Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ghetto Style

I haven't been planning my menus out lately, which is freakishly uncharacteristic.  I grew up in a household where the menu was posted on the side of the fridge two weeks out, so I feel a little more than scattered going through the week without a script.  Not sure what my deal is: I'm busy.  My mind's on other things.  I'm somehow saving us money by not buying ingredients.  Whatever it is probably isn't true or rational, but anyway.  I ended up headed to Whole Foods last week, with Matt on the phone.

"What do you want for dinner?"

"I've been craving those Swedish meatballs," he offered.  Ugh.  I am so not in the mood for meatballs.  We just had parmigiano-studded turkey meatballs in the Italian Wedding Soup on Tuesday.  Not to mention creamy, delicious gravy will cost me way too many precious points.

Hmm, what sounded good?

I started running a mental inventory of the contents in the fridge freezer.  Half a bag of crabmeat from our last sushi night.  Mmmm, sushi.  I'd love some sushi.  I wouldn't love to make sushi, though.  Not on a weeknight.  Way too much Zen rice-fanning for a post-work meal. A kielbasa.  Meh.  A single puff-pastry sheet.  Yum, what if I wrapped something in puff pastry?  Not chicken.  I'm sick of chicken.  Salmon?  Well, maybe good, but then I'll have to figure something out for Matt.  What about...steak?  I could wrap up the steaks, maybe throw in some of those frozen Schwan's mushrooms and onions, and make a kind of beefy, puffy......



I tried to explain to the guy at the Whole Foods meat counter what I wanted to do.  "I want to wrap some steaks in puff pastry."

"Phyllo dough?"

"No, puff pastry."

"Are you making beef wellington?"

"Uh, kind of."  Apparently the staff at Whole Foods are unfamiliar with ghetto-style.  "I mean, kind of like that."

"Well beef wellington is made with tenderloin," he explained, gesturing toward the $24.99 a pound cuts.  "But if you wanted something a little like it, you could do some small steaks."  $5.98 for 2.  PERFECT!  Sold. 

When I got home, I told Matt we were having Beef Ghettington for dinner.  Without blinking, he said, "ghetto-style Beef Wellington?"

Girls, when you find a man that understands you, marry him.

Gorgeous steaks seasoned with Penzey's kosher salt and cracked pepper?  Check.  Kroger Swiss "Style" slices?  Double-check.  We're ready to get real classy up in this bitch, yo!

I seared the steaks on a super-hot griddle, just to get a nice crust on the outsides.  I rolled the puff pastry out as thin as I could and filled it with steak, mushroom and onions, crappy (but melty) cheese that I can't even believe was in the fridge (what happened to you, specialty cheese distributing Tabitha? :( and a little Dijon mustard.  I sealed them up, poked holes in the top, and set them on the baking stone.  I had my fall leaf pastry dough cutters at the ready to make them all fancy, but I didn't have any extra snippets of dough.

"They look like Hot Pockets," said Matt. 

Not a compliment.

OK, well they kinda did.  But when they came out of the oven, golden-brown and brimming with warm, savory goodness, we didn't have too much to complain about.  Despite the lack of the most coveted cut of beef, or pate coating, or leaf-cutter garnishes, it was still much better than most other lazy weeknight options.  In between microwave pizza and hand-rolled sushi lies beef ghettington.  Here's to finding your own happy compromises. 


  1. Great idea for making something a little more special on a weeknight. Bet it tasted just as good without the leaf garnish.

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Glad you get a night off from cooking. I hope you have a great time going out tonight and had a fantastic day. I wish I could have been with you today. Thinking of you...
    Love, Mom

  3. Thanks!! It was a good day filled with stuff that was way better than Beef Ghettington. Although that is good on not-birthdays. Miss you!