Foodie In Training

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quick Steak dinner for 2 and good beer.

Cooking for two is much different than cooking for six. For the past few months, Erin and I have been living in my parents' house and on any given night there can be as few as one and as many as six people eating dinner together. Usually, my mom takes over most of the kitchen duties (which helps explain our lack of activity on FiT- that's Foodie in Training, for those not paying attention). Every now and then Erin and I will make dinner for everyone. Or my brother Greg and I will come up with some creation (our cavatelli with chunky tomato sauce and diced chicken was awesome).

But the last week, my parents and brother have been out of town, leaving Erin and I cooking for two, like we did quite often in Cincinnati. When cooking for two some things aren't as practical: huge roasts, baked pastas, casseroles, etc. We've made those things before, its just that you end up with more leftovers than dinner, and we get sick of the food before it spoils. Instead, our go-to meals usually involve a small package of some sort of meat and smaller sides.

On Tuesday, Erin and I bought a couple small steaks. They were pretty thick and lean top round cuts. Being so lean, and not the highest quality, I wanted a lot of flavor. I used salt, lots of pepper, oregano, parsley, and some "Mrs. Dash" seasoning blend (basically some dried onion, more pepper and oregano). I also added a drop of olive oil. Once my grill-pan was smoking hot with some Pam, I added the steaks, searing the pepper-heavy seasoning into the meat, creating a bit of a crust. (Caution- if you try doing this, make sure you are prepared for lots of smoke and your smoke detector going off. If, say, you are cooking at a home that has an alarm system that will call an alarm company and ultimately the fire department whenever a smoke detector goes off, you may want to disarm the system before you start cooking). I then turned the heat down a little and cooked the steaks to medium.

Erin made some spinach with lots of garlic and lemon (which is, again, my favorite vegetable side dish), a salad and a little brown rice. I also sauteed some onions and baby bella mushrooms for the steak and rice. The mushrooms and onions cut the peppery steak nicely. A nice little meal, just for two.

Beer: I tried a hI.P.A.- Magic Hat Brewing Company's extremely hoppy IPA. This is a beer made for hop-heads, and I fall into that category. There is a bit of a fruitiness, but your hardly can find it under all the hops at both the front and the back of the taste. I love IPAs, and one of the reasons is how well they stand up to hearty food, like steak. hI.P.A. is Magic Hat's spring seasonal, and let me tell you: I'm ready for spring. I've already had Great Lakes Brewing Company's spring varietal: Conway's Irish Ale. And, pitchers and catchers report today! IT IS SPRING!


Catharine Gagnon said...

Have you tried Magic Hat's #9 - beautiful light apricot ale, not to hoppy or bitter... Works wonderfully with sweet and spicy dishes, think BBQ ribs, teriyaki, braised meats... Yum yum! It's actually one of the few alcoholic beverages I'll consume simultaneously with foods, normally I'm kinda finicky about the change in flavors they can cause, but this just makes foods better!!! :D

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