Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dangerous Food

Sunday dinner.

Our SaveMart grocery unveiled an economic incentive package this week: chicken wings for $2.49/lb, boneless chuck roasts for $1.99/lb, catfish nuggets for $1.99/lb ... and tri-tip for $2.47/lb. Oh, and add in a coupon for five pounds of potatoes for 99 cents.

Therefore, Sunday dinner was a super-easy meal: tri-tip, fried potatoes, and salad.

Tri-tip is easy because you just put foil down on a roasting pan, fling in the tri-tip, fat side up, and season it. I use sea salt, garlic powder, and cumin. Into the oven it goes, at 425 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. (A meat thermometer says, "It's done" at an interior temp of 135 degrees.)

The toughest prep is peeling potatoes. One potato per person, and enough yellow onion, diced, to season lightly (about half a cup.) I have the good fortune to house a Cuisinart, so slicing the potatoes thinly is more like play than work. (Think pumpkin cannons or water balloons.) Vegetable oil in the frying pan, a couple pieces of onion so you know when to dump in the taters. When the onion scouts say they're starting to sizzle, you throw in the rest of the onion, and all of the sliced potatoes.

When the bottom layer is lightly browned, you turn them, of course. And then again. And again. Then you turn them down to "Low" and cover them until the family is drooling at the table.

It was a wonderful feast, the tri-tip medium to rare, the fried potatoes downright deadly. The salad was good, too, but the poor thing only ran interference to keep me from scraping all the fried potatoes onto my dish.

** Note: When the tri-tip measures 135 degrees, you take it from the oven and wrap it in foil for 10 minutes while you scream at the family to wash their hands, get the table set, get their drinks, turn the filthy TV off, and sit down and shut up. Then you slice it before you set it on the table, or else mayhem ensues. I've solved the difficult clean up and the wrap by lining the roasting pan with foil, which typical recipes omit because it isn't strictly necessary. **

The only pall on the dining experience was the swat team my husband called in. I did not appreciate the flak-jacketed jerk with helmet and bullhorn pointing at me and roaring, "Step away from the potatoes..."

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