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Steak's Supporting Cast

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Chef Casey

For Tonight & Tomorrow: Fire up your cast-irons or get some coals on the grill!

  1. Potatoes: Bring potatoes to boil gently, let rest in the pot, and bring to a boil again just before serving.  They’re approaching overcooked if the skins split  Drain and toss with oil, salt, and herbs.  Great for a head start on breakfast.
  2. Salad: Shave fennel and slice apples, toss with verjus, oil, salt and herbs.  Makes a great addition to salads or is perfect by itself.
  3. Wilted Greens: Stem and chop kale, collard greens, and chard.  Saute with thinly sliced onion and minced garlic; use splashes of stock to help wilt them quickly.  Don’t overcook them--you don’t want slime.
  4. Mushrooms: A perfect accompaniment to meat:  sauteed mushrooms and onions with a simple red or white wine pan sauce.  The better the butter and wine, the better the sauce.
  5. Leftovers: If you cook off extra potatoes, mushrooms and greens, you’ve got 90 percent of a glorious breakfast--use those leftovers!

Not included: Nuetral oil, olive oil, meat protein, salt, wine, butter


Whether you’re cooking for a date, celebrating, or just want to treat yourself and your family or friends, a steak dinner is always fun and easy to make any night an occasion.  Assuming you consume animal products, though these ideas work for any entree, we’re going to be looking at some simple sides that let your meal’s star shine while not letting you down in flavor.  Fire up your cast-irons or get some coals on the grill!


Let’s start off with some potatoes--so early in the season the Yukon Gold we have coming in are on the smaller side, with a bit more of a delicate quality to them.  My favorites are the tiny spuds that can be as small as a large pea--you might get lucky with a few of those scattered through your portion.  Wash your potatoes, get them in a covered pot with cold stock or water with a good whack of salt, and get them on a medium-high heat.  Once they come up to a boil, uncover them and set them aside.  We’ll get back to them later.


You’re going to want something refreshing to balance out your lovely spuds, contrast with whatever meat you’re preparing, and ward off that summertime heat.  A classic combination is fennel and apples, so here we go:  Pick the fronds from the fennel gently and reserve them--one way to keep herbs fresh is by storing them in ice-water.  Trim the stalks from the bulb and peel off the outer layer, trim the base, and shave the bulb crosswise thinly.  Core and slice an equivalent amount of apples similarly, immediately putting them into a bowl and tossing through with some verjus or an acid.  Add a scant splash of olive oil with a pinch of salt and give it a toss, tasting and adjusting as needed.  Chop up some parsley and thyme to lighten the slaw, and you’re done--get it in the refrigerator.  Garnish with the fronds when serving.


Wilted greens are quick-to-cook and help tie your meal together.  While we’re at it, let’s get a garnish together for whatever protein you’re cooking.  Take some mushrooms, clean them, and pat dry gently.  Slice an onion thinly and mince some garlic, chop up some parsley and thyme, chop up hard greens--chard, kale, and collard greens--if you’re cooking meat, do so.  While that’s resting, put your potatoes back on to a boil once more and get a pan hot--you’re going to want to use stainless steel if you have one--once it’s hot enough to make a flick of water dance, add a splash of neutral oil with the mushrooms and a pinch of salt.  Saute until fragrant, add half of your onions, give it a few tosses, add some garlic, and cook until you can smell the garlic sweeten.  Immediately remove your garnish from the pan; toss in the rest of your onions, garlic, and greens.  Add another splash of oil and salt, give it a quick toss, and add a splash of stock or water.  Keep the heat up and toss frequently until the greens are tender--about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Immediately remove from the pan.


If you cooked your meat in a pan, get that hot or use the one you’ve already got out; add a three-count pour of wine--white or red depending on your protein--and use a spatula or wooden spoon to lift up that caramelized sear-residue fond.  Add in any resting liquid from your protein.  Bring that to a ripping boil and reduce by half or more, turn off the heat and add some cold butter, whisking to bring together a classic pan sauce.  Season it and chuck in some of your herbs.  Drain the potatoes and toss while still steaming with butter or olive oil, salt, and herbs.  You’re now ready to plate up.


If you’ve got any leftovers, you’re in luck.  The fennel slaw can last overnight, so toss that with some vinaigrette through some salad mix!  You can gently smash the potatoes--using your palm or a pot and pressing just until you feel a pop--and pan-fry with chilis for breakfast.  Chill any leftover greens and run them through a grain salad.  Always save your scraps--garlic peel, onion skin, fennel stalks--and use them for making stock.  The fennel stalks also can be used like celery if you so desire.  Just add eggs to your leftovers for an easy morning!

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