Thursday, February 10, 2011

Steak n' Potatoes

Sometimes you just need something meaty for dinner. I’m not talking about the folks like my stepfamily, who decided long ago that any dinner without cooked animal flesh, but that sense of umami goodness that warms and contents you from the inside out. Cooked, especially roasted, veggies like mushrooms and potatoes are just as good, if not better! There’s a reason why a slab of porterhouse tastes better with some sautéed mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes, and that BBQ sauce (inherently umami-containing) is so popular.

I will admit, though, that I used to be quite the sucker for a good roasted chicken, and even would be able to put away a Chicken and Ribs combo at Swiss Chalet. The funny thing, as I discovered by accident when I made these marinated eggplant slices, that it wasn’t the meat that I had the penchant for, but the marinade and sauce they used. The rib sauce, in particular, same flying back to me with this blend of sauces, garlic and vinegar that I smeared onto the cut eggplant to serve as a marinade and sauce. After a stint in the oven it had caramelized into the same thick, finger-licking coating I remembered, which makes me wonder if it’s akin to the restaurant’s “secret sauce”!

Teriyaki - Hoisin Eggplant "Steaks"
Serves 4
¼ cup “thin” teriyaki sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce (I used Steel's, with agave)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp mushroom soy sauce
1 ½ lbs eggplant, sliced lengthwise into ¾" thick pieces (purge with salt if it is overly large or bitter)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease two rimmed cookie sheets.
  2. In a bowl, mix together teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and soy sauce.
  3. Place eggplant slices in a shallow dish and spread / spoon the marinade overtop. Turn slices to coat and set aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove eggplant from the marinade and place on the prepared sheets.
  5. Bake 8 minutes each side, flipping halfway through.
  6. Turn oven to broil and roast 1 minute on each side, until browned and tender all the way through.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 75.6
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 934.8 mg
Total Carbs: 16.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
Protein: 3.3 g

Of course, a good steak needs a nice, carb-y potato to accompany it. Come to think of it, I can’t picture ever really having a grilled, bacon-wrapped tenderloin and pasta, or a New York striploin smothered in mushrooms and onions and served with a bowl of rice. Even breads and buns cry out for something “extra” to hold up their end of the spectrum, since while they’re all comfort foods, their “umami-ness” pales in comparison to the caramelized flavours. Whether mashed, Parisenne-style or part of good old steak frites, they really are the perfect side. These spuds are on the lighter side, but just as crispy and dippable as your run-of-the-mill French fry.

Crispy Oven Fries
Serves 4
4 baking potatoes, thinly cut into sticks
Kosher salt and black pepper
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheet with foil or parchment.
  2. Toss together potatoes, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread on one layer on the sheets.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then stir, raise heat to 425F and bake a further 10 minutes.
  5. Turn oven to broil and cook 2 minutes longer to crisp.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 168.0
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 11.0 mg
Total Carbs: 38.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Protein 4.6 g

1 comment :

David T. Macknet said...

Sounds yummy! I love Hoisin ... but it's a bit sodium-heavy for others.