Fine dining

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today was a good food day.  Me Darlin' Mrs and I got up early to make it in time for a seat (two of about 10) at the Colossal Cafe.  Sunny-side up eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast were transformed from simple morning staples to new heights.  The eggs were right on, the bacon was cooked crisp with a touch of cayenne and black pepper, the hash browns were acutally hash browns, not hash tans or hash whites.  The toast was awesome; home made bread that was freakin' grilled.  Buttery, golden brown on one side and still warm and soft on the other, or as Mrs Yam said, it was toastvana, the best toast she's had in a long time.  She's a toast junkie, so if she says this is good toast, it's good toast.  This is an example of a simple meal prepared with such skill and grace that it transcends into a meal to remember.

Thusly fortified, I went to work at the liquor store.  On my way out, I asked my boss, "I'm having steak tonight, what is something that I have to try?"  Bryan, someone whom has never failed me, recommended a marvelous Cabernet Sauvignon by Ghost Pines.  The subtle tannin loomed in shadows, never announcing its presence, but you are fully aware of it nonetheless.  It tasted of blackberry and dark plum and sour cherry.  There may have been other flavors, but I think I over-seasoned the surloin to catch any other notes.

Dinner consisted of the prime dry-aged surloins, cooked on a hot cast-iron skillet au poirve style (with unfortunately too much salt), carrots with ginger sauce (see recipe below) and green beans with mushrooms and a Balsamic vinegar reduction sauce.  We also baked up a rye bread from the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day for our fresh loaf.

We cooked the steaks in a dry skillet at 450 degrees after the skillet had been in the over with the bread for about 20 minutes.  Beforehand we made the carrots and ginger shown above:

  • 2 large carrots peeled and cut into 1/8 inch disks
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1/4 cup water
Melt the butter over medium heat and saute the ginger, mustard, cayenne and cardamom seeds until fragrant and the ginger is soft (about 5 minutes).  Add the carrots and the olive oil and turn the heat to high to cook the carrots until they start to soften (about another 5 minutes).  Add the honey and water, reduce heat to low, stir to incorporate honey into the sauce and cover and cook the carrots until they are cooked until they are mostly soft, like an al dente (about 10-12 minutes).


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