porterhouse steak, baked potato

Old standard. Nothing special. Grocery store steak. 

I look back at all those steaks I saw cooked wrongly before other people allowed me to do this myself and I wonder how we ever got by.  

I recall the steaks taking achingly long to cook and requiring so much unnecessary attention. 

The oven is started first. So might as well bake the potato in there. The potato peel becomes irresistible to eat when it's baked in the oven. It's one of my favorite parts. That does not happen when cooked in the microwave. 

The stove burner is turned to high and the pan preheated to its most extreme. The steak is cooked on one side for only two minutes thereabout give or take a few seconds. Then flipped and finished in the oven. Harsh surface heat then gentler air heat. The second side seared in the oven by residual heat then removed and covered with foil for eight or ten minutes. 

Only a few minutes stovetop. That's it. The stovetop is turned to extreme high then shut off two minutes later. It's an odd way to go for a home cook by emulating restaurant chefs.

That rest period out of the oven prevents the steak from bleeding all over the plate when it is cut open. The steak actually continues to cook. Apparently moisture inside the steak self-distributes throughout. 

That's the hardest part. Letting the steak sit there. Because the impulse is to dig right in. Resist that. It does make an appreciable difference. Make everyone wait.

Now that right there is some mad cheffery skills. 

And maturity. Eh? 

fried potato chunks with blackberry honey, fried egg

My brother sent me a pan. He also sent a shirt from Maui, four jars of honey, a memory card of his boys showing their art, samples of their origami paper projects, their spirograph pictures, a plastic heart made from beads and green tea. It was like Christmas over here.

Simple and easy while still satisfying. All that I wanted was a potato. The potato is cut irregularly so that it cooks irregularly. It was blanched first to guarantee that each piece is done all the way through.

It has chile powder, tarragon and honey. 

fried chicken sliders, house salad, Stoney's Bar & Grill

Stoney's... Denver... It's not what you might be thinking. 

The place was packed. All young people. I sat at the bar, people engaged me in friendly fashion. 

One young man asked me, "What makes you different?" 

His idiosyncratic icebreaker. 

I demurred. On account of being so normal. 

I honestly did not know how to answer. 

People were gathered outside as shown on their website, people were gathered inside engaged in a trivia game. Others meandered the other half of the place in conversation, watching sports on t.v. and reading their phones. It is a gathering place of mostly millennials. Equally male and female, all terribly well behaved. They spoke mostly about work.

I must say I was surprised at the quantity of food. I would have brought home three fourths of it but I brought only one storage container. It is the best salad I've had in awhile. I love it when salads are done well. 

steak fajita, Quijote's Broadway

Such a nice clean place with lovely people. Family run and they do treat me as family. Better than that, actually.

We can copy this. But it'd be a major project. The reason why it appears such a feast is in my way each element is its own separate meal. To have it all at once, pow, it's like Thanksgiving right there. Except for it all being Mexican, of course. The roasted jalapeño is a nice touch. You usually don't see that.

fried chicken, Charcoal restaurant

I did not make this. 

Ordered fried chicken because restaurants do better with this than I can do at home.

Charcoal restaurant is a few blocks from my apartment. I walked there. They've done a fine job of redesigning a one-time garage later turned into an art gallery. Their menu is crab cakes and oysters and flank steak, interesting salads and exotic desserts. They pair wine with each item. Cost is medium high. 

So I was surprised that my meal was only $10.00 even though there is not very much on the plate. 

And then further surprised when they comped the meal for completing a survey designed mostly for training their staff. Yes, this meal was free. 

Except 80¢ tax. 

And $5.00 tip. 

What the heck. 

The day I was there the staff were all tall thin young men. Friendly and helpful and engaging as can be. Explaining the free dinner for the survey the waiter threw me off by saying, "... as retribution for completing the survey."  

Is that adorable, or what?  

Blog Archive