It's spring, internet! Birds are out, trees are budding, and most importantly, it's warm enough for outdoor picnic season again. (If you're reading this in Colorado this week, shovel out a small patch of ice and snow, sit inside of it with your food, and pray to your uncaring and malevolent arctic god that the wintry maelstrom halts long enough to light a grill.) With the start of spring comes the end of the NBA season - meaning those of us who don't follow the NBA will start paying attention and annoying those of you who are real fans. So, to appease you, please accept this offering of peace: I've made you a steak, salad and milkshake for an outdoor NBA Playoff picnic!
Unfortunately, due to stormy weather this week I couldn't use the grill for today's meal, which is good, because I likely would have set the whole of western Pennsylvania on fire. Rejoice, yinzers! You live to see another day.
STEP 1) Our first item is a juicy steak. Remember that with steak, it's very important to select a prime cut of beef for your guests. My preferred cut is Rectangle:
Why deal with all of those ‘bones' and ‘gristle' and ‘taste' when you could have it all prepackaged into little sheets? The only problem here is that they're awfully thin - your guests may pick up on the fact that it's not...a traditional cut. So let me teach you about an important fact about steak: Marbling.
STEP 2) Marbling is a critical factor in how a steak cooks and tastes. The idea is that the meat has fat striped through it which causes it to be juicy, soft, and delicious. There are, sadly, no marbles involved. That seems easy enough! Just add fat!
Our trusty Pail of Obesity has been with us on many of these adventures, and here it's going to earn its keep. Begin by spreading a layer of lard in between every sheet of beef to create a large pile of perfectly marbled steak.
You'll need to be quick about this, because the beefsheets will begin to thaw and won't press down neatly on the lard if they're soft. If they do break, take the time to use the spatula and lard to mold the steak into a more rounded shape - your guests will be less likely to guess they're just steakumms and fat layers if it doesn't look like a brick. When you are done, you will end up with the following:
FOODTIP: I have removed the paper between the steaks here, but you can leave them in for an extra shot of dietary fiber!
STEP 3) Now you have a steak, but it's still pretty plain and unappetizing. What you need here is a good marinade to really spice up the steak and hide the unsightly corpulence globules seeping out of the sides. Our first marinade ingredients are the following:
People will complain until the end of time about mayonnaise vs Miracle Whip. I say, why not use both? They're functionally identical, aren't they? Drop in a handful of each into a small, flat container that your steak will fit into. Next, we'll add in something sweet and something tangy to complete our perfect marinade.
Chocolate syrup and ketchup will help balance out the heaviness of the mayonnaise, as well as provide a delicate sweet and savory note to your lump of fatsteak. Be sure to mix thoroughly before dipping in the steak!
Dip in the steak and be sure to coat it completely with the spatula:
STEP 4) Cooking the steak is very important! Right now it's raw and full of mayonnaise. Unfortunately, the grill was being pelted with hailstones, so I had to fry up our steak. After 10-20 minutes of marinating, spoon the steak onto a hot frying pan.
After 5 or 10 minutes, remember to flip the steak over. This may be tricky, as the lard may have begun to melt, sizzle, and splatter painfully into your face. Keep a fire extinguisher around in case of rampant grease fires.
STEP 5) Let the steak cook for now, as we move on to the milkshake! An American classic, the milkshake has undergone a bit of a renaissance lately as a hip and trendy dinner drink of rotund hipsters everywhere. To celebrate this, we'll be making a unique Spillyshake with some unorthodox ingredients. Begin by filling the blender (always the blender) with milk.
One of the questions I get from people is "Spilly, I've made one of your meals and now I don't have friends anymore. What do I do with the leftovers no one wanted to eat?" I'm here to help you, as always.
If you remember the awesome April Fools switch that Sarah Sprague and I did, you'll know that over at KSK, I made a quiche. Strangely enough, I forgot to throw it away. It sat in my fridge for two weeks. Now what do we do with this?
Why not make it into a milkshake for our guests?
Go ahead, spoon that spam, egg, and chocolate into the blender with the milk.
It will blend up frighteningly easy. I expected a bit of trouble with the waffle crust but it chopped up smooth as silk. And so unassuming too! It just looks like a chocolate milkshake. But it is oh so much more than that. Set it aside to pour when the steak is done. For now, we move on to the salad.
STEP 6) A salad is important here because we want to balance out the protein and fat of the steak with something a little more green. In the past I've just thrown some lettuce and tangballs on a plate and called it a day, but I owe you more than that. We need a salad with actual vegetables in it. But....vegetables are a pain to get. I mean, you have to find them, and then weigh them, and even clean them? That's difficult. If there were only a product that ground up vegetables into nice little patties for us...
Remove a salad disk from the box and heat it in the microwave. Decorate with gummi mint leaves and a tangball!
At this point, your steak should be finished. Slowly pull it out of the grease bath it has become submerged in. and put it on a plate. Arrange your salad next to it and pour the milkshake.
Take it outside and enjoy it with your family and friends. The playoffs are here, and we're ready for them now!