Cooking While the World Burns

cherry-pieJanuary 29, 2017

President Bannon?

Yesterday I missed a post but I didn’t cook at all, either. If you are at least slightly aware of the current news you might guess that it had something to do with the ban on Muslims, the protests at the airports, the Federal judges issuing stays on the deportation of people from 7 countries, and the defiance of those court orders expressed by the White House. This Executive Order and others, as well as the White House statement supposedly honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day that completely ignored Jews, ignored that they were the primary target of the Holocaust, these were written by Steve Bannon, a white nationalist, and his buddy Stephen Miller. Miller is a White Supremacist who was named as a Senior Advisor on policy by Trump on Tuesday. Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer approves of him, thinks he’s the bee’s knees. I use Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, and white nationalist as the same thing, because that’s what they are when. These are Neo-Nazis and they are writing policy, advising the President on policy, and on the National Security Council, while our experts on Intelligence and the Military will only attend these meetings when invited. Let that sink in. The experts are being excluded while the ideologues are given preference.

Who is Miller? Article here:

You’d be right, but I was distracted from that  by the appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council;Trump also said the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the director of national intelligence, two of the most senior defense chiefs, will attend meetings only when discussions are related to their “responsibilities and expertise”.  This is the scariest thing I’ve seen all week. If you aren’t worried you aren’t paying attention.

The plan today was to roast a chicken but it is still sitting in the refrigerator, very stubbornly frozen but I do have a nice little rib eye steak that is thawed that I will split with my  better half tonight.

To cook a rib eye let it come up to room temperature, sprinkle salt and pepper on it and let it rest while  you heat a tablespoon of canola oil on high heat.You can use olive oil, but it has a lower smoke point so watch it and don’t let it burn. Don’t forget to turn on the fan over your cooktop or your smoke alarm will go off.

When the oil just starts to shimmer put the steak into the pan, seasoned side down, and set your timer for 4 minutes; season the other side of the steak now.

At 4 minutes turn the steak over and cook for about 4 minutes, then remove it to a platter and cover with a pan lid or foil. While the meat rests deglaze the pan with 3/4 Cup of red wine, something you’d drink with the steak, and gently scrape the pan to get all of the “fond” off the bottom and sides. Fond is the yummy brown stuff cooked onto the pan that will be magically released by the addition of liquid to the hot pan. This makes cleanup easier but, more important, in this case it can create a delicious sauce. Let the wine cook down a bit and stir in a pat of butter. Continue to stir until the butter is melted and fully incorporated into the sauce. Don’t rush these steps; that steak will stay nice and warm for 10 – 15 minutes, and it will continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the heat. This will usually produce a steak that is seared on the outside and red inside, but not “blue” (raw). I’ve seen Gordon Ramsey check the doneness of steaks by comparing the feel of the steak to comparing the softness of your cheek, your chin, and your forehead, cheek being rare, chin is medium, and forehead is well done. Or you could use an instant-read thermometer if you can find one that actually works. Rare/medium rare is 125° to 135°, medium to medium well is 145° to 150°, and well done is 160°. 135° is what I aim for.

Let me explain something: one of the burners on my Blue Star range is like a jet engine. I can’t remember how many BTUs but it was the hottest thing on the market 6 years ago and I have rarely had it turned up all the way. It’s overkill unless you’re into cooking with a wok, and then it’s perfect. If I didn’t have this intense burner I’d use this same set of rules to cook the steak under the broiler, but cut down the amount of time on the second side to maybe 3 minutes .

Do not cut into the steak to check doneness unless it has rested and you are ready to eat it. If it does need a bit more time in the pan remove the sauce to a small pitcher, wipe out the pan and heat a little oil in it, and cook the steak in it for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to push it all the way to gray in the middle unless that’s how you really like your steaks, but I think that’s a crime.

Serve the steak, pour the sauce over the top, and experience a little heaven.  I say a little because my steak is 12 ounces and it is going to feed two people tonight; more than 8 ounces is too much for me. We’ll probably have peas and a salad, and maybe a small potato apiece.


Or maybe I should make some more peanut butter cookies (see my first post for the recipe, here:


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