Before dinner, Sarge sliced some salami for us to snack on while they cooked. After most of it was gone, Nanny chastised Sarge for cutting the pieces too thick and cut thin pieces.
Then Nanny started making her infamous tabbouleh. She chopped fresh parsley and mint that she grows in a small garden, then added lettuce, tomatoes, scallions (I'll use their East Coast name since I'm out here), cucumbers, and the steamed quinoa.
Serrano had told them in advance that quinoa would work instead of wheat germ, which Nanny usually uses. Nanny says the quinoa doesn't taste quite the same, but it tasted just as good to me.
She seasoned the tabbouleh with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder (she was very adamant that it was NOT garlic salt), salt, and pepper.
Sarge marinated the skirt steak for 2 days in a mixture of lemon juice, mustard, sweet vermouth, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano. He normally grills them, but since their grill wouldn't work he broiled the meat. He then cut it at the deepest angle, against the grain, to make the pieces long but also thin.
Next came the potatoes. These tasted incredible and aren't too difficult to make. Sarge peeled the potatoes, cut them into quarters, and boiled them for 10-15 minutes so that they were par-boiled. After draining them, he put the pieces into a casserole dish and seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic powder (once again NOT salt), and paprika. He baked them in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes, but said that the temperature and time can vary depending on what other dishes are in the oven.
For another side, Sarge made acorn squash. He filled the casserole dish with water first and then placed the halved and scraped squash into it. He told me that it's important to put in the water first, because if you put in the squash first, the water doesn't get underneath the squash and it won't cook quite right. He put them in the microwave on high for about 13 minutes, and then punctured them with a fork to make sure that the meat was tender and they were done. He said that if you're making other dishes, you can let the squash sit in the water until you're ready to dress it. When you are ready, spread on margarine, honey or maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
It came out quite good, and I think that this dish could even be served as a dessert if you have guests that aren't too picky.
But since Serrano's family loves sweets as much as I do, Nanny and I made Bob's Red Mill chocolate chip cookies for my dessert. It was a great meal, and Serrano and I went to bed happily stuffed.