Monday, July 29, 2013

Steak and Oven-Roasted Veggies


I love to cook protein- any meat, poultry, seafood, tofu... I find it invigorating and exciting. Cooking protein right can be a challenge, but it's a product that is extremely versatile in terms of flavor and execution. Since I'm a woman, most people don't expect me to be able to cook a good steak, but boy are they wrong! Usually it's the man who grills all the meat, but the reality is that anyone can do it! Although my method is unconventional, it works! Not everyone has a grill, cast iron skillet, or a pan that can go into the oven... But there is still hope! I cook my steaks in a fry pan/skillet, and I do not finish them in the oven! You can achieve a good sear, as long as you follow some tips:

- HOT HOT PAN!!
- Lower the heat after you get the initial sear.
- Check the doneness by feel, not by time! (Different cuts cook at different times. If you are able to learn how to feel the tenderness of the meat, you can judge the doneness!)
- Raise the heat again to evaporate any juices (not necessary for rare and medium rare steak)
- Rest your beef! Moving it to a plate and putting foil on top keeps it warm while it rests. Resting for 10-15 minutes maintains moisture in the meat.

Many people marinate and over-season steak. A good piece of steak doesn't need much to be flavorful. My go-to spices for pretty much everything are salt, pepper, and garlic powder. They never fail! I definitely recommend using them to season your steak. You won't even need steak sauce! 

Steak (makes 6 portions)
Cut of Beef (I like to use flat iron steak for my method. It ends up being very tender!)
1.5 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Pepper
1.5 tsp Garlic Powder 
1 tbsp Oil

1. Cut your beef into portions.
2. Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (measurements are only a guide for those who need it).
3. Heat a large fry pan/skillet over high flame.
4. Pour oil and allow to heat thoroughly.
5. When pan is very hot, place beef onto the fry pan. Allow to sear.
6. When beef has caramelized some, flip onto the other side. Allow to sear to the same color.
7. Lower the heat to low-med. Allow beef to cook to the doneness you desire. Flip beef every minute or two.
8. Test the meat by applying pressure to it, and comparing it to the muscle right below your thumb on your palm. Press the muscle gently! When you're touching the labeled fingers with your thumb, the muscle will tighten/loosen, creating a good reference point for the tenderness of the meat. For rare meat, you do not have to touch any fingers- just apply pressure to the muscle under your thumb.
9. If necessary, raise the heat again to evaporate any moisture in the pan. 
10. Remove from heat and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
11. Slice and serve!

Oven Roasted Veggies
1 Broccoli
2 Roma Tomatoes
1 Cauliflower
1 Onion
1 Ear of Corn
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Cut veggies to be relatively uniform pieces.
3. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
4. Put in a casserole dish or cookie sheet and into the oven for about 15 minutes.
5. Use tongs to toss slightly and return to oven for about 15-20 minutes more, until tomatoes do not look wet.
6. Remove from oven, cool slightly, and serve.




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