Let’s talk about beef. When I was growing up I thought I didn’t like steak. Or any red meat for that matter, the reason why is because my dear family didn’t know how to properly cook a steak. Once I met my husband who worked in a famous steakhouse in San Francisco for some time, I learned the error of my ways and that in fact, steak is delicious.
Rule # 1. This is the golden rule. Never ever, ever order your steak well done or medium well. That is red meat blasphemy. And don’t over cook it at home, either.
The correct way to serve steak is medium rare. If you are a novice at this “but its still bleeding!!” business, then start out medium, that is acceptable enough that the cook in the kitchen and your server won’t be rolling their eyes at you from the kitchen.
But what about ecoli? Salmonella? With beef (remember this is not the same rule for pork and never chicken) the bacteria is only on the surface. Yep, the part the gets cooked, so you are at no risk of getting sick. Now, the exception is ground beef. Since it has been ground, all throughout the meat has been exposed to air and therefore has the potential to be contaminated. For this reason, its acceptable to go medium well or even well done if you are very cautious.
Rule # 2. Throw out the A1. Clear your fridge of any and all steak sauces. If you cook your steak right, you won’t need any. It will be tender, juicy and delicious on its own. The purpose of steak sauce is to cover up a dry, over cooked meat and that has no flavor and is a chore to chew.
And we’ll end this lesson here, for today. Next time you are having a steak, just TRY it. You will be very impressed.
Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds before juicing. That will double the amount of juice you get from it.
Shop bargains! I buy all my meat in bulk and then portion it into 1 nights worth of dinner. Zip it up tight in a freezer grade ziplock and pull it out the night before and put it in the fridge to defrost. Never put meat in the freezer in the styrofoam tray and plastic wrap that you buy it in, it’ll get freezer burnt and be completely horrible. I mark with a sharpie the date I bought it and what it is so I know exactly what bag to pull out. Also be careful not to overstock your freezer, even the freezer burn proof bags break down and the meat is ruined over time. (But vacuum packed meat will last a lot longer.) I keep about 1 and 1/2 weeks worth of meat in my freezer at any given time. A great way to save money on groceries is to only buy the meat on the weekly special.
Have you ever gone to add a dash of salt to a dish and accidentally added way to much? You can neutralize an over salted dish by adding a little sugar. This won’t fix the mistake if you dumped the entire shaker in you sauce, but when its just a little too salty, try adding a teaspoon of sugar. Make sure the sugar will be dissolved completely (in other words, its too late after the food it plated and ready to eat) and don’t add too much sugar, you don’t want it to taste sweet. Just enough to neutralize the mistake.
When a recipe calls for a hard cheese like Parmesan to be freshly grated, stray bits of cheese usually fly all over the place as you grate. Put the grater in a large ziplock bag and grate right into the bag, all the little bits will stay in the bag and your counter will remain clean.
How to peel garlic in 2 seconds flat. Start with a clove of garlic, knife, and rubber jar opener. You must be working on a dry surface.
Cut the end of the garlic off.
Wrap the garlic in the rubber grip.
Press firmly and roll back and forth on your surface.
Until I run out of tips, I thought I’d share a helpful tip that has changed the way I cook, or simply made things easier, each Tuesday.
Today’s tip is inspired by the diced onion from last night’s dinner. For tear-free onions, put them in the freezer for 15 minutes before you cut them. The juices freeze just enough to not spray you in the eyes. You must work quickly, as soon as they are room temp again the juices resume their potency.