When all else fails in the menu planning front, steak and baked potato comes to the rescue. I can't remember how long it's been since I've been to a proper steak house. My best memory of a steak dinner out was in Taipei at the Ruth's Chris Steak House. This was many moons ago, but I was traveling for work and my co-worker was craving something that tasted like home. So, off we went to Ruth's Chris. I order a petit filet, rare, with extra butter. It came on a sizzling plate, with butter melted on top and around, cooked to perfection, and pretty much the best piece of meat I had ever eaten. How did that happen in Taipei? Maybe it was the circumstances around that meal; the total expectation that the steak would be just okay, the many days of eating Chinese food, the jet lag, but that was some fabulous steak.
Now, my favorite baked potato memory is also from Asia on a work trip. We used to go to the steakhouse in the Regent Hotel in Kowloon side HK. The service was excellent and the waiter would stand by your side, first fluffing your potato and then dishing out all the fixin's you wanted, coming back for seconds at your desire. This was probably not a new concept for a steakhouse, but again, after a week in Hong Kong back then, it was a welcome treat. I see a little pattern here.
For tonight's steak, our master griller Chris, grills each steak to order. I soften pads of salted butter and heat our plates in the oven.
Russet potatoes are baked at 400 for about an hour, or until softened. I pierce the potato on each side with a fork and just place the directly on the grate in the oven. No foil. Chris scoops out his potato and eats the skin. I fluff mine and eat the center.
Our only fixin' tonight is our favorite cheese sauce made of equal parts Cheese Whiz and sour cream, an Emerton special. I've blogged on Cheese Whiz before, and believe me, this sauce will not disappoint. You may not want to like it, but you will. I sprinkle some finely sliced scallions on top.
I saute some baby crimini mushrooms in butter and a splash of worcestershire sauce as a side.
And finally, a salad of cherry tomatoes, beets, arugula and shaved parmesan in a simple champagne vinegar vinaigrette rounds out the meal.
Chicken update... we are anxiously awaiting our first egg, which may still be weeks away. But as our days get shorter and the nights get colder, I'm a bit concerned the cold will further delay egg production. New additions to the coop are some festive lights really meant to extend some light for them when it starts to get dark by 4:30pm. I've also added an interior ceramic heating element and a webcam. With all the cords running through there, I hope I am not going to cause the whole thing to go up in flames. I may need to call an inspector out. Here's the link to the webcam feed: http://skjm.com/icam/web/?h=e895499d47be1d40d2f35ece11e78910298553664f9f618e36e1e34d63101fb6612c759a1880885e
I'm not sure if it's working properly or if you need a password, so you will have to check it out and get back to me.