Cooking Steaks and Chops Indoors

If you happen to live in a city condo or apartment you may not be able to use an outdoor grill.

How can you cook Chops or Steaks with nice results?

A skillet with the bottom grooves provides the grill marks, but the real benefit is that your chop or steak wont cook in the rendered grease becoming bitter. Those grate lines in the pan elevate it enough to keep it above the fat. Certainly fat is flavor, but when rendered from the steak or chop that you are cooking, it becomes grease that starts to burn and give off an undesirable flavor.

Most pans are seasoned and can withstand a high heat. They are easy to clean if you wait until it slightly cools down, then add some warm water to it. This will allow any of the burnt on bits to come off easily without heavy scrubbing.

Here is a good way of producing a good dinner.

The first step is buying a good quality Steak or Chop.

Here is a Veal Loin Chop

Here is a Veal Rib Chop

The Rib Chop is usually, ‘French Style’ in which the meat is cleaned from the bone. These can also be tied for even cooking and provide an excellent presentation. You can also pound this out with a meat mallet for quick cooking and a larger plate presentation.

If it is good quality and not frozen, you won’t need much in the area of spices. You want to get the most flavor and just enhance it with a simple sauce.

I use the following method for thicker steaks and chops. The photos are with a bone-in Rib Eye. We are using an oven as a finishing mode to speed up the cooking process and retain more juices and flavor.

Ingredients: 

Chop or Chops (depending on how many are eating)

Kosher Salt and Cracked Black pepper.

2 Tablespoons Oil, per chop (Grape Seed, Coconut , Safflower or Canola)

1 Tablespoon Butter, per chop

1 Tsp Truffle Oil, per chop

Method:

Set oven to 400˚ Convection or 425˚ Bake

Whether you are cooking veal, beef, pork or lamb chops, the method remains the same. The only difference is the smaller chops may cook all the way through on the stove top based on your preferred doneness.

Heat pan over a medium to high heat on the stove top. Season both sides of chop with a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper. Oil both sides of chop.

As the pan begins to smoke add the chop.

After about 2 minutes see if you can lift the chop and turn it to get the cross grill marks and continue to sear on the bottom side. If it is stuck to pan just wait a minute and it should come off easily. (this method works the same on your outdoor grill grates).

 

 

Let it cook for about a minute then flip the chop over.

 

After you flipped chop, top with butter and place into the oven on the middle rack.

After 5 minutes begin checking for temperature. When cooked to your preference, remove from oven and plate the chop.

Season with truffle oil.

Enjoy!

Pepper Frittata with Za’atar

Call it a ommlette if you will. I wanted something other than peppers, hot sauce, cumin and cilantro.

Don’t get me wrong those ingredients work, this just called to me.

If you don’t know Za’atar, it is a combination of dried oregano, thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and salt.

Easy to make but if you have a mediterranean market nearby, get it already mixed. Sure it’s easy to combine the ingredients but if you buy sumac and don’t have another use for it, you have wasted some $.

My first experience with this spice is from the local bakery on fresh-baked pita called Za’atar Manakeesh. Since then I have tried it rubbed into chicken for a roast, in rice and humus.

The flavor is wonderful.

Back to the recipe.

Ingredients:

4 large eggs

1/2 cup half-n-half or almond milk

1 cubanelle pepper, cut into 1/2″ slices

3 white mushrooms, diced

2 Tablespoons grated cheese (it’s up to you but Colby, cheddar gouda, manchego are good choices)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon Za’atar

1 tablespoon chopped Fresh Cilantro

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp butter

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

Turn on your oven to 425˚Convection or 450˚ Bake

Use a non-stick pan set over a low heat. In a bowl beat eggs with half&half. Add a pinch of salt.

Turn heat up in pan, add oil & butter and turn pan to glaze. Add cut pepper and mushrooms. Cook for a minute then add garlic. After it begins to pop add Za’atar and egg mixture and turn pan to coat. Top with cilantro, cheese salt & pepper then place into oven on middle rack.

It should rise in about 6 minutes. Cooking in the oven keeps the stove top cleaner. Convection works well with this rise and presentation plus, cooks faster than in the Bake mode of your oven.

Take it out and flip onto a plate or platter to serve.

Cut into wedges.

Maybe add some hot sauce just in case.

Enjoy!

Dry Rub Pork Tenderloin, Maple Chipotle Sauce

This gallery contains 14 photos.

The Dry Rub & Sauce recipes follow the pork tenderloin recipe. A pork tenderloin needs very little in preparation. Simply pull away any fat that you can by hand. There is a silver skin of fat on the top of … Continue reading

Oatmeal Crusted Chicken, Orange Dijon Sauce

Here is a simple recipe that I recently used to showcase convection cooking.

The benefit is that it is a breading procedure that DOES NOT use frying for the cooking method.

This cuts way back on the oil content and trans-fat.

I used a Coconut Oil Cooking Spray. This is a great high heat oil to cook with.

For more information about it , here is a great blog about coconut oil, Check this out:

Cooking with Coconut Oil: Never Been Easier.

