November 24, 2008

An Indulgent Weekend

I wanted to have a nice romantic dinner on Saturday, so I went to the Union Square Greenmarket to get the goods, and here's what I cooked up with Jesse's help. A flat-iron grass-fed bison steak from Elk Trails, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked in butter in a cast iron pan on medium heat for about 8 minutes on each side. At least I think that's how long it was - it seemed to take a long time. The bison farmer recommended cooking it slowly over relatively low heat, as searing it too hot can overcook the bison quickly. It turned out well, but slightly tough. I usually marinate these cheaper cuts like flat-iron and flank steak, but wanted to see if it could stand on its own. Next time I'll go back to marinating.

On the side we enjoyed brussel sprouts steamed with garlic (nice, but I think roasting would give it more oomph) and our usual fries: potatoes sliced, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted in the oven until crispy and tender, dipped into green garlic and vinegar spiked mayonnaise. As well as a bottle of nonlocal Malbec from Argentina via Trader Joe's because I was feeling cheap. And the cocoa applesauce muffins before and after dinner.

On Sunday I planned to make chili in the crockpot and let it cook all day while we hung out. Jesse implored "I want to go out for dinner." I responded, "That would put me over my food budget for this month, but we can go get drinks before dinner instead." Which made a nice compromise for both of us, or so we thought.

So we hopped on the G and went to Cherry Tree, which has an excellent draft beer selection, which turned into more beers across the street at Fourth Avenue Pub in Park Slope. By late afternoon, we started to get hungry but knew the chili wouldn't be done yet. So instead of heading straight home, we extended our outing even further with a stop at Flatbush Farm for appetizers.

Their oysters are amazing every time; never bland/hit or miss like at other restaurants. We also shared the Ploughman's Plate of cheddar cheese, salami, and bresaola (I think that's what it all was), but at $12 I felt it was a bit lacking in the meat for the price. Then finally went on home and ate chili and cornbread (baked in the cast iron skillet, again lacking in other baking apparatus). Total money spent in eating and drinking that day: more than if we had just gone out to dinner. Whoops!

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