Okay – here’s a confession from a chef that you never thought you’d hear.
When I’m entertaining at home, I cheat all the time.
As long as you use really good ingredients you can get away with a lot.
After spending over 50 hours a week in a busy kitchen, the last thing I want when I’m relaxing with friends is more of the same.
Good vanilla ice cream
A little dry sherry (Manzanilla works well)
Some almond biscotti biscuits
Put a nice scoop of ice cream in the bottom of the martini glass
Pour in a shot of sherry (any sherry will do)
Place a couple of biscottis on top and serve
Enjoy the perfect steak at home
One of the most common comments I’ve got from customers is that they can never replicate the restaurant steak experience when they’re cooking at home.
Here are some simple tips to make sure that your next home-cooked steak is exactly how you like it.
• Your choice of steak will depend on a number of factors, but the biggest one is whether you’re a flavor person or a texture person. If you like flavor, it’s easier on your wallet, but harder on your cooking – you’ll need to marinate and be careful about overcooking. And if you’re a texture person, you’re the other way around.
• Always look to buy steaks that are more than one inch thick.
• Look for a marbled steak if you’re grilling.
• Try to get steaks of even thickness.
• Chuck and round cuts are the really tough guys and need to be marinated a long time. Rib and loin are more suited to the grill, and will be more tender.
• Look for bright red meat with creamy white fat. There should be thin streaks of fat running through the meat as well.
• You can use many cooking techniques on your steak, but key to any of them is learning how to gauge the “doneness” of your meat. A common method used to determine the doneness is to check the internal temperature of the meat. Take this reading with a quick-read thermometer. You may want to aim for a few degrees lower than the recommended finishing temperature when taking the steak off the grill or out of the oven as the meat will continue to cook for a few minutes afterward.
How well done do you want your steak?
Very rare: Hot on the outside, raw on the inside and the meat will be sort of wobbly.
Final temperature reading should be 100°F.
Rare: Red, cool to warm center and the meat will be soft and spongy.
Final temperature reading should be 120°F.
Medium rare: Red, warm centre and the meat will have a springy firmness.
Final temperature reading should be 126°F.
Medium: Hot, pink centre and the meat will have a less springy firmness than medium rare.
Final temperature reading should be 135°F.
Medium well: Slight color, cooked throughout and the meat will feel firm.
Final temperature reading should be 145°F.
Well done: The meat is gray-brown throughout and very firm and unyielding.
Final temperature reading should be 160°F.