Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dinner was *%^&$#@ Delicious

Let me just say I was practically making out with my flank steak sandwich tonight! The bread is even better than I remember it being. Nothing could have been better than the still warm from the oven bread slathered in horseradish sauce and covered in a good amount of steak... I mean it was mother fucking fantastic! I have rarely had something as completely satisfying as this sandwich. So simple and yet so delish!

So the bread is worth making. If you've made bread by hand I'm confident that you will turn out a good loaf or two. If not here are my tips: bread is not complicated, there are not a lot of ingredients, but you do need to be sure to knead it well to develop the right texture (I'd say gluten but I don't want to scare you away). Also be sure to follow the "Traditional Method" the steam produced by the boiling water is what gives the bread such a nice crust. I like to make my bread with the minimum amount of flour needed to pull the bread together and work it in well getting it pretty elastic. That means I don't put all the flour in... I usually reserve 1-2 cups and knead it in just to get to the texture that isn't too sticky. I keep dusting my board (ie counter) and the dough while I knead. I'm scaring you already right? Just follow the directions.... if it sucks go feed some ducks or use it for french toast.

As for Flank Steak if you have either a grill or a cast iron pan (my personal favorite cooking tool these days) this is the easiest thing to make. Take your steak out and let it rest and come up to room temp before you cook it (no you are not going to get food poisoning.. you are going to cook your meat faster and more evenly) Heat your pan with just enough oil to coat over medium high heat (or grill to med-high) I get about 1.75 lb and that covers us with 2 dinners of 4 oz each (believe or not Kid Furious can throw back some serious "steak meat") I know, I know, you are doing the math and you're coming up with 1.5 lbs, well the steak cooks down so keep that in mind when you are making your purchase. Back to the cooking. So you've let your steak come up to room temp and you've either started your grill or you've got your pan ready. I change my seasoning up all the time but what you need to remember is that all you really need is salt and pepper. If you've got some ethnic side dish just throw those same spices on your steak, or buy a "steak seasoning", you cannot mess this up (and yes Ms.B I'm talking to you!) This week I put on some garlic powder, onion powder, ground thyme & ground oregano... just because I had them on the counter... perfectly good. Alright, your pan is hot (or grill) put the steak on it. For 1.75-2 lb your gonna cook that about 8 mins and then flip and cook another 8 mins. For a smaller steak 6 mins per side. Take it off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes (do not cut into it to check it or anything you'll end up with a dry steak... it's fine). Now if you are me you had a pot of water on the other burner and you diced up a potato (yes just one big yukon gold... I'm on a could do as many as you want) and as soon as it was fork tender you scooped out the potato with a strainer and let them sit on the counter but kept the water on. When you take your steak off the heat you add a little more oil to your steak pan (yeah I know there's bits all over the bottom) and throw the potato in there and season it up with salt and pepper. Cook it flipping them around while the steak rests. At the same time I put some ears of corn in the old potato water. When the steak is done resting your corn and potatoes are done too. Slice that steak across the grain (that means parallel to the stubby end) as thin as you can. Dinner's done and you should have about half a steak leftover to make those delicious steak sandwiches. That's how its done Mrs. Furious style.


Mr Furious said...

This new flank steak every week thing is the greatest thing that ever happened 'round here. I love it the first night, and the "leftover" sandwiches tonite were fantastic.

Mrs. F has a habit of making a lot of things look (or sound) easy* in the kitchen, but this dinner really looks like one most anyone can pull off. Give it a shot—cooking a steak at home and having it come out as good as a restaurant is tremendously satisfying, and was a long time coming for us. With this technique it seems automatic!

* "easy" is all relative. Mrs F knows what she's doing, and can improvise seamlessly. I, on the other hand, am easily rattled, and three things at once is almost surely more than my brain can handle...

Mr Furious said...

Let me throw one of my patented "endorsements" out for the cast iron skillet.

I am in charge of kitchen clean-up and dishes in the Furious Household, and I was NOT in favor of cast iron anything after the Great Cast Iron Grill Debacle.

We ditched all teflon pots and pans in the house and the frying implements are now two Lodge™ cast iron skillets—one small, one large. We bought them pre-seasoned.

Once you start using them, add oil or butter when you cook, and then scrub them with a stiff brush or a scrubby thing under HOT running water. NO SOAP. Do not soak the pans in the sink, or try and get cute by heating them up filled with water on the stove.

Washing when the pan is still hot, right after cooking, can work well also.

The pan is "clean" when the water rinses out clear, and visible evidence of what you just cooked is gone. Each time you use the pan, you add to the pan's coating—so don't scour the shit out of it—but you don't always want tonite's salmon carrying over to tommorrow's pancake.

Towel dry completely (I have a designated towel for this job, since it always gets dirty) and then pour a quarter-sized amount of oil in the pan and rub it around with a paper towel.


There was an adjustment period for me, some trial and error, and they are moderately more difficult to maintain/clean, but it's worth it. While not as non-stick as a Teflon pan, iron isn't poisonous, or as vulnerable to damage. It is just about as easy to cook with as a non-stick pan after a short amount of use.

Mrs. Furious said...

Jesus... don't you have your own blog?

And FYI I don't sear my salmon in the cast iron... I've been thinking about it... but I actually cook that in the stainless saute pan. I'm not sure if the cast iron would give it too crispy a top coat and I'm kinda afriad of the skin adhering to the pan permanent style. And I assure you ... you do not want that shit coming through in a pancake!

Chris Howard said...

Jesus... don't you have your own blog? LOL

Hey, he's just being supportive.

I have been seriously thinking about a cast iron skillet. We use a lot of stoneware, and the cleaning process sounds similar. And cast iron skillets look much nicer than most teflon pans.

My steak usually turns out overdone or uneven at best. I'll have to give this a shot.

Mrs. Furious said...

Plus Cast Iron is CHEAP! We're using the Lodge pro-logic line, which is preseasoned. They carry this brand at BBB and every other cooking store on the planet. Lodge is known to be the best. Now I want the griddle/grill version.

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