Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer fun, and yummy steak

Garden! Watermelons are getting bigger, peppers are actually starting to change color on the plants, and tomatoes and cucumbers continue to produce. Our tomatillo plants are going crazy – we’re just starting to see fruits on them. Herbs continue to please, and our poor grapes are recovering slowly from the deer munch fest a couple of months ago. Until this week, temperatures have been relatively mild (at least, mild from a Texas summer standpoint) but we are now seeing those 100 degree days and no rain, which will dry everything out and slow or stop production on most plants. However, I am not complaining, by this time last year we had almost 50 days over 100 degree or hotter weather, so this year has been substantially better for the garden.

Meanwhile, the summer continues to progress! We have discovered a new way to cook steak, courtesy of Gordon Ramsay (video on YouTube). All I can say is YUM. No pictures, but last night we used an herb butter on the nice rib-eyes from HEB instead of plain butter that Ramsay calls for, and it was fantastic.
Mix with ½ stick butter: 1 T chopped fresh parsley (Italian, from the garden), 1T chopped fresh chives, and 1 clove pressed garlic. Add the herb butter as instructed in the video, when it calls for plain butter.
We served this delicious piece of meat with steamed broccolini and garlic smashed potatoes.

Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Boil 2 potatoes (or however many people you want to feed) with 5 peeled gently crushed cloves of garlic until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat, let potatoes remain in the garlic water for a few minutes. Move the potatoes to an oven-safe dish. Gently push down on the tops of the potatoes until lightly smashed, enough so that toppings will seep inside. Drizzle the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and lay a pad of butter on top of each one. Salt and pepper. Broil for 10 minutes or so until the tops are crispy. Top with a small spoonful of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives.

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