Don’t worry, I know what’s at Steak!
My dad and Sally were in town this week (Palm Springs, officially) and wanted to meet up for a few meals. Well, with this whole blogging adventure I’ve been so consumed with, it just didn’t seem right not to invite them over for a home-cooked meal at least once. The dilemma, though, was coming up with a meal that would appeal to everyone. I needed to come up with a dinner that would be simple enough for my dad’s tastes (he’s definitely a meat and potatoes kind of man, and just like Jeremiah, doesn’t generally prefer to eat the foofoobougiegirl food I like) yet interesting enough to impress Sally. Haha, yes, I have a tendency to put unnecessary pressure on myself to be a hostess that wows my guests, even in our little commode of an apartment. On top of that, I was hoping it would be healthy enough to fit in with my current dieting goals, AND be enough quantity and substance that it filled Jeremiah up and keep him from snacking after dinner. Simple but fancy but healthy but filling. Holy cheese what did I get myself into??
After much contemplation, many hours poring over cookbooks, crying, praying, posting “Have you seen me?” flyers with a picture of a sad, lost recipe all over town… I remembered something I had made a long time ago: Chimichurri Steak. Chimichurri is a sort of sauce – or non-spicy parsley-based salsa – typically served alongside Argentine food (usually grilled meats). I figured chimichurri provides a great fresh flavor, but won’t add extra carbs or calories. Since it’s a sauce you pour over the top, you can decide how much or how little to use (or forego it altogether if you just want a plain grilled steak). We bought HUGE top sirloins so I knew Jeremiah would be happy with a big slab of medium rare beef, and we could all enjoy the unique Argentine dish together. The recipe I found in our fabulous cookbook 29 Minutes to Dinner was actually meant to be a steak salad, so the chimichurri salsa could double as a dressing. I recall it being great that way, but with my father in mind I opted to keep all of the meal’s components separate.
I actually doubled the salsa part of the recipe to prepare about 2 cups’ worth while Jeremiah grilled the steaks. I also made a big salad with some red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, sliced radishes, cucumbers, carrots and celery I had bought at the final farmer’s market of the season (summer gets too hot to have the fresh organic produce sit out like that, plus no one is willing to venture out of the air conditioning to go buy it), and put croutons and a few dressing options on the side. I made some plain steamed white rice in my Rice Cooker Plus for anyone who wanted a simple side dish (Ryley absolutely loves white rice), and then bought some cauliflower to make a slightly more fun side. Originally planning to cover the cauliflower in melted cheddar (you know me and my cheese), one of the girls in my weight loss group suggested garlic parmesan, and that actually sounded really tasty. I steamed the cauliflower in my Large Micro-Cooker with a little splash of water, drained the water, and then let the natural moisture help the pressed garlic (with my Garlic Press, of course) and shaved fresh parmesan (Adjustable Fine Microplane Grater) stick to it so I could avoid adding any oil or butter.
Everything was delicious, and made quite a nice complete little meal. The only issue I couldn’t have foreseen was that Sally unfortunately took extremely ill and wasn’t able to make it to dinner. Oh no! Little did I know, however, she doesn’t actually eat much meat (and here I am making steak as the piece de resistance of a meal for a vegetarian. I’m so rude; there goes my nomination for hostess of the year!!). So, although we were disappointed to miss out on seeing her right away (and quite concerned about her wellness), I kind of lucked out with my meal choice. Don’t worry Sally, next time I attempt to impress you two with my culinary feats it will be a fantastic vegetable-heavy dinner (sorry dad, but they’re good for you)! I will also admit I’m incredibly relieved that you were sick BEFORE my cooking, as supposed to AFTER… 😉