with a couple dabs of butter. Not bad, I think. The mashed potatoes were pretty standard - peeled, diced, boiled, mashed with butter & cream. Then I figured we've got rosemary, and garlic, so I put a glug of olive oil into our small saucier, minced a couple cloves of garlic, chopped up some rosemary, and sauteed that for a bit, then added it to the mashed potatoes. I probably needed triple the amount of garlic & rosemary for it to really have packed a punch, but it was subtle.

All in all, feeding 6 people for <$50 ($48ish) ain't too bad. The pictionary that ensued afterwards was awesome, and I have to remember to explicitly consider the housemates when we do these sort of things. I only bought 6 steaks, and felt like an ass about it while cooking - fortunately, he didn't happen to be home during dinner, but that may have been a causal thing. I hope not, but in the future, I'll be more considerate. :P Just one of those things that happened organically, but still.

Anyway - a good time was had by all, I think. I certainly couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening. Well, maybe sans allergies, which were a total, unmitigated disaster for me today.


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