The hippies were over again, and so usually that means several weeks of good vegetarian food to post on my blog. Certainly some of the things going on in my kitchen were worthy of writing about. But I didn't, because I wasn't the cook pretty much the whole time people were over. Wife and I both like to cook for others, but she likes to entertain, and so she always made sure people had something tasty in hand. When she wasn't cooking, our guests were. I gorged myself on homemade pizza, and ate a crazy good quinoa salad with curry powder AND brown sugar, but apart from something I've already blogged about, I traded the kitchen for a cold beer and a Stephen King short story collection. I wish I did have some fantastic new veggie meal to share, but I will have to console myself with presenting what I made Wife and I the night before our guests arrived--an amazing round steak sandwich.
It wasn't supposed to be--my menu, meticulously planned, said "pork chops," and by now you probably know I'm a stickler for whatever's on the menu. But the round steak was marked down, and when I found a perfect package of ciabatta rolls, I was sold on the idea. Still, it starts with the produce. As you can see, I had a green bell pepper, a prepackaged container of mushrooms, and a yellow onion. Normally, I would cook this all together, but I wanted to make sure my sandwich had a ton of flavor, so I approached the mushrooms the way my wife would. Into a large cast iron skillet went a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once it had melted and was sizzling, I placed the mushrooms in a single layer.
|One layer! Very important!|
I cooked them in batches, about 3-5 minutes a side, until they were a beautiful golden brown, and lightly sprinkled them with salt. Wife began preparing all mushrooms this way after a Good Eats episode where Alton Brown said that mushrooms needed to be treated like meat, and it certainly brings out the best in them when they are seared like this. At the same time, I heated a second cast iron with a bit of olive oil, and added the bell pepper and half the onion, thinly sliced, and began cooking them down as well.
|From the Winco Deli.|
|Eye of round is super cheap.|
|High heat, short cooking time on these guys.|
|The good stuff.|
|The onions are well caramelized.|
|Pretty hefty sandwiches.|
|Where flavor lives.|