At At the market yesterday, I bought two bunches of swiss chard. It was beautiful, a combination of bright red stems and deep green leaves. I had to buy it. I knew exactly how I was going to fix it also and couldn’t wait until today to do so.
I wanted to fix steak tonight – a real steak and potatoes meal to start the week off right. With a good salad and healthy vegetable, we could be assured of great taste and a healthful meal. Mac and I split a thick New York strip steak, on sale at our meat market this week. He had a baked potato and I passed on the extra carbs and butter I would have used to adorn it. Our salad was a pseudo-Greek salad, all the fixings, without the lettuce. Lemon juice, olive oil, kalamata olives, cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, feta cheese, a little roasted red pepper, and salt and pepper. Hmmmm. I could eat that every other night. I hear my niece Marian fixes a mean Greek salad. I can’t wait to taste hers but I’ve never met one I didn’t like.
The swiss chard was a simple dish; it took no more than 15 minutes to get it ready to bake. The hardest part was getting it clean. Three rinses in my dishpan and a good spinning in the salad spinner and it was ready to rough cut in approximately 2″ pieces, stems and all. Then it was into 1/2″ of boiling water in a large sauce pan for 5-6 minutes, covered, while I chopped up a small onion and grated about a 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese. (Let’s hear it for the Swiss! Cheese and Chard!)We should have been drinking “Swiss Miss” instead of a bottle of wine. Nah.) After the chard was drained it was mixed with 1 T. olive oil, the cheese, some salt and pepper, and then into a shallow baking pan, a gratin dish is perfect, although a glass pie pan would be fine. Fifteen minutes in a 375 degree oven, next to a baking potato and the skillet with our steak and it was good to go.
The steak was indeed thick, at least 1 1/2″. I put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan, and while that was heating up, I seasoned the steaks with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. The steaks went into the hot skillet for 3 minutes on one side, 2 on the other and then into the 375 oven for 10 minutes with the rest. It was medium-medium rare. I didn’t make a sauce for the steak. We didn’t need one. Everything was perfect.
This time, I remembered to put a hot pad over the handle of the skillet. A few months ago, I burnt the you-know-what out of my hand by grabbing the handle of a skillet just removed from a 425 degree oven. Immediate blisters and pain, pain, pain. Remember that tip, friends. Always put a heatproof hot pad over the handle as soon as you remove the skillet from a hot oven. We are so used to holding the handle to steady the pan while removing the food or making a sauce that it is second nature to grab hold without a hot pad, forgetting that it could be very dangerous. I had blisters for a week, although the pain was nearly gone the next day. I could see exactly where the metal handle rested on each finger and palm. Ouch!
The meal was great, and really didn’t take that much time. I did the salad about 2 hours before we ate, left it at room temperature so that the flavors could develop. The chard was also prepared an hour or so I cooked it.
Until next time, happy dining.