Tuesday, April 21, 2015

20th April, 2015: Cidre House Arrest


A flash of light from my phone's flash LED and a tinny electronic chime tone let me know I had a message.

I was watching the season finale of Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix.

Sine: "hubby made me leave the house what are you doing?"

Me: "I am being a good boy and staying in."

Sine: "Every good boy does fine."

Having been reminded of the treble clef (also known as the G clef), I gaze over and my neglected keyboard.

No, I was determined to stay in. The only thing to come of my last few outings was a hyperextended knee from biking, babysitting drunk friends on two separate occasions and hangovers.

It's not that I am ungrateful – I saw some folks I wanted to see, I got some errands done. I got to spend time with a chubby, screaming, cute little poop monster and I scored a jar of beef short rib stew.

I also bought some steaks, thinking that this weekend would be the weekend that my friends in the East Bay all got organised and decided we should grill... somewhere.

By Sunday evening it was clear that wasn't going to happen.

My steaks, two lovely onglets plus some beef heart I decided I'd thaw out and cook off, became dinner on Monday night.

--

Sichuan Spice Hanger Steak:

  • 2 hanger steaks.
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • 3 tablespoons of chili sambal.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of fermented black bean and garlic paste.
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of dark sesame oil.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorns, roughly crushed with the bottom of a pan or with a mortar and pestle.

Marinate steaks for up to 24 hours in the mixture above.

When ready to cook, wipe the steaks as dry as possible and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

Cut steaks into halves, cook in a small sautée pan one chunk at a time over high heat, let the pan rest in between uses to come back up to temperature. You are looking for a good black char on the outside of the steaks, sear for a couple minutes a side.

Set steaks aside in a small roasting pan. Finish cooking in a 300ºF oven until desired doneness (about 10 minutes, then resting in the oven with the door cracked for another 10 minutes got me a good uniform medium rare).

Your Generic Roasted Veg:

  • 1 large parsnip, cut into disks.
  • 1 bunch carrots, cut into uniform large pieces (tips, then 2 1/2" length logs halved).
  • 4 small to medium size potatoes, cut into 1" pieces.
  • 2 heads cauliflower.
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt.

Heat an oven to 400ºF.

Arrange veg on two half-pan cookie sheets lined with oiled aluminum foil. Add oil and toss veg until thinly coated with oil. Add a good pinch of salt and toss again, then even out the vegetables so that they lay as flat as possible on the tin foil and there is enough room for each piece to brown correctly.

Roast for 30 minutes then give the vegetables a toss, and roast for another 15-20 minutes until evenly browned.

Endive and Radicchio Salad:

  • 1 endive, thinly sliced perpendicular to the root.
  • 1/2 large radicchio, chiffonade
  • 2 teaspoons of cider of kombucha vinegar.
  • 1 tablespoon Bixby's Best Maple Syrup.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pinch of dry dill.
  • Pinch of Korean chili flakes.
  • Salt and pepper.

Do the thing, with the stuff.

I think this is best when it's had time to sit out at room temperature for a few hours. The leaves of the radicchio and endive won't be quite as bitter but will maintain most of their crunch. A nice pool of dressing and liquid from the leaves will form, which you can take or leave (or drink little shot glasses of).

I garnished my salad with some very ripe avocado that happened to be within reach when I went to plate my dinner.