I picked up a flank steak on the weekend from Rowe Farms without having a plan for what to do with it. Thank goodness inspiration struck last night. The Beast read somewhere, Martha Stewart’s Living I believe, that it’s best to douse flank steak in some sherry vinegar and course sea salt. He was practicing the saxophone at his rehearsal space until late so I did the dousing when I got home from work. I stuck the marinating flank in the fridge, opened up a bottle of that Ontario, Rosewood Estates pinot noir that I’ve raved about and, get ready for it, I booked our flights to Italy online! That’s right folks: the Beast and I are Europe-bound from September 26 to October 11. I gleaned over the details on the computer, making sure our dates and personal information was entered just so, and because I was so nervous doing it, I drank my wine too fast. By the time the Beast got home, I was dancing and squealing with drunken delight.
Foodie: It’s done. IT’S DONE IT’S DONE IT’S DONE! I booked the flights! Just this very instant. Look–you can still see it on the computer screen!
Beast: Great! That’s just great!
Foodie: Look at the screen! See it there? Ohmygodohmygod. We are going to Italy mister! And I can’t wait to start planning but I won’t be bossy about the planning; I’ll allow a little wiggle room here and there but I can make reservations to visit the Uffizi….ohmygod….I CANNOT wait to take you there. I’ve given tours of the Uffizi, you know that right? AND Assisi! Ohmygod you are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE Assisi. And charming Settignano too. BUT the forum. I think I might cry just thinking about: the two of us walking through the Roman Forum together. Can I have a cigarette?
Beast: I thought you weren’t smoking.
Foodie: I’m not but I feel like celebrating a bit.
Beast: I see you’ve had some wine.
Beast: Is the steak marinating?
Foodie: Of course it is. You gave me strict instructions and I followed them AND I BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS TO ITALY.
Beast: I’m excited that you’re so excited. Man oh man are you excited. Are you hungry?
Beast: Do you remember the cooking time for flank steak?
Foodie: I think it’s six minutes per side.
So the Beast heated up the BBQ and for some reason, despite his usual preference for barely-cooked beef, he cooked the flank steak for eight minutes aside. (I think it may have been that he was distracted: he was hungry for attention and kept trying to distract me with hugs, song-playing, and dancing while I was trying to email my friend Michelle in Italy to tell her about our trip.) After letting the meat rest for a good ten minutes, the Beast sliced it up and was a touch disappointed that there was only a slight trace of pink. I, on the other hand, couldn’t have cared less.
While the steak rested, I whipped up a cilantro-garlic sauce that our friend Paula first fed to us years ago when we spent a week on the beach with her and her family in North Carolina. It’s very easy to make, and even easier to eat. We arranged a pile of wild arugola on each of our plates, divided up the flank steak on top of this, and then finished the plates with shavings of parmigiano reggiano, cracked pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil.
Foodie: I love the cilantro sauce, and it goes so nicely with steak, but I don’t know if it’ll go with the arugola and parmigiano.
Beast: Only one way to find out.
Timidly, we dunked a few forkfuls of our steak salad into the sauce. Silence followed, and a few satisfied grunts. Half-way through the meal, the Beast had an epiphany: He ripped off half a baguette, filled it with the remainder of his steak salad, and then carefully drizzled the cilantro-garlic sauce into the sandwich. I was very proud of him, and I sort of wish I had done the same, but I’d already finished my dinner.
That’s what happens when you’re in love with a Beast: One minute they might be playing the saxophone with no pants on, and the next, they’re making gourmet sandwiches fit for a pseudo-foodie.