In case you were wondering what it is like to be the Smitten Kitchen Baby, it turns out that you get steak and (sweet) potatoes for dinner on the eve of your first birthday, and then pancakes for lunch (or you will when mama stops talking to the internet and makes them for you). You can sleep as little as you want, wake as irate as you please and you will still be zerberted on your ample belly once the sun comes up, hours later (sigh). When your nose starts running, you can wipe it on mama’s nightgown (as usual) and she won’t even suggest that if you had licked fewer fence posts and swing chains and let fewer little girls pull your hair and give you kisses at the park, that maybe you wouldn’t have caught another cold. When you sneeze, someone will say “Aw, gesundheit, little boo boo!” And when you refuse to nap at the Strongly Encouraged Nap Time, your
humble servants parents will sigh, shrug and present you with your first gift.
The steak wasn’t actually for the baby, by the way; we were going to wait until he was old enough to hold a beer before making it part of the dinner routine. We actually thought we’d treat ourselves to a little something-something as a pat on the back for keeping a tiny human being alive and occasionally dressed appropriately for the weather for a year but the baby expressed such a keen (read: loud and pointing) interest in That Thing Sizzling On The Stove that he was given a taste. And then another, and another until I was relieved I’d accidentally bought too much.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat steak on the eve of my first birthday. I’m late to steak and even later to skirt steak, but we were selected to put it on the grill at in-laws a couple weeks ago, and were frustrated that we couldn’t get the gas grill hot enough to get the deep, sear and inner-outer color contrast we wanted. I ventured a guess that it could be pulled off easily a very hot cast iron pan and sure, our apartment (and baby) smelled like a steakhouse for a while, but it worked! especially love this dish because it reminded me that steak doesn’t have to be a heavy, overly indulgent meal, especially when paired with pretty cherry tomatoes, spicy arugula and a bright vinaigrette. And blue cheese, because to quote one of my favorite commercials of all time, “Is it healthy? Of course it is; it’s a salad, isn’t it?”
One year ago: Cheesecake-Swirled Brownies, Grilled Lamb Kebabs and The Best Tzatziki, Ever and a recipe I may or may not have posted from a Labor and Delivery ward, I admit nothing, Snickerdoodles
Two years ago: Spinach Quiche and Bread without a Timetable
Three years ago: Red Velvet Cake
Four years ago: Summer Squash Soup and Giardinera
Skirt Steak Salad with Arugula and Blue Cheese
I attempted an interesting-sounding retro salad dressing from this recipe and found it… inedible. I then made it a second time with no lime juice, a little bit of lime zest, half the balsamic vinegar and half the sugar and we found it… passable. (Well, I found it passable, my husband liked it.) If you’d like to make Catalina-ish dressing, that’s how I’d suggest going about it. However, to my taste, next time I will make this with a sharp mustard vinaigrette with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a little steakhouse touch I love in salads like this, recipe below.
1 pound skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat if necessary, halved crosswise, at room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1/2 pound baby arugula
3 tablespoons minced chives, 2 thinly sliced scallions or 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, for garnish
Pat steak dry and season on both sides 1/2 teaspoon salt and many grinds of black pepper.
In a cast-iron skillet: Heat skillet on medium-high to high and add olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet and do not move it for 5 minutes. Turn it once, and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare. You may need to cook your steak halves separately, depending on the size of your pan.
On a grill: Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal or high heat for gas. Oil grill rack, then grill steak, covered only if using a gas grill, turning once, 4 to 6 minutes total for medium-rare.
Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for five minutes. Arrange arugula on a large platter. Thinly slice steak on the diagonal, across the grain. Arrange over arugula, then toss halved cherry tomatoes and blue cheese over platter. Add vinaigrette to taste, then sprinkle with chives, scallions or red onion. Serve with additional vinaigrette on the side.
Steakhouse Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon coarse Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
Whisk ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and adjust ingredients to taste (usually more Dijon and vinegar for me).