Sunday, September 19, 2010

On Steak

After Tuesday's steak fiasco, I thought it best I give grilling another go. I feel fairly certain I won't ever be working the line at a steakhouse, but you never know. And knowing how to cook a steak without killing someone is a skill that might come in handy someday. And let me tell you that as stress-inducing as class has been that is how relaxing "studying" is. Cooking for and with people, I think, will always be one of my favorite things. It's right up there with sleeping and drinking wine. And thankfully, I have a number of friends ready to help me study for culinary school.

With two big ribeyes from Wohlner's wrapped up in my fridge, I called on Liz and Sean to come to the rescue and help me eat the meat. I like steak. A good steak is simple; it consistes of a nice cut, salt, pepper and a little bit of oil and yet the end product is complex in flavor. Even considering this, I am not a big fan of steak. First of all, there's just always something else I'd rather eat. Like vegegtables. For me, meat alone is lifeless, but served alongside sauteed or braised vegetables and you've got something.
Because I don't currently have a grill (a travesty, I know), I had pan sear the steaks to medium rare, which involves heating a sauce pan (or sauteuse, as I now snobbily know) until scorching in a 500-degree oven, searing the seasoned and oiled steaks for 30 seconds on each side before popping it the 500-degree oven to cook for 2 minutes on each side. My steaks were pretty thick, and this didn't quite do the trick. But this time I recognized that they were still raw and threw them back in the oven for a bit. They came out tender and juicy and, as you can see below, medium rare.
I served them with a side of creamed spinach that Chef O'Donnell apparently pilfered from some famous steakhouse in New York. The spinach was more the sort of thing that you dip tortilla chips in, which also meant it was really hard to stop eating. As I was stirring together the concoction of wilted spinach, cream cheese and yogurt (instead of sour cream) I decided the dish was missing some toasted pine nuts. I was right. Topped with parmesan cheese and scattered with pine nuts, the spinach seemed more like an American version of Florentine classics verses the spinach and artichoke dip one gets at a bar and grill.
Even better than the cooking was the eating and wine drinking. Liz, Sean and I made quite the ruckus going on about boys and girls and love and whatever other topics one covers after a satisfying meal. All these things, the prep, the cooking, the serving and revelry-making, that is most definitely why I come to the table night after night.


Greg said...

I cook my steaks the same way as you, and in fact, had a ribeye myself last night, cooked this same way.

However, once I had finished the steak, I moved it out of my cast iron skillet to a plate, and covered it with tinfoil.

Then I dumped a tablespoon of butter, some worcestershire sauce and a bit of water (red wine would have been better, but I was out) into my skillet to deglaze it.

After that, I put in a diced shallot, then a handful of sliced crimini mushrooms. Once the mushrooms were soft, I tossed in some halved baby red potatoes (that had already been boiled for 7 minutes).

I added some cajun seasoning, more butter and a dash of paprika to that, and served it with my steak along with some green beans.

It was delish. :)

Anonymous said...

Is this the same girl who threw up spinach when your dad cooked one of his rare meals while I was working? You scared him away from cooking forever!

Lainey Seyler said...

greg, my directions did say to let it cook for a couple minutes in the foil. i confess, i didn't trust it to finish the steaks. but my steaks were a little thicker. your seasonings sound terrific!

mom, i was so wrong about spinach! but maybe not about dad's cooking...