Saturday, February 14, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 73

Happy St. Valentines day to those who celebrate it, and to those who don't happy "Chocolate is 50% off eve."

You'll have to wait til tomorrow to learn what my stance is (I may even dig up old pictures to explain it, or I may not. They say mysteriousness is sexy so I'm trying it out, but I don't think the cloak and hood really works, I keep bumping into things).

I made these lofty claims yesterday that we actually got a snow day! And I'm sure some of you (well okay maybe just Linda, she really has far too much faith in me I fear) figured we'd use that extra hour to build a snowman, get into a snowball fight and organize a closet or two.

Instead we went the generally lazy route. The only really exciting thing we wound up doing was to make a rather fancy meal out of fairly cheap ingredients.

It all starts with the cut of meat. We love to peruse the "special today" stickers in our local meat counter. We found a pretty nice score of a Beef Round that was 2 pounds for only $6 but what does one do with a Round? Marinate, marinate, marinate.

I am a big believer in marinating, though I keep it pretty simple. Some meat tenderizer (since round is full of lots of connective tissue), some salt (also helps in tenderizing so not just for flavor), some spices, some olive oil and a cup of wine.

I just pierced the roast and then let it sit in the marinade overnight til I was ready to prepare it around 3 yesterday.
And since we were suddenly having such a fancy meal I figured what the hell lets break out a bottle of wine. While I will cook with it from time to time we are not big drinkers. Which is funny since we bought about 10 bottles of wine on our honeymoon. And that's what we enjoyed last night (though not all 10 bottles).

It isn't a typical grape wine, this one is made with black currants so it has a very nice acidity that gives it a sour bite that I really enjoy (I'm that weird kid that would eat 5 tearjerkers at once).
So I hear you asking, if you had marinated that meat overnight you were clearly planning on making this before you knew about the snow day so what did you do that was so special?

Two words: mashed potatoes!

Usually we just don't take the time to prepare mashed potatoes and just microwave up a quick baked potato (or when really pressed make the boxed kind). But with our extra hour my husband lovingly chopped up the potatoes and got them aboiling. He even took the mashing duties (which is hard as we don't currently have a masher, instead we appointed a big fork).

Then I added my favorite additions of sour cream, butter, salt, pepper and of course lots of milk. If I'd had it I would have added cream cheese to it as well. If you want the creamiest mashed potatoes ever just add about 4 ounces of cream cheese. Oh man, that's like heaven.

Here is our final plate, paintbrush by the side is optional of course.
It's amazing how one can feel like they're having a decadent meal and in the end it only cost about oh maybe $4-$5 a plate. It's all in how we trick the brain.

Too bad I couldn't post this long before Val-day huh? Maybe given couples some ideas in this economy? Once I invent that time machine I'll totally do that.

Happy Sticky Things and Foliage day everyone!


EthidiumBromide said...

Another easy way to mash potatoes without a masher (probably way easier than with a fork) is to use the bottom of a ladle. That's what I've always done. We don't eat potatoes much, but when we do I prefer them mashed because it's so easy to make then that way!

Anonymous said...

Haha. Chocolate is 50% off eve.

Those mashed potatoes and sound and look really tasty! :)

Linda said...

Looks delish! I was thinking about looking for ways to make cheaper cuts of meat yummy. Thanks for reading my mind!
And yes I have a lot of faith in you! I love reading about what you get up to! I look forward to it in fact.

Leslie said...

The easiest way I know how to make mashed potatoes is with an electric hand mixer. My husband's grandmother taught me that.