Were any of you feeling like I felt after all the chagim? Thinking you could never let another morsel of food into your mouth? That you would never cook again? That you would never even look at food again??
Well, it’s a funny thing, how the body works exactly. What felt like a full, overfed, perhaps overstuffed body, was now hungry again, and the other people in the house were asking what you were making for dinner. What? If not as soon as havdalah was finished, then by the next day at the very latest. After you wiped your chin off the floor you realized that life goes on. And cooking and eating resume. But, of course, everyone wants something different than what was made on the holidays. So, definitely no leftovers (and definitely nothing you froze from the first days, thinking you would use it on the last days but never did). Now, that’s a tall order to fill. Considering how many meals you had to serve over the holidays, you probably went through your entire repertoire of recipes. And now, you are done with chicken, done with brisket and London broil, done with quiche, done with salmon, done with salad and most certainly done with quinoa. I know that I won’t eat another piece of roasted cauliflower again for a long time. So what’s left?
As I was driving down North Avenue in New Rochelle with my son, on the way to New Roc Glatt (you know, to buy some more chicken and meat, of course), we both said simultaneously, “We haven’t had Chinese in a while.” Then we both laughed. Yeah, it was really funny. Should we? Nah… We just continued on our way and bought some skirt steak and dark meat chicken cutlets. There, just like that, the next two nights of dinner were set. And I am back to my daily grind.
With the next food holiday about three weeks away, it’s time to get back into an easy dinner routine. For now. The skirt steak was easily prepared and I decided to make it two ways. Half with a spicy chili lime rub, and half with a sweet sauce. While the steak was broiling, I put up some coconut rice as a side dish. When it was done, my son tasted the rice and declared that something was missing. “Like what?” I asked. “I don’t know, maybe some cumin,” he said. I made a face. “How about cinnamon?” “Cinnamon?” I scrunched up my nose. “Or something like coriander?” I didn’t think that would work. “No, Mom, I just mean like some Indian spices.” Oh, I got it! I had bought a bottle of garam masala and had never used it! Perfect. I pulled out the bottle and said, “Garam masala is an Indian spice, how about we try that?” I looked at the bottle and sheepishly read him the ingredients: “Um, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and coriander.” He looked at me with a look that said, “I guess I really am brilliant.” Anyway, the rice was a hit, and so were the steaks. Enjoy!
Skirt Steak Two Ways
(Skirt steak is very salty and it should be soaked in cold water for a few hours, with frequent changes of the water, prior to cooking)
4 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Zest of 1 lime, or 2 teaspoons dried lime
2 cloves minced garlic
½ teaspoon coriander
Rub all over steak and grill 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness or how well-done you prefer.
4 heaping tablespoons of strawberry jam or preserves
4 tablespoons apple cider or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Brush sauce on the meat and broil 3-4 minutes per side. Brush with more sauce when it is done.
As for the rice, I cooked 2 cups of jasmine rice in 2 cups water plus one 15-ounce can of coconut milk. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala or any spices you, or your child, feel might go well with it.
By Rachel Berger