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OMG! Who needs to go out to eat!
Old 02-24-2015, 08:09 PM   #1
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OMG! Who needs to go out to eat!

The living gets high at home sometimes.

Pan-seared tenderloin steaks seared in cast iron pan then put in oven to roast to med-rare.

Gorgonzola creamed spinach.

Potato-fennel-leek gratin - this last dish was leftovers.

Opened a bottle of really nice cabernet sauvignon we brought back from WA in 2011 - bought at the winery.

Honestly - we don't bother going out to eat steak! It's too easy at home!

I so wish I had taken a picture!!! Sorry about that. I think I was too hungry!

We might have set off the smoke alarm a couple of times with the searing. We need a better exhaust fan!!!

Some of this we couldn't have done without Costco. The beef tenderloin was from there as was the 1lb box of organic baby spinach for only $4!!!

The potato-fennel-leek gratin I made up, because I couldn't find an old recipe for potato-fennel gratin I used to make years ago, and this version turned out way better anyway. We first had the gratin with leftover roasted salmon, then with king crab legs, then finally finished it tonight.

Yeah the salmon and king crab came from Costco too.....
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:38 PM   #2
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Have to agree about eating at home. We get really good grass fed beef locally, and we never go out to eat steak. Flat iron cut is our favorite. So buttery and yummy. Inside cooking, you can't go wrong with cast iron (we use mom's old one) and finishing in the oven. DH does a deglaze of the pan with red wine and maybe cream for a sauce.
Have you tried the lamb chops at Costco? They are a staple in our house. Cook the same way as the beef. If we do go out, it's to a place we can't replicate at home-like authentic Italian with house cured meats, pork belly, etc. DH works at a winery, so we enjoy the fermented fruits of his labors often. And home grown seasonal veggies are hard to beat!
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:47 PM   #3
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We do not go out to eat steak.... I usually buy prime NY strips when they go on sale and vacuum seal a bunch... have at least 6 months out in the freezer right now...

I just grill them outside... great taste....


I did buy some grass fed once... about 40lbs... the problem was that some of the cuts were too much bone... the other day I unfroze a sirloin and it was half bone... at the prices they charge I do not want bone... you can get the price down if you want to buy a 1/4 or 1/2 cow... but that is a lot of hamburger... and not a lot of steaks...
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
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We do not go out to eat steak.... I usually buy prime NY strips when they go on sale and vacuum seal a bunch... have at least 6 months out in the freezer right now...

I just grill them outside... great taste....


I did buy some grass fed once... about 40lbs... the problem was that some of the cuts were too much bone... the other day I unfroze a sirloin and it was half bone... at the prices they charge I do not want bone... you can get the price down if you want to buy a 1/4 or 1/2 cow... but that is a lot of hamburger... and not a lot of steaks...
Texas, look for flatiron-no bone, thin cut, they call it "poor man's filet mignon" Also, we've found northern Calif. ground meat to be mighty tasty for burgers, meatballs, etc. Prather Ranch up near Mt. Shasta has gorgeous ground meat. They grain finish, but with grains they grow themselves. So delish!
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:28 PM   #5
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Have you tried the lamb chops at Costco? They are a staple in our house. Cook the same way as the beef. If we do go out, it's to a place we can't replicate at home-like authentic Italian with house cured meats, pork belly, etc. DH works at a winery, so we enjoy the fermented fruits of his labors often. And home grown seasonal veggies are hard to beat!
Yes - I often do lamb from Costco. It's wonderful and great value. The chops are great, the rack of lamb just fantastic, and I occasionally do the leg of lamb.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:30 PM   #6
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We do not go out to eat steak.... I usually buy prime NY strips when they go on sale and vacuum seal a bunch... have at least 6 months out in the freezer right now...

I just grill them outside... great taste....
Did you grill them outside today? It's 40 degrees down here, brrrrr. So I know it's way colder north of me in TX and in the rest of the US.

