Sometimes, appearances don't matter.
However, when you are in the 8th grade and sporting very bad 80's style tinted glasses, braces and a bastardized version of a Mary Lou Retton haircut, it totally matters.
8th graders are not kind.
I was fortunate enough that my teens were well-before the digital age - making it easier to control the photographic evidence. Unfortunately, I don't have enough control to make it all disappear.
People always wonder why I don't like having my picture taken - one glimpse of those pubescent pics and I am pretty sure the Universe would stop challenging me.
Fortunately, steaks are not subjected to the horror of 8th grade and pass off their less than aesthetic appeal as part of their charm. Even in today's Instagram-able world, steak gets a bye...
David's Steak with Mustard Butter and French Fry recipe begins with rubbing down a couple of rib-eyes with salt and chipotle powder. Eight ounce steaks were suggested - the smallest available were 16 ounces. No one was complaining.
While the steaks rested, thinly cut potatoes soaked in cold salted water to remove some of the starch and a compound butter (with mustard and mustard powder) was mixed and left to chill in the fridge. Since all the prep work was done ahead of time, I had ample time to clean up my mess before it was time to start cooking the meal.
The potatoes were dried, drizzled with oil, scattered with salt and herbs and placed in a hot oven to "fry" up. The steak received a short cook in a very hot cast iron skillet and was finished off with the mustard butter.
Since we had spent the day moving Culinary Kid into her new apartment, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in a restaurant for an hour. I was relieved at how easily this meal came together and appreciated having a restaurant quality meal without having to wait for service. There is something to be said for splitting a great meal for two and a bottle of wine in the comfort of your own home.
It may not have been the prettiest meal that I have ever made, but it certainly ranked up there as one of the most satisfying.
Suggested wine pairing: The Chook's 2013 Shiraz Viognier.
This post participates in Cook the Book Fridays - an online cooking group that is currently making its way through David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen. We are in the first month of cooking our way through this book, so there is plenty of time to pick up a copy and start cooking along...