It's been awhile. The truth is, I've been cheating on food with furniture. I recently moved into a new apartment, and I'm enjoying laying out my space, decorating, and scouring flea markets looking for those "can't do without them" pieces for my place. It's the first time since college that I've really had some room to spread out. It's quite the upgrade from my previous very tiny studio. I'm loving it. Here's a picture, a work in progress, but it feels like home:
My kitchen feels ridiculously spacious. And I'm thrilled to say that I've actually been cooking a lot, finally! My first week in the new place, I attacked a Chana Masala recipe with absolute gusto. The results were pretty fantastic (recipe forthcoming) but the most amazing thing was to be able to move about in the kitchen space! So different than the 4x5 space I was working with before! I took my time when putting things away in the new place, thinking about where I would stand to chop, where things should be placed to make for economical movement, and ease in preparation when it comes to food. It's made a huge difference in my cooking. Everything just seems so much easier now!
And I finally have a dining room table. My boyfriend and I sat down to breakfast there this weekend, and we remarked that it seemed like it had been such a long time since we'd actually sat down to eat at a dining table in the place we lived. Until now, neither he nor I had had a table, so it's a welcome, adult-like change.
I've now hosted a total of 3 dinner parties in my first month here. Very impressive, if I do say so myself. Tomorrow night will be the 4th, for the Sedar dinner. Something I'm looking forward to celebrating with friends. It feels right to be hosting it at my place, to share stories, partaking in a ritual in this new space, eating, drinking and celebrating together. I feel like there's a lot to be thankful for.
Until last weekend, It had been a long time since I'd been able to hit up my farmer's market. I've had a lot going on on the weekends, but it felt so good to be able to have the time to cook, the time to walk up and down the stands in the sunshine, to have my pick of the best of Spring's arrival.
I picked up a gorgeous flat iron steak from Prather Ranch, and I paired it with an adapted version of a red wine sauce that I'd made once before. Paired with kale and rice, it definitely hit the spot. It's not often that I make a pan sauce to go with a steak, but every time I do, I wonder why I don't do it more. It's such a great pairing, and so easy to do. A no fuss and delicious dinner.
Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine Sauce
adapted from Giada De Laurentis
2 small to medium sized flat iron steaks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine
Bring the steaks to room temperature. Heat oven to 350. Next, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Sear on medium high for 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium, flip and sear another 4-5 minutes on the other side. Put the steaks into the pre-heated oven for 2-4 minutes more. Test for desired doneness. When done, remove from the oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add the garlic and oregano and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the wine. Simmer until the sauce reduces by half, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, and whisk into the sauce to combine. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Serve spooned over steaks, with rice or potatoes on the side.