After a long night of watch and a day of sailing and another night of watch ahead of us before he hit Morro Bay, I was honestly looking for an easy meal to prepare. I was exhausted and emotionally spent. I think back to a time of emotional turmoil in my life. Well, not so much my life as my father’s life. When I was fifteen, my parents separated. My older brother was in college at UC Santa Cruz. My younger sister went to live with my mother, who had moved to Seattle after the separation. I had spent the previous six months studying abroad in Portugal. While abroad, I realized I didn’t want to move yet again to a whole new state, to a new home. I wanted to go to my home. At that point, I had changed schools something like eight time in eight years. Moving from Mercer Island to Redwood City, Redwood City to Menlo Park, Menlo Park to Brazil, Brazil to Olympia, Olympia to Menlo Park, Menlo Park to Portugal, and changing schools a few times in between moves. I was done being the new kid.
So I did something somewhat bold for a girl of fifteen years. I informed my mother I would not be moving in with her upon my return state side. Instead, I would be moving in with my father and returning to my home in Menlo Park. Honestly, I didn’t think it would stick; my demand was more an act of rebellion against my parent’s looming divorce. Moreover, my mother had always prided herself on being a working mom, emphasis on the mom part. Though lacking any perceived sense of clout, I soon received my confirmation that I would in fact be moving in with my father, whom, while always being present in my life, was by no means the primary caregiver. Needless to say, I think we were both scared shitless.
As a newly single father, my dad was introduced to a series of tasks wholly unfamiliar to him. Homework checking. Sex talks. Grocery shopping. And dinner. So what is a single father to do? Well, Grilled steak and vegetables with a side salad served us well. My father had always loved his grill. Moreover, his love of a good ribeye surpassed that of anything else. The beautifully marbleized piece of perfectly blush beef would seemingly glue the pieces of our broken lives back together. Indeed, the texture was always perfectly succulent with luscious mouth feel. With each delicious bite, I felt the drama of our family life melt into my mouth. We ate grilled steak and vegetable basically everyday for a year. Nowadays, I can almost never eat steak.
However, after a night and a day of an intense introduction into my new life, steak was just what the doctor ordered. What began as frightening when first moving in with my dad, ended wonderfully. Our time living together solidified our relationship. We became more than father and daughter, we became friends. Sure, we still get on each other’s nerves. I still leave my shoes everywhere, he still buys cheap wine; but how many daughters do you know try to live on a boat with their father in their twenties? So the seas calmed. Maybe by bringing back an old plate I was hoping to enjoy a calming of the seas yet again. Maybe it’s just what I had in the freezer. Honestly, I don’t really know. All I know is that is was a really good dinner.
Grilled Ribeye Caps with Chili Garlic Green Beans and Purslane Artichoke Tabbouleh
For the steak:
2 lbs Ribeye caps, this is an awesome cut off the ribeye. Usually a few bucks cheaper per pound than a ribeye steak. However, I honestly think it is a much better cut. Although, it does have a bit more fat because the cut have this prefect marble on it.
Take the steaks out and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Give to dad to grill. If you do not have access to my dad… sorry, you’re shit out of luck. Because no matter what you do, it won’t be as good. Believe me, I’ve tried.
For the green beans:
3 cups of green beans, trimmed and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried red chili flakes
5 cloves of garlic, diced
Heat up olive oil in a large saucepan. Throw in the chili flakes and toast them over medium high heat. You’ll know there done being toasted when the feeling that someone is trying to tickle the inside of your nose ceases. Add the green beans. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until they turn bright green. I like my green beans with some snap, I’m not a fan of mushy green beans. Then add the garlic, cook for one more minute, just enough time to release the fragrant oils in the garlic. Turn off heat and enjoy immediately.
For the Purslane Artichoke Tabbouleh
To be honest, this totally turned into a kitchen sink salad, but it was damn good.
2 ½ cups Purslane, leaves picked off the stem. Purslane is an awesome salad green, rich in vitamin C; that can be found during the hot months of the year at the farmer’s market. It can also be used as way to help retain moisture in the soil during a drought. So this year, a giant bunch of purslane at the farmer’s market cost me only a dollar.
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 package of microwavable Spanish rice
1 tomato diced
1 lemon, just the juice
2 tbsp really good olive oil
1 avocado, diced
Step one, give the purslane to the rest of the crew and explain to them the tedious job of picking off each of the individual leaves off the stem. Then walk away and leave them to their work. Once they have finished, add the rest of the ingredients. Toss well. Bon Appétit