Pound a small filet mignon flat. Coat with a little bit of flour, then dredge in a beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. I added cornmeal and grated cheese into the breadcrumbs too, for crisp and flavor. Then fry it. After that, let it rest while you bring some sauce up to a simmer. Then cover one side of the fried cutlet with your sauce, some mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni or salami if you have any. Bake until the cheese bubbles and the pepperoni starts to get crisp. Top with some fancy oil, honey, and fresh basil. Then EAT THE FUCKIN’ THING!
A few months ago I had this wild idea that I would like a steak with an aggressively spicy Chinese flavor profile of chili oil, Szechuan peppercorns, cumin and garlic. Then suddenly I saw a menu item pop up at the Lobster Club with a strikingly similar list of ingredients, and the steakhouse Blu on Park is closing, making way for an Asian steakhouse which, perhaps, will feature something similar. Without wanting to wait for the new restaurant, and without having to drop bank and fight for a table at Lobster Club, I struck out to make my own, to turn my dream into reality.
I started out with one of my Piedmontese strip steaks because (1) they’re not dry aged, so I’m not competing with any other flavors, and (2) they’re cheap enough so that if I fucked it up, I wouldn’t feel so bad about it.
So what the fuck did I do?
Marinate the shit with chili oil, garlic oil, minced garlic, Szechuan peppercorns, Szechuan pepper oil, cumin, Chinese five spice and sesame oil.
After a few hours (or a few days if you want the flavors to really penetrate the meat), and after allowing your meat to get up to room temperature, dry off your steak with paper towels and season it all over with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, a touch of Chinese five spice and cumin (those last two ingredient are potent, so a little goes a long way). If you have fresh chilies, cut up a few and toss those in as well.
Pour the marinate into a pan and start bringing the fucking heat. Once the pan is screaming hot (but not smoking up the joint), toss that steak in. Now throw in some duck fat (or butter if you don’t have duck fat, but tracking down some duck fat is 100% worth it to bring home all the flavors).
Once the steak sticks to the bottom of the pan, tip the pan and spoon the liquids over the top of the steak as the bottom side cooks up to a nice brown crust. After three minutes of this, flip and repeat. Once finished, remove the steak and let it rest before slicing. Here’s a video of the process:
Now throw a pint of leftover rice from your Chinese take out into the pan. You know – the box of shit that’s been in the back of your fridge all week. Mix all the oil and duck fat into the rice, and spread the rice out across the pan. LEAVE IT. Let it get crispy as fuck on the bottom without burning.
Once that’s done, plate the rice, slice up your steak, and top your rice with the steak. I did a fancy slicing technique for presentation, but you don’t have to get all crazy with it.
That’s about it. Enjoy, assholes! Oh and pro-tip: you can remove the peppercorns before frying up the rice. I didn’t do this because I like the numbing quality to them.
I built this cool hibachi grill using some clay pots that I picked up at Home Depot.
As you can see, the first thing I cooked on it was some thick cut bacon. That’s lamb bacon, by the way. Really nice.
I lit the coal brick with a blowtorch.
This baby made my apartment really smokey because the fat drippings were hitting the hot coal. Otherwise, if there was no fat dripping, the hibachi was relatively smokeless. The cooking itself was more like a slow roast. I think, since I only used one brick, that made the process take longer. Next time I’ll try with two or three.
This past weekend I went all in and made a Sunday roast out of some Strassburger Steaks sirloin that I butchered myself at a butchery class. I had it netted/trussed so that it held its shape during the cooking process (that’s why it has lines on it).
First I rubbed it with some delicious Botticelli extra virgin olive oil. I really love that stuff. It’s the best olive oil I’ve had, and it doesn’t take on a bitter taste like some extra virgin oils do.
Then I seasoned with kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder. After that, I sealed it up in a sous vide bag with a few sprigs of rosemary. I left it in the bath overnight for 12 hours, set to 128 degrees.
After I pulled it from the bath, I poured out any meat juices into a cup for using later.
I let the meat cool own to room temperature before searing it in a pan with some butter and the rosemary. I spooned the excess butter over the top as I cooked it, and ensure that I got a good sear on all sides.
