Sunday, October 19, 2008

Veggies and some meat

Josh and Ruth came for dinner on Saturday night, which was an opportunity to try the something old, something new idea. Josh is a big meat eater, and loves steak, so I got some flanksteak. He also loves tomatoes, but tomato season is just about done. I did, however, have that box of tomatoes I wrote about the other day, so there was some tomato roasting in the plan. Bittman had written about a faster no knead bread, which was worth a try. And I wanted to get a veggie main dish in there.

First, the bread. I have to say, it was a disappointment. Not that it was BAD, mind you, but just boring and not WOW, the way the original no-knead bread is. The idea is you slop it together, let it rise about four hours, pull it out, turn it over a couple of times, let it rest about 15 minutes, and then plop it into the preheated vessel (I like a ceramic casserole dish that gives a nice round shape). The idea is to try to do in four hours what we were doing in 12-18 hours before. No. Not gonna work. The result was a tight crumb, and a flavor that wasn't very interesting. It was OK the next day as toast, but I really don't think I'm going to try this again. I will say this though. Bittman's recipe uses white flour, and I like whole wheat. My versions of the original no-knead are typically half white/half whole-wheat, and it comes out great. I did the same thing here, and was not happy; perhaps all-white will be better? I may try someday.

The tomatoes were good as the first time, which predates this blog. The recipe was taken from Orangette's blog, and definitely needed a reprise performance while tomatoes were still around. It was as wonderful as the first time....tomatoes, garlic, parsley, olive oil. Hard to beat. And they keep for days in the fridge. They're best eaten at room temperature, but what I discovered this time was that you can pop them in the microwave and warm them up a bit beyond room temperature -- somewhere between tepid and hot, and they are marvelous -- even without goat cheese. Just spooned onto some toasted hearty bread, with lots of the flavor infused olive oil. Ah...the memories!

The main course was the veggies. I had a nice bunch of Kale that Ruth was kind enough to chop for me. And a quarter head of cabbage which I chopped. Some onions. Carrot, julienned. Garlic. That's about it. The onions and garlic browned up nicely in the cast iron skillet, after which I put in the huge pile of leaves which cooked down pretty quickly to a manageable size. I think I added some pimenton. It was a nice sweet dish. The cabbage and the kale had two shades of green, and a sweet flavor.

And then there was the flank steak. Nothing too elaborate there. Josh took charge of seasoning, which was Penzey's Turkish Seasoning -- salt, garlic cumin, Telicherry black pepper, Turkish oregeno, paprika, sumac, cayenne, cilantro. On the grill, cooked perhaps a minute or two too long to medium, not medium rate and sliced on the bias. All served over brown rice.

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