PORK MEDALLIONS WITH BLACKBERRY COMPOTE

Sounds pretty fancy, doesn’t it? But this was our dinner on a humble Wednesday night, which would make it appropriate for a “Celebrate Wednesday” post. It’s been a long while,  I confess I totally forgot about my own blog feature. The pork was prepared sous-vide, but of course you can use any method you prefer. I love the sous-vide path because it results in perfect texture and gives me a lot of flexibility in timing.  In the case of medallions, after cooking them whole in the water bath I slice and sear them briefly on a screaming hot non-stick pan with ridges, but you can also use a grill. On weeknights I am all for convenience and prefer not to wait for the grill to heat up.  Your call.

pork-tenderloin

PORK MEDALLIONS WITH BLACKBERRY COMPOTE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
(sous-vide or regular cooking)

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed, silver skin removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon butter
lemon juice
for the compote:
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups blackberries
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
pinch of cardamon
pinch of salt

Season the pork with salt, rub the ginger all over, squirt a little lemon juice. Place it in a vacuum sealable bag, add the butter on top and seal the bag. Cook sous-vide at 140 to 145 F for 3 to 6 hours. When it’s time to serve, cut the pork in medallions and sear each slice on a screaming hot pan, preferably non-stick with ridges.  You can also sear it on a grill.  If you don’t have a sous-vide gadget, sear the pork after seasoning on a skillet with a mixture of butter and olive oil, then place in a 400 F oven until done to your liking.  Cut in slices and proceed with the recipe.

Make the compote. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the arrowroot powder, then add the berries, lemon juice, cardamon, and salt to the pan. Cook over low heat until the berries soften and the liquid seems a bit thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes, stirring every once in a while.

Spoon the compote, either warm or room temperature over the seared pork slices, and serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Pairing pork with fruit works very well for my taste.  Phil goes along for the ride, but I suppose he is not as into it as I am. I debated whether to process the fruit to make more of a sauce, but for the sake of speed and simplicity, I served it with blackberries still intact, although ready to melt in the mouth. The compote was still warm when I spooned over the meat, next day for my lunch I barely killed the cold from the fridge with a quick microwave step. Even at room temperature it does its job well.   Mashed cauliflower and green beans with almonds tied up our dinner. Interestingly,  this meal took me back to a dinner in Germany a looong time ago with my first husband and his family. That evening I had venison with blackberry sauce, and it stayed in my memory as one amazing meal.  I could not participate of their lively conversation in German, so maybe that made it for an even more intense gastronomic experience, all my senses converged to taste and smell…  Gotta dance to the music. Always.

😉

pork-medallions-with-blackberry-compote

 

 

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ONE YEAR AGO: Indian-Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas and Spinach

TWO YEARS AGO: Curry Cardamon Cookies

THREE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, March 2014

FOUR YEARS AGOBoeuf Bourguignon for a Snowy Evening

FIVE YEARS AGO: Chickpea Salad

SIX YEARS AGO: Soft Spot for Chevre

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Roasted Onion and Asiago Cheese Miche

CHICKEN KORMA-ISH

Chicken Korma is a classic Indian recipe, but due to the considerable amount of liberties I took with this classic, I must be upfront about it in the title, to avoid the Food Police coming after me.  For starters, I cooked it sous-vide. I know, what was I thinking?  But I tell you, the perfect texture is worth it. Perhaps you are familiar with the concept of velveting meat before stir-frying? It is widely used in Chinese cooking and does wonders for chicken breast, pork tenderloin, or shrimp, typical types of protein that will often dry up when submitted to the intense heat of the wok. Chicken Korma is not a stir-fry, but the improvement in texture offered by the gentle cooking in the water-bath made me think of velveting. To add insult to injury, I omitted several spices that make Korma a Korma. There you go. Rebel. My middle name. Inspiration came from this recipe at Anova Culinary, a great source for sous-vide cooking.

chicken-korma

SOUS-VIDE CHICKEN KORMA
(inspired by Anova Culinary)

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, cut into small dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Fresh cilantro, for serving

Set the sous-vide to 150°F (65°C).

