Sunday, September 12, 2010

Executing Dinner

No good could possibly come of this...

alt + f4

"When possible, make a U-Turn..."

This isn't even one of those "Do as I say, not as I do!!!" moments, because, in all honesty, it is a "Don't do as I say, or as I do (did!!!)"

To put this in perspective, if this were an episode of Top Chef, you would have broken free from that cocoon-like couch of yours and screamed at me, "What are you thinking Alvarado!!!!" as I fumbled and punted my way through this self-imposed quickfire challenge.

Disaster of epic proportions, steakicide, or palate cleansing, cannot even begin to describe this culinary catastrophe.

I would have been packing my knives even before Padma sashayed out and gave everyone their elimination challenge--cook a Tomahawk Steak over a Bunsen Burner using only an eyelash curler.

It all started with a phone call from my wife, Sara, and a seemingly innocuous sale at Fresh and Easy.

I should have known, I sent her there to grab zucchini and fresh tomatoes.

NY steaks were on sale, and they looked too good to pass up.

me: "NY steaks?"

Sara: "NY steaks!"

me: "Where's the zucchini?"

Now, it's not too late to quit right now. Switch to a more reputable blog like Chez Pim, Orangette, or SmittenKitchen.

SO there sat a value pack of NY Strip Steaks in the refrigerator. A ticking time bomb if you will.

Each day they sat there the sell by date just glaring at me each time I opened the refrigerator door. "Cook me, cook me, COOOOOooOOOoOOoOoOoOOOoooooooOOok me...."

Finally, I set a date to cook the steaks. Two days after the sell by date said I should, but we sometimes live dangerously here in Casa Alvarado.

I got home by 5pm and Sara would be home around 5:45/6 with the kids. I took a look in the pantry and somehow against all better judgment and wisdom (what little I have) I start on a quick marinade.

Not a dry or wet rub, but a marinade--stone cold sober, I made my go to quick marinade. A lean cut of meat IMHO should always be cooked with a flavorful rub at a high temp for a short amount of time. Where was my humble opinion then?

In go the steaks into my tamari marinade, where the marinade is going exactly is beyond me, seeing as these steaks had very little marbling on them, and I had to get those puppies on the grill by 5:25--the grill which has no gas...

*multiple loud expletives*

(Relax, relax, the kiddos were not home yet.)

So just to recap here what exactly went wrong here? a) Sara bought the steaks, b) they sat for 5 days in the fridge, c) I marinated them for all of 5 minutes, d) No reputable source of heat for these steaks, e) all of the above.

For those of you playing at home, e it is, and oh no, we are not even cooking yet!

Steaks in a marinade and no gas... I bust out my griddler, pop on the grill plates, and set it to sear. The green light comes on after 10 minutes and I supposedly am ready to sear. I put the steaks on and nada, nuffin', a big ol' goose egged zero. I take half of the steaks off and drop the top on to the steaks. Double the heat and half the time can't be a bad thing right? Well maybe if I had done a nice rub, but with some of that marinade still on the steaks, I essentially start to steam the sh!t of them.


I turn on the broiler and yank the rack out of my toaster oven thinking I might be able to save these poor souls.

I can't even begin to tell you how the side dishes were going. It's hard enough rehashing the steaks alone. Maybe I should have done just that at that point. Chop up 'em up and make hash.

Or lemonade?

So in go the the steaks under the broiler and there in just under 10 minutes, half turned to shoe leather on the outside, and remained raw in the center, and for the other half they were well done throughout.

I look up from the sizzling steaks turned gristle in time to see Sara pull up in the van and start to unload the kiddos.

A cold sweat pours over me--I have been caught in the act.

It's too late to hide the corpses and order Poquito Mas, but it's never too late to whip up some steak sauce to cover up the horrific and brutal murder that lies beneath.

Now why didn't I think of that?!?

I just spent the entire dinner apologizing for the steaks, and telling the boys that they couldn't have steak, because if they did, they would never want to eat it again.

"Forever daddy?" asks William.

"Forever-ever." I reply.

"Daddy?" William is formulating a phrase, perhaps an all absolving sentence as he so aptly and often does. This is a deep one too. The stress of it all will soon be over with one sweet utterance out of my older boy's mouth, and only from his.

Sara and Gavin are too busy chewing the F out of their "steaks" as he looks me sweetly in eyes. God, that just makes my day, y'know?

"What buddy?" I smile in kind.

"Maybe mommy should cook the frozen pizza tomorrow night for sleepover?" he shrugs.



Damn, he's smart.