Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Fat in the Fire

The night air was cool and crisp, yet begged for a simple meal, preferably something char-grilled and touched with smoke. DucCat immediately got to work on the Weber, expertly coddling the coals, and was soon twisting and flipping two very fat Costco-sized steaks.

As things began to calm down out there, I remembered the mushrooms still simmering on the stove, and went to finish those off. The recipe was based upon one from Marcella Hazan's Essentials Of Italian Classic Cooking, and contained simple button mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary, all cooked down nicely with a little chicken stock. It truly made the house smell wonderful.

Just as the mushrooms finished, DucCat sailed back in with a platter full of piping hot steaks and grilled bread, and we were ready.

The little blob next to the steak was purported to be horseradish- Helluva Good (brand), in fact. I thought we'd had this kind before, and even enjoyed it. This batch in particular was so mild and humdrum that I just gave up, and ate the steak plain- DucCat resorted to steak sauce. Oh, the humanity.

Now this was really not my best idea. We were out of spinach, so I just thought it would be fine to toss the piping hot mushrooms on top of the salad, and have at it.

Er, not so much so. I scraped out the mushrooms onto the grilled bread- a huge improvement. DucCat didn’t care for the mushrooms so much- too much rosemary, even though I'd used less than specified.

(Full disclosure: when I first met him and was trying to learn how to cook in order to win his heart, I made something with rosemary. Perhaps some sort of pork tenderloin? When adding the fresh rosemary, there was quite a bit left over, so I didn't see the harm in throwing it all in. I mean, it was just an herb, so more would just be better, right? Ha! It was like chewing on pine needles, and after several moments of grim munching, we threw it out, and just ate more bread and cheese. He told me last night that he used to like rosemary, but is now permanently scarred by that horrific tenderloin.)

All in all, a great meal, but I'd had an Amateur Gourmet-inspired Pumpkin Apple Bread craving all day long. DucCat gave the thumbs up, and soon the house was redolent with cinnamon, apples, and pumpkin. After a long, hot summer, it was so nice to have those scents wafting through the air again.

In about 45 minutes, the bread were ready to come out of the oven. I didn't think that the tops looked quite golden enough, so I pulled out my trusty blowtorch to caramelise them just a bit. As you can see, there's a bit more carbon up there than caramel.

It wasn't until this point that I finally finished reading the recipe, which stipulated close to two hours of cooling time.

Two hours, are you kidding me?!?

As there were two loaves, I decided that one would just have to take one for the troops, and chopped it right on up. It certainly didn't seem to suffer in the least, all moist and hot and spicy and... you get the idea. Welcome Autumn, and thanks, Adam!


Blogger Maureen said...

Hmmm...now I'm craving a nice charcoal grilled steak, and it's only 8 am. What kind of wine did you serve with the steaks?

October 18, 2005 10:10 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

We had it with the Star Hill Syrah 1999. No picture, alas- the steaks were too much temptation! ;)

Anyway, the wine was a good match for the steak. Dark fruits and nice, smooth mellow tannins that wrapped around smoke.

Come to think of it, I also neglected to post the wine we had with our Sunday cheese tray!

October 18, 2005 11:08 AM  
Blogger vlb5757 said...

That bread looked killer! I was eyeing that can of packed pumpkin all day but resisted the temptation. I will need to break it out here shortly when my son comes home from Iraq. He loves any kind of bread like that. I have the over ripe frozen bananas in the wings. I am looking for a good zucchini bread recipe that incorporates chocolate. Got one?

October 18, 2005 4:44 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

S'kat, that steak is downright drool-worthy. Beautiful!

October 18, 2005 8:38 PM  
Blogger vlb5757 said...

S'Kat, I wanted to let you know that I had a two hour interview with a food writer for the Daily Press this afternoon. I told her about your blog in NN and she got excited. I gave her your site address and she will be doing some research. If a woman named Prue contacts you it's her. I was hoping to get you and I in the paper about our blogs and what a wonderful group of folks there are out here. Let me know if you hear from her!

October 19, 2005 4:03 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

We have those same steaks! I actually made hubby cut them in half because I was afraid they wouldn't grill up properly. Guess I was wrong - he'll be happy to know since we have more.

October 19, 2005 4:43 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Vicki, I haven't made zucchini bread in some time, though I've a recipe that I quite enjoy. It may be that time of year again to break it on out, although I daresay Clotilde would probably have the perfect loaf for you.

And congrats on the newspaper interview, I am so looking forward to seeing it! It would be a lot of fun to dabble into the print world, lol.

Molly, thank you- and it was!

Jen, they can grill up properly, but you have to be extremely attentive due to their smaller size.

October 19, 2005 7:38 PM  

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