Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hello Pretty!


is a $15 steak.

What led to this splurge?

The prediction, and emergence of, the first 80+ degree day in Portland deserved a good barbecue.  Matt was heading out to do homebrewing with a friend, and I had a bunch of school supply errands (and a special guest appearance at a good friends' garage sale) to do in and around the city.  One of my plans was to go by Whole Foods and get some high-brow microwavable meals to stock the dorm freezer, so I offered to pick up whatever sounded good for dinnertime grilling.

"I want you to go to Whole Foods, and get steak," he said, with little hesitation.  "Don't spend $90," he requested after letting it sink in a minute.

So I made it over to the Whole Foods Bridgeport meat counter, and asked for one rib-eye steak.  You know, just to see how much it cost before committing to 2.  I'm not a huge red meat fan, so I could figure I something else out.

"Anything else I can get for you?"  The friendly butcher asked as I grazed the label sticker.  $15+.

"Nope!  That's it!"

I perused the chicken, but didn't see anything particularly inspiring.  I just had delicious Gartner's German Cheese sausages last night, so the spectacular sausages seemed a little redundant. 

Wait a minute. I still have that gorgeous salmon fillet from my pa-in-law in the freezer.

With the thick, decadent rib-eye and a couple more ingredients (at slightly more budget-friendly Trader Joe's across the freeway), the menu pretty much wrote itself.

-Ribeye Steak with Sweet Cayenne Dry Rub
-Lemon-Butter Salmon with Avocado Oil
-Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle-Lime Butter
-Pasta Salad

I based the Pasta Salad on my summer favorite, caprese.  Super-simple, I can't really call it a recipe (unless I was Sandra Lee or Rachael Ray, and then I could fashion a whole show about it).  Farfalle pasta, Cilegine fresh mozzarella balls, halved cherry tomatoes, basil chiffonade, salt, pepper, Cibo Naturals Red Pepper Pesto (you could use any, homemade or store-bought), and a good drizzle of Macadamia Nut Oil my parents brought me back from Hawaii a while ago.  Allowed to marinate in the fridge for a few hours, and even Matt, hater of all healthy-oriented side dishes, decided he'd rather have that than Rice A Roni.  This was a true, unprecedented victory.

With everything on the grill, it was finally full!  For the first time!  Sending plumes of deliciousness throughout the neighborhood.  The juicy, caveman-sized steak sizzled up quickly, sending large flames that made me almost stick my head in the house for help. I just replaced it up to the higher top rack and figured it would be good while the corn and salmon did their thing.

When I opened the lid and heard a Orville Reddenbacher-esque POP!! from the cob, I figured things were done.  I lifted the foil encasing the salmon up to check for doneness, and the smell carried me instantly to crowded Seattle sidewalks in the sunshine and Pike Place and Metropolitan Market and home
Like the French must feel lifting a lid on cassoulet, or Philadelphians when they fry up some scrapple.  Fresh, sea-salt ocean tinged with lemon and buttery warmth.  Just as iconic as the Space Needle sticking out from my shrubbery.

I'll be eating on this for a few days (by myself; Matt doesn't eat fish), but I think somehow I'll manage.

I did manage to snag a bite of that splurge steak, which cooked up to a perfect medium-rare on that top rack.  Just disintegrated on the tongue tender. 
Maybe I could learn to embrace cow a little more, but I guess my chronically-oversplurging grocery budget would rather I didn't.

I will say, however, that if and when we decide to have something like steak, it is so much more worth spending more on organic and humanely-raised beef, even if it is substantially more.  Our food dollars are a vote, and there's a lot at STEAK here!!!  Ahahahah....

The result is more enjoyable than you can imagine reading straight price tags, and you don't have to wonder or worry about what's actually going inside your body. 

Side effects: putting a little too much of that good stuff inside your body.  That skirt may be a little stretched after the last day or so...

p.s.  Yes those are Halloween plates in June.  Don't judge me.


  1. Yummy! The salad sounds great as does everything else. What a beautiful day. We had a salmon cookout too, guess you were right, salmon kinda is our summer thing isn't it?

  2. So, I know we haven't seen each other in oh...3 years?? But when I move back to Portland, I'm coming over for dinner.

  3. This is totally one of my very favorite of yours! You know how I feel about grilling and steak..especially ribeye. Bravo!!