I used to live 600 miles away from my family. The week after I graduated college, I up and moved what little I had to Philadelphia to start my “adult life” in a big city. Philadelphia took me in, and, over the next 6 years, I managed to forge out a truly happy life for myself. One lingering sadness over those 6 years, however, was living so far away from my family. I missed birthdays, celebrations, reunions, and the day to day stuff of life that solidifies strong bonds.
But now I’m back in Indiana, only 40 miles away from my parents. Which is awesome, because it allows me to do things like have my mom over for a Mother’s Day overnight stay, complete with a home-cooked feast and a trip to my local farmers market the next morning.
I asked my mom if she had any requests, and much to my delight, she wanted steak for dinner. If there is one thing I can eat more of than what my size would seem to allow, it is steak. So, I purchased an organic free range beef (London broil to be exact) from my local market and started racking my brain for how to prepare it. My first thought was genius – steak and mushrooms! When my mom confirmed she loves mushrooms, it was all I needed to hear.
I decided to simply marinate and grill the free range steak. I combined 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup of soy sauce, and a couple shakes of sea salt and pepper. I let the steak marinate in the fridge for about an hour and a half.
In the meantime, I prepped the potatoes. I had some gorgeous local baby red and white organic potatoes that I quartered, tossed in a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, and the secret, most amazing ingredient possible for roasted potatoes – truffle oil! If you’ve never had it, trust me it is worth the expense. It smells earthy and divine, and the taste precisely matches the smell. I roasted the potatoes at 425 degrees for about 55 minutes, until they were brown and crispy. Then I gave them a few more shakes of truffle oil, just because.
While the grill for the steak was preheating, I got to work on the mushrooms. This week, I received ½ pound of local organic shiitakes from Green Bean Delivery, and I purchased a box of Illinois-grown crimini mushrooms (baby bellas) from my local market as well. I sliced them all pretty thin and tossed them into a pre-heated skillet over medium-high heat to dry sauté them for a few minutes. Once the mushrooms began to release their juices and turn slightly brown, I added two tablespoons of organic butter, about 1/3 cup of red wine, and fresh rosemary leaves pulled right off the sprigs. At this point, I just let all the flavors meld and the liquid reduce.
To serve this delicious concoction of a meal, I thinly sliced the london broil steak, and dished a couple heaping spoonfuls of the mushrooms over the slices. I added some truffle roasted potatoes, and a large salad of local, organic spring mix salad.
I make a home-cooked meal several nights out of every week, and sometimes the joy of it can be taken over by the monotony and mundaneness of it. But, preparing a meal to celebrate my mom, and spending time with her while working in the kitchen to create something delicious to nourish our bodies, I believe truly nourished our spirits and our relationship. And that is always my greatest hope for what the slow food movement will do in my kitchen and in those all over the country. Happy Mother’s Day to you all!