Saturday, October 11, 2008

Always an adventure

Tonight's Menu

  • grilled skirt steak
  • sweet potato fries
  • caramelized Brussels sprouts w/lemon
We had a bit of a late dinner tonight -- my parents brought the kids back from a sleepover after filling them with junk, so they weren't all that hungry at our usual dinnertime, and DH and I had had a late lunch (in the midst of a lovely afternoon of kid-free shopping).

I think I've mentioned before that in the summer it's almost too hot to grill at my house; our back patio faces due north and in high summer there is no shade at all. I'm always thrilled in autumn when the sun moves south and the days begin to shorten, bringing evening shade to the back patio once again. It does pose a problem when it comes to late dinners, though -- this one was cooked mostly in the dark! Thank goodness for those floodlights the previous owners installed on the back of our house!

ANYWAY, the skirt steak was prepared exactly as for fajitas -- rubbed on both sides with a prepared beef fajita seasoning mix, marinated in a mixture of fresh-squeezed lime juice and EVOO, then grilled for four minutes per side and sliced thinly across the grain. We just ate them as-is instead of folding them into tortillas with all the fixings.

The sweet potato fries were made with CSA sweet potatoes in the usual way, EXCEPT I accidentally discovered a way to make them crispier than usual! See, the plumbing in this house was installed by trained monkeys, apparently (along with the electrical wiring, the air/heating ductwork, the floors, etc. -- but that's a story for another time and another blog). What that means is that our garbage disposal backs up at the drop of a hat. Even though I was using PLENTY of hot running water and running them through only a few at a time, the peels from the sweet potatoes were too much for it. So DH had to do an emergency disposal-ectomy in the middle of my dinner prep, which meant that the fries were finished cooking long before I was even able to START the Brussels sprouts. (And I had this all timed down to the minute, too -- argh!) I didn't want the fries to get cold, and I was afraid that if I covered them they'd get all soggy, so I just turned off the oven when they were done and left them in there while everything else finished. Sitting in the warm, turned-off oven actually made them crisp up without getting overdone -- who knew? I think I'll factor this wait time into the recipe from now on!

Anyway, geez, I'm writing a novel here and this was actually a really simple meal, except for the mishaps! The Brussels sprouts were from Everyday Food and this dish was completely serendipitous -- I had bought the sprouts a few days ago and really needed to use them up, when I happened to open the October issue of Everyday Food this afternoon and there was the recipe! We always have lemons in the house so this was a no-brainer for me, and really tasty, too!

Whew! There you have it. A simple dinner that wasn't so simple after all! We are totally having leftovers tomorrow.

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