True Confessions of a Mid-Life Cook

There's a definite correlation between my profound love of music and how and what I've taught myself to cook. My favorite music to listen to and to perform is soulful, sensual, sometimes funky and always bluesy in nature . . . and that's exactly how I cook. I like to get my hands in the food. I chop, I knead, I stir with my hands. Sometimes I wear my big rimmed cowboy hat, nightie and Old Gringo boots in kitchen, sometimes a coonskin cap when the mood strikes and sometimes just an apron and a smile. Using the freshest of ingredients, I love to bringing a new spirit to old favorites. I am so to drawn dishes seeping in both Texas and Southern tradition,with a special affinity for those authentic old jewels found in South Louisiana.
Because they, too, are so powerfully soulful?

I've discovered being a good cook is a journey and not a destination. (Yes, I stole an over-used corporate slogan and made it my own--but it's still the truth) Every time we screw up, we learn. And in part, that's what this blog is about. Cooking fearlessly. With heart, with soul -- and with some damn good music to inspire. (If your three layer chocolate cake ends up looking like a Jerry Springer rerun or you cut the tip of your thumb off while making New Year's Day gumbo, WHO CARES?Proclaim Francine Reed's "I'm a Handful" your theme song. She would like that.)
We cook because we find ourselves kinda empty if we don't.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rib-eye to Die for

With it being the final weekend of San Angelo's big fat rodeo, naturally I decided on beef for dinner.  About a year ago I did a little research on how to cook a good steak inside. (Gasp) Which is unheard of in West Texas.

I combined techniques from a handful of recipes and came up with something that not only worked, but knocked it out of the ball park.

Mind you, I don't believe in eating a good cut of beef cooked anything over med-rare. If you prefer your meat medium well to well done, please eat a chicken. Or a pig. Beef is NOT meant to be eaten that way. (Chili shouldn't have beans in it either, but that's a entirely different topic, now isn't it?)

Having said that . . .

Get you a couple of well marbled rib-eyes or t-bones, about an inch thick. They must be room temperature. Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet in a 400 degree oven.

Heat a stove burner to high or use a high flame. Rub a little canola or vegetable oil on your steaks and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper with a little garlic powder. Take the hot skillet out of the oven and place it on hot burner. Throw the steaks on and sear well on both sides.

Immediately place in 400 degree oven for 2 minutes. Turn steaks and put back in oven for another 2 minutes. Take out of oven and let sit for another 3 minutes before serving. Top with herbed butter or horseradish whisked with a little sour cream and lemon . . . or leave naked. Please, no steak sauce.(Pullllleeeeaasse.)

Being the beef eater that he is, my husband was floored with the hugely successful outcome and I earned yet another jewel in my Queen of the Kitchen tiara.

Suggested listening:  'Cow Cow Boogie' recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Dandridge, Ella Mae Morse and the Judds (see link directly above)

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