Friday, June 22, 2007

AB's Swiss Steak for Dinner

I was in Von's today -- actually there to pick up a gift card for a friend's 90th birthday party tomorrow -- and meandered down the produce aisles and grabbed some fresh fruit. Cherries, peaches, grapes. Got some U Bet chocolate syrup to try making my first egg creams; can't wait for that. The syrup, seltzer and milk are all chilling for later. Then I got the idea to try Alton Brown's Swiss steak for dinner and grabbed a nice top round steak. I know he recommends a bottom round, but this works fine too. We had picked up at TJ Maxx one of those meat tenderizers he used on his show, and I wanted to try it out. So here's how I made it.

Alton Brown's Swiss Steak

2 lb. top round, cut into serving-size pieces
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

Season the meat with the salt and pepper; don't skimp on the salt. Dredge in flour, tapping off the excess. Tenderize with your device of choice. Dredge again in flour, tap off excess. Heat 1/4 cup oil in pan; when oil shimmers, brown a few pieces of meat about 3 or 4 minutes on each side. Do not crowd. Remove when browned to plate. Repeat with remaining pieces.

2 onions, peeled, halved, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, sliced (AB's recipe called for celer; we didn't have any.)
3 garlic cloves, minced

Add onions and bell pepper to pan. Saute a few minutes. Add the garlic.

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Add paste to the pan with the vegetables. Stir to coat. Add the garlic.

Add to the pan:

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
28 oz. can chopped tomatoes (AB's recipe called for 14 1/2 oz can.)
1 1/2 cups beef broth (used water and a boullion cube)

Bring to a boil. Add the meat and accumulated juices back to the pan. Push the meat in so it's nestled in the sauce. Cover; transfer to preheated 325 oven. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is fork tender.

It's been in the oven over an hour, and the house smells fantastic. Can't wait to try it with nice steamed rice and some mixed vegetables on the side.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Best Meal in a Long Time -- and We Only Had to Travel to Minneapolis To Get It!

112 Eatery in Minneapolis

Here's a link to a fantastic restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. One of the best meals we've had in years.

Grey Goose martinis
rioja, marqués de céceres, spain 2004
blue prawns w/ rooster mayo
lamb scottadito w/ goats milk yogurt
sea scallops w/ oyster mushrooms
stringozzi w/ lamb sugo
nori encrusted sirloin w/ ponzu
cauliflower fritters
tres leches cake

A very relaxed atmosphere with efficient and friendly wait staff. Definitely looking forward to a repeat visit.