Noah had to work on Valentine’s Day, second shift. Which was a bit of a bummer. But, to surprise him, I stayed up late and made a delectable sirloin and potato dinner for two. (Sirloin is his favorite). And for dessert, mini-cheesecakes, and chocolate covered strawberries.
Always try to start with dessert. It gets it out of the way and everything is ready to eat when you’re done cooking dinner. I was multi-tasking, so I thought putting the chocolate on a slow melt right next to my prep space would keep it from burning or seizing up.
It frees you up to do more important things…like chopping up potatoes because potatoes take a long time before they are smashable.
Don’t bother peeling them, texture is your friend. Just give them a rough chop so they’re all fairly small. The smaller they are, the quicker they’ll mush.
My cat is a little begger. Say “Hi” to Salem. You can’t tell because his bowl is currently empty, but I had just fed him!
Salem is also a dick. But I love him. Happy Valentine’s Salem!
So now that I had the potatoes going and the chocolate really slowly melting, it was time to move on to the dessert!
I don’t really do cheesecakes from scratch. I leave that to Noah. He’s practically pro at it.
It worked! The strawberries were successfully covered in the chocolate, even though I used the wrong kind. “Almond bark” is a really finicky product. Moisture can cause it to seize up and to separate and turn really icky. So I usually don’t try with fruit or anything with moisture. But since I couldn’t find the chocolate chips for anything, I prayed, and was rewarded.
I put them on the parchment paper and let them set until I was comfortable moving them to the fridge on a plate so they could more thoroughly set.
I think since I used a pre-made creole blend for my base, and added other kinds of seasons it’s technically a “fusion” blend. But that’s more just me getting ahead of myself. We’re not big herbs people, so we didn’t bother adding any of that.
I rubbed both sides of the meat down, and put them into separate pans (they genuinely wouldn’t both fit in one, and it was my biggest and second biggest oven-safe pans.) that had melted butter and just a teeny touch of vegetable oil in it. Not a lot, we’re not frying anything here, the pans just need a little fat and lube so they A. don’t stick and B. brown right.
Butter is best for browning and flavor, and vegetable oil keeps the butter from burning.
Then I started the gravy. Brown gravy roux needs to cook for a while, so it turns brown. So while the steaks were browning on each side, I put some butter on to gently melt, and added flour and let that cook gently until it was a great brown base.
The steaks needed to rest in the oven, so after the flour was brown, I poured the drippings from the steaks into the pan, and then a little water, Worcester sauce, a dribble of soy sauce, some black pepper, and onion powder. Bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer until it’s the consistency you want.
By then, your steaks should be done, cheesecakes should be set, and strawberries nice and chocolatey.