Today was pretty un-Hawaiian. Gym, mass, grocery, then the a little Christmas shopping at the mall … which resulted in nothing more than a cheap cutting board and a potato peeler for our partial kitchen.

I was discouraged by the unsuccessful shopping trip but ready to make up for it in the kitchen. At least the board and peeler came in handy! Tonight we had a classic American meal – steak and potatoes – with a little pizzazz.


Pretty impressive considering the main heat source was the microwave. I even made cornbread in the microwave. Who knew?! It only takes four minutes!

Washing, peeling, and chopping the vegetables (parsnips, purple sweet potato, and asparagus) was the longest step of the whole meal – about 15 minutes worth of prep.

I took turns steaming the parsnips and potato wedges in the microwave – just 3-5 minutes in a couple tablespoons if water per batch. When the batches were fork tender I drained and transferred them to a disposable jelly roll pan (very sophisticated) and tossed them with rosemary, sage, salt and pepper. They baked on 400 degrees just until the filets were finished.

We got fancy 4 oz cuts of filet mignon at a ridiculously good price today. The good thing about a nice cut of meat is that it doesn’t require much nurturing. To prepare, I simply seasoned them with salt and pepper, seared them in a hot skillet with a tsp of oil for two minutes per side, and then popped them in the 400 degree oven next to the vegetables for 5 minutes. It is really important not to touch steak when its searing. That step is how you achieve to the beautiful brown carmelization on the outside. They also must rest for 5 minutes to finish the cooking process and let the juices redistribute. Ours were perfectly medium rare. For medium, you could let them bake for about 7-10 minutes. I am morally opposed to well-done steak so I can’t comment on how long that might take. Sorry.

Quick nutrition fact: 4 oz of extra lean filet mignon = 125 calories. That’s the appropriate amount. Turns out, it’s plenty! Even for Daniel. Isn’t it amazing how much steak we order when we are out to eat?

While everything was in the oven, I added a clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, 3/4 cup red wine, tablespoon dijon mustard, and a quarter of an onion (roughly chopped) to the skillet drippings. The steak sauce reduced for about 10 minutes on low-med heat.

I let the sauce do its thing as I got the last component, asparagus, going in the microwave – 2 minutes with a touch of water and they were done, al dente style. Daniel and I like asparagus well enough that we are happy to eat it without any seasoning. Not a drop of oil or a sprinkle of salt. So so easy … also, I especially like how pretty it makes a plate look!

*The only thing I will do different with the wine sauce next time is sauté the onions for 5 minutes in the skillet drippings before adding the other ingredients. Shallots might be a better choice, but I usually don’t have them on hand. Use what you have!

In the end, not only did everything taste great, but we did it without a grill or the recommended cast iron skillet. Plus, drum roll please…. under $8 for the entire meal, including left overs! Can’t beat that price at a steakhouse.

Welcome to our SteakApartment. Wonder if I can rate it on Trip Advisor?

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