It was actually a great day to heat up the kitchen with a hot oven.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:37 PM   #7
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FWIW - this was the recipe for the steaks: Sear-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Herb-Mustard Sauce

I kept it pretty close. Made the cream sauce, but used a little less stock, and sautéed some finely minced shallots in the pan drippings before adding the cognac in lieu of chives. Just a spoonful over the steak is good - doesn't need to drown in cream sauce.

The steaks took quite a bit longer to reach internal temp than the recipe. I should have taken them out of the package and spaced them so they would come to room temp better. Also - they were very thick. But I got a beautiful sear/crust on each side with inside center medium rare, so they turned out great.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:38 PM   #8
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Did you grill them outside today? It's 40 degrees down here, brrrrr. So I know it's way colder north of me in TX and in the rest of the US.

It was actually a great day to heat up the kitchen with a hot oven.
34 F in Houston this morning. Not too bad (but I am a transplant from Connecticut). Warming trend this week.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:47 PM   #9
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34 F in Houston this morning. Not too bad (but I am a transplant from Connecticut). Warming trend this week.
OMG! Brrrrrrr!

Did it freeze in Houston this year? We haven't had a freeze in the Valley for 4 winters now, although we did get real close a year ago.
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:01 PM   #10
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OMG! Brrrrrrr!

Did it freeze in Houston this year? We haven't had a freeze in the Valley for 4 winters now, although we did get real close a year ago.
We had a few freezing nights a while back. The temps killed some plants, but we have had colder winters in the 22 years living here.
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:03 PM   #11
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34 F in Houston this morning. Not too bad (but I am a transplant from Connecticut). Warming trend this week.
32 in northern Cali this morning. But high of 68, and sunny. Can't complain!
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:25 PM   #12
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Did you grill them outside today? It's 40 degrees down here, brrrrr. So I know it's way colder north of me in TX and in the rest of the US.

It was actually a great day to heat up the kitchen with a hot oven.
Grilled them last night.... the cold does not matter that much.... go out and start the grill... go back inside for a few minutes until it gets hot... go back out and put the steaks on... back inside for 8 to 10 minutes... back outside for a flip (like 1 minute tops)... inside for another 8 to 10 and then go out, turn the grill off and take the steaks inside... no muss, no fuss...
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:42 AM   #13
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I grill year-round as well. We put our grill on our deck just outside our master bedroom sliding glass door so I can grill all winter in my slippers.

I saw a different approach to grilling thick steaks on Cook's Country on PBS.

I have always let them get to room temperature and then seared them under direct high heat and then turned down the heat until the center reaches the desired temperature based on how rare or well done we want them.

They did the inverse and let them get to room temperature and then grilled under lower heat until the inside reached a certain temperature (below the ultimate temperature) and then they sear them over higher heat to give them a nice grilled outside.

Interesting idea I will try once we get back home. It seems like this approach will prevent the outside from getting too charred, which can sometimes happen with the method that I have used in the past. While they seem to favor bone-in ribeyes, which I like, I'm still partial to T-bones and Porterhouse.

Grilled Cowboy-Cut Rib Eyes Recipe - Cook's Country

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A two-level fire is key to ensuring that these mammoth steaks have charred exteriors and medium-rare centers. We slow-roast them on the cooler side of the grill until they’re nearly done and then quickly sear them over hot coals. Layering unlit coals under lit ones keeps the fire burning longer, and letting the steaks come to room temperature before grilling makes for faster, more even cooking. With a steak as flavorful as a rib eye, salt, pepper, and oil are the only other ingredients we need.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:58 AM   #14
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I love this thread because the simple delight of having time to cook and eat delicious, healthy meals at home has been one of the most pleasant surprises of ER for me. While working, I was constantly eating on the fly and lived in an urban area where take-out and home-delivery were always on the nightly menu. Now, on those rare occasions when I do go out, I find myself often critical of the quality of the restaurant food. "I could have made this ... and better." I tend now to only go out for food that I cannot make it home -- sushi comes to mind.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:20 AM   #15
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Lamb loin chops from Costco are our favorite, especially grilled outdoors. Less frequently we also get their whole beef tenderloins, which is now a open request for family gatherings around holiday meals.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:38 AM   #16
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I regularly smoke the costco boneless leg of lamb. Amazing quality and great price.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:56 AM   #17
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I grill year-round as well. We put our grill on our deck just outside our master bedroom sliding glass door so I can grill all winter in my slippers.

