Monday night dinner.
Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a dish that Marc Cohen is making at Lawrence. On last week’s menu was a grilled rump steak served with roasted beets and sauteed spinach on top of a crisp toast fried in the meat’s juices. On top of it all, a dollop of fresh horse radish creme fraiche. A nice earthy dish for the end of winter.
Yesterday I decided to roast some beets I had with cauliflower for lunch. I washed both vegetables, placed them in aluminum foil, and mixed in fresh thyme, roughly cut garlic and onions, and finished it off with olive oil and seasoning. The beets take a long time to roast in the oven, even at 400°, and I put in the cauliflower out of laziness, not really thinking about the fact that they would end up soggy and unappetizing. This unfortunate situation led me to a fun discovery, however, and thus my laziness paid off…
I had been thinking of Lebanese roasted cauliflower when i put them in the foil. I love the brown, nutty taste they have, fried in oil and finished off in a hot oven. When I saw the dreary looking cauliflower I knew immediately that that was not what I had been aiming for. Inspiration struck and I decided to try making a thick sauce/vinaigrette of blended cauliflower and toasted walnuts. I toasted the walnuts, added them to the cauliflower that were soaked in olive oil, splashed in a bit of red wine vinegar and decided to zest and juice an orange and add it to the mix. Blended, it was a thick, nutty, almost cheesy flavor brightened by the zest and acidic orange juice.
When coming home from EyeSteelFilm today, I thought of Marc’s dish and decided to buy myself some meat and leafy green to go with my beets and their thick nutty vinaigrette.
I walk by an organic grocery store on my way to catch the bus and bought organic, hormone free bison meat(a small steak, not sure which cut), fresh parsley, cauliflower and some kale(one of my favorite vegetables).
When I got home I marinated the bison in garlic, pepper, ground juniper berries, parsley and olive oil. It marinated for about 2 hours in the fridge.
When Carolina called to say she was going to be home soon, I started putting dinner together. In a pot I added a few tbls of water and heated the beets and vinaigrette at a low heat. I broke off small heads of cauliflower and slowly fried them in a bit of olive oil to give them a bit of color, and I took out the meat from its marinade. When the cauliflower was sufficiently colored I added the kale, some of the marinade and later, when the garlic of the marinade had cooked, I added a tbls or 2 of water to steam the kale. I heated my iron skillet and seared the bison on both sides for a total of less than 5 minutes. The piece was small and thin. (I am trying to reduce our consumption of meat, so lately we’ve been sharing what I would have served for one, whether fish or meat.)
I finished everything off by toasted some bread and letting the meat rest. At the bottom of my kale and cauliflower pan was some of the leftover parsley, garlic and the vegetables’ juices. I added some of the meat juices and a bit of butter and mixed in to have a sauce to cover my toast with. Over the mentioned sauce, I added my beet mixture, and served the kale and cauliflower on the side with the thinly cut bison meat. Not as elegantly finished as at Lawrence, but a satisfying dish nonetheless.