Friday, January 18, 2008

Steaks and Shrimp for Laurie's Birthday

One of the best tips I’ve gotten for cooking steaks is to allow them to dry in the refrigerator for a couple of days before cooking. The key to an excellent steak is the crust. Allowing the surface to desiccate will help for that perfect surface. Unfortunately, we usually don’t plan steaks that long in advance so we’re not always able to do it.

Unwrap the steaks and place them on a wire rack in the refrigerator. Turn them every 12 – 24 hours. Two or three days is enough. The surface will look shriveled and unappealing but this is the look you’re looking for. Rub the surface with oil then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Start the steaks in a very hot pan for about one minute per side then turn the heat down and cook to the desired temperature.

A nice way to test for doneness it to use the “heel-of-the-palm” method. Touch your index finger to your thumb. If the meat feels like the heel of your palm, it’s rare. Your middle finger gives medium rare (maybe medium), ring fonger equals medium well, and pinky is well done. Nice. Demonstration here.
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