Tag Archives: steak

Lamb and coffee

I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.
~ Simon and Garfunkel

Glory of the humble steak.

For all its fuss-free ease (under eight minutes from pan to plate), it is one of my favourite experiences. Whisking clean laundry away into the bedroom (to avoid catching smells). Watching tiny showers of oil blitz with the sound of microscopic rockets onto the surface of the gas stove. Feeling fresh Wellington wind whip against my cheek as I stand at the hot stove with the kitchen window wide open. Seeing the meat lose its healthy blush and take on a golden, plate-ready glow. Slicing it, noting its soft seared / brown / pink layers… and just a trickle of juice flowing on to the plate.

Yesterday’s dinner: lamb steak, seared with ground chilli and a flick of oregano – and a fresh cup of black coffee on the side. I don’t want to say it was “magnificent”, since that seems too grand a word to bestow on a rapid dinner that took less than 20 minutes to prepare and eat… but to be honest, that is the word that flashed through my mind as I ate ;-)

And that is all I wanted to write about today. Good morning!


Pan to plate in 480 seconds

What kind of scale compares the weight of two beauties, the gravity of duties, or the ground speed of joy? Tell me, what kind of ga[u]ge can quantify elation? What kind of equation could I possibly employ?
~ Ani Difranco

There’s something about home-cooked steak. You know? So quick and so good? Hot pan, big splash of oil, lovely sizzling noise when meat meets pan? Juicy eye fillet, quick shake of salt and pepper, runny yolk, savoury-sweet onion? Loud thoughts of “I am very happy right now” emerging from mind and mouth?


Easy does it

But then the first courses were there, and I was tasting the velouté of oysters, holding it in my mouth so I could savour the smooth, rich feel of the liquid as I picked out the flavours, first the oyster itself, then a hint of lemongrass. I felt the sea urchin slide beneath my tongue, as subtle and sneaky as the glow of a buttercup under your chin, and then admired the pop of the caviar as it was crushed beneath my teeth. It was wonderful soup, as if the chef were dreaming of the sea.
~ Ruth Reichl, Garlic and Sapphires

One sunny evening last week, I cooked and ate this:

Angel hair pasta, sexy and heavenly and smooth, covered with a tangy cloud of sweet onions, various ground red spices, fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, zucchini, lovely slivers of sundried tomatoes, candy cane strips of capsicum and a dusting of black pepper and brown sugar. It was delicious, I kid you not. It tasted like delicate and crunchy rays of sunshine…

This was quick and easy to make, and I didn’t think I’d soon find a quicker and better meal to fix than this. I thought this was going to be my new staple (for nights I cook at home, anyway). As it turns out, I was wrong…

It was the day after this, I think, that my cold burst through my lungs and through my nose, stomach and pores. It was quite horrible, and after I exhausted my supply of tissues, manuka honey tonic and willpower, I found my way to my (new) doctor and then to the supermarket.

I don’t know why I didn’t buy more “sick food” like – oh, I don’t know – rolled oats or spinach or something? I bought honey, lemons, ginger – and – beef and chocolate.

I stumbled home with my groceries, sweaty and hot and cold and slightly miserable, made myself a cup of honey lemon & ginger, then warmed some olive oil in a skillet, shrugged and threw in the piece of eye fillet I had gotten. (Also steamed some kumara slices in a small pot – took around 8 minutes to cook).

I cooked the eye fillet for approximately 4 minutes on each side, listening to the satisfying sizzle and opening the windows to air the house – then shook some salt and pepper on the browned steak and sat down with the steak and kumara to watch a DVD.

It’s silly, but when I cut a cube of beef and put it into my mouth, my eyes widened in surprise at how good it was. It was amazing! Why haven’t I cooked steak more often! Simple and unadorned, browned and rich and impossibly tender, gently pink right in the middle – it was sweet and salty and peppery all at once… just… so good. I forgot the DVD and my running nose; I just concentrated on the wonderful taste of this.

Satisfaction in 8 minutes! Faster to prepare than aforementioned pasta!

Love how the simplest and quickest meals to make can be the best sometimes.