Friday night. The end of the working week for most of us. I generally have a huge sense of relief coupled with overwhelming anticipation and excitement. As if every Friday 5.30 pm signals a life of leisure from now on rather than a paltry two days. Of course, the joy I feel on a Friday is also to do with the fact that up till now I’ve been paid weekly on a Friday – its payday too.
Despite all that I’m usually well tired. I have to dig into dwindling reserves to go home, get changed and go out again to see friends for drinks or to smarten up and brave the general public and London transport for a restaurant. So, sometimes I stay in.
Friday night dinner is different to the Sunday roast or the week night mash-up. It’s got to be a bit decadent, a bit special cause after all; it’s a celebration meal. And, alongside all that it should be quick, and relatively simple cause you’ve been working hard all week and don’t want to think too much or toil too long for your grub. A takeaway is often the right choice.
This Friday I was fed up with the winter weather and didn’t want the usual British winter fare or greasy take out. I wanted sunshine and vitamins. Fuck local, seasonal produce. Fuck the biting cold outside. I want steak and salsa. The luxury of a good hunk of cow, the heat and fresh zing of the tomato salsa with the distinctive flavour of coriander humming through. Creamy avocado gave a pleasant contrast in texture. Oh, and I slung on a fried egg. Again.
This meal was like consuming a culinary Duracell. No post carb slump and you get a fair shock of chilli and sharp flavours with a blast of protein of to kick your energy levels up the arse. Sunshine on a plate and other clichés like that.
Steak and Salsa – serves 2
2 good quality rib-eye steaks (lots of marbled fat and a dark colour)
2 cloves garlic crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
Heaped teaspoon chilli powder
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 ripe tomatoes diced (skinned if you can be arsed)
Big bunch of coriander roughly chopped
Half a red onion finely diced
1 spring onion finely sliced
Juice of 1 lime
1 red chilli finely chopped
Massive nob of butter
4 bean salad (ready made supermarket version)
Can of refried beans
1) First the marinade. Pat dry your steaks with kitchen towel. Put all the marinade ingredients into a bowel and mix – you’ll want a good 3 or four glugs of olive oil and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper.
2) Spoon over the steaks and massage in. Leave to marinade at room temperature while you get on with the salsa.
3) Get chopping and put all the ingredients together in a big bowl. Mix well and taste. It needs to have a nice shine from the olive oil so add about 3 glugs and more if you think it needs it. Taste and judge – too spicy and tart a little bit more sugar. To bland, more salt and a touch more chilli. Totally to preference.
4) Heat up a heavy based frying pan till smoking hot, add a splash of oil then a big nob of butter. Scrape the majority of the garlic and marinade off the steaks and add to the pan when the butter is foaming.
5) Alex does the manly thing and takes over the cooking of the steaks in our flat. Its about 2 minutes a side for medium rare and 5 for well done. For his thoughts on steak go here.
6) Heat up another frying pan with a splash of oil and a nob of butter (surprise surprise). When that’s about to foam crack the two eggs in. Cook to your preference – I like mine flipped so the white is set but the yolk is runny.
7) While the steaks are resting blast the refried beans for about a minute in the same pan as the steaks till cooked through.
8) Serve with the eggs on top of the steaks. And Tabasco on the eggs – cause as you now know, its great.