No Brainer

Today was the first day of my new full-time gig, so I knew I wanted a quick and easy dinner. (Not that cubicle land is terribly exhausting, but one can’t be too sure how one will react after being on couch duty for the past month.) We had some skillet steak and fresh bunches of kale from last nights grocery trip, and I figured I’d find a starch of some kind in the pantry (read: sole cabinet in our teeny kitchen).

This is probably the easiest, healthiest meal I’ve made in a while. Bonus: it was delicious and filling, without being too heavy. (Our cuts of meat were on the small side, which is best for dinner in my mind.) I promise that if you set your temperatures properly, you can’t mess this up.

20110414-082112.jpg

KALE: Set oven to 300F. Rip kale leaves off stalk, toss with 1 TBSP olive oil (they shouldn’t be soggy), spread them on a baking sheet, sprinkle sea salt on top and put in oven. Don’t touch them or open the oven door for 25 minutes, at which point you will turn the oven off, pull the chips out, and be amazed at their crispiness. Add more salt to taste, or not. Either way.

RICE: After you put the kale in the oven, boil some water and follow the instructions on the box to make wheat cous cous, which I highly recommend. It takes about 20 minutes; isn’t that convenient?

STEAK: Once you put your water on to boil, grab a cast iron skillet, add a bit of olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and turn heat to high. Take your steaks out of the package (the Internet recommends you will have pulled them out of the fridge already 30 minutes prior to take the chill off), and dry rub a bit of black pepper and garlic salt on both sides of each cut of meat. The skillet should be hot by now, so put the meat in and hear/smell/watch it sear. Five minutes on each side will get you a nice medium doneness. Adjust the time accordingly to your taste, but for goodness sakes, don’t touch them at all. Don’t cover them, don’t fuss with them. Walk away. (I cleaned the dining room carpet, myself.) After your time is up, turn the heat off and let the steaks rest on a plate for 10 minutes-ish. If you’ve been playing along, that’s how long it will take for your rice and kale to finish. See what I did there?

While my heart still belongs to the casseroles and crock pot meals of the world, it feels good to serve a “proper” plate once in a while.

Advertisements

Steak and Ale Pie

Abby’s (British) boss was boasting about her husband’s steak and ale pie a few weeks ago, and being that we love meat and beer, we knew it was going to have to be on the menu at some point.

(sidenote: it’s really hard to write in the third person and seeing as I’ve already messed up in sentence one, let’s just go ahead and accept that Abby is writing these. Thanks.)

So, we met my mother for a quick lunch in the strip district on Friday, and were still hemming and hawing about what to make for dinner given that our fridge was essentially missing any sort of protein. I remembered the pie, chastised AJ for not remembering it earlier, and we headed to Wholey’s. I felt like a recipe was necessary since I tend to prefer some guidance for my first time cooking a dish, so I googled “steak and ale pie” and picked on the first link that seemed reasonable.

Continue reading