Dinner: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

photo-57This wasn’t what I intended to eat for dinner tonight, but isn’t that just what happens sometimes when you find yourself with good company at some post-work social event at Arctica Bar that involves $4 pints? 

I might take just a quick moment to ruminate on the craft of nachos. At the time of this photo, we’d eaten a good half of them, only to reveal a pile of chips. I hate that. Because chips alone are not nachos. Don’t get me wrong. I love chips. Just don’t try to trick me into thinking they’re all nachos when they’re not. 

Anyhow, good nachos don’t necessarily  need to be huge. What’s key is that the toppings are proportional to the volume of chips, so you can have a different sort of savory bite every time, and not wind up with a pile of chips and nowhere to go (not quite the same as being all dressed up with nowhere to go, but not so different). 

There’s more to nachos, but I’ll save that for another post … it’s inevitable there will be another nachos post. 

COST: $8 nachos, $4 pints
PREP TIME: A lovely few hours

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Lunch: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

photo68

Now that’s a steak salad.

As promised, a how-to guide to make the most brilliant salad in the most uninspired settings: at the office.

First, prep the night before: Cook the steak. Slice the steak. Slice the red onion. Boil, peel and slice the beets.

Second, package separately everything which will bleed, taint, or otherwise blur with the smells, tastes and textures of others.

photo315I wrapped up the sliced beets and onion in the same saran wrap, but still separately, folding in the onion first and the beets second. Blue cheese? Definitely separate. I placed the steak right on the greens because a) spinach is sturdy and I knew it could handle it and b) I wanted those flavors to “get to know eachother” as much as possible. Fraternizing encouraged.

Third, anticipate dressing needs at work. No one likes a dry salad. I keep a bottle of not bad olive oil (white truffle infused at the moment) in my desk drawer. Yes, I’m that much of a food geek.

photo221Fourth, assemble at work just as you would at home, none of this dumping everything in at once. So in this case, first toss the lettuce in the olive oil/dressing. Second layer the onions and beets. Third, bleu cheese and fourth, steak.

Fifth, utilize the microwave, if you so desire. I micro’d the steak for about 20 seconds just to take the chill off. Give it a little glisten. I guess I could have thought ahead a little more and just pulled it out of the fridge to let come to room temperature.

One thought I had, maybe next time I’ll throw the whole finished salad in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Nothing wrong with giving the spinach a little wilt or the bleu cheese a little soften.

Sixth, presentation counts. Make it pretty and it’ll taste pretty damn good.

PREVIOUSLY: If you’re just going to eat something small, it may as well be … (Dinner: Tuesday, April 28, 2009) Steak salad prep

Breakfast: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I’d completely forgotten how great leftover pizza is for breakfast! A slice and a big glass of milk, I remember eating that many a morning over the years.

What’s that say about my pizza consuming habits? Well, in these last years since living in NYC, I almost never order pizza delivery, which is where the leftovers of my past mostly came from.

Here, I mostly eat it by the slice, often on-the-go, and on the occasion I take part in eating a whole pie, well, by the end of the night there’s never any left over …

If on some off chance there was leftover pizza, it mysteriously disappears between the hours of midnight and 5 am. Turns into a pumpkin or something, I guess.

COST: n/a (brilliance of leftovers)
PREP TIME: 30 seconds micro