Greetings from my sister’s dining room table!
I’m traveling this week so I haven’t had an opportunity to cook but I do have updates from the past couple weeks and recipes to share.
As the year progresses I must start delving into further uncharted “meat territory.” You’ve watched me go through the rounds with turkey, chicken and pork all BONELESS. I’ve pushed the boundaries of my squeamishness by peeling and deveining shrimp.
So what’s next?
Enter cute guy, stage left.
A couple weeks ago I met the smokin’ hot Michael and we bonded instantly over many beers and good conversation. Michael is, I have come to know, a very picky eater (he denies it), but he does happen to be into all kinds of foods that still terrify me. With that, I was hooked.
He was craving chicken wings and asked if I’d like to share a basket. I explained I’ve never eaten wings and went into the whole “no meat on the bone” explanation that always elicits dirty remarks from the men.
Naturally, Michael expressed his surprise, but he also kindly offered to take the chicken off the bones for me to eat. It was one of the sweetest gestures I’ve ever gotten particularly since I’d only just met him.
When I first started this project I suspected at some point I’d experience something to make me throw up in the sink. This is the closest I’ve come so far. I bit into the chicken and discovered what I can only assume was the tendon that runs down between the muscles and connects the bones.
My vegetarian instincts kicked in as did my gag reflex. Shaking my head, I pulled the chicken piece out of my mouth and shoved it into a napkin. Not wanting to offend and because it’s my natural defense mechanism I started laughing uncontrollably.
Lesson learned? There are some things I’m NOT ready for. I am pleased to report Michael didn’t appear to be offended and we continue to hang out.
In other news, I’ve eaten my first steak!
Okay, all in all still not the most appetizing experience, but I can see how, with a little work, it could become something I like.
My parents have a box of frozen new york strip steaks in their freezer and my mother decided it was time for me to branch out. Being the ever compliant daughter I looked up “how to cook new york strip.” Apparently it’s pretty simple. Grill it, pan fry it, broil or roast it as long as you don’t over cook it.
I didn’t bother to look up marinade recipes since I wanted to try to eat the steak and taste the meat flavor. I also read that when seasoning this particular cut of beef it’s best not to use salt it because it will pull the moisture out of the steak and leave it dry.
Although I decided I was brave enough to cook and try to eat this steak there would be no guarantee I’d enjoy it. Finding frozen pre-cooked shrimp in the freezer I decided I’d make a surf and turf so I’d have something else to eat if if went south. Kickin’ it old school comfort food style I also decided on “meat and potatoes” style dinner and set about the business of finding a recipe.
I found everything I needed with the Neely’s.
First, instead of potatoes I decided on smashed cauliflower to make things more interesting. I love their unique flavor. My immersion blender that the Neely’s recommend happens to be in storage so I ladled the cauliflower mixture into an actual blender which was messy but effective. In hindsight I should have done it in smaller batches to ensure a super smooth and creamy finish but I’m not stressing it. The consistency was good and the flavor was spot on to my expectation.
I decided to grill the steaks because, c’mon, what doesn’t taste best cooked over a grill? Nothing, that’s right. So I brushed each side of the steak with olive oil and seasoned with pepper alone.
I cooked the steaks for 3-4 minutes per side unsure of the outcome, but it turns out this was right. However…the meat itself was just kind of bad according to my mother. I felt terrible as though I’d ruined them, but she assured me I had nothing to do with it. I managed to find a few nice pink center bites that tasted delicious and melted in my mouth just the way I’d hoped. Frankly, the rest of it left a lot to be desired. Honestly, I think it was because the steak was frozen too long, and from a box. I mean, get a butcher, ya know?
I did learn that apparently, I enjoy my steak rare.
I filled Michael in on my experience. Evidently at some point in the future he’s taking me out for steak so I can try it properly. He’s from Texas, I’m going to trust that he knows a thing or two about eating cows. At any rate, I look forward to it.
Note: I removed the tails from the frozen shrimp and chopped them into about 4 pieces. If I make the shrimp butter again I think I’ll dice it much smaller instead of leaving it in bigger chunks.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped
- Cracked black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 4 (10-ounce) New York strip steaks
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Over medium heat melt butter in a heavy bottomed saute pan. Add the chopped shrimp, and salt and pepper, to taste and saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and continue to saute until shrimp is bright pink and opaque. Stir in the white wine and cook until dissolved. Season with cayenne pepper. Remove the shrimp mixture to a glass bowl and let cool. Once cooled, add 2 sticks of butter and fold together to combine.
Season the steaks with salt and black pepper on both sides.
Grill the steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to serving plates and let rest for a few minutes.
Serve the steaks with a large dollop of shrimp butter on top and sprinkled with chives
- 1 large head cauliflower, finely chopped (about 2 pounds)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
- 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
Add the cauliflower to a medium-sized saucepan along with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the milk and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Mix in the cheese and taste for seasoning. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with sour cream and chives.