In July, we went to St. Maarten with my dear college friend, Melissa, and her husband, Mark. We stayed on the Dutch side by Cupecoy, which is very near the French border on the opposite side of the island from the cruise ships (good choice!). On our first full day, we were headed on a drive around the 37-square-mile island when we came to Grand Case, which is supposed to have the best authentic French food on the island. It was just lunch time so we weren't scoping full meals (except James, who is, of course, always hungry) but we scored front-row beach chairs at a nice looking restaurant on the water. It was the perfect place for sun, a dip in the clear blue bay, Carib beer and flank steak.
Wait, flank steak?
Yes. As we're all munching light snacks in the 85+ heat and humidity, James ordered an all-out meal: baguettes, flank steak, noodles, cheese sauce (now that I'm thinking about it, I hope there was a vegetable in there somewhere). To this moment, James will swear it was the best thing he ever ate. He even made us go back another day, but that's another story.
The whole point of all of this is that James has developed an obsession with flank steak and cheese sauce. So one Friday after work, I was feeling adventurous and incredibly nice, so I asked James to join me at Your DeKalb Farmers Market (love!) to pick up the fixings for his favorite meal. I took some creative liberties with the help of Bon Appetit and its Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Sauce, and we had an absolutely phenomenal meal. While it was not authentic to whatever deliciousness we had in St. Maarten, the cheese sauce was to die for. The mushrooms added a little extra flavor and the chipotles gave the tiniest hit of heat at the finish. We rounded out the meal with non-descript grilled asparagus and warm bread, but the star of the sides was a Wild Arugula Salad with Garlic Croutons, Shaved Parmesan and Lemon. Even James thought was delicious, and he normally avoids arugula like the plague. It was light & fresh, and the dressing was the perfect complement to the parmesan. We also snagged a yummy, under-$10 bottle of Mouton Cadet Bordeaux, which we will pick up again. There were even leftovers for the next day, though I will caution that the fat in the cheese sauce nicely separates from the cheese sauce upon reheating, which could be a good or a bad thing.
Overall, it was a wildly successful adventure and it's re-ignited my desire to cook. Watch for more yummy dishes coming soon!