Thursday, August 9, 2012

Low Carb Thursday.

Thursday.  Almost Friday, but not quite.  I tend to enjoy Thursday evenings more- perhaps the anticipation of the following day makes for a more relaxed mood.  During the summer, we almost always end up on the front porch Thursday nights, chatting, sipping wine, taking in the neighborhood sights and sounds.  I may switch things up tonight and suggest the back patio instead because I've been working so hard out in the garden this week.  We may have to fire up the BBQ!

I just finished up my morning session in the yard by potting the last of the homeless cactus.  Yesterday I purchased 6 more succulents to fill the empty pots we had leftover.  Let me start by saying, wow, potting cacti can hurt!  My hands have been mauled by the spiny thorns and furry teeth that cover them, even with gloves.  At one point I had a 2 inch barb jammed into my palm- I just stood and stared at it a few moments before pulling it out, shaking my head, all the while telling the cactus, "that's ok, you're just doing your job."  The plants look quite lovely on the patio, I must say.  They give it a sort of arid resort-y feel, which is what I was going for.  I love the simplicity of succulents and their clean little pots, scattered around our sandstone tiles.  Indeed, I think the backyard is much too inviting to ignore this evening, especially when the house reaches 90 degrees inside...

*Steak with Olives* (Courtesy of Gourmet.)
2 lb boneless sirloin steak
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried hot red-pepper flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup drained pitted brine-cured olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat a dry 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Pat steak dry and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, then sear, without turning, 5 minutes.  Turn steak over and cook 5 to 6 minutes more for medium-rare.  Transfer to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. 

Wipe out skillet, then cook garlic with red-pepper flakes in olive oil over medium heat, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add olives and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in parsley just before serving.

Slice steak and serve with olive sauce.

Ah yes, the beauty of a well-cooked piece of beef.  What's not to love?  The olive sauce gives this dish just enough spice and saltiness.  You don't need much else, just let the sirloin shine on it's own.  I'm sure the hubbs is going to pick out a splendid red wine to accompany our meal, which will be a perfect complement to the steak's natural flavor.  I think I will keep things very basic and just slice a few fresh peppers to serve raw along side of the beef.  Perfect.

For dessert, we'll be slicing up various stone fruit and tossing them straight onto the grill.  The natural juices and sugars of the fruit act as a sumptuous built-in glaze, dripping with goodness.

Be well,

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