We like to squeeze every last drop out of the time we have together. As probably mentioned before, or as at least as you most certainly could surmise, we make eating an event because often that is what time we have together. C got out several hours early on Saturday so we were so looking forward to it! Let’s go out! It has been awhile, and we finally had a few extra hours to take advantage of so that was the plan.
Then, he got home and we went back and forth between going out and staying home and cooking. As usual…once that conversation starts volleying back and forth, the decision usually winds up being staying in and cooking. But, along with that comes grocery shopping, and we always enjoy that together (I know…you probably think we are nuts). It might partially be because it is something I often have to do myself (though I enjoy that too, just not as much), but I think it is because we enjoy the whole cooking process from selecting the ingredients, to prepping, cooking, and the best part of enjoying the meal!
So, we decided it was a good night for steak night! We already had a plan for Sunday night dinner so we went to Whole Foods armed with dinner plans for the next two nights. The quality of the ingredients is always so evident. And…. It is cheaper than going out! Plus, most importantly we enjoy cooking together. We don’t usually look at it as a chore (though naturally we all have our days when want to just order something).
Instead of having an appetizer and entree we decided to stick with our trusty old board and do it up altogether! On the menu- crab cakes with a choice of horseradish aioli or curry aioli (we had them both on hand and figured why make something else), shishito peppers making use of the same sauces, roasted garlic mashed potatoes (it has been awhile since we had a nice silky mashed potato!), and a nice grass-fed ribeye salted and cooked to perfection in a skillet on the grill.
We figured we could fry the crab cakes then reheat in the oven before serving so we started with them. A nice container of lump crab meat, diced peppers and onions, fresh parsley, chives, dill, an egg, some Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, Worchester sauce, and bread crumbs to help it solidify. Mix the crab mixture together while heating up some canola oil in a flat frying pan. Once the oil gets hot enough (good trick is to put a breadcrumb in the oil and if it starts to sizzle you are ready to go. You don’t want your crab cake soaking in cool oil…it won’t taste good at all!) carefully place the patties in the oil. You want to just brown and then flip. Then when they were browned on both sides we set on a wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
In the meanwhile, we cut up a few russet potatoes and boiled in some salted water. You don’t want to over boil, just so that they are basically fork tender as they say, keep checking on them. Some people take the skin off, we prefer to leave it on…up to you! Once they were done we strained and put aside in a pot with a little olive oil. We had about a table spoon and a half of “smooshed” roasted garlic in the freezer we defrosted and kept aside for the potatoes.
The steak which has been sitting room temperature a bit then gets salted. You don’t want the red of the meat to disappear from the salt, but you definitely want to salt it liberally on both sides. Then let it sit longer. We like to cook it in the skillet on the grill. Our feeling is then it gets the best of both worlds…a little bit of grill smoke with the flat-top like cooking in its own fat. By using the skillet on the grill instead of on the stovetop, you get to keep the smoke out of the house and prevent everything from smelling like steak for a week. Which though it sounds delicious really isn’t as good as it sounds.
When cooking the steak, you are best off with a digital thermometer. You do not want to overcook it. Also, be sure to take it out and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This holds in all the juices. Your ideal steak will be seared in the crisp salt on the outside and tender and pretty pink on the inside and the thermometer just takes the guesswork out of that.
The mashed potatoes get finished with salt, pepper, and melted butter and milk (you could use some chicken stock if you want to keep it slightly healthier). The consistency of the potatoes comes out so much better if the butter and milk are melted…make sure you do this step and throw in some cut up chives for color and a little flavor! Mash with a potato masher until your desired consistency.
Last step is the shishitos…so simple. Use the hot skillet on the grill with some of the steak drippings and toss a couple times on the grill. Take out and add sea salt. Doesn’t get much simpler than that and it is a great addition to the meal!
We serve everything on our board and dig on in! We cheers to each bite and savor the time we have together that we try to NEVER take for granted!