I’d be lying if I said I’d been feeling the “cooking love” lately. I’m not comfortable in our new kitchen yet, most of our stuff is still in boxes in the garage, and we’ve been busy, plain and simple. But I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of the thing I love so much, and last week helped. A lot.
Sidebar: J was on a mini-tour a few weeks ago, and brought home the most delicious, stinky, block of Wisconsin Blue Cheese for me. I knew I wanted it to shine, and in my head, in the grocery store, was plotting some kind of steak salad. That is, until, I hit Local, our “I’m sure you’re sick of hearing me talk about it, but are totally jealous” favorite place on earth. New Yorkers have Eataly, we have Local.
I walked into the best shop on earth with full intentions of grabbing some local ground chicken and chorizo for tacos, and some Middlebrook Farms Grassfed meat for the salad. The shop also carries local produce in season, and had beautiful bags of arugula from Granor Farms, one of which was definitely making its way into my dinner.
All the best intentions, until I spoke with Pat. Pat’s the brawn behind the shop, the chef, the butcher for all intents and purposes. He knows J and I, knows how we eat and cook, and planted a sick little idea in my mind. Handing over a flank steak with instructions for some marinating time, I asked about bacon. “It’s wrong to put bacon in that, right?” The most rhetorical question I could ever ask this man. Of course it’s right. It’s always right. He kindly cut off some lardons off the newest batch of bacon, as I wrapped up our transaction with the plan: grilled steak, over local arugula and radishes, topped with blue cheese and bacon.
Sick, and oh so good. I marinated the steak in a bit of white wine vinegar and salt, and let it sit all day in the fridge. When we finally got around to cooking, the whole meal came together in less than 25 minutes. While J grilled the steak to absolute medium-rare perfection, I rendered out the bacon, saving the bacon fat to use as a dressing. (I told you I was sick.) Thinly sliced radishes and arugula dressed with a combination of the bacon fat and white wine vinegar and a hint of agave, piled high on the plate. Topped with the thinly sliced steak, crumbled blue cheese and the bacon, I drizzled a bit of the dressing on top of the whole meal, and cracked some serious sea salt over the whole thing.
In-freaking-sane. Magical. Simple, easy, and basically all from within 10 miles of home, saving a few extra miles for the still “local” Wisconsin Blue. Both J and I agree; one of the best meals I’ve ever made.
Put this on your must make this summer list. Use what you can find, unless you’re in my neck of the woods. In which case, if you haven’t already made a visit to P&E Mullins, go ask for all these ingredients.
Just tell them I sent you.