Truth be told, I never understood the draw of steak and potatoes; of flesh swallowed with starch. I never liked steak, even before I went fully plant based. Was it nostalgia that pulled people in? Syrupy images of cowboy life, of frontier grit, of grandpa’s cattle? Was it tradition? Eaten because that’s the it had always been done?
Maybe it was a private nightly patriotic ritual, like driving a flagpole into fresh earth? We are American, we eat steak and potatoes, this is who we are.
But surely, it couldn’t be the taste. The flesh pooled with blood always turned my stomach, and the smell the broiled slabs made me hold my breath.
To each their own, I guess.
I just wish”their own” didn’t involve….well, you know 😢 But y’all know what my own is. PBP, plant based protein. There’s a plethora of it on this earth, let’s feast.
I used to love mushrooms when I was younger. Mushroom tacos in green sauce, salsa verde, were my fave. Then there was a weird time there where I didn’t like or eat fungi at all. I don’t know why. But I’m back on mushroom train. Obviously.
And back in January, I mentioned that I had recently gotten back on the baked potato train as well. Toot toot.
Anyways, this dish couldn’t be easier. The potatoes are microwave cooked, which is heaven when you want a quick dinner. And the nice hearty mushrooms are dry skillet cooked in under 15 minutes.
You may be wondering what exactly makes this dish southwestern. Well, the first thing is purely personal. I dunno why, but when I think of steak and potatoes, I always think of Texas. It that weird? Blame Hank Hill.
The second part makes more sense. Steak and potatoes are commonly served with um….well, I don’t know what they’re commonly served with, but these are served with a stupid easy salsa. A few weeks ago, I realized that mild salsa tastes really good, like really good, when mixed with tahini. I know. It sounds weird, but it works. But it has to be mild salsa. I’d bought mild salsa by mistake and was trying to figure out ways to make it taste better. Enter tahini. When I tried it again later with regular/hot salsa, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying.
And the third part is I wanted to think of a way to honor the South by Southwest fest going on this week. I’ve never been able to afford going, so this is about as close as I’m gonna get.
That, and jamming to spotify’s SXSW roots rising playlist in my kitchen. Have y’all given it a listen? If not, go do it now. ✨
- 2 medium potatoes (about 1/2 lb each)
- 2 fat portabella mushroom caps, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- 1 1/4 tbsp tahini
- more salt to taste
- Use a fork to poke holes in the potatoes. Wrap em up in wet paper towels and nuke for about 5-6 minutes. Allow to cool, the slice.
- Slice up the mushroom caps, about 1/6-1/8 inch thick
- Combine the garlic, celery seed, lemon zest, and salt.
- Lay the mushroom slices on a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the garlic celery seed mix over top.
- Cook mushrooms for 6 minutes on each side.
- Combine the tahini and salsa. Add salt to taste.
- Serve right away.