Monday, March 2, 2009

Good advice

Following good advice makes life so much easier sometimes. Especially when it comes to dinner.

It all started with 5 second rule’s useful post about managing your greens. Reading it was like hearing a voice say, “Hey, you! Yeah, you, trying to stuff that giant bunch of silverbeet in your fridge? Why don’t you try this instead?”

(Silverbeet is Australian for chard. It’s two feet long. That’s it in the picture. I put a regular-sized Popsicle stick next to it to give you some scope for comparison.)

The post provided detailed instructions for how to prep your greens when you buy them, so that they a) fit in your fridge and b) are ready and waiting when you want to eat them.

Having followed these recommendations on Friday afternoon, I sat back in a glow of quiet contentment, thinking about how easy preparing Saturday night’s dinner would be. Then I started to get cocky: how could I make it even easier? How could I make an absolutely fabulous dinner that would also be quick and simple?

The end product was the result of a few other people’s good advice: Nigella Lawson (use gnocchi as a side instead of potatoes - Nigella Express); Jamie Oliver (how to make a quick cheese sauce - Jamie’s Ministry of Food); and an unknown but brilliant restaurant chef (the once-eaten, never-forgotten steak and gnocchi in blue cheese sauce). Straightforward and speedy, but good enough for a company dinner.

Speedy Saturday steak supper extraordinaire
If you're on your game, you might manage to get this meal on the table in 30 minutes. I am hardly ever on my game, so it took me about 45.

500g/1.25 lb steak
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch dried red pepper flakes
200g/8oz plain or Greek-style yogurt
200g/8oz blue cheese
100g/4oz beef stock or similar*
1 large or 2 small bunches chard or other greens, prepared
400g/1lb gnocchi
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the grill/broiler. Put a medium-sized pan of water on to boil. Put the steak on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.

2. When water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt. Put the steak under the grill and set a timer for 5 minutes.

3. Put the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to heat on medium in a large sauté pan.

4. Put the yogurt, cheese, and stock to heat on low in a small saucepan.

5. Blanch the chard in the boiling water, then add to the sauté pan.

6. Turn the steak over and set the timer for another five minutes.**

7. When the chard has all been blanched, make sure the water is boiling again. Add another teaspoon of salt and the gnocchi.
8. When the timer goes off, take the steak out and put to one side to rest. Stir the chard and the cheese sauce.

9. Warm a bowl with a ladleful of hot water. As the gnocchi rise to the surface, scoop them out and put them in the warmed bowl. Add any juices that have collected from the steak to the cheese sauce. Pour some of the cheese sauce over the gnocchi and stir to coat.

10. Plate the steaks, gnocchi, and chard. Drizzle more of the sauce over everything and serve.***

Serves 4.

* I had some onion gravy in the fridge, so I used that.
** I generally cook 1-inch thick steaks about five minutes on a side under the grill to get them medium rare. Adjust according to your cooking method or taste.
*** Try to remember to take a picture of it before it all gets eaten...oops.


Cheryl said... Best Blogger Tips

So glad you found my tips on prepping greens useful. Nice steak recipe and even nicer use of alliteration in the title!

That silverbeet looks like it's ready to take over the world...

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Cheryl--yes, thanks to you I have a newfound method of greens management. Thus shall I establish my dominance over the giant silverbeet!

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