Posts tagged ‘alton brown’

April 18, 2011

the steak method

A few weeks ago on Amazon, I bought these two items:

An instant-read digital thermometer and a 10-inch cast iron pan.

Of course, there are a multitude of uses for these 2 tools, but the main reason we bought them was for these:

Jeff and I love a good steak, and we really love the idea of making it at home to save some money. We’ve wanted to try the method of searing it in a pan and then finishing it off in the oven, which is hard to do without a cast iron. Friday night’s dinner became the day we made it happen!

So after my Fresh & Easy market trip the other day, we took a bottle of this,

and used it to marinate the steaks.

Some sources say to marinate it for about 6 hours, but we ended up just marinating it for 24 hours.



This is what we did with the steaks (which we got off of a Good Eats episode):

-Preheat the oven to 500F and stick the cast iron pan into the oven for about 5 minutes.

-Season the steak with kosher salt & pepper, then rub a little oil with a high smokepoint (we used Grapeseed oil) onto the steaks.

-Take the cast iron pan out of the oven and place the steaks onto the pan.

-Sear one side of the steak for 30 seconds, flip and sear the other side for 30 seconds.

-Flip the steaks over again before sticking the cast iron pan with the steaks into the oven for 2 minutes.

-Flip the steaks over for the last time and leave in the oven for 2 more minutes. (We took the temperature of the steaks at this time and it was around 130F, which is about medium-rare, which is what we wanted.)

-Take out of the oven and let the steaks rest.



Yum. It was a littttttle more medium than we would’ve liked but that might’ve been because we let it rest for quite a while. Next time, we might leave the steaks in the oven for 1 1/2 minutes on each side instead of 2 minutes. Of course, it also depends on the thickness of the steaks.

But I will say that these were the best steaks we have made at home yet!

We had the steaks with brown rice, roasted carrots, roasted garlic, and sauteed spinach.

Jeff’s favorite vegetable is carrots. And he told me about 5 minutes before we were going to cook the steaks that he wanted carrots with dinner. I was slightly annoyed because carrots take a little longer to roast in the oven and wished he had told me earlier. But I found out from Friday night’s dinner that carrots will cook in almost no time when an oven is set to 500F and the carrots are cut into tiny, tiny pieces. The carrots were perfect, drizzled in a little grapeseed oil with salt & pepper.

I also halved a bunch of garlic cloves and stuck them into the oven with the carrots. I find that I like “roasted” garlic this way better than this way:

Of course this way is absolutely delicious, but all the garlic cloves turn out soft and mushy. Whereas we find that the garlic gets crispy on the outside and soft on the inside when we just halve a whole clove and stick it in the oven (with a little oil, salt & pepper). Plus, it is 100% easier and 100% cleaner, especially if you have those huge bags of already-peeled garlic from Costco.



Dessert was just as amazing and it included this:

Shouldn’t be toooo hard to figure out. ;D

Did you have any good eats this weekend?

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March 31, 2011

blueberry-and-cream scones

It’s true – I loved these cookies so much, I had to translate it into a scone. And it was a complete success!

I was also especially excited to make scones because I wanted to use Alton Brown’s method of “cutting the butter into the flour.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been so confused as to the best method to this. Pastry cutter? Hands? Food processer??

In his baking book (which really is one of my favorites – I go back to reference it again and again while I’m baking), Alton recommends this method:

Grating the butter! It’s best if you can put the butter in the freezer for a little bit before grating.

Grated butter is kinda pretty.

Or…looks like shredded mozzarella cheese!

You put this grated butter into the bowl of dry ingredients, fluff it up so that the butter is covered with the flour, and then rub the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers for about 30 seconds. Easy peasy!

 

And of course for this Blueberry-and-Cream recipe, I made some more Milk Crumbs.

Yum yum yum yum yum! Yum.

 

Look at this beautiful dough!

When you think about scones, just think cold cold cold. Cold is a scone’s best friend! Whenever I wasn’t using the dough (like when I was taking photos, etc), I just stuck this bowl of dough into the freezer – hence the frosty glass.

 

When the dough cold, turn it over onto some parchment paper…

 

And form it! Into a circle, square, rectangle – it’s your choice! I rolled (pun intended) with rectangle.

I find its easiest to roll the dough out with my hands. Don’t forget to lightly flour your hands though!

 

Then slice ’em up!

 

In no time at all…

It’s good that they’re snuggled up next to each other. They keep each other lifted up. =)

 

This is so incredibly good. I can’t wait to have another for breakfast tomorrow!

 

Blueberry-and-Cream Scone

Inspired by Momofuku’s Blueberry-and-Cream cookies

Makes: 18 scones

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

6 T unsalted butter

3oz (6 T) milk

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1 recipe milk crumbs

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

 

Directions

Begin by making the milk crumbs.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla extract. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

On a piece of parchment paper, grate the stick of cold butter. Add the grated butter to the dry mix and use your hands to cover the butter with the dry mix. For 30 seconds, rub the butter into the dry mix until pea-sized. Then pour in the milk-egg-vanilla mixture into the bowl, stirring with a fork. Add the milk crumbs and blueberries and mix until just incorporated. Stick this bowl into the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Lightly flour your hands and press the dough into a rectangle that is about 3/4th inch thick. Cut into triangles and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

 

Nutritional Information for 1 scone: 150 calories, 6.5g fat, 4g saturated fat, 55mg sodium, 17g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 8g sugar, 3g protein