Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Steak Dinner and Lunch

I set the fire alarm off at least 10 times last night. I was just trying to cook a steak.

I swear it's not my fault. Nothing burned, nothing bubbled over, and nothing caught on fire. I think our sensors are just too sensitive. Now I'm almost scared to cook another steak.

That being said, it was a pretty damn good steak--worth the scrambling around trying to deactivate the alarms. I found some Prime New York steaks from Ralph's that were absolutely amazing. The even marbling on these bright red steaks were beautiful--and at such a reasonable price. Only $6 per steak! You can't beat that.

To go with the steaks, I made a tasty red wine, mushroom reduction. I'll be honest, I used a Two Buck Chuck Merlot from Trader Joe's for this, but trust me, it worked out just fine. The wine turned the mushrooms into an intense purple color. They bore a striking resemblance to kalamata olives...


Red Wine Mushrooms
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
1 cup crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon butter

1. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in saucepan
2. Add minced shallots, garlic, and sliced crimini mushrooms
3. Salt and pepper the mushrooms
4. Add red wine and let it reduce
5. Finish the sauce with the other 1/2 tablespoon of butter

Medium Rare New York Steak
1-inch thick New York steaks, at room temperature
coarse sea salt
freshly-cracked black pepper

1. Salt and pepper both sides of the steak
2. Sear in a nonstick skillet without any oil for 5 minutes on each side, 10 minutes total
3. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes to allow juices to redistribute
4. Slice and marvel at the gorgeous medium rare pink color
*This is now my fool-proof method for medium rare steaks. I surprised myself with how well they turned out. The 5 minute rule is great! Trust me.

I have to confess: I am currently having a shameless affair with fennel--and I mean the bulbous kind of fennel. I may or may not have made a trek to Ralph's today just for a single bulb of fennel. I've been making this simple apple fennel slaw with just thinly sliced fennel, apples, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and going through a bulb a day. Today, I added it to my leftover-steak sandwich on deliciously toasty ciabatta bread from the BreadBar in Century City with some sliced Campari tomatoes on the vine and crumbly French sheep's milk feta. It was ridiculously good for being leftovers.



  1. great job Christina! the mushrooms do look like kalamata olives...

    as for the 5 minute thing.... it really all depends on how thick the steaks are.... just saying =P

  2. I wrapped my smoke detector in saran wrap so that I could cook steaks. Maybe not the smartest idea, but I have neighbors knocking on my door whenever the alarm goes off, which gets pretty annoying.

  3. Beautiful! That's funny about your smoke alarm. I used to have a similar problem too, and I'd have to open the doors to let some smoke out. There's nothing like the smell of sizzling steaks wafting down the halls!

  4. @Austin: yes, I realize the 5 minutes thing will only work on a steak around 1 inch think lol and even then 5 minutes might be just a tad too long actually...

    @Protocol Snow: luckily, no neighbors have come knocking just yet...

    @Darin: I would feel a little awkward cooking with my front door open though haha

  5. What a beautiful steak! So hard to imagine it caused the smoke alarm to go off! I had a mishap w/ the smoke alarm this week as well. Maybe it's the weather? ;) Anyways I still need to master steaks!

  6. have your roommate fan the smoke detector when you cook :)

    i never ate that good while i was in college. dude, where are your cup of noodles?

  7. Gorgeous! I used to live in an apt with an over-reactive smoke detector, it can be a pain. Hope you figure out a way to "calm" it down. :)

  8. @Bianca: thanks! lucky the alarm hasn't gone off since...

    @bagnatic: the cup of noodles are hiding in the back of the cupboard incase of emergencies lol

  9. nicely cooked steak! I love Ralphs and their steak sales!

    just gotta love the smoke detectors at the apartments here. There's a switch u can tape down to prevent it from going off or you can just poke it with a stick to mute it when it goes off ^_^.