I have big news! Jim and I got engaged. Engaged! On a walk along the Delaware River (I told you we felt love-y on the river); I was walking ahead with Champ and turned around to see Jim, looking just a little stricken, kneeling as he pulled out a gorgeous, brushed-metal gold ring, and asked if I would marry him. I said yes, yes!, and as soon as I started marveling at how cool and composed I was, I got a bit nauseous and we stumbled over to a rock to sit down a minute, and then, appropriately, kissed like never before, and stared into each other’s eyes, and then out at the river, and then gave each other a high-five.
I had no idea how much the news would affect me. After the short bout of nausea, I was elated—elated—to be getting engaged to Jim. I’m head-over-heels in love with him, and said yes instantly. We walked around some more, stopped by the shop that sold Jim the ring and gushed, made our calls, ate a lazy lunch (letting everyone at the shop know we just got engaged), and went to the butchers. Like any old day, really, except we were grinning from ear to ear, and a little bleary-eyed over the excitement. Excitement for the engagement, of course — and for the meal to come.
Jim and I rarely eat expensive cuts of meat. We spend enough money buying the best meat from local sources around us, and if we bought the best cuts from them, well, our landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the end of the month. But engagement celebrations? Splurge! We would’ve bought the whole beast if we didn’t keep reminding ourselves of our lunch at Le Bernardin the next day, so we settled on a big hunk of rib-eye.
Jim is really the mastermind behind this steak. He marinates it and cooks it without a hint or comment from me, as I busy myself with the sides (roasted potatoes, sauteed kale, balsamic onion confit, and a green salad). The marinade, he tells me, is garlic, thyme, salt, and oil, with a sprig of rosemary to rest on top. This sits for a few hours while you dance to Love Me Tenderly by the Felice Brothers with your fiancee. You cook by searing the meat on all sides, and then finishing in the oven at about 400F or somewhere around there, depending on your steak.
The steak was fabulous, every side worked, and the overall dinner was only heightened by the fact that we were staring googly-eyed at one another. Afterwards, as we ate Hostess-style cupcakes from the local startup sweet shop, Annie’s Ice Box, and watched Eastbound & Down, nothing could’ve been more right about the day, the dinner, the everything. I’m a big, happy, ball of mush. With a ring on her finger.
Rib-eye à la James Salant
- Two-pound rib-eye
- 4-6 Cloves garlics, minced
- 6-8 Stems Thyme, minced
- Salt, lots
- Pepper, lots
- Olive oil (4-6 tablespoons)
- 1 big Sprig Rosemary
Salt generously the night before. Coat with garlic, thyme, and olive oil some hours before cooking, laying sprig of rosemary on top. Sear aggressively on all sides, especially the fatty ones. Roast for 15-20min at 400F.