Friday, September 28, 2012

Date Night with The Goat (9/27)

Slacked off again last night, but for good reason:  date night with The Goat!  :-)  For those of you who are wondering, it's a term of endearment for the person who says I am "her reason for being", my mom.  Still confused?  G.O.A.T. = Greatest of All Time.  It's a long story... suffice to say the name stuck and even Pappy (mom's husband, Steve) uses it from time to time.  But, I digress...

So, last night, we were on a mission:  window treatments for my new apartment.  Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I can whip of a meal with no problem, but ask me to do anything else creative (sew, draw, etc.), and I am lost.  Since my mother's search engine skills are dangerous, I am not sure why I was even surprised that she can equipped with measurements and "how to" guides for several ideas, so we headed over to the fabric store.  Two hours later and footage on security cameras that will surely keep the staff cracking up for hours, we headed over to Kohl's to do some more damage.  Picked up a few essential items for my wardrobe (since my pants fell off last week, but that's another story), and we were finally on our way.  By then, it was too late to do any more shopping (we need to tackle Lowe's, too, which I am CONFIDENT will be the main event), so decided to grab some dinner at O'Charley's.  (If you are unfamiliar with that chain, it's like Applebees, only better.)  So, that was the inspiration for this post - a great steak dinner!  Pair up with a small side salad, crusty french bread and a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and you have a great go-to date night meal any day of the week!

Grilled Steak:
Steak (your choice, I prefer sirloin or strip)
Olive oil
Steak seasoning / rub

So, this is pretty easy.  First, don't forget to preheat your grill!  Then, grab your favorite cut of meat, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, season well with any good steak rub, and throw on the grill.  Depending on the thickness and doneness you prefer, grill about 4-5 minutes per side.  I probably should have mentioned in earlier posts, but I will do so now:  your goal is to turn the meat only ONCE during the cooking process.  The meat is ready be flipped when it no longer sticks to the grates of the grill.  Remember to always allow the meat to rest (otherwise tasty goodness escapes) and leave the grill on until you are sure the meat is done to your preference. 

Grilled Asparagus:
1 bunch asparagus
Olive oil

Asparagus intimidates a lot of folks, but it has become trendy over the last few years.  If you have never had it, trust me, try it once and you will be a believer!  I often make this recipe and eat them like french fries - YUM!  In order to remove the woody part of the asparagus, pull one from the bunch; grasp top with one hand and bottom with the other and bend until it snaps.  Then, use that as a guide for where to cut the rest of the bunch.  Discard the bottom portion (or save for a vegetable stock or asparagus soup), rince the top portion and drain well.  Toss in a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  You may either lay them on the grill grates (the opposite direction so that they don't fall through the cracks), or use a grill basket.  Grill for about 5 minutes and serve! 

Too cold to grill?  Looking to serve asparagus as side dish for another meal that you are baking?  No problem!  Instead of putting the asparagus on the grill, just spread in single layer on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of the asparagus). 

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