Before he leaned into the role and became one of history’s most famous correspondents, the Apostle Paul was a guy named Saul who let his rage reign on wayward Jews who he believed embraced a false messiah.
For a while Augustine of Hippo’s only telos was quantitative fun and he’d ride whatever vehicle promised to provide as much of it as he could squeeze in before chastity and continence (he meant the second definition of the word) caught up with him. My copy of Lives of the Saints mentions that before he took the vow Augustine “broke” with Manichaeism. That struck me as funny. Can you be a lapsed Manichean?
St. Andrew was a fisherman (the word “of” not yet having interjected itself in the middle) tossing nets into the Sea of Galilee with his brother who wasn’t even called Peter yet. According to early Buddhist texts a pre-enlightened Siddartha Guatama said “I lived a spoilt, a very spoilt life.” when referring to the part of his youth spent under his parents’ roof. St. Olga of Kiev wasn’t above the occasional murder when torturing left her feeling unfulfilled. Worse than Olga, St. Matthew was a tax collector.
History is full of stories about those who renounced a way of life when religion inspired them to change and live for a higher truth. We tend to remember the people they became rather than the people they were before. I mention this because some may not believe what I’m about to tell you. There was a time, before he transformed into Self Appointed Food Jesus as we all know him now, when Jamie Oliver was fun. Seriously.
This is the Iron Bowl. Fun is expected. We’ve slipped into a false belief that Auburn is our chief rival. That is not the case. Auburn is just the one that we ramp up the pomp and circumstance for. It’s a Christmas vs. Easter type thing. But that doesn’t alleviate the requirement that you treat this game peculiarly. It’s what we’ve come to do.
Back before he was celebrating every mention of composting as an occasion to genuflect and eyeing every leaf of kale for the telltale signs of non-copper based insecticide treatments Jamie Oliver was the Naked Chef. He had a great show. I may have bought a book or two.
He was selling the idea that simple, unfussy, but well-combined food in the right company equaled all the happy stuff. He was right and thank Britain and all that because this is just the attitude we need for our darby.
This salad is loosely adapted from an entry in his book jamie’s dinners (he did the e.e. cummings thing, I’m just respecting editorial decisions.) There’s a recipe called Japanese Style Saturday Night Steak. He had something similar in Japan, I’m assuming on a Saturday night otherwise I’m at a loss as to why the name, but that’s beside the point. This book was published right as the Naked Chef persona was on the wane. The Self Appointed Food Jesus is testing the waters. He’s getting preachy in the introduction with advice on how to live rather than how to cook, but fun is still ascendant on a recipe to recipe basis.
Fun Jamie, as adapted and fiddled with most brilliantly by me, put forth a recipe that makes it look like you worked really hard to achieve something exotic. The truth is it couldn’t be easier. Make steak, cut a few vegetables, and stir stuff together. Almost instant Iron Bowl spread.
Saturday Night Steak Salad
- 1 lb. steak, see below
- radishes, sliced thinly
- jalapeno, sliced thinly and deseeded (or not if you want it really hot)
- 1 heaping handful cilantro, torn roughly
- 1 heaping handful of arugula
- soy sauce
- lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
The Naked Chef lists sirloin. New York Strip seems ideal. My local was out of both, so I opted for flank and it worked really well. If you use the strip or sirloin cut, salt and pepper are all you need. With a flank, marinate in soy for 30 - 40 minutes, but keep in mind that soy is already a component to be added later and adjust accordingly.
Make your steak. Sear or grill. I broiled my flank for 5 minutes a side to get a beautiful bloody medium rare, but you know how you like red meat.
In a bowl, toss the radishes, jalapenos, cilantro, and arugula with a dressing made with tahini, soy, and lime juice. Store-bought tahini comes in thin and runny or practically peanut butter. If it’s too thick, cut it with water. I started with 2 tbsp. of runny tahini, a splash of soy (I went light because of the flank marinade but be wary that soy will drown out other flavors if not tempered,) and the juice of one lime. After tasting I added a little more tahini.
Thinly slice the steak and toss it with the salad. Salt and pepper are listed as to taste above, but definitely taste first. The soy does a lot of work.
This is great hot, but I prefer it cold. Set out a few bowls and maybe a loaf of crunchy bread and this will be just as appetizing at the first snap as it will by McClellan’s second touchdown.
Enjoy, no injuries, and Roll Tide.