Wednesday, September 02, 2015
There are a lot of things I like about being an adult. Dessert first. Donuts for lunch. Bravo TV. Booze. Last-minute travel. Cold pizza and coffee for breakfast. Staying up way late. (OK, I used to like doing that.) Driving at night with the windows down, the stereo cranked, and the a/c blasting. Marriage (and the fun stuff that comes with it). And parenthood. Yes, I love my little boogers like nobody's business.
But there is one thing about parenthood that drives me nuts. Dinnertime with children. Y'all, I knew what I was getting into when I had kids. I knew life with kids would be loud and messy and emotional and sticky and sweet and heartbreaking—sometimes all of those things at once. But I was not prepared to lose my time in the kitchen, my calm dinners, my ability to have a conversation with my husband without punctuating each sentence with—take your pick—One hand in your lap, We don't eat with our hands, Stop using your shirt as a napkin, We sit while we eat, Stop blowing bubbles in your milk, You have to finish your fruit, You have to take at least one bite, and What do we say when we want to leave the table? No, we say May I be excused, not Can I.
Holy moly. Turning tiny cave people into responsible, upright adults is not. easy.
But last weekend I did it. I achieved (what passes in our house) for dinnertime nirvana. I fed the kids first. I bathed them. I popped them popcorn on the stove top and put it in cute red and white paper popcorn bags. I settled them down on the couch in front of The Cat in the Hat. And then I ate with my husband. At the table. Just the two of us! Pan-seared filet mignon with quick garlic-soy marinade over fresh iceberg lettuce—you gotta love that cold crunch. With roasted potatoes on the side. For a whole 30 minutes! And it was enough to recharge my batteries for Sunday lunch. "Please put your brother's pizza down. He's 4 now, and he doesn't need you to feed him." Next time I better include wine.
Pan-Seared Filet Mignon With Quick Garlic-Soy Marinade
Makes 2 servings.
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 filet mignon steaks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1. In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce through black pepper.
2. Place steaks in zip-top plastic bag, pour in marinade, and close bag. Place in refrigerator and marinate at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
3. Heat oil and butter in saute pan over high heat.
4. Remove one steak from marinade at a time, letting excess marinade drip off, and putting each steak directly into pan when foam from butter disappears. Discard marinade. Cook steaks about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Let rest a few minutes before slicing. Serve warm.