Pizza from scratch. Not too shabby for a first try. (Taken with instagram)
I like steak. No.. I. LOVE. STEAK. Thanks to the healthy appetites of my dad and uncles, I grew up believing in the following: If it’s not a pound, it’s not a steak.
I have come far from the days of pouring ketchup over every piece of food on my plate - the young grasshopper has learned well. I know the rules and I stick to them. Not a drop of ketchup is to touch my steak, unless the steak is just plain terrible or so far overcooked that the only thing to save my taste buds from the horror would be to accent it with the lovely tomato & vinegar elixir that I love so dearly. Seriously. When I was in middle school I chugged an entire bottle of ketchup in a challenge against a boy at church camp to prove to him that I liked ketchup that much - and also to come off as cool so I could win his heart. One of the many that got away…
Wait. Where was I? Oh yes - STEAK! If any of you out there in the greater Twin Cities area didn’t notice, it was GORGEOUS today. After a week of rainy days, the sun appeared and graced us with warm golden light, not once being interrupted by a pesky rain shower or cloud. Now, I don’t know about you, but after being cooped up in the house for a week, with summer just around the corner, when a day like today comes by, grilling is a must. And what better to be grilled than steak? (Sorry, vegetarians.)
Without further ado.. Mmmmmmarinade.
9x13 Baking pan
1 teaspoon, 1/4 cup and 1 cup measuring tools
2 lbs top sirloin steak (In my family this is enough for 2 people… really.)
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Tamari soy sauce
1 cup red wine
4 cloves garlic, crushed (or 4 teaspoons minced garlic)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Combine worcestershire sauce, Tamari soy sauce, red wine, garlic and black pepper. Stir until well blended. Place steaks into a 9x13 baking pan and add mixture, ensuring steaks are completely immersed. Marinade for at least 30 minutes.
Just prior to removing the steaks from the marinade, add olive oil and mix, making sure the marinade and olive oil are well blended and coating the steaks. (The olive oil will act as a flavor sealant.)
Place steaks on the grill and cook to your desired level of preparedness. For more flavor enhancement, periodically brush the marinade over the steaks whilst they are grilling. Once steaks are done cooking, remove from grill and place onto serving platter, cover and let sit at least 5 minutes prior to serving.
One might assume that the daughter of a former restaurant owner/cook would know her way around a kitchen. That assumption would be wrong. However talented my dad may be, and talented he is, he is not very good at sharing space, and kicking everyone out of “his” kitchen when he was creating a meal was standard when I was growing up - it still is. You knew if you strolled in there, trying to catch a glimpse of what’s for dinner, or even just getting a pop from the fridge, you would quickly be shooed out for “getting in the way”. It drove him nuts. And still does.
When I moved out on my own and in with my boyfriend Ryan, I realized that between the two of us our cooking skills were rather lacking. Ryan erred on the side of going out to eat or pizza from the frozen food section. I could really only cook something if it came in a box and had directions like “add ingredients and sauce mix, combine and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, cool and serve”. Not exactly producing dinners to write home about was all too common.
The difference between my dad and I when it comes to cooking is that I need a recipe, and he does not. Of the countless meals my dad has made, many of them developed by rummaging through the cabinets and fridge, throwing random ingredients together fervently and making something that inevitably wins everyone over. And never once writing it down.
After buying and moving into our first home in April 2010, I excitedly looked around at our new kitchen and decided it was time to start developing my cooking and baking skills. Ryan started to master the grill, I started to master the stove and oven.
I may not be able to throw random ingredients together and automatically come up with something fantastic - but as an admitted perfectionist, following directions is something I excel at and I tend to love specificity. I’m also very good at learning from self education. Like most of my family, if you don’t know the answer, you look it up and teach yourself. Needless to say, I do well with recipes and have developed somewhat of a recipe habit. Of the 108 notes on my iPhone, for example, 16 of them are not recipes. Thanks to various recipe apps, as well as the few recipe books I own, I’ve started to develop my capabilities and so far, have been lucky enough to not have any true cooking disasters.
The first recipe that I perfected was for simple oven roasted potatoes. I love potatoes. I adore potatoes. Give me a potato and whether it’s baked, roasted, boiled, mashed, fried, or hashed, I’m going to be happy. My dad didn’t dub me “the starch queen” for nothing. Ryan has admitted that he is not much of a potato fan, but because my roasted potatoes are crispy, I find him happy as a clam whenever I make them, which is usually once every couple of weeks. In the past, unless a potato came in a box with directions, I had no clue what to do with it. This admission coming from a girl whose dad’s fries were named “Best of the Twin Cities” by both City Pages and Kare 11. Nonetheless, the potato recipe has become a signature side of mine. Really the only signature side at the moment actually, but it is now forever ingrained in my memory and someday I will be able to teach it to my children.
Oven Roasted Potatoes