After a weekend of sun, sand, and salt water cut a tad shorter than anticipated, what better way to say "that's a wrap!" to your precious free time than with homemade steak sandwiches? Toss in some serious wine and a table for two on the balcony overlooking the concrete jungle skyline, the heat finally breaking to make way for a soft breeze, gently cooling your skin which is still radiating heat from slight over-exposure.
To be honest, it makes for a much more bearable Monday.
Even if on this particular Monday, I happen to be taking a day to myself. But that's neither here nor there.
Ever experimented with Summer Squash? I had not. But the big yellow melon-like vegetable had caught the eye of my cooking companion and he decided to go for it. And while it might take a bit longer to cook and prepare than most vegetables (which involves cranking up your oven to 425 for about an hour) the payoff is well worth it. The toothsome texture and subtle sweetness of the "spaghetti" strands come alive with the addition of some (I use the word "some" lightly) butter and a quick chiffonade of fresh basil and cracked black pepper. I imagine anyone could warm up to this side dish. Instantaneously. (The fact that it happens to be totally good for you too should be mentioned. But let's not dwell on that. It is delicious.)
As far as the steak sandwiches are concerned, this is a total cater to your taste buds situation. We decided to go with a flank steak which I "marinated" for about a half hour or so in a little bit of balsamic and olive oil before I generously seasoned it with sea salt and cracked black pepper and into a screaming hot pan it went for about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Then I took it off the heat, put it onto a plate, covered it with aluminum foil and let it rest for a good 15 minutes to finish cooking through to a perfect medium-rare. In the meantime, I made an arugula aioli with some finely chopped baby arugula and a small clove of garlic stirred into a 1/4 cup of mayonnaise. A white onion was sliced and went into a pan with a combination of butter and olive oil and sauteed for a few minutes before it was hit with a splash of balsamic, a teaspoon of dijon mustard, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and salt and pepper. Four to five minutes later, they too, were removed from the heat and placed in a bowl for the sandwich-making assembly line. Baby arugula, sliced campari tomatoes, and some fresh goat cheese rounded out the toppings. Then it was build your own steak sandwich time on fresh pieces of baguette, put a generous helping of the spaghetti squash with basil alongside, pick up your glass of 2007 Cliff Lede Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon (absolutely heavenly, by the way), take a seat outside, and exhale. It's going to be a good week.
Now, can we talk about that Entourage episode last night?! Leave your reactions in the comments section, please. That may or may not have been the point of this whole post. Discuss.
2007 Cliff Lede Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon