D and I are empty nesters for a couple of weeks while Daughter #2 is in Nicaragua on a study trip with the Canada Food Grains Bank. She is not much of a meat eater. So, when we don’t have to take her preferences into consideration, we have meat, primarily beef at most evening meals. Our favourite treat to have with a steak is a fleshy/steamy baked potato with the “works”, as we learned to write it on our orders, when we both worked at The Keg Restaurant. The “works” means both butter and sour cream and chopped green onions and real pieces of bacon. Mushrooms are another favourite to have with a steak. I saute slices in a hot skillet with butter and garlic.
This week though, I changed things up a bit and seared a couple of thin New York steaks and then sliced them up to have over a salad of mixed micro greens with a fig and balsamic dressing. I found that corn on the cob is now in at Sobey’s so I steamed up a couple of cobs and placed a loaf of bread into the oven to bake. I typically make my own dough in a break-maker, but I recently found frozen bread dough (also at Sobey’s) that I used to buy, before I received my bread machine. It is the easiest thing in the world to place a frozen loaf under a tea towel on a prepared pan and throw it into the oven at the last minute. And what a treat-bread so hot that the butter just disappeared into its pores!
The steaks this week were the excuse I needed to try Earl’s Signature Steak Wet Rub that I received as a gift when I could not attend the preview of their spring menu event. The rub is made with olive oil, soya, garlic, lemon juice, porcini mushrooms and cayenne pepper. To this, roughly chopped fresh basil, rosemary and parsley is added. The wet rub tenderized our steaks and added such a depth of flavours. I had never enjoyed the taste of lemon on beef before-brilliant.
Of course the only archived steak photo that I have, depicts it smothered in barbeque sauce….
D started his career behind the broiler bar at The Keg and prepares a perfect steak. We are typically purists and only season a steak with Montreal Steak Spice which we enjoy on a variety of foods as well. I think that the exact ingredients are a closely guarded secret but our best guess is that it contains (in addition to coarse salt and pepper and dehydrated onion and garlic), paprika, crushed red pepper, caraway, dill and coriander seeds and perhaps some mustard.
With D’s flare (no pun intended) for steaks, he often pulls out all the stops for celebrations like birthday dinners. I recall one year when he offered up two choices of “toppers”. One was sauteed garlic shrimp and Bearnaise sauce and the other was a balsamic tomato salsa and goat cheese. Both were divine and it was impossible to choose between the two, so most of us had a nibble of each.
It has been a very long winter on the Canadian prairies but spring has finally arrived. D has his special tongs polished up and the barbeque has been moved into position. Let the grilling season begin!
Kath’s quote: “It is a very beautiful day. The woman looks around and thinks: ‘there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this. I did not know until now that clouds could be like this. I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago. I did not know that the wind could be tender, like hands as they caress – what did I know – until now?” – Unica Zürn
Love-that is all.