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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Steak and [Sweet] Potatoes

image thanks to this site, not an image of our dinner - but similar, yes
 I got home from my long run yesterday and thought I was going to die.  Getting old stinks. In my twenties, I could run a marathon without taking a single drink nor eating any food during the race. Now, I need to bring water with me if I run more than 4 hours, I dehydrate that quickly. And more than 6 miles on the road, I really should bring food with me. I've never been a goo person, so I am trying to find ways to get back to where I can run further without food.  I'm OK bringing my camelback for water, but eating isn't really something I'd like to do.

So when I got home and was wondering if I should call family to say my last goodbyes, I googled recommended running diets, and found the same thing on many of the lists - sweet potatoes.  If you watched the 2008 or 2012 Summer Olympics, you know that the Jamaican runners claim the secret of their success is yams.  While sweet potatoes and yams are different things, I figure I'll give it a try. So this week, before the Ragnar I am running in Zions National Park this weekend, I'm experimenting with sweet potato recipes.

I was also craving steak after my run, so I found a new marinade recipe online and a sweet potato recipe in my new Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook for dinner tonight. First, the steak:

I bought four steaks from Costco. I don't have a super great butcher near me, so I hoped theirs would be OK. I made the marinade the night before so that the flavors would blend well before using on the meat. I used my tenderizing hammer before marinating.  I added the marinade this morning and marinated for 8-9 hours before grilling.  I pulled the steaks out of the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling and hammered them out again, and let them sit in the marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking. The temperature on my grill was between 475 and 500 degrees. I cooked them for 8 minutes on each side (they were thick steaks). There was a nice pink in the middle, but I'd say they were medium well. They were nice and juicy and tender.  Oh, the marinade. Here's the recipe:

2/3 c soy sauce (gluten free, if needed
1 c olive oil
2/3 c fresh lemon juice (I think I used 5 lemons)
1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
3 T garlic powder
6 T dried basil
3 T dried parsley flakes
2 t ground white pepper
1/2 hot pepper sauce (I used Sriracha hot chili sauce)
2 t dried garlic (I used dried sliced garlic that I have)

The recipe (found here) says to add it all to a blender and mix it up.  I think that is a good idea if you are making the marinade right before using, to blend the flavors well.  I didn't blend mine. Like I said, I mixed it together the night before and refrigerated the sauce. I added the sauce to the steaks, tenderized steaks, in a gallon Ziploc and put them back in the fridge for 8 hours.

Now, to the potatoes.  I actually prepared the potatoes, and put them in the oven. The cook time is 45 minutes. So I put them in the oven, and waited 15 minutes. I then went out back to turn on the grill and let it warm up for 15 minutes.  Then I put the steaks on the grill cook, 8 minutes eat side. I found the potatoes were done after about 35 minutes though, so I turned off the oven but kept the potatoes in the oven until we ate.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spices from My Father's Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow (my changes in italics)

2 medium sweet potatoes (she recommends peeled, I just washed well and sliced with them on.  She recommends 1/3" slices, I used my adjustable slicer with my safety gloves purchased after an accident involving the upper corner of my thumb earlier this year. I used the 3.0 setting for the thickest slices it makes. 
1/3 c Vermont maple syrup
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
1 large orange I didn't have an orange in the fridge, out of season, so I used 1/2 c OJ
1 star anise I didn't have this, so not sure of the taste it will add in this recipe

 Preheat oven to 375.
Line casserole dish with parchment paper.
Slice potatoes. Lay potato slices out in baking dish. Because I sliced more thinly, I just used an 8x8 corning with a lid, lined with parchment.
Mix the sauce ingredients together.  If using thick slices, pour sauce over slices.  I added half my thin slices to the sauce, stirred well to coat all the slices, and then put those slices in my baking dish and repeated with the other half.  I then poured the extra sauce atop and covered.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  My thin slices were done by the time I checked them at  35 minutes - so check your thick slices too.


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