Saturday, October 13, 2012

steak and other drugs

Pork, shrimp, and water chestnut wontons. The texture of the water chestnuts is so fun. I love how making wontons and dumplings can be such a great social/group activity. I still have two bags of these in my freezer. 

The bf and I took a trip to Costco. The bus ride there was only 20 minutes, but we waited an hour and a half on the way back because apparently Montreal bus schedules... aren't really schedules. I was slightly angry. I may be slightly understating how angry I was.

At Costco we picked up some awesome AAA grade top sirloin steaks. The local supermarkets I usually go to only have grade A beef most of the time, so the step up was welcomed. 

Above: Let the meat come to about room temperature, then generously salt and pepper both sides, and rub with rosemary and garlic powder or garlic salt (skip the first salting if using garlic salt). Sear on medium high for 2-3 minutes per side or depending on preferred doneness. Wrap in aluminum foil and let rest for 7-10 minutes. Open, and bam! You see a really juicy steak and start drooling.

Mother wisdom I've been fed: "If you're eating a lot of meat, eat even more vegetables to go with it."

Wait, two people are sharing this. Hang on.

There we go. I had a third of the steak, along with some sides. Perfect portion. Perfectly juicy.

Steak round two: rubbing in liberal amounts of garlic salt, pepper, and rosemary.

Sauteed some diced celery and green onion to be tossed through quinoa later.

Sear, baby, sear!

Final product: steak with quinoa and blanched okra. 

Since this one was kept overnight in the fridge, it lost a little of its moisture content. Never fear though, I had a solution for the third one! 

Ever tried plum wine? It's quite sweet and slightly syrupy. Too much of this would probably result in a pretty nasty hangover.

Braised chicken, Korean style. Adapted from Maangchi's recipe for braised chicken with vegetables found here.

Sadly, I'm an absolute weakling when it comes to competing with Maangchi's love of spicy food. I put in two little red thai chilis and just about died from how spicy it was.

My sister came to visit me! I made breakfast: scrambled eggs, figs, greens, and grapefruit. I felt kind of bad at how little cooking was involved, but she's on a low/no carb diet, so... Besides, there was leftover braised chicken. 

Story time: my sister tweeted a picture of the eggs, greens, and fruit. Her followers commented things like "you're going to be starving in 10 mins!", "wow, that's all?", "that's not a complete breakfast, your little sister sucks at feeding you, this is a direct attack on her competency as a cook and sibling". I may have made up the last one. Not gonna lie, that's how I felt when I read the comments though. I wanted to be all like, "There's braised chicken! Chicken! A lot of it! You just can't see it! Yeesh!" But alas, starting a fight on my sister's Twitter wouldn't have been a nice thing to do.

Moar mom wisdom: "Eat colourfully." I try.

Fried quinoa with salami "chips". Cut slices of hot salami sausage into strips and fry in a pan (oil optional, since the meat will give off a fair bit). Remove and let drain on paper towel. 

These are super crispy and fun to eat. Makes for a yummy garnish.

There was no way I could eat steak more than twice in a week, so we had to throw the third one in the freezer, which in my opinion is often a one way street to winding up with dry slabs of meat. What to do? Adding sauce is an okay solution, but that doesn't actually resolve the problem of dryness, it just covers it up slightly. 

The answer: brining. I'm sure there are other techniques out there too, but this is pretty foolproof. There's a standard ratio of water to salt I believe, but I didn't follow any, I just eyeballed it. The brine I used consisted of water, salt, whole black peppercorns, and fennel seeds. Normally, meat is brined for a long time - several hours, or even a day for larger pieces or whole birds. I only brined the steak for an hour and a half, but the difference was still noticeable. 

Just in case, we decided to make a sauce too. I had about a cup of leftover dry rosé, which I combined with half a cup of aged balsamic vinegar and a few black peppercorns. Let it come to boil then simmer until reduced to the consistency of your liking. Once its reduced, turn off the heat and throw in a little chunk of cold butter and whisk to incorporate.

Steak with balsamic glaze, boiled new potatoes, and spinach with honey dijon dressing.

Tired of steak? Go for tofu soup! 

Next post: Sinful or heavenly? Nutella stuffed brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip cookies from Ambitious Kitchen.


  1. It's "more" not "moar". :-(

  2. Seriously? One word misspelled and you're complaining? Don't bother reading this then, it's a great blog, go away and continue your wonderful life somewhere else...

    1. Alex, I would up vote your comment if I could. Props.

    2. Well, your spelling can go awry, but "Anonymous" seems to have miserable life if of all the things to comment on your great blog is one mis-spelled (misspelled?, I'm guilty too it seems) word. It would be like going to Paris and saying, "That Eiffel Tower is not so good, it had one rusty rivet on the north leg."