Depending upon who you talk to (or believe) today is Blue Monday. It could also have been last Monday, or the Monday before that. Maybe every Monday in January is Blue Monday. By that standard, maybe every Monday of the year is a Blue Monday.
How do we know it's Blue Monday? Because someone quantified it.
Look! It has a greater than symbol! Look! There are uppercase and lowercase letters above *AND* below a line! Look! There are even brackets and letters to the power of other letters!
It looks mathy and sciencey so it must be true!
Of course just as someone quantified depression to a single day, someone else has published their own study indicating comfort food is a myth.
Why don't these justification-through-quantification types use their (ahem) immense smartitude for good, as opposed playing to sunlight-deprivation and emotional stunting? Maybe they read 1984 and thought Ingsoc was the key to Utopia. Maybe they watched Another Brick in the Wall's conveyor belt scene and thought we should all be faceless (and docile) automatons.
It all seems to be about more Sheldon and less Penny.
Kinda makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?
For those of us who have bad days and whose blue days aren't triggered by a convergence of nonsensical numbers gussied up in the name of science, the occasional wallow in happy memory triggers can make things seem better. For some people it's solitude and an aptly-chosen record, for others it's a night with a best friend and a movie with a favourite actor, and for others, it's food.
The lovely thing about comfort food is how individual it is to the person. While many think of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich as comforting, not everyone thinks of the same soup recipe (or tin), and the sandwich may be on different breads, different types of cheese, and there may be other things tucked in with the cheese--onions, bacon, avocado.
For me, often the effects of a bad day (not a horrendous day, but one bad enough for me to come home in a funk) can often be numbed by beef and potatoes.
It's on days like these, I want something that doesn't make me think, something that's relatively quick, and something that's easily adaptable to what I have on hand. Sometimes it's a burger and fries. Other times it's beef fajitas. Other times it's a steak sandwich.
I feel rather odd about offering a recipe for this as it's something I just pull together, based on what I have, or what I can find. Here's what I did for the sandwich photographed:
Steak Sandwich and Chips
For the sandwich
Sprinkle Schwartz's Montreal Steak Spice on the steak (for about $5, my butcher had a lovely sirloin medallion). Let sit in the fridge until you're ready to eat.
Sauté mushrooms and onions with salt, pepper, thyme and a splash of balsamic.
Pat the steak dry with a kitchen paper and fry in a hot pan until it's done to whatever point makes you happy. Remove from pan and set on a minced garlic clove. Tent the steak with tin foil and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Cut the mini-baguette in half and set the cut sides in the steak pan, to sop up the fats and juices. Slather one half with English mustard.
After the steak has rested, slice the steak and arrange on the bottom half of the baguette. Top with mushroom mixture, and the top half of the bun.
For the Chips
By chips, I mean chunky fries. Jamie Oliver has a technique that's pretty close to mine, but instead of sprinkling with rosemary after they've cooked, I toss the chips in an oil and steak spice before roasting.
The Sheldons of the world will need precise measurements--weights and volumes, temperatures and times, and will whiteboard an arcane argument pointing out why what I've posted is just wrong. The Pennys of the world will make (or get) a sandwich (like or unlike this one) and eat it, with or without chips, while listening to New Order.
I'm a quill for hire!