Back to the recipe.

2 lbs, boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 tables spoons, dry rub

1 cup oats, pulsed in a food processor

1 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1 cup flour

3 eggs, beaten

2/3 cup cream

pinch kosher salt

cooking spray

 

Sauce:

1/2 cup white wine

1 T butter

1 small shallot, minced

zest of 1/2 orange

2 T Dijon

1 sprig fresh tarragon

pinch salt

 

Method:

Heat oven 400˚ Convection

Season the chicken with dry rub and let is absorb flavors for at least 1 hour.

Set three bowls for breading procedure.

One with Flour

One with eggs, cream and salt

Once with Bread Crumb and Oats

Dip chicken in one at a time to bread.

Spray coat both sides of chicken then place on a foil line baking sheet. Put  into oven on the center rack.

After 8 minutes turn chicken over and continue cooking for 8 minutes or until firm. Do not drain pan. Set aside to service

For sauce, heat butter in pan, add shallots and cook to translucent. Add wine, drippings from chicken pan and reduce in half. Whisk in Dijon and cook to thicken. Season with zest, tarragon and salt.

Add to chicken and enjoy!

www.kurtskitchen.com

Breaded Pork Cutlet

Simple recipe. This breading procedure applies to chicken, pork, veal, turkey cutlet, vegetables, etc. Ingredients are highlighted.

You are going to need:

1-1/2 cups AP flour

4 cups bread crumb ( Use fresh if you can, if not use PLAIN)

3 eggs, beaten with 1 cup milk

I used a 2 lb.,center cut pork loin and sliced the cutlets about 3/4″ thick.

Place them in between plastic wrap and pound away. Not too hard or you will bust a few holes into the cutlets.

Season them with either salt & pepper or your favorite house spice. Just don’t go too heavy because spices should just enhance not dominate the protein’s flavor.

Set up three bowls. One with flour, one with and egg wash and the last with bread crumbs.

The trick to breading is to keep one hand dry and the other wet. This way you don’t have breaded fingers in which you certainly with dirty up the rest of your kitchen with. So let’s say left hand wet and right hand dry.

Grab the cutlet with your left hand and place it in the flour.

Use your right hand to dust flour over the cutlet and dunk into the egg wash. Use your left hand to fish it out and drain it a bit before dipping into the bread crumb.

Use your right hand again to dust with bread crumbs and press some into the cutlet remove and place on a platter.

Turn on your oven to 375˚ Convection.

When all are breaded, place a saute pan over a high heat. After a minute, add enough oil to cover the bottom of pan. When the oil is creating little waves, about 45 seconds, add  two cutlets. Turn the heat down a bit.

As the cutlets begin to turn light brown on the sides ( about 1-1/2 minutes) flip them over for 10 seconds then transfer them brown side up, to a bake pan. When all cutlet have been seared in the saute pan, transfer them into the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 7-10* minutes. Test to see if they are firm to the touch. Remove and pat them with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Plate them up top with sauce. Enjoy!

Sauces:

Simple– drain oil from saute pan, return to a high heat add one minced shallot, tablespoon of capers and cook for a minutes. Add  1/4 cup white wine and juice from a lemon wedge. Reduce liquid in half. Add 1/2 stick butter and stir constantly remove from heat. Season with salt & pepper.

Detailed-drain oil from pan, return it to a high heat and add one minced shallot, 12 pitted cherries, 10 green peppercorns cook for a minute. Remove from heat and add a couple of shots of cognac, return to heat (be careful if it flames – don’t singe your eyebrows 😉 Add 1/2 cup demi glace (prepared). Remove from heat and add a heaping tablespoon of creme fraiche. Stir in completely.  Season with salt & pepper.

Here is a photo of cutlets that I sampled at a cooking demonstration. I added cauliflower au gratin with truffle oil. Cutlets are topped with the cherry demi.

*keep them in the oven for the longer time frame if your oven stinks and doesn’t hold its temperature well.

Chocolate Stout Cup Cakes

Chocolate Stout Cup Cakes

8 oz Chocolate Stout ( I used Brooklyn Brewery Bkl Chc Stout) room temperature

1 stick melted butter

2/3 cup cocoa

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

1 T brandy or whiskey

2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Cooking or baking spray

Frosting:

1 stick softened butter

4 cups confectioners sugar

1 espresso (1 shot=1 ounce)

pinch of salt

Set oven to 350˚

Combine beer with butter, cocoa, sugar in a large ss bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and sour cream and add to beer mixture. Combine flour with baking soda and add to beer mixture.

Spray muffin tins and fill with batter 3/4 the way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick test show they are ready. Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Here I used souffle cups baking in the combi-steam with 30% moisture

A nice touch is to pipe some frosting into the center before you top with some frosting.

This is a bulk batch baked in aluminum tins.

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Here is a definite crowd pleaser. Baked in a Casserole or in Muffin Tins, top with powdered sugar, some fresh whip cream, ice cream or Fresh Berries.

