We don’t have access to an outdoor grill in our complex. It’s really one of the 2 or 3 things that we wish we had at our place, and for me, it’s kind of a big problem.
So instead of trying to make pan seared ribeye taste like it’s been grilled. I’ve adjusted to using cuts that make sense.
People usually either have never heard of skirt steak, or accuse it of being a tough meat texture wise. Regardless, it’s usually not the first cut that people think of when they’re hungry. But man, when cooked correctly, pan seared skirt steak can make for one of the best home cooked meals you’ve had in months.
If you do find yourself with a cut of skirt steak, be sure to remove the membrane from it if the butcher doesn’t give it to you that way. It’s pretty easy to peel off.
Here’s how I cook mine.
- 1/2 pound Skirt Steak (Just the right amount for 2 people in our opinion)
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- olive oil
- Combine butter and garlic in a small saucepan and heat on low-medium, allowing butter to melt. Turn off burner once the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Peel membrane off steak if it hasn’t been done for you already and cut steaks so that they fit better on the stove.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or good nonstick pan on high heat
- Pat steaks dry with a paper towel then generously salt and pepper both sides
- You’ll want the pan to get very hot. Once it’s just about there, generously coat the steak on both sides with olive oil. I do this on the butcher paper.. it saves dishes!
- Place steaks onto the pan and cook each side for about 4 minutes each
- While the steaks are cooking prepare a little foil bowl for your steaks. Because once they’re done you should transfer them to the foil and then you’ll want to drizzle the garlic butter on top
- Cut the steaks thinly against the grain
- Plate your steaks and drizzle the juices that the foil caught back on top of the slices.
Even with all the great places to eat and drink in San Francisco, I still hold a special place in my heart for food from San Diego. I miss the California burritos, carne asada fries, pizza from my parent’s backyard oven, and maybe most of all, fish tacos.
I missed them so much that today, I made some for dinner, and they were fantastic.
I’ve never deep fried anything before, so this was something of a learning experience. The splattering oil and messy batter got all over the place, and I was worried throughout that I was not cooking the cod all the way through, but everything turned out just fine.
This might be my first time making them, but I know a lot about fish tacos. First of all, the white sauce is key. I needs to pack a lot of flavor and it really goes well with the texture of beer battered cod. For this first time around, I went with the following:
- 1/2 cup mayonaise
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- some cilantro
- juice from half of a lemon
Jenn seems to use Greek Yogurt as a substitute for anything white, so I tried it here to avoid using a full cup of mayonaise. Nevertheless I ended up with way too much for 4 tacos. You could half that recipe, or even quarter it, and you’ll be fine.
For the fish, I chose 1/2 lb of rock cod which was on sale. Maybe next time I’ll just grill some mahi mahi or swordfish. Half a pound of fish was enough for about five tacos.
I used 3/4 cup tempura mix which seems to basically be cornstarch and flour. I mixed in 1/4 cup cold water and added Pacifico beer until the batter became close to the consistency of heavy cream.
I also had another bowl of 3/4 cup dry tempura mix, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. I’d take 2 inch cuts of the cod, coat them with the dry mix then dip them in the batter, before dropping them into a hot pot of oil. (I had the stove at notch 8 out of 10) and cooked the fish for 3 minutes.
To top the taco, Jenn shredded up some cabbage, and we added an onion cilantro mix which always goes well with white taco sauce. One thing we forgot to add was some avocado!
Don’t forget the hot sauce! I used sriracha in mine, but Jenn used jalapeno pepper sauce from Trader Joe’s.
It didn’t seem like Jenn was as excited about it as I was when I started, but I find having freshly cut salsa is both refreshing and delicious at the same time. I used the standard ingredients, tomatoes, a yellow onion, cliantro, jalepenos, but this time I decided to try adding habanero peppers to spice things up a bit. Habaneros are tiny yellowish orange peppers that look unassuming and innocent if you are not familiar with them, but boy do they pack a punch! -Jeremy
After picking up Jeremy from the airport on the day he officially moved up north, we went to the grocery store to buy food for our new apartment. Jeremy, who was living with his aunt for the majority of the four years we’ve dated, didn’t buy groceries, so this experience was new to him. While perusing the meat section, he came up to me and asked, “Can we buy salsa?” to which I replied, “Why don’t you just make some?” He blinked at me and I could tell that he would have never considered that had I not suggested. He asked, “What’s in salsa?” and I spouted, “Tomatoes, onion, cilantro, peppers, lime.” So off he went to the produce section, and I didn’t see him for quite some time. He came back, looking defeated, and confessed, “There were so many kinds of tomatoes. I didn’t know what to get.” We ended up buying a jar of organic salsa, and during the week he found a recipe he wanted to use, procured the right vegetables, and made the salsa. It was his first caloric endeavor at our new apartment.
I’m new to serious food crafting, so I feel it’s best to start with the basics… and what can be more basic than a loaf of bread? Bread is a staple food in many cultures and has been made long before I walked this earth tens of thousands of years ago.
Loaves of bread are very simple ingredient-wise but I ran into a slew of issues:
- Yeast is tricky and it takes experience to understand how to maximize its effect.
- There are so many different types of flour, and they all look the same to me. Maybe I can dive into their differences in a later post.
- Rack placement, climates, and the oven itself takes some getting used to, and one just has to learn its nuances over time.
On top of that, kneading dough for bread making is an arduous process. It takes time and a bit of finesse to master, and can make a huge difference in how successful the loaf turns out.
For a fluffy loaf of bread, it’s very important to be patient and let the yeast do its work. That means letting the bread sit on its own for up to a total of 2-4 hours.
My best result so far was the Buttermilk loaf pictured above, which also happens to be my latest effort. I made this one on a whim because we had a lot of buttermilk left in the fridge. Here’s the recipe I used:
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (I find Fleischmann Active Dry to be very reliable)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 cup bread flour (I used King Arthur brand.)
- Proof yeast in the warm water.
- Place the butter or margarine and buttermilk in a small saucepan. Heat slowly until butter or margarine has melted. Cool to lukewarm.
- Place sugar, salt, baking soda, buttermilk mixture, and yeast in large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups flour one cup at a time, and mix with the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer. Gradually add the remaining flour while continuing to mix. When dough is not sticky, turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead for several minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Place in a greased bowl, and turn once. Allow to rise until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough. Divide, and shape into 2 loaves. Place in two well greased 8 x 4 inch bread pans. Allow to rise until dough has risen one inch above pans.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Loaves are done when nicely brown and hollow sounding when thumped.
It’s encouraging to see myself make progress with each try, and I’m hoping that my next turns out even better.