Fridays are usually a stay home and cook night for Ryan and I. We've been doing it since, well forever. I think it came about because we were sick of going to shoddy restaurants to eat and then when we found a good place it usually came with a price tag. For a while it was me working full time and Ryan was still living on a waiters wage getting himself through uni on the weekends so we couldn't afford to keep eating out all the time. You get so much more satisfaction being able to plate up a good home cooked meal though, at least once you know how to cook properly anyway.
I realised that we also hadn't had a home cooked steak in like forever, we keep trying new recipes that the one most basic dish had been forgotten about. So that's what we decided we were going to have for dinner last Friday. What we cooked was no ordinary steak and chips though.
Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending an event at Souk in the City for the Table of Plenty Dukkah range, where I received a nice little goodie bag containing some dukkah to test out. Seeing as we wanted to have steak for dinner I thought what better timing than to try them out and experiement a bit with the good old humble steak. Also just a note, the dukkah and other product ranges from Table of Plenty are already available in most Woolworths and Coles around the country, visit their website for more details.
Just a little side step from dinner to tell you about my little suprise to Ryan. We went to the Good Food and Wine Show a few weekends ago (courtesy of A Table for Two for the free tix) and we walked past the Forever Knives stand. Ryan didn't care about Lyndey Milan standing there demonstrating, he just wanted to play with the knives as most boys will.
Well, they were launching a Lyndey Milan specially designed knife at the show and Ryan fell in love with it as soon as he sliced through a piece of tomato. It wasn't a cheap knife and even though he absolutely loved it and that it was being sold at an incredibly discounted show price we walked away empty handed. Here I am waiting for a diamond of my own and I decide to somehow try and get him a diamond encrusted knife!
The next day as I am sitting at home on the computer 'stalking' on facebook I notice some wall conversation between two friends and discover one of them was at the GFWS. Instantly I pick up my phone and try calling my lovely friend Jen hoping that she was still there. It's too loud for her to hear me so I send out an SMS with the details of what I was after and a few moments later I receive a phone call confirming that the knife had been bought and that there was also a personally signed DVD from Lyndey Milan herself 'Dear Ryan, Happy Cooking, Lyndey', the lovely Di's idea apparantly.
I am not one to be able to sit on suprises but was somehow able to this time, and I thought that my suprise was ruined when Ryan picked up my phone to see an sms from Jen confirming that she had received my money for 'the knife'. Not a peep from him so maybe he really had no idea.
So I pull out the wrapped DVD from my bag and hand it to him. "What's this?" he asks, "it's for you" I reply. He starts to unwrap it and spies the long wrapped item in my bag, "is that for me too?", erm I used the same wraping so I couldn't really get out of that one so kept silent. "NO WAY" he exclaims, "I can't beleive you went and did it, I thought I told you not to". "So do you know what the other item is?" I ask him, "It's kind of obvious! You can't get the DVD without the knife", he replies.
See the expressions on the photos? They are priceless to me, I'd do anything to put a smile on his face. Also I felt that he deserved it for spending the entire last weekend with our family up in Queensland through the chaos that was my cousin's wedding and also enduring the 12 hour drive home with us even though he had a crook back. The things we do for love hey? =)
So back to dinner, I was inspired by the Haloumi, Fig and Rocket dish that was served up at Souk in the City so I wanted to do something similar as a starter dish. Figs however are not in season so I decide to grab a nice colourful punnet of tomatoes. I'm not a big fan of tomato but find that these varieties are sweeter and easier on my palate. I'm just thinking about it now and I could have used the pears that never made it into the oven as pear crumble because I was too lazy to make dessert. We chose the almond dukkah to go with the dressing for the rocket.
Ever since spotting the hasselback potato on tastespotting, I have always wanted to make my own. The usual side to go with steak is always roast potato, mash or chips so this time I thought I might as well try it out seeing as it was going to be a very simple dinner. I also grabbed some boneless sirloin steaks from the butchers. We decide to use the macadamia dukkah to crust the steaks.
Ryan tells me to give the knife a test run. It is so sharp and just slides through the potato, it's also very lightweight which I'm not very used to, am scared that it will slip out of my hand.
My hasselback potatoes are seasoned simply with just salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. They go into the oven to roast while we make our starter dish and cook the steaks.
To dress the Rocket, we drizzle over some olive oil, sprinkle over some dukkah and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice and adjust the seasoning with a little bit extra salt and pepper then gently toss to coat.
Ryan hard at work frying the haloumi. Wearing his mum's apron, so cute! =D
Three starter dishes ready to go, who's the third diner? Ryan's brother of course, so spoilt =D
Pan fried haloumi, tomato, and rocket with dukkah dressing. The dukkah adds a whole new element to a salad, it really does lift the salad. Ryan's comment on this is that it cuts out the bitterness of the rocket. We both really enjoy the addition of the dukkah.
Our dukkah crusted steaks waiting to be cooked by Ryan. I underestimate how much dukkah is needed so Ryan has to sneak some of the leftover almond dukkah onto the last steak to cover it. I could have done with double the amount for the four steaks I bought.
Ryan wants to use the gas burner on the bbq to get a higher heat as their electric stove top is way to slow/low.
Steaks left to rest. The forth steak is an odd ugly shape so Ryan takes it out for photo purposes =D. We both feel that the flavours are a little too subtle for such a robust steak, I think it may have to do with the fact that they were only lightly coated and could have done with a thicker coating of dukkah. It was still very tasty though and the steaks were really good quality so the natural flavours came through. And Ryan cooked them well - medium all around.
My golden hasselback potatos. I could have left them in a little longer as they arn't as soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside as I had hoped. I was just too hungry/eager to eat so pulled them out when I thought they were done. Love love love potatoes. Didn't want the steaks to go cold either.
So there you have it, a fancy take on your humble steak and chips. I wanted to keep it simple as I'm always overloading plates and the dish never looks as pretty as I want it to be. Sometimes less is more.
I thought I would post up a couple of pics from the past. This is the earliest photo I could find, taken from my facebook albums. June 2008 - Ryan here cooking a steak and our 'hand cut potato chips'.
And this is the final result, oh what a catastrophe on presentation! We didn't make any sauce so I squeezed some dijonaise over the top.
Only other photo I could find of us cooking steak was January 2009. The steak here is seasoned with rosemary and garlic, served with a side of garlic mash and a salad thrown together with a pesto dressing. I really can't even remember the last time we had steak, maybe it was this one. If we've cooked steak since then, well there's no photographic evidence of it which is weird because I thought I would have taken photos of everything we cooked/ate since then. So how do you like to have your steak?