This week, it was Brandan’s turn to cook dinner. The excitement building, Brandan has changed his mind a few times over the past few weeks on what to prepare. Lasagna? Steak? Lobster? Steak AND lobster? (Okay, so I vetoed the lobster. Gotta keep these “Kids in the Kitchen” things under budget!) After deliberation, (and explaining why we couldn’t do lobster) we finally agreed on a simple, but satisfying meal of grilled steak, baked potatoes, and green beans.
Honestly, I don’t usually prepare a lot of steak for the kids. Two of them are not big steak fans, so we end up having leftovers. (To me, leftover steak just is never as good as it was the first time.) Besides, good steak is usually pretty pricey. However, I was lucky to find some decent T-bone steaks on sale. Brandan, needless to say, was excited. So was I. After a late-night soccer game, (I play amateur indoor soccer, and this Friday night our game was at 12:30 am. Yes, 12: 30 AM. Guess that’s technically no longer Friday night.) and working for a few hours Saturday, I was tired. This meal was simple. So simple, in fact, it hardly needs a recipe. Good choice, Brandan!
Lately, I have been making a lot of herb butter. My most common creation involves parsley, not only because it is versatile, but also because my garden is overrun by it at the moment. Butter, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper – it’s as straighforward as that. The best part of taking a few moments to create an herb butter? It adds another dimension of flavor to your dish, without over-complicating it. Whether it tops your steak, your baked potato, (Brandan and I chose to use it for both!) or anything else, it imparts a fresh “summery” taste that’s sure to please.
To prepare our steak dinner, we simply baked the potatoes. Rubbed a little olive oil and salt on the skin first – makes it nice and crispy. (Brandan loved getting his hands oily!) Next, we went out to the garden to gather a little parsley for our herb butter (recipe below). Once that was in the refrigerator, it was time for the steaks.
It has taken me a while to properly grill a steak. (Yes, I’ve charred a few steaks in my day!) Now, I can generally grill a steak without much stress or worry, and that’s even on an aging gas grill with its fair share of hot spots. Of course, every grill cook has their methods – here is what I stick to:
Bring steak to room temperature before grilling. (This allows you to more accurately feel how “done” the steak is without a thermometer – see below.) Season with your favorite rub or seasoning blend. (I prefer seasoning with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.)
Heat the grill to high heat. Add steaks, and grill for about 3 minutes, and flip. Turn heat down to medium or medium-low (if steak is really thick) and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until steak is cooked to the temperature you desire. Rather than cutting into the steak, or poking it multiple times with a meat thermometer, I have an alternate method of testing the “doneness” of my steaks, courtesy of Gordon Ramsay. With your index finger, press your cheek lightly. That’s what rare feels like, if you were to press the steak. Press your chin lightly for medium, and your forehead for well done. Once your steaks are done, remove from grill.
Slice the herb butter into rounds, and add a pat or two of herb butter to the top of each steak. Tent with foil, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, allowing the juices to return to the center of the steak.
Brandan’s favorite part to eat, undoubtedly, was the steak. He finished off his steak, plus a bit of his brother’s.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
Pinch of salt and crushed black pepper
Mix butter, garlic, and parsley together until well blended. Add salt and pepper and mix. Using plastic wrap, roll herb butter into a log (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) and refrigerate until firm.