Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Surf and Turf Dinner with a side of noodles?

This is the look our dog Chia gave me last night as I was preparing dinner.  She stuck to me like glue hoping I would accidentally drop just a tiny morsel of food for her to grab before I could pick it back up.  Ah, but unlucky for her I was making steak and salmon, and no way would I drop that on the floor.  (lol) 

It was a one pan dinner, so great in the cleaning department!  First I seasoned the steak, a sirloin, with salt and pepper.  I like to keep things simple.  I have seasoned it many ways in the past including with steak sauce, garlic salt, seasoned salt, mixture of soy and worchestershire sauces, oyster sauce, ... but salt and pepper is still my favorite.  I put a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a heated pan and gently laid my steak in it.  I like my steaks rare to medium rare, so it only takes about 4-5 minutes of each side.  My cousin, Tony, taught me that if the steak feels similar to the cushy part of my palm under the thumb, then my meat is medium rare.  I love this tip because in the past I've always either over cooked or under cooked. 

For the sides, I usually make caramelized onions, garlic spinach, and mushrooms in butter and red wine sauce, but I wanted something different.  I was craving potatoes, but when I went to the market, I found these super fragrant tomatoes on vines.  I never noticed them before.  Size-wise they are between a roma and a cherry tomato.   I bought a few vines full and am so glad I did.  I had sliced them in half and cooked them in the pan around the steak during the last few minutes of cooking.  No seasoning, no oil needed, they just soaked up the steak juices.  They are SO sweet and tomato-y.  WOW!  I don't know if I would put them in soups or pasta dishes since they are almost like a fruit, but it was a pleasant surprise.

After I finished cooking the steak and tomatoes, I sliced a Yukon gold potato, seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, and e.v.o.o. and threw them into the pan.  It was a bit laborious to cook in the pan, I could have fried them or stuck them in the oven, but I was going for less cleaning.  In the end it wasn't too bad.  It took maybe 10-15 minutes to cook all of it.  If I had thinner slices, it would have been done much faster.

So now onto the salmon.  Same as the steak, simple salt and pepper, but this time at the end of the cooking I hit it with a few squeezes of lemon juice to cut out any hints of fishy-ness.  And done!  So quick and easy... 

Oh, but D had other plans for me, he was feeling noodle soup for dinner.  I guess one pan clean up was too good to be true.  I started to protest, and he said he would make it, so I had to jump in.  His concoctions usually leaves a BIG mess and an even bigger tummy ache.  :-P  So I threw a pot of water onto the stove, pulled out any "leftover" veggies from past meals, and found some scallops, black forest ham, and pork dumplings.  Once the water boiled, I tossed a handful of Chinese noodles and the dumplings to cook for a few minutes, and then threw everything else in.  I seasoned it with a little salt, white and black pepper, and some chicken bullion.  Done!

Oh, but Chia looked so sad not having had anything to sweep off the floor.  Plus everything smelled so good.  In the end she didn't get any sirloin, but she did get a gourmet meal of turkey and veggies with gravy from Natural Choice dog food.  :-P 

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