Ahem. Excuse me while I brush the cobwebs away in here.
The thing is, I had to share a new recipe discovery with you. So good and easy that it brought me back to blogging here.
The past year and a half brought so many new changes to my life, a relationship, a new job, a move, living with someone for the first time, and most recently, an amazing trip to Kauai, where we did our best to explore every inch of the island for 9 wonderful days. The weather didn't always cooperate, but we did our best to enjoy and experience everything Kauai had to offer.
I think that I'll do a post soon with Kauai recommendations. Like everyone else, we used the infamous "Blue Book." But I was a bit disappointed by it's food suggestions, which were a bit more mainstream than I like. Stay tuned for that one, it's coming, I promise.
I'll admit, blogging hasn't been on the forefront of my mind, despite the fact that I'm doing a lot of cooking lately. Ahi and Mahi Mahi with mango salsa in our little condo in Princeville, Garam Masala Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Carrots, Thai Chili Coconut Beef Short Ribs, Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Shrimp Scampi with Fennel and Pernod, just to name a few.
Along with a recipe, I have a recommendation: if you don't already have your hands on Melissa Clark's new cookbook, Cook This Now, please do yourself a favor and order a copy today. I've never treasured a cookbook so much. I'm working my way through this book, and I've yet to try something that I don't immediately want to make again. It's that good.
Now: onto the promised recipe.
I apologize for the lack of photos, I can't stand taking pictures of food without natural light, and all of my cooking happens at night after work these days. But please believe me when I tell you, this resulted in the finest steak I've ever cooked.
Which is saying a lot, because I've always had a difficult time with steak that isn't grilled outside with charcoal. I mean, clearly, that is the way to do it. But we currently own neither outdoor space, nor grill. Valentine's Day was upon us, and for a relaxing, romantic night in, I knew I wanted to cook a steak. How best to do so in the oven, and still get that delicious crust and perfect medium-rare steak?
Mark Bittman has the answer, and it goes like this...
Oven "Grilled" Steak
Mark Bittman - NY Times
1 1/2 to 2 lbs strip or rib-eye steaks (2 large steaks)
salt and freshly ground pepper
A pizza stone for the oven (not necessary, but helpful)
Put the pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and fit another rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to maximum, 500 degrees or more for at least 20 minutes. Put a cast-iron or other ovenproof heavy skillet large enough to hold the steaks over high heat on the stove top to heat. Wait 2 or 3 minutes, until pan is beginning to smoke.
Add the steaks and let them sit on top of the stove as long as you can before the smoke becomes too much. For me, this was about 2 minutes (and yes, my smoke alarm then went off, but that's the trend in our small apartment. All the better for the steak!) Immediately transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Roast the steaks for about 4 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom, then turn and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes, until done.
Remove, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let meat rest about 5 minutes, then serve.