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canning » digest LA
ny strip steak & shredded brussel sprouts

ny strip steak & shredded brussel sprouts

Every once in a while I will be sitting staring at an ingredient and remember that I have a subscription to watch the always helpful cooking videos at Rouxbe.com. ┬áThis time the ingredient was a NY strip steak that I picked up at the store the other day. It was on sale, which is perfect for my “austerity” measures to save money.

I watched the How to Cook Premium Steak video and learned so much:

  • Temper the steak (bring it to room temperature) by putting it in a turned off 200 degree oven.
  • Season liberally with salt and pepper 15 minutes before cooking.
  • Before cooking, pat with a paper towel and drizzle with oil.
  • Then, the big secret… flip the steak every minute until it reaches the right temperature.
  • Rest the steak for 10 minutes on a rack and tent with foil.

I tested the doneness by touch and when I thought it was medium rare I double checked with a thermometer. When you flip the steak every minute, the inside cooks really evenly without overcooking the outside. Tempering it first helps. Pretty cool and my kitchen didn’t fill up with smoke like it normally does when I pan fry steak.

For a side I tried to make the shredded brussel sprouts with bacon that my dad made the other day, but I really didn’t know how he made them. So, I cooked some bacon, drained some fat, chopped the cooked bacon and then cooked the sprouts in the bacon fat. It tasted a bit too good so it probably coulda used less bacon. I guess I’ll just have to wait for papa Kempner to comment on this post tomorrow.

salad with pickled onions

salad with pickled onions

Just in case you think I just eat bacon and steak, I also ate some salad with pickled onions. I made these onions way back on October 31st and canned them. I had to slice 3 lbs of red onions! These onions make any salad taste better although this one had hearts of palm so it was off to a pretty good start. After I canned them, I made a little video of all the bubbles escaping from the jars. Vacuums are neat.

Vacuum seal of pickled onions from Michelle Kempner on Vimeo.

strawberry preserves on cracker

strawberry preserves on cracker

As if learning to cook wasn’t enough, my friend Kendra recently got me excited about canning. It turns out, canning isn’t all scary and filled with botulism. Botulism can’t exist in highly acidic environments so there are lots of good recipes you can safely preserve. For a starter, Kendra suggested this recipe for Strawberry Preserves with Balsamic Vinegar & Black Pepper. She said it wasn’t as overly sweet as some of the other strawberry preserves. Canning is really meant to preserve extra in season fruits and vegetables so I would like to say that I had an abundance of strawberries laying around, but I didn’t. I made the preserves using a pint of strawberries from the CSA, two strawberries from my garden, and the rest from the grocery store. The jelly made a great dessert with just a hint of pepper.

jars of jelly

jars of jelly

I only opened one jar and I am going to hold off opening the others for a taste of summer in the bitter cold of the Los Angeles winter. I think pickled cocktail onions might be next.