March 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm , by Amelia Harnish
I’m a cheater. I went vegetarian in January to see what it was like, and I haven’t eaten meat in almost three whole months. Well, I should say hadn’t. My newfound love for Indian food and chickpeas aside, I just couldn’t say no to Rachael Ray’s sirloin tips and arugula rice pilaf from LHJ‘s March issue. When I signed up to try this recipe for “Dishing It,” I thought it’d be easy to hand over the sirloin tips to my roommate, but after cutting and trimming and spicing and cooking, how could I resist? I deserved a feast, I thought. And a feast it was… at least for me. I hadn’t eaten meat in three months (except for that pepperoni pizza incident–an accident, I swear!) Anyway, this recipe really could not be easier. If I, a just-out-of-college, clueless-in-the-kitchen, cheating vegetarian, can handle it, then I’m pretty sure anyone can.
My biggest issue when cooking is that I’m impatient. I also never read the recipe through, and I always, always end up doing things out of order or cooking things too long because I’m googling a cooking term I don’t understand. For example, deglaze. What the heck does deglaze mean? Zest? What exactly is zest? This time, probably because I knew I was going to have to share this experience with all of you, I pre-googled and was ready.
I set up my ingredients, and got to work. I did make a few substitutions–instead of chicken broth, I used veggie broth. At this point I was still operating under the assumption that I wasn’t going to eat steak. Instead of grated Parmesan cheese, I used the powdered stuff because it’s what I had. Same goes for dried parsley, instead of fresh. I’m sure it would’ve been that much better with those two, so if you have the time to get them, I highly recommend it. I also used whole grain brown rice because I’m healthy like that!
As per the directions, I started by toasting the orzo and then adding the rice and broth. While my pilaf was simmering, I turned my attention to the steak. I trimmed and cut, salt and peppered, and then cooked. Easy! After adding the parsley, garlic and zest, it was then I knew I was going to cheat. The temptation was unbearable. It smelled delicious, and as easy as it was, I made it myself. It would’ve been wrong not to indulge, am I right? Once my rice was done, I mixed in the arugula and my powdered-Parmesan. Man, I wish I had gone with grated, I thought. But hey, it still works.