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, salt, ginger, garam masala, curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender. Add the cream, yogurt, cashews, lemon juice, and honey. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Combine the pureed sauce with the chicken in a large zipper lock bag. Seal the bag using the water immersion technique and place in the water bath. Set the timer for 2 hours to 3 hours.

When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath. Transfer the entire contents of the bag to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

served

Comments: We adored this recipe. Period. If you look at the original, you’ll notice I substantially reduced the amount of heavy cream. It was plenty rich this way already, and it had enough sauce in the bag to form a luscious sauce. Of course, if you prefer the extra richness given by more cream, go for it.  I also used fewer spices.  On my second time around, instead of cilantro I sautéed a few cashews until golden brown and sprinkled all over when bringing it to the table. Phil liked the second version even better, I cannot decide.  One thing is certain; this will go in our regular rotation of recipes. If you don’t have sous-vide, simply use a regular pan, saute the chicken pieces (you could velvet them before for better texture), then add the ingredients for the sauce and simmer very gently until cooked through.  Yogurt has a tendency to separate, something that might be a bit more likely cooking on the stove top. Indeed, that is another benefit of sous-vide, with such a gentle heat, the yogurt mellows down gently, without putting up a fight and curdling right in front of your eyes…

secondSecond time around… double cashews, ground in the sauce,
and sautéed for serving…


chicken-korma-from-bewitching-kitchen

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ONE YEAR AGO: Sunday Gravy with Braciole

TWO YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, February 2015

THREE YEARS AGO: Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing

FOUR YEARS AGO: Green Olive, Walnuts and Pomegranate Salad

FIVE YEARS AGO: Romanian Flatbreads

SIX YEARS AGO: Ziti with Artichokes and Meyer Lemon Sauce

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Blasted Broccoli, Stove-top version

IMPOSSIBLY CUTE BACON & EGG CUPS

Should I be embarrassed to blog about a “recipe” that is essentially two ingredients plus seasoning? Potentially, yes. But in reality I am not, because this non-recipe has a nice little unexpected twist to it: the bacon was pre-cooked sous-vide. WAIT!  Don’t run away, you can make it if you don’t have the Anova gadget sitting in your kitchen drawer. But I must say bacon cooked sous-vide and stored in the fridge waiting to shine in any recipe is a very nice item for the busy cook. Or any cook, actually, because this method gets quite a bit of the greasy “feel” of bacon out of the equation, and the texture will be superb.

bacon-egg-cups2

BACON AND EGG CUPS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

several slices of bacon, preferably cooked sous-vide
large eggs
salt
Aleppo pepper (or pepper of your choice)

If cooking the bacon sous-vide, place the slices in a bag and submerge in the water-bath set to 147 F (64 C) overnight. I left mine 12 hours, but you can do it longer if more convenient.  At the end of the cooking time, a lot of fat will have accumulated inside the bag. You can save it if you like to cook with it, or discard it.  Place the cooked slices of bacon over paper towels to dry them well. Store them in the fridge until ready to use. If not using sous-vide, cook the bacon on a skillet, but do not allow it to get too brown or crispy.  Drain them well in paper towels before assembling the cups.

Heat the oven to 375 F (175 C).

Cover the bottom of a muffin baking tin with bacon, making sure to come up all the way to the top. Gently break an egg and place it inside. Season with salt and pepper.  Bake according to your preference. I like the egg yolks to be runny, so 10 to 15 minutes maximum will be enough.  If you like your eggs fully cooked, go for 20 minutes, but pay close attention, you don’t want to over-dry the egg.

Remove to a serving dish, and dig in!

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I made this recipe for the first time in July, and since then we’ve been cooking bacon sous-vide on a regular basis. To me, it takes bacon to a whole new level, cutting some of the harshness I find overpowering. If you get your pan screaming hot, you can get by simply searing one side of the bacon slice, as the whole thing is already perfectly cooked to start with. But, even if you crisp up both sides, the texture will be perfect.

compositebacon1

These little cups are perfect for breakfast, or a light lunch.  Having the bacon waiting in the fridge makes this preparation a breeze. All you need to do is warm up your oven (we use the Breville that heats up super fast), grab the muffin tin, and you are less than 20 minutes away from a nice meal.   I also made those using prosciutto and ham.  Both work very well, but the sous-vide bacon is my favorite. Keep also in mind that if you’d like a vegetarian version, cooked spaghetti squash strands can be a nice receptacle for the egg. I intend to blog about that sometime. The secret is to  be assertive in the seasoning, otherwise it can be a bit bland.

compositebacon2

For those interested, this is low-carb, Paleo-friendly, Whole30-friendly, but above all, it’s very very tasty!

impossibly-cute-bacon-and-egg-cups-from-bewitching-kitchen

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ONE YEAR AGO: Pulling Under Pressure

TWO YEARS AGO: Cooking Sous-vide: Two takes on Chicken Thighs

THREE YEARS AGO: Miso Soup: A Japanese Classic

FOUR YEARS AGO: On my desk

FIVE YEARS AGO: A must-make veggie puree

SIX YEARS AGO: Vegetarian Lasagna

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  Brazilian Pão de Queijo

ZAKARIAN’S PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED CHICKEN BREAST

One of the only shows I watch on FoodTV these days is The Kitchen, with Marcela Valladolid, Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro,  and the one and only Geoffrey Zakarian. The crowd has great chemistry together, each person bringing something different and fun to the show. Zakarian offers that touch of class and knowledge, sophisticated without ever being obnoxious, a tricky line to negotiate. Recently he shared a recipe with his characteristic signature: elegant, complex, but not overly fussy.  Chicken breasts filled with ricotta,  wrapped in prosciutto, crisped up on the stove top and finished in the oven. A quick pan sauce beautifully crowned the dish, bringing capers to the party. I have a weak spot for capers, in case you did not notice yet…  As I watched him prepare the recipe, I could not stop thinking that the whole thing would be perfect for sous-vide.  And sous-vide was the path I took. It was O.M.G. delicious. With the most enthusiastic happy dance to go with it.  Of course, if you don’t have the Anova gadget, don’t let that stop you.  I give you the exact method used by Zakarian in the show. However, I tell you, the texture of the meat cooked at that magical 141 F for hours… was superb. Superb!

zakarian-chicken-breast

PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED CHICKEN BREAST
(adapted from G. Zakarian)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup (about 60g)  sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (divided)
150g ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
1 large egg yolk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
9 slices prosciutto
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup (60 mL) Verjus (or white wine)
1/2  cup (120 mL) chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter

If using regular cooking, heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a small knife, make an incision in the top rounded end of a chicken breast, cutting through the center and to the ends without breaking the sides, to form a pocket for the stuffing.

Combine 1/2 cup of the tomatoes, ricotta, walnuts, sage and egg yolk in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Using a spoon (or place the filling into a piping bag without a tip), stuff each chicken breast with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then lay the prosciutto into sheets of three pieces each, and roll around each stuffed breast. Heat the canola oil in a large, ovenproof saute pan until almost smoking. Sear the chicken breasts on the seam side of the prosciutto, then flip and sear the other side.Transfer the whole pan to the hot oven until the center of the chicken registers 160 degrees F, about 15 minutes.

If using sous-vide method: wrap each piece in plastic, then seal in a foodsaver type bag. Submerge in a water bath set to 141 F for 4 hours. When the time is up, remove the meat from the package, dry well and proceed to browning both sides on the stove top.

For both types of cooking, continue to make a pan sauce:  remove the chicken from the pan, add 1/2 cup of the sun-dried tomatoes, capers and shallots and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute to soften the shallots. Add the Verjus to deglaze the pan, the chicken stock and cook until reduced by half, then swirl in the butter. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Slice the chicken and serve with the sauce.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

composite

Comments: I had a bit of a tough time filling the chicken. First I tried it as recommended, without a tip in the piping bag, but my bag was too thin, not sturdy enough to force the filling in. I tried with a tip, but the largest one I had was not wide enough and kept plugging with the pieces of walnuts. Since I was going to wrap the pieces with plastic anyway, I ended up cutting a slit around the side, opening the meat like a book, then rolling the prosciutto around. During the sous-vide cooking, it all turned into a perfectly shaped package. If you have a sturdy piping bag, it should work well.

What I love about sous-vide is how flexible you can be with timing. I served this meal for dinner on a super busy Sunday, in which we had no idea when we would be ready to finally sit down to eat. I set the water bath at 3pm and knew that whenever we wanted to have dinner, it would be a matter of 10 minutes to sear the pieces, and make the pan sauce. I had side dishes already made, just waiting to be re-heated. Easy but very impressive dinner.  Meat was perfectly cooked, the prosciutto gets all crusty and salty and tasty. And the sauce… capers are the perfect addition.  Zakarian really knows his way around food, Iron Chef that he is. And his beautiful gray hair only adds to his charm. Partial? Me? You’d think?   😉

About that Verjus: If you don’t have it, use white wine or simply chicken stock.  I am getting more and more fond of its subtle flavor, the way it brings mild acidity to a sauce or dressing.  And, by the way, did you know that a little Verjus mixed with carbonated water is a fantastic drink? Elaine tried it first and raved about it. Some people add sweetener, but we both like it straight. I am very fond of carbonated water with drops of bitters such as Angostura, so I’m not surprised that Verjus pleased me so much.

But, I digress. This is about the Zakarian’s recipe, and you definitely need to try it!  Perfect for a dinner party, you can assemble the chicken before, sear it quickly and bake it. Your guests will be impressed, thinking you slaved away for hours. But truth is, you did not…

prosciutto-wrapped-chicken-breast-from-bewitching-kitchen

ONE YEAR AGO: Amazing Apricot Bars

TWO YEARS AGO: Spiralizer Fun

THREE YEARS AGO: Linguine with Cauliflower Pesto

FOUR YEARS AGO: Carriage House Apple-Walnut Pie

FIVE YEARS AGO: Chicken Marsala

SIX YEARS AGO:  Home, sweet home

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Levain Bread with Caramelized Onions

 

 

PERFECT SOY-GRILLED STEAK

I am not too fond of superlatives when it comes to cooking, as what I might consider perfect won’t necessarily hit the jackpot for everyone else. But that’s the title of the recipe by Mark Bittman that happened to be one of the most popular according to a recent round-up by New York Times. If you don’t subscribe to their cooking newsletter, consider doing so. Oddly enough, Phil was the one who drew my attention to it. I joked that we have hundreds of cookbooks in the house, but he never opens a single one to look for inspiration. However, he gets mesmerized by the New York Times collections, and if I resist reading the page, he will drag me in front of his computer to point out all the ones “we should make soon.”  We. You know, that pronoun that means more than one person doing something together. So, yes, that’s how I ended up making this recipe.  I opted for the sous-vide route because it makes the best flatiron steak in the known universe. How about that for disliking superlatives?

Soy Grilled Steak

 

PERFECT SOY-GRILLED STEAK
(adapted from Mark Bittman)

¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger
½ teaspoon peeled and minced garlic (I omitted)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 flatiron steak
salt to taste

Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Place the steak in a plastic bag or tight container and add the sauce. Marinate while you heat the grill, or if possible, longer. Season lightly with salt right before grilling.

For rare meat, grill about 3 minutes a side for steaks less than an inch thick. For larger or more done steak, increase the time slightly.

Sous-vide preparation: after marinating the steak, remove it from the soy-based sauce and place in a vacuum bag. Seal it and place it in a water-bath set to 134 F for three hours. Remove from the bag, discard any accumulated liquid and sear on a very hot grill for a minute each side.

Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You definitely don’t need a sous-vide gadget to make this steak. But I tell you, if you have one, it is so worth putting it to use here!  I make the marinade early in the morning, add the steak into a bag with it. When we are home for lunch I discard the marinade, vacuum-seal the meat and place it in the water-bath until dinner.  Timing is so flexible that I don’t even worry about being late.  A quick side dish of sautéed veggies and a simple salad, maybe some bread, that’s all we need to be happy campers.  For this particular dinner, we paired the flatiron steak in all it’s medium-rare glory with cauliflower gratin (leftover from the evening before) and sliced heirloom tomatoes with avocados and almonds. Pure gastronomical joy, I tell you…

served11
Now, going back to that collection of 10 most-popular NYT recipes. Several gems in there. We are both very interested in the Skewered Chicken with Peanut Sauce,  Phil says he wants to make the Pork Chops with Brandied Cherries, I will definitely be making the Flattened Chicken Thighs with Roasted Lemon Slices (wow!)… As far as sweets, the Almond Cake makes me dream… and Julia Child’s Berry Flan goes to the top of my beloved’s list. In summary, out of 10 recipes 6 are definite keepers. Not too shabby at all…

Perfect Soy-Grilled Steak

ONE YEAR AGO: The Devil’s Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: Heart of Palm Salad Skewers

THREE YEARS AGO: Potluck Frittata and Lavoisier

FOUR YEARS AGO: Home-made Corn Tortillas

FIVE YEARS AGO: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Peanut Sauce

SIX YEARS AGO: Brigadeiros: A Brazilian Party!

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Lemony Asparagus

DUCK CONFIT FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION

It is hard to beat duck confit when you want to have a memorable meal. I will never forget the first time I had it, actually. I was all alone in Paris (my first trip to Europe!), having flown from Brazil to take part of a scientific workshop sponsored by The World Health Organization. The 2-week workshop launched the sequencing of the whole genome of Mycobacterium leprae. In those days, sequencing DNA was a cumbersome, slow, and painful process, nothing to do with what it is today. I was one of the lucky people invited to participate of that initial workshop. I knew very little about automated DNA sequencing, but even less about duck confit. On my first evening, very tired and a bit insecure to walk around town, I crossed the street and bravely entered a restaurant near Institut Pasteur (Le Pot au Feu). The special of the day was duck confit, so that’s what I ordered. I thought I had died and gone straight to heaven, arriving at dinner time. Unforgettable experience, even if all alone sitting at my table, staring at couples in love all around me. Or so it seemed…  Paris and romance go always hand in hand.

I made duck confit twice in the past, before my blogging years. Even though both meals turned out great, the process was not very pleasant: a lot of fat to deal with, and a pretty intense smell lingering in the house for way too long.  This time, I used sous-vide to cook the duck legs and I have one word to describe it: WOW! I go as far as saying that buying the Anova circulator is worthy it just to make duck confit.  Easy, very little fat needed, no lingering smell, and once the duck legs are cooked, they can go still in the bags to the fridge and stay there for 2 to 3 days until showtime.  Cannot get much better than that…

Duck Confit1


DUCK CONFIT
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

3 tablespoons salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed (optional)
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
6 sprigs thyme (I used dried thyme)
4 sage leaves
Coarsely ground black pepper
4 duck legs with thighs
4 tablespoons duck fat

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, placing one sage leaf underneath each piece of duck. Sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

Rinse the duck pieces well, to remove the coarse salt. Dry the meat with paper towels. Place each piece in a plastic bag, adding 1 tablespoon of very cold duck fat inside, vacuum-seal the bags.  Submerge the sealed bags in a water-bath set at 82 C (180 F) for 10 hours.  When the time is up, chill the pieces in an ice bath and place in the fridge, still sealed.

About 45 minutes before dinner time, remove the duck from the fridge, open the bag and scrape off most of the congealed fat. Place in a roasting pan, skin side up, cover with aluminum foil and warm up in a 375 F oven for about 30 minutes. Before serving, place the pan under the broiler to crisp up the skin. Alternatively, you can warm up the pieces and then sear the skin on a blazing hot skillet.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


DuckConfitcomposite

Comments: I made this recipe for a very special dinner. First, it was my beloved’s Birthday, and since it falls very close to Christmas, it’s tricky to have a party for him.  Most people are away visiting family, or too busy with the holidays. But, it turns out that two VERY special friends made a trip all the way from Brazil to be here with us on that special day!  And they are amazing cooks, so the pressure was high on me to deliver a nice meal. Needless to say, I did a lot of research on duck confit sous-vide before settling on the method I shared here.

Several things are important. The duck itself. The best kind to get is Moulard duck, so I special ordered it from d’Artagnan (remember my latest IMK post?). Then, the salting to cure the meat before cooking. Some sous-vide methods advise you to do that step in vacuum-sealed bags, but the meat can turn out overly salty. I decided to salt the pieces in a baking dish in the fridge for 36 hours, then rinse the meat well before cooking it. The sous-vide step is another major consideration. I visited a discussion forum (eGullet), and read everything I could find on duck confit before settling on my choice of 10 hours at 82 C (180 F).  As to the amount of fat to use, one tablespoon is enough, but you could even omit adding any extra fat. If you look at the last photo on the composite picture above, you’ll notice that there was a lot more than one tablespoon of fat in each bag. The fat rendered from the leg itself will be more than enough to properly coat it during cooking. So, if you rather  not render duck fat or buy pre-rendered fat, simply go from the salting step to vacuum-sealing. It will work like a charm. Of course, you could get by with olive oil too. The main goal is to cook the meat submerged in some type of fat, duck fat being the best one for flavor.

I feel that I hit the jackpot with that combination of time and temperature, would not change it in the future.  Finally, the last consideration is how to warm up the meat before serving.  I did not want to deal with a hot skillet and searing the skin, making a huge mess right before our meal, so I went with a regular oven. First 375 F for about 30 minutes, then running the pieces under the broiler to crisp up the skin.  Would not do it any other way, it was spectacular!  The meat had the exact texture I remember from my first duck confit enjoyed in Paris! Not too salty, not too greasy, simply perfect!

plated2

Dinner is served!  Duck confit and gratin of potatoes…
Life is good!

bday

ONE YEAR AGO: Ken Forkish’s Warm Spot Sourdough 

TWO YEARS AGO: Bran Muffins, Rainbows, and a wonderful surprise!

THREE YEARS AGO: Salmon Wellington

FOUR YEARS AGO: The Green Chip Alternative

FIVE YEARS AGO: Weekend Pita Project

SIX YEARS AGO: Let it snow, let it snow, eggs in snow

HOW ABOUT SOME COFFEE WITH YOUR STEAK?

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If you’ve never used coffee in marinades or dry rubs for meat, you are missing a great opportunity to enjoy its mysterious flavor added to usual suspects such as herbs, peppers, and spices.  I’ve blogged before on a take on pork tenderloin that I still think is one of the best recipes I have in the blog, and that uses coffee as one of the ingredients.  But today I’ll switch gears and apply a coffee-based dry rub to beef. The recipe, published by The New York Times,  was recommended by our very dear friend, Marijo, who happens to be a great cook, so when she raves about something, I am all ears. And taste buds. It did not take me too long to jump on it, although it is taking me a long time to share it here.  What else is new?  That’s the way Sally rolls…

Steak_Coffee

ALL-PURPOSE CALIFORNIA BEEF RUB
(as published in The New York Times)

2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons granulated garlic
1 heaping teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Rub on the meat you intend to grill and leave it for at least one hour, overnight works too.

Grill to medium-rare, or to the level of your choice (hopefully not well-done!)

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe click here

Comments: I’ve made this recipe quite a few times, with flank steak, flatiron steak, tri-tip, and even bison rib eye steaks. For the bison rib eye, I adapted it to sous-vide and it turned out spectacular, but the photos not so much, so I won’t dedicate a special blog article for it.

SOUS-VIDE METHOD: Apply the rub, and seal the meat in a plastic bag (vacuum is fine, water replacement method will work too). Leave the meat in the fridge for one hour or more, whatever is convenient with your schedule.   Place the bag in the water-bath set for 134 F (medium-rare) for a minimum of 3 hours.  I left mine for almost 6 hours, as I started cooking it at lunch time and we enjoyed the meat at dinner time that evening.  Once the meat is cooked, open the bag, discard the liquid accumulated inside, pat-dry the surface with the meat with paper towels.  Sear on a blazing hot grill or cast iron pan.

To our taste, the sous-vide was by far the best method for bison steaks. Same applies to flatiron. For flank and skirt steak, we think there is not much improvement by going the sous-vide route, both cuts of meat cook perfectly fine on the grill. Whatever your method of cooking, this rub is money!  Give it a try…

Marijo, thanks for sending this recipe our way,
looking forward to many more!

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