For dinner we’re eating pepper-crusted seared steak served with rosemary roasted baby patty pan and zucchini squash along with garlic and parmigiano reggiano smashed yukon gold potatoes. The steak and potatoes were finished with a dry sherry pan jus.
A: hey, t? do you think it’s bad that i buy food purely on the “cuteness factor”?
T: Ahhh… I suppose you’re talking about these little squash thing-a-ma-bobs. As long as what you’re making is as tasty as these were it’s not bad at all! However, I know you think that nothing is cuter than a kitty cat, so…
A: i’ll reassure you that for the time being… and in this country… i’ll not be bringing home any cute little kitties to cook up for dinner! now baby patty pan and zucchini are a whole different story.
T: Ok, that’s good. I hear carnivores are pretty untasty, so unless the kitty were a vegetarian it would be better off as someone’s pet.
A: agreed. now if we can just find a “grass-fed cat farm” we can give it a whirl.
T: Obviously we’re joking, but we probably just made a few enemies out there in the blogosphere Can’t folks joke about eating kitty cats?
A: of course they can. and for the record, if i was in a foreign country and someone served me a cat, i wouldn’t hesitate to eat it. i eat all other animals. i don’t discrimi-hate. moving on! so what did you think of this cozy, rustic meal?
T: It was easy to tell that the steak had been sitting in the freezer for a few too many months… although I think you did it as well as it was going to be done. The squashes were really tasty (and cute), and the mashed potatoes were excellent. It was all very standard home-cooking, but was very tasty nonetheless.
A: i pretty much agree with everything you just said. we’re not huge beef eaters so the steaks had been in the freezer for a few too many months. the rosemary roasted veggies and garlic parmigiana smashed potatoes rocked. the sherry pan jus helped the steak a bit, but it couldn’t cover up how “aged” the meat was. I give this meal a 3.8/5. It loses points for part of the ingredients being crappy, as well as lack of technical difficulty. this was a super simple meal.
T: Yeah, we’re really spoiled aren’t we? I give it a 4.15/5. The mashed potatoes were my favorite part, and they were quite good. The cuteness of the squash definitely propped up the score a bit too. The steak is what was killing this one… and it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. Folks have definitely done way worse, though.
A: it’s true. we certainly take for granted the fact that we can eat a meal like this when ever we want, and it’s not just rice for dinner.
T: yeah, or Ramen, which is what it would be if I were in charge. Ramen and cinnamon toast. That would be a kickass blog.
A: uh, yeeeeah…. suuuure it would. for like 5 seconds before it started to suck.
T: Yeah I would have to keep it innovative… that would come in the form of different shaped pieces of toast and varying bowls for my ramen.
A: dude, you could even do a cinnamon toast flavored ramen.
T: dude. you’re not even taking me seriously are you? That is such a bad idea
1 lb assorted baby squash
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 lg clove garlic, minced
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a sheet pan, drizzle squash with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle rosemary, garlic, salt and black pepper evenly over the squash. Toss to coat. Roast the seasoned squash in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until just tender all the way through and starting to caramelize. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!
1 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly 1 inch pieces
2/3 cup whole milk (or half and half if you really want some rich potatoes)
1 tbsp fresh garlic paste
2 tbsp butter
3 oz parmigiano reggiano, freshly shredded
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Place cut potatoes into a large pot. To the pot add enough water to cover the potatoes by about 1/2-1 inch and a few liberal pinches of kosher salt. Turn the burner on to high. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Once the potatoes have reached a boil, allow them to cook for another 5 mintues, or until easily pierced with a fork. Turn off the burner. Drain the potatoes in a collander then return them to the pot that they were originally cooked in and place the pot back on to the burner. The heat from the pot and the recently used burner will help keep the potatoes hot and make the smashing process easier. Add the whole milk, garlic paste, and butter to the pot with the potatoes. Using a hand masher, mash the potatoes thoroughly, until all the milk has been incorporated and the potatoes are creamy yet still slightly lumpy. Add the shredded parmigiana. Stir to combine evenly. Taste the smashed potatoes. Adjust the seasoning levels as necessary using kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve hot. Enjoy!