In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Seventy-first Post ~ Herb Marinated Sirloin with Goat Cheese and Sage Mashed Potatoes

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought this sirloin. It was one of those "looks smaller in the store" moments, I think. It's enormous.

In any case, I decided to slice and marinate it for three reasons: 1.) slicing it up would enable me to easily eat some and store the rest of it, 2.) marinade would infuse slices far easier than a whole sirloin which means more flavor and 3.) I had some thinking to do, and nothing relaxes me like the aromatic process of carefully chopping fresh herbs.

So here's what you'll need for the marinade, which you'll want to prepare ahead of time:

~ Splash of whatever wine you have laying around (I had an Italian red)
~ Bit of olive oil
~ Ground sea salt
~ Fresh herbs (I chose rosemary, sage and thyme)

So this afternoon I poured a little olive oil and a splash of red wine into a bowl and chopped up some sage and rosemary and then added a few sprigs of thyme to the mix. Something about the scent of these fragrant plants coupled with the methodical motion of chopping is very relaxing. My paper was finished in no time following this task.

Mix the chopped herbs with the wine and oil. Slice the sirloin and then dip each side into the marinade, finally layering each slice in the bowl so it's well-coated. Seal tightly and refrigerate until you're ready for dinner.

I decided to use some more of the fresh sage I had by making some mashed potatoes, because I had fingerlings on hand and mashed potatoes is something I frequently crave but seldom make or order.

Here's what you'll need to satisfy this craving:

~ Six or so fingerlings, thinly sliced
~ Ground sea salt
~ Fresh (or dried) sage
~ Heavy cream
~ Butter
~ Goat cheese

Boil some salted water, slice the potatoes, and boil them until fork-tender. Mash them in a bowl with some cream, salt, a dash of butter, good amount of goat cheese (okay, now I'm seeing why it's a good idea for me to not make these too regularly...) and chopped sage. Cover them with plastic wrap so you can heat them up once in the microwave before serving them.

Coat a pan with some butter then start it heating (see this post to read about the sneaky ways I give in to my English heritage and butter my steak) and set the steak slices in the pan. They'll cook fast, so if you like your steak on the border between rare and medium-rare like I do, you'll be turning them quickly. When you turn them, pour on the rest of the marinade. Revel in the marinade's aroma as it hits the pan and remind yourself that this is why you adore buying bunches of fresh herbs and chopping them up when you need to de-stress.

Heat up the potatoes and garnish them with an optional sprig of rosemary and some pepper. Serve a few slices of the steak and save the rest for later (lunch, atop buttered toast? Perhaps...). I enjoyed this meal with some Bella Rosa, a lumbrusco-style red from New York State's Merritt Estate Winery. I normally would have anticipated wanting a fuller-bodied red for this meal, what with the goat cheese, herbs and red meat and all, but the fruitiness of this slightly sweet red made the herbal notes sparkle and mellowed out the richness at the same time. In my opinion, a wonderful pairing, and a satisfying dinner!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,

The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Seventieth Post ~ Goat Cheese Canapés

I was in the mood for a munchie this afternoon before grading, and so I made these, which were so simple I really wondered if it was worth blogging about them. But then I thought - simple is good! So here we are.

I was first introduced to the word (and concept) of canapés on board my first Celebrity cruise. My mom and I jokingly mispronounce them as "cuh-NAP-ees" because they always arrive in the cabin around nap time.

Well, today's "nap time" is going to be in the form of a cup of Starbuck's French roast, so I thought canapés would be fitting.

Here's what you'll need for these bite-sized snacks:

~ Baguette slices
~ Goat cheese
~ Fruit preserve (I chose apricot)
~ Fresh herb (thyme is my favorite!)

Preheat the toaster oven. Slice the baguette and dab a little goat cheese on each slice. Drop about a table knife-tip's worth of preserves on top, and scatter a little thyme over the whole deal. Bake for about as long as it takes for your 4-cup coffee maker to brew 2 cups.

Enjoy! Then back to work!

Yours in the love of good food and its re-energizing properties,