What’s better on a cool, rainy evening than a warm kitchen? Not a whole lot I tell ya. My weekends lately have been a flurry of activities, parties, meetings, you name it, which has been fun, but it’s also exhausting, and sometimes I just want to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Maybe a freshly baked cookie. Just sayin’.
I also will get the urge to do a bit of nesting around the apt. and spend some more time in my cucina. It’s funny sometimes when you start eating out all the time, you start to crave party food. Until one day it sort of hits you and you become somewhat disgusted by your recent diet. Case in point: I went to Trader Joe’s on my way home late Sunday evening and gosh darnit if they don’t have the best selection of frozen finger foods! Quiche, spanikopita, meatballs, arancini, chicken tacos, crab cakes- you name it, it’s there (of course all in miniature form, which always makes things better.)
I had to step back from the freezer case and tell myself, “AT, mini frozen goodies with cheese do not constitute a real meal.” So, I went back around and picked up mundane everyday food instead.
Well, it may have seemed mundane in my grocery cart, but it actually turned out a pretty decent meal. A nice marinated pork tenderloin, w/rice & broccoli. Nothing earth shattering in terms of sides, but the pork was quick*, easy, and so good. It was tender, not dried out, perfectly marinated, a great choice for a rainy Monday.
Here is is about to go into the oven:
Now, I also must tell you about a steak. After a particularly rough day in the cubicle, I called my buddy Nate to see if he wanted to meet up & grab a beer, he was unfortunately working from home that day, but graciously invited me to what I’m sure would have been an amazing dinner with him & Kate. I initially said yes, but after missing the bus that would have gotten me there I decided that I should go home, unwind, and make myself something equally delicious. I probably wasn’t fit for company anyway. Those cubes, I’m telling you, have a way of just sucking the life out you some days.
Again, I digress. I trucked my self to Whole Foods, picked up a potato (for mashing), some greens, slivered almonds & craisins for a salad, and a hanger steak. The steak came out so well, I put the rest of it on a caesar salad the next day for lunch (yum!) Here’s the secret to the steak: heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, add 1 minced shallot and 1 garlic clove. Saute for a few minutes, and remove shallots & garlic from pan. Turn up the heat and sear your steak. I think it was maybe 5-7 mins on each side. Remove the steak and let rest under a foil tent. Return the shallots & garlic to the pan, adding 1/2- 3/4 cup red wine of your choice, and a tablespoon of butter, simmer and reduce. Top steak with the sauce et voila! A somewhat fancy meal for one. (And, no pictures b/c my camera battery died, which is too bad, it was one of the few pretty things I’ve made.)
*I say quick, but I did let it marinate all day while I was at work. I think it’s definitely worth it. Oh, and I also only used 1 tenderloin so I did everything in half. A lot of comments suggested adding honey for more sweetness, but I thought it was great as is.