Remember when I taught Tom how to cook salmon? That was like a hundred years ago and now he cooks more than I do! But I liked the idea of laying out the basics so someone can take off and do his/her own thing in the kitchen, so today I'm going to teach y'all how to cook the perfect steak without a grill. It CAN be done in your studio apartment, with just a few spatters.
OK, so yes, I'm MOSTLY a vegetarian. But I have been trying to eat meat once a week, for the iron, and Trader Joe's sells these lovely 6-ish oz filets that are free-range, organic, vegetarian-fed, and affordable.
Tonight's menu is roasted potatoes, kale, and filet mignon-- and BOURBON. God, it's been too long since I've had a bourbon: 2 fingers, on the rocks, with a twist. *sigh*
a cast-iron skillet (this is a must-- do NOT use a non-stick skillet)
a kitchen timer
While your potatoes are roasting, let your steak(s) rest to room temperature, and season liberally with salt & pepper. Heat, to high-medium-high, about 1 T of vegetable oil and 1 T of butter per steak in your cast iron skillet. Make sure you use an oil with a high smoke point, like corn or canola, as you want your skillet screamin' hot. Using tongs in one hand and the splatter guard in the other, lay the steak in the hot buttery oil. Slam the splatter guard down and DON'T TOUCH IT. You want the fat to caramelize the meat. If you're anything like me, you'll be tempted to move it, but DON'T. Timing you will need to play around with-- on my gas stovetop for a smallish steak (6-8 oz) to get rare-to-medium-rare, I do 2 min on the first side and 90 seconds on the second side. Remember you can always cook it more and you can never cook it less, so err on the side of caution at first.
Remove it from the heat and set it aside covered in a foil tent while you finish plating your meal. It needs to rest for a couple of minutes.
My trick for the greens-- steam them lightly on the side while you're searing the steak and while the steak is resting, throw the greens around in the greasy cast-iron skillet. It will make a big ruckus and splatter oil everywhere but it will be totally worth it, and by worth it I mean DELICIOUS.
My roasted potatoes: get the teeny tiny white ones (about the diameter of a quarter), toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast at 400 for about 40 minutes until they are done (test with a toothpick).