Friday, June 17, 2011

Good Eats Challenge Week 1

(Be forewarned. This is not about home design and is long so if you're up for it, read on!)

Food is a big deal in our house. We love to eat it, talk about it, watch it being cooked and plan for it. It is something Daniel and I do together and enjoy together always. I'm lucky enough to have a husband who works from home so we usually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together and plan most meals together as well. Needless to say we have a lot of food rituals. The biggest one for us is Wine and Cheese Tuesdays. We've been doing this for almost four years now and it is my favorite night of the week.

Here's what you do.
Step 1: Buy wine and cheese you like (or haven't ever had before)
Step 2: Consume said wine and cheese on a night of your choosing.

Simple right? That is why it is so wonderful. There is no cooking, no fuss, and very little clean up which leaves the entire night for us to focus on each other. We have never missed a wine and cheese in four years (except when far apart and even then we often have parallel wine and cheese while chatting) that is how important this night is to us.

Why Tuesdays you ask? Well, when I was teaching we had meetings Wednesday mornings which meant a late start for school so I could sleep in just that little bit more to avoid going to work hung over. It has been great for our relationship and our lives. We've learned to eat many strange and wonderful cheeses and drink new and exotic wines that we might never have tried before.

Since I rarely work (more on that later) days of the week aren't super important to me but Daniel still enjoys is Fridays (even if he ends up working all weekend). Somehow though we've never really done anything special with this night. Well that's going to change! We are both HUGE fans of Good Eats and every time a new Alton Brown cookbook comes out I know what I will be getting for my next birthday/Christmas/anniversary present. It seemed only natural that we do something around this so we've created the Good Eats Challenge. It's a little more complex than Wine and Cheese so stay with me folks.

Step 1: Watch an episode of Good Eats
Step 2: Cook food made on said episode
Step 3: Bask in the glory that is good food

Not to hard right? Some of the recipes are a little more demanding than others but we thought we'd give it the old college try.

Our method: Start with the first Good Eats cookbook and work our way through each episode.

Episode 1: Steak your Claim (YouTube Video for you)

That's me reading the recipe to Daniel. He likes to play paparazzi but I always get him back
Isn't he just cute!
Back to the cooking! Obviously this one is about steak. Namely Rib Eye steak. Now we don't eat much meat in this house (mostly because I can't cook it very well) but we both know a good steak and delicious! (sorry non meat eaters out there but I can't lie) 

Here's the Recipe (taken from the Food Network)

I like this recipe because it is super simple. Start with a Rib Eye steak salt, pepper, and oil 

We used Grape seed oil because it has a really high smoke point

The interesting thing (to me anyway) about this recipe is the use of the oven. First you put the cast iron skillet in the oven and crank it up to 500. When it comes to temp. then you put it on high heat on the stove and put the steak on. (and I advise you to open a window or door or two because there will be some smoke. Though not much if you use the right oil)

Then you sear it for 30 sec on each side and put it back in the oven for 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. You can not ruin a steak this way. I might have cooked mine a little longer next time (I'm more of a Medium side of Medium Rare but that's just me) but they were perfect. 

The best thing about the recipe is not even in the show (but it's in the book!) and that's the Cognac Pan Sauce. Super simple and delicious! 

1/4 cognac tossed in the hot pan (take it off the heat first and leave it off). Cook 30 sec whisking all the good bits into the cognac. 

Then add 1 ounce crumbled blue cheese and whisk another 30 seconds.

Then add 2 tbsp butter and whisk until it thickens up a bit (something like another 30 seconds)

Pour into ramekins and serve along side to dip in. 

Absolutely amazing! I can't wait until next week: Mashed Potatoes! Yum!

Hope you enjoyed the departure from Home decor. If not, there is definitely more where that came from! 

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