A good steak can be hard to find but, fortunately, it's pretty easy to make. I marvel at minor-league steakhouses that charge an arm and a leg for something that usually requires pretty much minimal preparation - and then often manage to do it badly or at least indifferently. I know that best-quality meat can be expensive, of course, but for goodness sake, do it right!
I don't cook steak all that often, though. I don't have the attachment to it as special occasion food, as some folks seem to, and it is a bit pricey for good cuts. I have had excellent luck with rib steaks, (and I make a mean flank steak) but this time, I decided to try the good ol' dependable strip loin, simply because I had never cooked one before.
I selected a smallish steak - the smallest that I could find, actually - since I was cooking only for myself. In the store, it seemed petite to the point of being teensy, but it really would have been big enough for two people to share, if they weren't being too greedy. Sadly, I ate the entire thing myself, and I'm not sorry one bit.
I followed Alton Brown's instructions, which have never failed me on the rib eye, and which apparently work wonderfully with any tender steak. A quick pat of butter in the vacated pan, while the steak rested, a slosh of red wine from my glass, and a smattering of parsley made an impromptu pan sauce, reducing to a syrup consistency in the time it took for the steak to recover its composure.
I had a side dish of Thai red rice (not pictured, sorry) and a salad with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, but almost any side dish at all would do just fine.