Monday, September 20, 2010

Bone-in Ribeye Steak with Béarnaise + Oven-fried Potatoes + Turnips and their Greens + Dirty Gin Martinis

This was my first time ever cooking steak at home and probably the most meat I've ever eaten in one sitting so I decided that I had to go for toooppp quality stuff. Lucas and I went to this really cool butcher shop here in Williamsburg called Marlow & Daughters where they only sell free range meat and dairy. We spent a pretty penny on our steak so I had to be extremely careful about cooking the thing! The whole experience was completely crazy and I almost lost my mind, but thank god for my new instant read thermometer!

I've always wanted to try steak with béarnaise so I decided to give that a try. Here's what I did -

First, I cut up a bunch of potatoes and tossed them in salt, pepper and olive oil before roasting them at 425 degrees until they turned nice and crispy and brown. For the béarnaise I combined about 1/4 c of sherry vinegar (only vinegar I had, but you could use whatever kind you'd like) about 1/4 c of white wine with a sliced shallot, some thyme and a bay leaf. I let that reduce down to about half. Next, I whisked in two egg yolks off the heat and then slowly emulsified about 3/4 of a stick of butter. I added in a ton of chopped tarragon, and although not traditional, I also added in a bunch of chopped parsley.

Cooking the steak was crazy and you really don't even wanna know what I did. Well, it actually started out pretty well. I got a ton of advice from Lucas' dad Stephen who cooks a mean steak but after that everything got a little crazy. Basically, what he does is cook the steak in the oven at 300 degrees until it reaches 90 degrees. From here, he sears the steak for a minute or two on each side and by then it should reach an internal temperature of about 115. From here he rests it and during this time the steak should then reach 125-130 degrees for a nice rare-medium rare.

So, I did the whole oven thing and then seared it and then it just wasn't a high enough temperature on the inside, so I let it sear a little longer. I then took it out of the pan and rested it and it was still less than 110 degrees. Then I put it back in the oven for a little while, took the temperature and from there everything was ok. Phew. This might not sound that chaotic but I can promise, it was. The steak turned out pretty great but the béarnaise was definitely the star!

Anyways, while the steak was resting, I cooked the turnips and their greens in a little of the leftover fat from the steak. And that was our meal! I'm looking forward to next time, after having learned from my first experience with steak.

As for drinks, we had a couple of dirty gin martinis, my favorite drink of all time!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Toaster Oven Challege Pt. 1 - Broiled Branzino with Lemon and Fennel + Green Bean Salad with Red Onion, Sherry Vinegar and Toasted Almonds

Not really being able to cook for two weeks was serious torture but we finally got gas today!! I did make a few good meals with my semi-trusty toaster oven though, and this was one of them. Pretty simple and straight-forward but tooootally delicious!

For the green bean salad - I sliced up a little red onion and tossed it with some salt and olive oil before roasting at about 350 degrees until tender. Next, I tossed the green beans in salt and olive oil and roasted those for 8-10 minutes. I chopped up a handful of almonds and toasted those for a few minutes. next I mixed everything together with a little sherry vinegar and a little more olive oil.

For the fish - This was suuuper simple to prepare. First I patted the fish dry with a little paper towel. I seasoned the fish with salt and olive oil. Next I sliced up a little fennel and some lemon and then stuffed it inside the fish, laying the leftovers around the fish. It was about 1.4 pounds and I broiled it for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Finally, I plated up the fish and sprinkled each serving a little salt and drizzled over a little olive oil and lemon juice.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The gas in my building still hasn't been turned on after a week which means no hot showers and no gas stove so I've had to work a little harder to come up with meals. Let me tell you, I've become very resourceful with my toaster oven. The other day I even made a plum crumble in it! 

Today we had gazpacho for lunch. It was super simple to prepare. First, I tore up some day old bread and let it soak with a few squashed up tomatoes, salt, olive oil and sherry vinegar while I prepped the other ingredients. Next, I roughly chopped a little red onion, some cucumber and both red and green peppers. Next, I blended everything together, adjusting the seasoning with more salt, pepper, lemon juice, and tabasco for a little bit of heat. I let the soup chill for a little while and when I was ready to eat, I toasted up some roughly chopped almonds and olive oil croutons. This was the best summer lunch!

Joy of Cooking Pancakes

I'm not that big on sweet breakfasts, but every once in a while I neeeeeeed some pancakes or waffles with maple syrup as soon as I wake up. I pretty much always use the joy of cooking recipe for pancakes and beat the egg whites separately before folding them in for a lighter batter. Cooked in butter and then topped with maple syrup. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes + Montreal Trip

Sorry I've been a little absent this summer! Between my euro trip, work, searching for a new apartment, visiting friends and family in Montreal for 2 weeks, moving into my new apartment, not having gas to cook with for the past few days and registering for classes at my new school, I haven't had much time to update... Anyways, I made these fried green tomatoes among other things a few days ago for the family at my grand-parents' country house in St-Sauveur, Quebec. They have an incredible garden with just about every vegetable you could imagine and I just couldn't resist grabbing a few unripe tomatoes for a little side dish to go along with our succotash.

I cooked them pretty much the same way as I cook my fried okra. First, I put a little flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Next, I cracked a few eggs in a bowl and added a few tablespoons of water. Then, I filled another bowl with cornmeal. I cut the tomatoes into thick slices, dipped them in the flour, then in the egg, then in the cornmeal and finally fried them in sizzling canola oil until brown on both sides. Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out of the frying pan.

My grand-parents' garden:

Some delicious pies:

My family having lunch at the country house:

My favorite dessert ever - Onobelle's Raspberry Torte:

A giant mushroom (probably very poisonous) that I saw growing in the woods:

Me looking a little silly with the fam:

my loving sister, Kali: