You ran by the butcher's counter and picked up the makings of your usual quick meal: flavorful rib or boneless rib-eye steaks or tender shell or boneless strip steaks. Now what can you do to make this week's steak different from last week's? Try a composed butter, here a pungent lemon-anchovy blend that makes a sauce as it melts. Or rub the meat with a simple spice and garlic mixture. (Both dishes go well with the creamy Charred-Onion Mashed Potatoes.) Or make a rich salad of sliced steak, lightly wilted greens, Roquefort and walnuts and serve it with crusty bread.

Paul Grimes is a freelance chef, teacher and writer based in New York City.