This just in: I hate Apache config files. I’ve been trying to set up the server software on my computer, but not only are the directives difficult to sight-read (to use a musical analogy), but the documentation seems particularly obtuse. Maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh; after all, the intended audience consists of professional server administrators. But still! How is someone relatively new to the application supposed to approach it without shooting themselves in the foot? Even when I’m confident enough to try a particular set of directives — and consequently witness it fail miserably — I don’t have any reliable way to debug the setup short of returning to the documentation to find what I misunderstood.
In other news, I can let myself become very engrossed in C++ multi-threading, if only because it keeps me distracted from Apache config files.
Since I haven’t come up with something reliable enough to talk about, it’s time to pull out more food. (Note to self: be wary of this strategy — don’t set consumable rewards for coding failures.) This here is probably my favorite steak recipe of all time. I discovered it late in my college career, when a few friends and I established a monthly “Extravagant Cooking Night.” The “extravagance” in question was variable, but it was a fun opportunity for broke, dorm-kitchen-numbed, but nevertheless enthusiastic students to throw together some meals that we never would have otherwise.
The meat itself is extremely easy to prepare, and has always turned out delicious. That may just be because skirt steak is a hell of a cut of cow, but the paprika butter does play its part: it keeps the meat succulently moist while adding some smoky pizzazz to each bite. The original recipe suggested a side of kale-sunchoke hash with farro — which I won’t include because it was completely inedible — but some sauteed Swiss chard & mushrooms work pretty well instead.
Here’s the recipe, as provided by Food & Wine. Read it, review it, then please make only a fraction of the suggested quantity. This original is meant to entertain: it makes 10 servings. Oh, also, don’t worry about grilling; pan-searing works fine.
Skirt Steak with Paprika Butter
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked hot paprika
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5 pounds skirt steaks
- Vegetable oil, for rubbing
Light a grill or heat a grill pan. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt; keep warm.
Rub the skirt steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steaks across the grain and serve onto a large platter. Spoon the paprika butter over the steak and serve right away.