One of THOSE days (aka Filet Mignon on Charred Onions and Crispy Gruyere Potato Cakes)
Have you ever had one of THOSE days? Where nothing goes as planned? Yesterday was one of those days.
Tuesday night was my grocery store night and in a rebellious moment, I splurged on a package of lovely tenderloin steaks. I love a good steak and so do both of the
carnivores er, guys I live with. I have a wonderful honey marinade recipe that I usually use with steaks – it’s easy, we all love it, but one does have to think ahead to get it marinating about a day before using it. And, of course, I forgot.
So, no problem, right? Let’s do something new and different. No matter how good that marinade is, there’s always something else really good right around the corner. Right? I surfed and I browsed and I drooled and finally I decided on this recipe – Filet Mignon on Charred Onions and Zucchini with Balsamic Vinegar Sauce. Sounds delish, doesn’t it?
I knew I didn’t have any zucchini at home, and I didn’t want to stop at the store, but no problem again. I’d just substitute what I did have. What did I have? I had some potatoes. I had some mushrooms. I had some lettuces. I had some bell peppers. My boyfriend hates bell peppers, so I can only use those when I can hide them in the dish somehow, so those were out. Lettuce wasn’t right. So, mushrooms and potatoes won.
I wanted to maintain the idea of stacking the veggies under the meat, and I thought something crispy would go well, so I figured I’d do a little crispy potato cake thing at the bottom, with some mushrooms and cheese in the center of the potatoes for flavor and interest.
Right, then! All figured out and ready to go. But remember, this was one of THOSE days.
- Turns out, I didn’t have mushrooms at all. No biggie, just potatoes and cheese will work.
- Did you know that when reducing red wine and balsamic vinegar, it can turn from very liquidy to syrup to TOTALLY BURNED AND USELESS in about 1 second? While you are watching?
- Trying to flip an entire pan full of hash browns without dumping it all over your cluttered stove top with several hot burners is really hard.
- Getting an attractive photograph of a plate full of brown is quite challenging.
As one of THOSE days go, I suppose it was a pretty minor one. At the end, we had a decent steak – cooked my usual way instead of specified in the recipe though. I always sear on the stove top and finish in the oven as I find trying to do it all the way on the stove top gives you a burned outer crust before you get the center cooked right, even for rare. The potato cakes did come out well despite the huge mess I made. I whipped together a red wine and dijon pan sauce at the last minute to replace the balsamic vinegar reduction, and although it was not a winner (so I didn’t include it in the recipe), it didn’t ruin the dish. Just pretend there’s no sauce in the picture, ‘k?
I’ve adjusted this recipe to try to solve some of the problems I had. Hopefully it will work better for y’all!
Bottom line – a bite of good rare steak combined with a bite of crispy potato cake and some charred onions is a pretty tasty bite.