I saw a different approach to grilling thick steaks on Cook's Country on PBS.

I have always let them get to room temperature and then seared them under direct high heat and then turned down the heat until the center reaches the desired temperature based on how rare or well done we want them.

They did the inverse and let them get to room temperature and then grilled under lower heat until the inside reached a certain temperature (below the ultimate temperature) and then they sear them over higher heat to give them a nice grilled outside.

Interesting idea I will try once we get back home. It seems like this approach will prevent the outside from getting too charred, which can sometimes happen with the method that I have used in the past. While they seem to favor bone-in ribeyes, which I like, I'm still partial to T-bones and Porterhouse.

Grilled Cowboy-Cut Rib Eyes Recipe - Cook's Country

I grill on high and keep it on high... I kinda like the char on the outside with the pink in the inside... I do bring them to room temp before doing this..
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:25 AM   #18
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I saw a different approach to grilling thick steaks on Cook's Country on PBS.

I have always let them get to room temperature and then seared them under direct high heat and then turned down the heat until the center reaches the desired temperature based on how rare or well done we want them.

They did the inverse and let them get to room temperature and then grilled under lower heat until the inside reached a certain temperature (below the ultimate temperature) and then they sear them over higher heat to give them a nice grilled outside.

Interesting idea I will try once we get back home. It seems like this approach will prevent the outside from getting too charred, which can sometimes happen with the method that I have used in the past.
+1

I love this technique. It's called reverse sear. I use 1.5-2.0" thick rib eye or strip steak. Put it in a 250-degree oven on a rack. After about 40-45 minutes, it reaches an internal temperature of 120-125 degrees. I let it rest about 5 minutes and then sear for 1 minute on each side in a smoking hot cast iron skillet with very little oil. Then, while it rests for 8-10 minutes, I stir some onions, mushrooms, and garlic in the same pan with a small amount of olive oil. The end result is pure medium-rare heaven.

In warmer weather, I use a very similar technique with charcoal outside. Smoke it with pecan wood chips on charcoal (no direct heat) at a very low temperature until 120-125 degree internal. Then raise the charcoal and sear it for 1 minute on each side. The smoke adds a very nice dimension to the flavor that you can't get inside.

The more traditional sear-first method is widely used in restaurants because it allows more timing flexibility when coordinating several different meals. But it produces a kind of layered and uneven cooking effect on the inside, and sometimes the outside is overcooked. The reverse-sear technique produces a more uniform medium-rare top-to-bottom and edge-to-edge. In my experience, it is also more moist and produces a thin, crispy surface that isn't as charred.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:41 AM   #19
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I grill year-round as well. We put our grill on our deck just outside our master bedroom sliding glass door so I can grill all winter in my slippers.

...
Yeah, my Weber kettle is year round tool. Sliding door from the kitchen, and I designed the deck to have the middle section covered with a slopped roof. No longer a need to have snow shovel or umbrella to cook. Bare feet are fine in zero degrees as long as they stay dry. Otherwise the flipflops do the job.

(And agree with everyone who said they never order steaks at restaurants. The home version, with a Napa Cab or Chateauneuf from the cellar is unbeatable--especially at the price)
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:42 AM   #20
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We love cooking at home! My specialty is smoking brisket and salmon. We do tri tips often, pan fried in butter, rottiseried or smoked. Also love to crock pot bottom round all day for shredded beef, mashed taters and veggies. And shredded beef tacos next night.

We go out for Thai, sushi and sometimes German. The rest we do at home.

Ps crab and lobster at home....better and a fraction of the cost!
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