Always let your meat rest before slicing. I rested this roast for about 15 minutes. While you do that, you can pour the meat juice into the melted butter that’s left in the pan and reduce it gently into a brown gravy sauce.
I served with a big salad and some roasted potatoes. But man, oh man. That beef was so delicious.
Oh and speaking of Botticelli Foods, they happened to send me and my wife a nice package of stuff to try out here at home.
I just used the EVOO with my roast, but my wife used almost everything here and baked these awesome little farfalle muffins – a take on my spaghetti pie, but with prosciutto cups, bow tie pasta, roasted red peppers, mozz, eggs, parmesan cheese and spinach. Insanely delicious.
Gin Lane 1751 sent me a bottle of their London Dry Royal Strength Gin, as well as a pre-mixed negroni, to test out and make some tasty cocktails.
As some of you may know, I’m a huge gin martini fan. I pretty much always have one with steak. I especially like London dry gins, so I was excited to try this brand out.
Naturally, the first thing I went for was a classic dry martini, a little dirty. I barely fill the twist cap with vermouth, and pour that over the ice that’s already been chilling my martini glass as I prep.
By the way, I’ve had that bottle of Martini & Rossi vermouth for about 10 years now. That’s how dry I like my martinis…
Next I pour in some olive juice, and finally, the gin. Shake the fuck out of it and strain into a chilled glass for absolutely crisp, salty perfection. Olives as garnish, of course.
The pre-made negroni instructions are simple: Pour over ice and garnish with an orange peel.
As you can see, I had a lemon on hand, so I mixed it up a bit with that. I also threw in a splash of seltzer to give it some mouth-pop. Nice! Not too bitter, and just the right amount of sweet.
The third cocktail I made was my own. I squeezed out the juice of that one large lemon, added some raw sugar simple syrup, then stirred that together with gin and seltzer in a tall glass with ice. I garnished with a burnt lemon peel and a lemon wedge, and let the ash from the burnt peel fall into the drink to provide some natural bitters. Very refreshing and delicious.
If you’re a fan of gin like me, then I think you’ll dig this stuff. There’s elements of juniper, both sweet and sour citrus, barks, roots, coriander and other spices. But it’s not overpowering, and it stays true to the London dry style without becoming floral. With a strength of 47% alcohol, this packs plenty of wallop for a good cocktail, too, if you aren’t into drinking gin straight up.
Now that I’m cooking more steaks at home these days, I’ll be making lots of martinis and cocktails with this stuff. Go grab a bottle.
This will serve as sort of a double whammy review, since I used some nice products while cooking up these amazing steaks from New York Prime Beef.
New York Prime Beef is a high end middle meats (ribs and loins) brand that operates out of Hunt’s Point in the Bronx. I was invited in to meet the owner and employees, get a sense of the business, and try out some of their amazing products.
New York Prime Beef sells top notch prime, American wagyu and kobe beef steaks. They ship fresh overnight to anywhere in the US – never frozen unless the customer asks for it.
Each cut is beautifully packed in shrink wrap and butcher paper – even signed/initialed by the butcher who does the cutting.
Now let me tell you; I’ve had some really great steak in my day, as you can imagine. But the American wagyu strip that I took home and cooked was fucking flawless. Seriously one of the best steaks I’ve ever had, and I made it myself!
Look at the freaking marbling on this. Even the marbling has marbling.
It was a really simple cooking process. You can’t fuck it up. Season first with some salt. Heat up a little bit of oil in a cast iron pan until it’s screaming hot. Pop the steak on there for two and a half minutes per side.
But I actually used some truffle oil, truffle salt and truffle butter that I got from The Truffleist to boost up the decadence even more.
Take a look at the video:
The finished product was absolutely stunning. To be honest, this beef doesn’t need anything except for salt, but this truffle wagyu meal was fucking TITTY BAGS. I want to eat like this every day!
The texture is melt-in-your-mouth. You can cut this shit with a fork. The flavor has a buttery quality to it that sets it apart from standard beef or even prime, dry-aged beef. This stuff is like the foie gras of beef!
