This was my second-ever attempt to cook a real steak by any other method than "George Foreman Grill", and I was nervous that I would ruin it completely. I bought nice steaks, ribeyes, at about $7 each on sale, and I shuddered to think of the wasted money if I overcooked them. I mean, we'd have eaten them anyway but it would have been a sad waste of a tasty hunk of meat.
I took them out of their packages, rubbed them with salt and pepper, and allowed them to come to room temperature (per cookbook and Food Network instructions) while defending them from feline attack. Meanwhile, I cut up a green pepper, a red pepper, and half a red onion, tossed them with olive oil and a dash of Mrs Dash Original Blend, and put them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 375. I checked them and tossed them every 5 minutes until they looked properly roasty and weren't raw-crunchy anymore. It took about 20 minutes for me, but the size of the chunks will affect the cooking time. Smaller is faster.
I peeled and chopped 6 small potatoes and boiled them until they were soft. At the same time, I warmed up a cup of milk in a pot, after adding two big garlic cloves, peeled and smashed flat. I also added some pepper, mostly because it looked too white. I moved the drained potatoes (and some thick slivers of butter) to a plastic mixing bowl and used my hand mixer to whip them, slowly adding the garlic milk (take the garlic cloves out!) until it was the right consistency. I didn't end up needing the whole cup of milk, but it's always safer to have more than you need. Next time I'll just put the butter in with the milk and let it melt, because I had little butter chunks left in the potatoes. The garlic level of these potatoes was exactly right for me, but I think maybe the addition of smashed roasted garlic would enhance them.
For my steaks, I just plopped them into a very hot, buttery frying pan and left them for about 5 minutes before flipping them and leaving them there for another little while. I'm not sure exactly how long I cooked them, because I kept thinking I needed one more minute. It's very hard for me to tell when they're done enough and not overdone. These ended up on the medium-to-medium-well side, and I would have preferred them not quite as done, but they were still very tasty. Next time I'll just use the cooking times suggested in my cookbooks for various levels of doneness and stop doubting them. They just never seem long enough to me, and the steaks don't seem to be cooked enough when my time is up. Maybe it will be good for me to just follow instructions completely for once!
I'm learning. Slowly. I will master steaks eventually.