Summers in Portland seem busier than they did in the Bay Area. I think this is because four months of Bay Area summer are stuffed into two months of Summer in Portland. All the vacation, bbqs, parties, hangouts, sunny hikes, and new project energy is distilled down into July and August.
In all the busy, I lost track of date night. Brett had to sit me down and remind me to work us time back into the calendar. Whoops! I really appreciate his saying something.
One of our favorite date nights is staying in to tackle a food project together. Food project date night gives us time to talk without interruption. It allows us to play with flavor and indulge our homebody side. It allows us to eat cuddled up on the couch.
For this date, we decided on Steak with Three Sauces. We were inspired by an overpriced, poorly executed meal at a steak house. One of those times where it is clear we could have done it better ourselves. The blue cheese butter and red wine mushrooms were both flavors that I grew up with. The chimichuri we made without ever having tried it before. Probably for the best. We decided to make it without realizing that it features parsley. . .blech! We substituted cilantro and really liked the results.
We started by asking the butcher at Whole Foods to recommend a cut of steak and how to cook it. He recommended cooking it in a high heat cast iron skillet for about 7 minutes on each side. It turned out delicious. Since I can’t remember the cut of steak he recommended or how large it was, I recommend talking to your butcher rather than trusting me on instructions for the steak.
Blue Cheese Butter
Grate the butter. Mix with equal parts blue cheese.
Red Wine Mushrooms
Clean and slice mushrooms. Simmer in red wine.
adapted from Simply Recipes. The big change we made was substituting cilantro for parsley because we don’t like parsley. It may not be authentic but it was delicious.
1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
3-4 garlic cloves
2 Tbsps fresh oregano leaves (can sub 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Finely chop the parsley, fresh oregano, and garlic (or process in a food processor several pulses). Place in a small bowl.
2 Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings.