God. Cooking meat, real meat meat, not the chickens THAT I LOVE but just aren’t…I dunno…meat…you know what I’m saying….I don’t even know what I’m saying, is just so….coooooool. It’s a feeling of intense pride that I just don’t get from roasting a chicken, ok??? Perhaps because it’s kind of foreign to me in my little home kitchen. Something I am just used to ordering at fawn-cy restaurants, done by real chefs. Now, when I’m sitting around, brainstorming dinner, my thoughts won’t just automatically go to another way to season chicken or marinate a steak. It goes to porkchops, crusted lamb, steak au poivre. And whatever else these people are willing to teach me. And not just because I want to “challenge” myself (I do that sometimes with difficult, tedious cookbooks…the ones where every ingredient is a recipe from a different page and makes you want to shoot yourself in the face). Truth is, NONE of these were a challenge at all.
Pork chops brined overnight in a salty bath of sugar, whole green chillies, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, lemon, lemon zest….
One of my favorite things I learned? Put it on the hot, oiled grill (nicely, for those cross hatches) (2 mins each side) (don’t have a recipe) and DO NOT FUCK WITH IT. This is the time to seal alllll that juice in by just cooking the outside. I am so used to just…fucking with things. Peeking, moving things. Removing to temp check. But no. Just trust your gut. Don’t. Fuck with it. There is always the oven post-grilling, and it actually makes me feel more chef-y to finish things there.
And oh, LET IT REST. AKA don’t cut it. AKA don’t. fuck with it. When you cut it too quickly, like I did in the early days, alllll that wonderful juice spills onto your board. That is juice that should be in your belly and only your belly. The board doesn’t deserve that shit! Your belly does.
PS. Did you know that you no longer have to cook the shit out of pork? I mean don’t let it be soft and pink, but don’t be scared to have the thing not be a solid white all the way through. Trichinosis is no longer a huge worry. But if you get it after reading this, this sentence never happened and best of luck to you.
Steak au poivre. Pepper steak. Heavily season a filet (or whatever, because really any cut of beef is better than a freakin filet I NEED BONNNNE AND FAT) with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place onto a lightly oiled (canola, preferably! canola is a high heat oil…i just learned that olive oil is not at all for high-heat cooking. such a simple freaking thing to know and yet I did not know it) and watch it smoke. Go ahead and stick your face into the smoke and inhale if you want to have the most intense sneeze orgasm of your life. Cook to your liking. If your liking is to cook it to well-done, then go ahead and do that and throw it into a raging fire along with your wallet and clothing since you just ruined a piece of meat and have no taste at all what it’s true I’m sorry dad.
On a nice little peppercorn sauce. Although it included my loves onions and dijon, the cognac ruined it for me. I freaking hate the flavor of cognac. The feeling? The feeling I like.
Hot pan. Lightly oiled. Simple salt and pepper on frenched lamb. Cooked until a nice sear appears.
This is Ina’s “Rack of Lamb Parsillade”, if you want to look it up. She doesn’t use dijon like we did, but a cool thing to know is that hey, if you love it, try it! We spread dijon on the top, stuck the herb / breadcrumb mixture to it (I actually replaced the bread crumbs with finely grated parmesan to attempt me “low-ER carb” thing) and popped it into the oven.
Then get raunchy with your instructor. I actually am incapable of squatting down to check the oven right now, as my thighs are seriously KILLING me from Physique 57 (need to get back into swimsuit mode wahhhhhhhhhhhhh). I actually have to get on all fours to look. It’s very professional.
Let rest. Don’t. Fuck with it. (will now be known as D.FWI). Slice.
Time to go to school now Morrrrrre to come. xx!!