thesoupfairy: (steak)
Steak!

This basic marinade can be altered by changing the spices and herbs. This is how I made it today. Chuck eye is similar to ribeye, almost as tender and slightly less expensive. Choose bright red meat with nice white marbling. Choose a steak less than 1-1/4 inches thick, especially if broiling, because thicker steaks will not get warm in the middle before the outside is done.

Tamari is real soy sauce - most cheap soy sauce is a sad wheat-based imitation. Go for the real deal if you can.

Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 4+ hours
Cook: 6-14 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 chuck-eye steaks

  • 1-2 teaspoons steak seasoning blend (today I used Spicy Montreal Steak blend)

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced


Directions

Combine all ingredients but the steaks, stir well, pour over steaks in a shallow dish. Let stand to marinate in the fridge for at least four hours.

Bring steaks to room temperature in marinade (about half an hour on the countertop should do it). This is very important because it gives the inside of the steak a better chance to cook before the outside gets done.

If you've got a grill, by all means fire it up! If you're working with an oven broiler like I am, preheat the broiler.

A broiler pan will let the fat that renders off your steaks have someplace to go - fat is good, for sure, but if your steak sits in it, it will cause the steak to burn. If you don't have a broiler pan, you can use a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet, but you may want to move the steak to a different spot with less fat as you cook it.

So you start off with your steaks on the grill or on a broiler pan about 4 inches from the heat. Cook on first side, turning once the top starts to look done. After turning, you'll cook for about the same length of time as the first side. You can watch the edges of the meat to see how done it's getting: when the edges go from red to pink, the inside is probably moving from rare to medium-rare; when the edges go from pink to brown, the inside is probably moving to medium. Another good way to tell is to test the "fleshiness" of the steak - pinch the muscle between your index finger and thumb. That's what a steak cooked to medium feels like. If you like your steaks rare or medium-rare, you want to stop cooking the steak when it's softer than that. Don't cut into the steak to test doneness unless you absolutely have to - this lets valuable juices escape.

When you think it's done enough, remove the broiler pan from the oven and test for doneness again. When it's done to your liking, it is totally not time to eat it! Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes - until it stops steaming and the juices stop running off - before serving.





Twice-Baked Potatoes

Everybody's favorite. Cook and chop a couple of slices of bacon to add if you like.

Cook: 60-90 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 baking potatoes

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick)

  • 1/4 cup milk, half & half, or heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Directions

Scrub potatoes. Bake for 60-75 minutes in a 375°F oven - check for doneness by squeezing gently. The potato flesh should have a bit of give to it when it's done.

Cut top one-third off potatoes. Scrape potato flesh from cut-off tops into a bowl. Scoop potato flesh out of skins carefully, leaving a 1/4" thick wall so skins stay intact. Heat butter and milk/cream until butter is melted. (This is ALWAYS the key to great mashed potatoes!) Mash potato with remaining ingredients, reserving a bit of cheese to top. Fill potato skins with mashed potatoes and top with reserved cheddar.

Return to oven until browned on top - turn on the broiler if you like to better brown the top.




Tonight's Spinach Salad


Prep: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

  • 4 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves, stems removed if necessary

  • 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thinly

  • 6 fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly

  • 1/4 cup tamari

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider, white, balsamic, rice, whatever you like)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced thinly


Directions

Rub entire inner surface of serving bowl with cut side of garlic clove. Toss spinach, onion, and mushrooms in bowl. (Thinly sliced red bell pepper is also lovely in this salad, but my local grocery store didn't have any while I was there this week.)

Place tamari, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a jar, cover, and shake well. Toss with salad and top with egg slices.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

October 2012

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