And that’s not to knock the other cuts they offer. Wagyu or Kobe isn’t in everyone’s budget. I also tried a prime porterhouse, and a prime dry-aged rib eye. The minimum these guys will age a cut of beef is 28-days. When I was at the facility, I saw some that had been aging for 60 days.
But anyway, let me get back to what I made at home. These babies were cut nice and thick, so I wanted to make sure I got a proper cook temp all the way through.
Sous Vide machines are all the rage these days. Everyone is buying them up because they allow you to cook meat perfectly every time. No more worrying about fucking up an expensive cut of beef!
I set mine to 128 degrees and let the fucker crank for about six hours. Then I pulled the meat out of the machine and let them rest and reabsorb some juices in the bag. Once they were about rom temperature plus, I removed them from the bag, patted them dry with a paper towel, and blasted them with a blowtorch. See below:
As you can see, I seasoned AFTER slicing and plating. This allowed me to get a better sense of the actual beef flavor for reviewing purposes.
The meat is fantastic. There’s a nice mild funk from the dry aging process on the rib eye. It doesn’t clobber you, which is good. The beef was tender and juicy, and really responded nicely to basic seasoning like salt, pepper and olive oil.
I think I liked the porterhouse a bit better. The tenderness of both the strip and filet sides was incredible.
I highly recommend this stuff. Order some today and let them know that Johnny Prime sent you. You’ll probably have the meat in time for dinner grilling on Sunday.
One of the coolest things about this spot is that the owner, Vinnie (great name), is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.
He’s a drag racer, a pilot, an old car guy (like me), and an art enthusiast. He even has some wild graffiti art on his rooftop (he supplies the paint for the artists).
I think that about covers it. I hope to see his products flood the market. They’re so good.
I hate wasting food, but I’m also not a fan of leftover steak. That’s why I will always try to finish every scrap of meat on my plate. But sometimes you just can’t pack it all in, and you have to bring some of that meat home. If you’re like me, you don’t like to re-heat quality meat. Something just changes and it’s not the same.
I’ve had some sliced cold in a salad before, but I also hate salads. I’ve also made a lot of beef stocks and broths with bones and meat scraps. But making the same thing can get tiring, and that’s a long process as well. So I came up with this recipe to satisfy my urges.
What you need:
Leftover creamed spinach
Leftover potato element
Cheddar and/or American cheese
Sub sandwich bread
Okay so here’s how it goes down. First, slice up your leftover steak scraps as thin as you can get them.
Inevitably, you’re going to have some congealed beef fat mixed with butter in the bottom of your take-out container.
Don’t throw that away!
Grab your bread.
Slice it open and spread that buttery beef fat onto each side of your bread, like so, and then heat up a pan.
Toast this baby as if it were grilled cheese.
Then start layering your components. Creamed spinach:
Potatoes and cheese:
Those were crispy potatoes mixed with onions, so that was a bonus ingredient for me!
More cheese, because why not?
Close it up and wrap it in tinfoil.
Bake this fucker for a quick stint at like 450. It doesn’t need too long in there. Once the cheese is completely melted down it should be good to go. Also, you don’t want to overheat the meat since it should already be a nice medium rare from the steakhouse.
Unwrap, slice and eat. Just try to do a better job slicing it than I did.
Last night The Cake Dealer put together the most incredible sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my life. A successful combination of Vietnamese and Italian cuisines – a “Vietalian” banh mi sandwich that she called the “Banh Mia” sandwich.
Mortadella, prosciutto, pickled carrots, pickled daikon, fresh cucumbers, cilantro, mayo, maggi sauce, sri racha sauce, and nduja on a baguette. If this isn’t a thing, it will be soon – mark my words. She would have lines down the block if she opened up a sub shop with these.
I was pushing for Italian bread to make the circle complete, but the French baguette is a very important part of Vietnamese banh mi, so it had to stay.
We had actually seen something similar before, in Philly, but more along the sausage route.
Although we didn’t try that sausage and pepper banh mi, I think my wife’s is better and actually makes more sense as fusion cuisine for the following reasons: (1) the mortadella is similar to the bologna and head cheese; (2) the prosciutto is similar to the ham, and (3) the nduja is similar to the pate – which are all used in the classic, traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.