I usually take special requests from Jen when she is due to come back from a long trip. Nothing could be better than returning home from a long trip to just the right meal. This is because I like to think I'm the world's greatest husband.
Jen said that she'd like to return to a nice roast though she was short on details about what said roasted item should be. I looked around for a good thing to roast but instead I found this great-looking bone-in ribeye which was on special. Technically I could roast that in the oven. Jen was on the plane so I couldn't call her to verify this is what she had in mind.
This is because I'm not actually
the world's greatest husband.
I did, however, pick up a 6-pack of Shock Top
. Every so often I find a beer that I think that Jen will like and I get it for her. Here's my simple formula for narrowing down whether or not Jen is going to like a beer. The more questions you answer "yes" to the more likely she is to like it.
- Is it Belgian-style but not actually from Belgium?
- Is it, in fact, from a major American beer producer?
- Is it often served in bars with a slice of orange?
- Does the word "wheat" appear on the label?
- Does it have fewer than 20 IBUs?
- Does it contain less than 5.5% alcohol?
- Does the word "spices" appear anywhere on the label?
I thought this beer would be a slam dunk in that, on the label, it had a picture of an orange with a mohawk made out of stalks of wheat. That seemed like a rather gratuitous bonus on their part. While Jen did enjoy the beer I think she would have preferred a Blue Moon. So it is that I'm going to add the following question to my list:
Is it Blue Moon?
For salad I tossed kale with sliced sunchokes, and salted peanuts. I dressed it with the juice of a Minneola (because there happened to be one on the counter), sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This is a variation on one of Jen's favorite salads as well. How did I do so far? I think I made up for the upcoming lack of roast.
For myself I got this Blond from Affligem
. This beer caught my eye because I noted that the brewery was established in 1074. This was a little bit of a bummer because I prefer my breweries to have been established before
the Battle of Hastings. However, I figured if they'd been at this for 937 years that I would give them a try. Ten years ago I'm not so sure I would have trusted them. I picked this beer for myself based on my criteria for whether or not I am going to love a beer. The same rules apply: the more questions I answer "yes" to the more likely I am to like the beer.
- Is this beer brewed by monks?
- Is the brewery at least 400 years old?
- Is their website a terrible Flash-based website at a .BE domain name?
- Does their website feature music of chanting monks that causes you to search around for the button to click to turn it off?
- Do half the things on their website lead to "Coming Soon" pages or "Content Not Available" messages?
- Is it likely that this brewery is far more interested in making good beers than in designing a website that is any way helpful or informative?
- Is it a beer I have never heard of before?
- Do you have to search around for the English version of their website?
- Is the alcohol content somewhere between 6.5 and 9.0%?
- Have I likely been mispronouncing the name of the brewery?
In the background you can also note a somewhat failed loaf of bread. I think my yeast had given up the ghost. Or thousands of tiny ghosts. At any rate it didn't rise at all.
I lightly seasoned the ribeye, seared it well on both sides, then roasted it in the oven until it was a perfect medium rare. I don't mean that to imply that I am great at this by any means, it just happened that it came out perfectly. After I took the ribeye out of the oven to let it rest I rendered some bacon in the same pan, threw in some diced onion and then finally tossed in the peas with a little salt and pepper. I served the peas over the ribeye with some mashed potatoes. I realized that I never make mashed potatoes other than on Thanksgiving and that is just wrong. Using skim milk and just a little butter I have a pretty good technique for making them where they aren't the worst thing in the world to consume. They're certainly less dangerous than the heavy cream version with European high-fat butter I learned to make in my restaurant days. This whole meal, beer included, was a great welcome home dinner. Along with some new episodes of Top Gear
(new to us anyway) it was the perfect dinner for a night of -3 degrees fahrenheit (-19 celsius).
Tomorrow: Even colder temperatures and my backup roast idea gets put into play!
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