Thursday, September 13, 2012

More cooking adventures

Grr. I am super annoyed by how last night's dinner turned out. As you probably already know, I'm a reluctant cook. But, since I am the homemaker in this family, I've been dutifully trying new recipes, hoping to hit the jackpot. I thought Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Dinners might be the answer. I have never liked Sara's show on TV, but my friend Emily thinks she's great. I decided to give her cookbook a try. So far I'm 0 for 1 - not an impressive start.

We had some steaks in the freezer left over from Labor Day Weekend. I defrosted them for last night's dinner. (Which takes an eternity, by the way...we must have the world's coldest fridge.) I didn't feel confident enough to try using Anthony's grill, so I decided to pan-fry them. This is, apparently, the way the "real" chefs do it - and the results proved resoundingly that I am not a real chef.

I have a few bones to pick with Sara for her instructions. Firstly, she says to preheat the pan and then add oil, but to wait to add the meat until the oil is almost smoking. Hello? How on earth do I know when it's *almost* smoking? To my untrained eye, and the eyes of anyone who would need to read the section entitled "How to Cook Steak," it's either smoking or it isn't!

Secondly, she admonishes the reader not to turn the steak with a fork or precious juices will be lost. Okay, that's reasonable, but it would have been really nice if she had suggested what to use instead of a fork! Fortunately I've watched enough Food Network to know that tongs are a good idea here, but again, for someone who's inexperienced enough to need to read "How to Cook Steak," give us a break!

Finally, she instructs the reader to season the steak on both sides, put it in the "almost smoking" pan, and not to touch the steak again until a crust has formed underneath. How can I tell if there's a crust UNDERNEATH unless I pick the darned thing up and look? <wheeze wheeze>

The upshot is, I believe my steak steamed instead of searing, and I thought it tasted pretty awful. At least this time I didn't overcook it (remember the Father's Day Steak Fail?) Anthony, of course, ate it anyway and liked it. If there was ever a silver lining to this cooking debacle, it's having a husband with understanding taste buds.

I am not giving up on steak, though. I am itching to try again, but it upsets me to ruin those beautiful pieces of meat. Oh well, the only way to learn is to keep trying. Onward!!!


  1. You are amazing. Meat scares me. I prefer to dump it, frozen, into the slow cooker because for some reason that seems less scary. Pan frying steak? Isn't that something only done on cooking shows? Amazing!

    1. Well, I don't know about 'amazing', although I was amazed at how bad it tasted. :)

      All hail the slow cooker! I have to find more recipes for that thing, it is a lifesaver!

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