Luke and I always love when we get to start using the grill again. One of our favorite things to grill is either tri-tip (that’s probably a sirloin or toploin cut for you East Coasters) or London broil, marinated or rubbed down with seasonings. Meat prices have been pretty good out here and the weather’s even better so we’ve had a nice steak dinner about once a week or so. I thought I’d share what I like to make along with our steak.
First up is Pan-Roasted Asparagus. You can get asparagus year-round, but it is definitely best when it’s in season, so it is excellent right now! Look for small, closed heads and thin stalks. Roasting is definitely my favorite way to have asparagus, and I’ve always done it in the oven up until now. I was reading Chef Tom Colicchio’s book Think Like a Chef, and discovered that whatever could be roasted in the oven could be roasted in a pan on the stove. That’s definitely a plus in the summer, because who wants to heat the whole house up by turning on the oven? It’s also about 15 minutes faster to do it this way! Roasting gives asparagus a nice, rich, almost nutty flavor, and the olive oil really compliments it.
Trim the hard ends off the asparagus, and rinse and dry. Heat a skillet over medium, and add about 2-3 T. olive oil once it is heated. Add asparagus, and saute for about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and roast the asparagus until tenter, turning occasionally. You may need to add more olive oil at this point. When you turn the heat down, add salt and pepper to taste. Towards the end of roasting, add some Italian seasoning to taste.
Another side dish we like to have with our steak is what I guess I’ll call Camp Fire Potatoes. These are a stove-top take on the potatoes we all loved to make at Civil War reenactments! I like to use the red-skin potatoes because you can leave the skin on when you cook them. These potatoes are a real comfort food, tender and buttery! They’re also really great for breakfast, just change the seasonings to Mexican spices or just use salt and pepper.
Camp Fire Potatoes
(For 2 people) Wash and thinly slice about 5-6 medium to large red-skin potatoes. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a stick of butter and a dash of olive oil (to keep the butter from burning). When the butter is melted, add the potatoes and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a seasoning to taste: Italian with steak, Mexican for breakfast, etc. Turn the potatoes every few minutes, and season again when you’ve turned them the first time. Cook, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. They’ll start to fall apart a bit when you turn them at the end and they might stick to the pan a little bit, but as you turn, scrape the bottom of the pan to unstick them.
Do all the prep work for the potatoes and asparagus ahead of time if you’d like. The potatoes take around a half hour to cook, and the asparagus takes about 20 minutes. Luke and I like our steak about medium, so depending on the thickness of our steak, it generally takes 20-30 minutes to cook. Add some fruit or a salad and you’ve got a great steak dinner in about a half hour!