It’s too late to tell Lee, “Happy Birthday.” His birthday was yesterday. However, I was feeling kind of yucky, so he let me take a nap and goof off all day. Today was his birthday supper. I must say, I entirely hold with the tradition of having a birthday supper. Or lunch. Or whatever. I like to cook for people; unfortunately, I mostly hang out with Midwesterners, who think asking for what they really want is grotesque. Which means the only time you get an honest answer of what they really, selfishly want is…their birthday.

When I say, “Let me know if you have any requests,” I mean it. I mean, I really mean it. My cooking imagination can only come up with so many things on its own. Getting requests can be almost like being recommended new music by someone with good taste who listens to stuff I’ve never heard of before. Which I also enjoy.

Anyway…here’s the menu:

Steak (boneless rib-eye — who knew there was such a thing? I got it at Whole Foods.)
Bacon (not wrapped around the steak, which was grilled)
Mushrooms madeira
Roast potatoes

Notice: no real vegetables. Not even a wayward glance in the way of salad.

Steak:
Grilled, medium rare. I flipped mine often and let it sit off the burner (but still in the grill) for a few minutes after I was satisfied with the outside, then let it sit for fully five minutes on a plate before I even thought of cutting it. Juiciest damn steak I’ve ever had.)

Bacon:
Mmm. Bacon appetizers. What could be more appetizing than bacon?

Mushrooms:
Baby portabellas, cut very thick, sauteed in butter with a shallot tossed in near the end, until the sides were browned and dry. Salt, pepper. Pan not overcrowded (which I almost always do). Marsala sloshed in the pan and boiled down until disappeared. Butter added after heat turned off.

Potatoes:
Oven 400 degrees. Farmer’s market baby red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and put onto a stoneware cookie sheet (Jackie turned me on to these). Salt, pepper. Romano cheese grated over top. Garlic cloves tossed in for good measure. About 2/3 of a cup of butter blapped on at the last minute. Roast, stir, roast, stir. I just now read an article about roast potatoes where the cook threw them under the broiler for a few minutes to darken them even further at the end. Chewy, crispy, salty on the outside, creamy on the inside. Bliss.

Wine:
I generally don’t drink wine at home (Lee won’t drink it with me), but I had to open the Blue Monkey 2003 for this. Lovely, buttery, all umami and good. I’m going to try to pick up one of those sealant-pump thingies tomorrow, because otherwise I’m going to kill myself trying to finish this before it goes bad, I’m such a lightweight.

Chocolate:
Sharffen Berger 70% bittersweet, baby. To go with the wine.

Lee skipped the wine and the chocolate, but there you go.

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention the pecan pie, but we haven’t touched that yet…