Tag Archives: meat

Steak and potato and other basics

15 May

IMG_0401

It occurred to me after I wrote the post about wild boar that maybe I should go back to basics a bit and talk about meat in general. Also I had in my freezer a bone-in New York strip steak that weighed just over a pound.

Figuring out what a good steak looks like is fairly simple. For example, this is a decent steak, it has nice, tight marbling, it’s meaty, the fat is trimmed but it’s still on there (Remember people: Fat is flavor.)  Marbling by the way are thin fibers of fat that run through a cut of meat, the more delicate the marbling, the more buttery and delicious the flavor.  Oh, also, select is the lowest grade, then you have choice, and prime. Because my mom owns a meat market, I don’t often eat anything but prime. But the average person can get a good choice steak and it will be delicious. Just be aware of this, so when steak goes on sale and some insanely cheap price like $3.99 a pound, know you’re probably getting the lowest quality. There’s no such thing as free lunch and all that jazz.

0-1

I don’t have a grill, or a backyard for that matter, so I have to get creative about how to cook steak. My mom bought me a cast iron grill pan and I recommend it for anyone lacking in the outdoor department. If a steak is good, it doesn’t need much. A little salt, a little pepper, rub a handful of olive oil on there and that’s it. I have this spice, called Chicago steak and chop and it’s ace but not sure it’s sold everywhere.

I prefer my steak rare, or medium rare at best. Ok so, this applies for a grill or a grill pan, either one: Get it hot. You know it’s hot when you flick water onto it and it sizzles. With an 1.5-inch steak, my mom said that it would take about 7 minutes per side. . For a more well-cooked steak, try 8-10 minutes. Don’t screw around with it when it’s on the grill, let it sizzle on a side and then flip it over. That way you can get nice grill marks. Let it rest for a few minutes after you cook it, maybe while you’re making the double-bakes below.

IMG_0399

I also made a quick double-baked potato for dinner, which is another one of those staples that tends to escape people. It’s super easy. You rub olive oil and salt on an Idaho potato and bake it for an hour. Then take it out and slice it in half, and scoop out the potato innards. By the way it will be H-O-T so be careful.

IMG_0400

Ok so then, throw the innards in a bowl with two splashes of milk, salt, pepper, and small chunk of butter. Throw in two handfuls of grated sharp cheddar cheese, and a handful of diced chives or scallion. Mix this up and then scoop it back into the potato, and stick it in the oven again for just as long as it takes you to slice the steak. That way the cheese is full melty goodness.

I also roasted some asparagus with just a hint of olive oil and a dash of salt.

IMG_0404

Advertisements

Grilled (not fried) eggplant parmesan

23 Jan

Hello out there. I’ve been desperately remiss here about posting, and it’s not because I haven’t asked my mom for advice.

So I am attempting to start anew, and I have just the thing, because I just ate it and it was really good: grilled, not fried, eggplant parmesan.

photo (12)

What you will need:

2 eggplants

2 large balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, salted

fresh grated parmesan

1 large can (I think 16 oz?) crushed tomatoes

1 regular 8 oz can tomato puree

1 pound ground beef

4 cloves garlic

1 bunch parsley

1 onion

olive oil

1 sauce pan

1 saute pan

1 oven pan, 9-13 or something like it.

O.k. so, slice the eggplant long ways in half, and then thinly.

photo (13)

Set aside.

Brown 1 pound of ground beef in a saute pan, then drain grease and set aside.

Dice parsley, olive and onion, and add to sauce pan with olive oil.

photo (15)

Toss the ground beef in the pan, then add the canned tomatoes, and about 1/2 can of water per can of tomato. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Let it boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile. If you have a grill, do this on the grill, if you have a grill pan, do it on the grill pan. Brush a thin layer of olive oil over the eggplant, (seriously, thin, you shouldn’t drench it) and grill them so they are soft in the middle.

photo (16)

This process took me about 20 minutes. After I was done, I added about four fistfulls of cheese to the quick red sauce and turned that off.

photo (14)

Slice the fresh mozzarella. And then layer! Eggplant, cheese, sauce, until you run out of room in your pan. Sprinkle a layer of parmesan on the top.

Bake it longer than you would normally bake fried eggplant, like 40 minutes at 350, covered for 3/4 of the time.

Take out and eat! We had plain sautéed spinach as a side.

It was good. And not so bad for you!