 

Simple to prepare, I choose Portuguese Sweet Bread and cut back on sweetener using Agave Nectar instead of White Sugar.

Ingredients:

3/4 loaf Portuguese sweet bread , sliced

1 quart half-n-half *

1 cup heavy cream *

6 eggs, slightly beaten

3 egg yolks, add to whole eggs

3/4 cup Agave nectar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 teaspoon Salt

Cooking Spray or Soften Butter to glaze inside of pan

Method:

Spread out the bread on a few cookie pans and allow to dry for a few hours in a 200˚ Oven.

If you don’t have the time, use your toaster on a low setting and dry the slices out.

Butter the casserole dish and fill with torn pieces of bread (bite size).

Place cocoa powder in a mixing bowl and blend in eggs, salt, agave, vanilla. Then whip in half-n-half and cream. Pour over the bread, slightly pushing it down with a spoon so all is moistened. Allow this to set for at least 30 minutes ( you can place this in refrigerator overnight).

Heat oven 350˚. Place pudding in the center rack and bake until just set in the center, approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let slightly cool before serving.

If using Convection, cut back on your cooking time by 25%.

Top with whip cream or enhance flavor with a dash of cinnamon, chocolate or caramel sauce.

Enjoy!

 

*If you want to avoid the cream, try Silk ® any flavor or So Delicious® Coconut Milk Unsweetened (beverage)

Veal Stock and Demi Glace

Is stock or demi really very hard to make?

No.

The toughest part of making any stock or sauce is TIME. But it is worth it. The uses are vast and the satisfaction is inspiring. Regarding ingredients, there are definitely better quality bones and vegetables to use, but for the most part, it is a great way to benefit from leftovers.

Recently I cooked a dinner in which we served veal chops off the bone. So I froze the bones (in which would have made a great BBQ Veal Rib) in effort to make stock and eventually demi-glace.

Here is what I used:

Approximately 5 lbs of rib bones (shanks are great to use)

4 Carrots, rinsed and chopped

1 large Yellow Onion. chopped

2 Leeks, rinsed and chopped

2 Celery stalks, rinsed and chopped

Bouquet Garni: bay leaves, peppercorns,thyme and tarragon

1-1/2 cups pureed, Sun-dried Tomatoes

3/4 cup of Flour

2 tablespoons Grape-seed oil

Method:

Turn your oven on – 400˚ Bake or 375˚ Convection

 

 

Using the turkey roasting pan over a medium heat on the stove top, heat it for a few minutes. Then add the grape seed oil followed by the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes. Glaze the bones with the tomato puree, place them over the vegetables and dust with flour. Place the roasting pan into the oven.

After about 10 minutes, use a spatula and turn the bones. Cook until they brown (not burnt) all over. Use a pitcher to fill the pan with enough cold water to cover the bones. Turn the oven down to 275˚and cook for at least 6 hours (you could also use the stove top at this stage). This will reduce the liquid to about 1/3-1/2 its original volume and extract flavor from the bones.

Carefully remove pan from oven. Using a fine strainer or cheese cloth in a colander, strain the liquid into a container. Skim off any fat with a ladle or use the grease separating measuring cup.  At this stage you have a nice veal stock.

For demi glaze, measure the quantity of stock that you have. Then measure 1/4 of the stock volume in red wine. Place the wine into a pot, with a peeled shallot and two bay leaves, over a high heat and reduce about half its volume. Add your stock and turn the heat to simmer. You want to reduce this stock/wine mixture to the point where it begins to thicken but not become syrup. Skim off any additional fat and strain into small containers allowing to cool to room temperature before you refrigerate or freeze.

Great to add to a pasta, chops, steak and a poultry braise or saute.

 

Oven Self Cleaning

Self Cleaning does involve – yourself.

Most people never use the clean cycle in their oven. A few bad apples back in the day caused a fire in their kitchen, rumors spread and since then everyone is petrified that they need to update the Home Insurance rider.

Look at it this way, if you cooked on your outside grill and a few days later fired up the grill again, there appears to be some residual smell from the previous culinary excursion, is there not?

The same holds true when you have several spills in the oven that you leave unattended. Eventually this primordial ooze begins to smolder, emitting a fine fragrance of burnt grease that flavors your pies like apple wood in a smoker.

I suggest that every year on the morning of your birthday, after you get out of bed, set the self-cleaning cycle on your oven. Simple enough!

In every oven you have to remove the racks. I can hear your scream :                                                 “NO WAY, THE SELF CLEANING CYCLING DOESN’T CLEAN THOSE?”

No the Robotic-oven-rack-cleaning-cycle has not been invented yet. If you leave those bad boys in your oven they will warp from the extremely high heat and never slide easily again.

Treat your oven with a little water on some heavy spills or use a cleaner such as Bon Ami or Barkeeper’s Friend.

In this series of photos of my Gaggenau, I have the side Convection Fan Cover removed so I could clean some seriously burnt on residue on the sides of the oven. Once I put the cleaned cover and fan screen back on, I replaced the side rack guides and TA-DA!

Ok it wasn’t my birthday cleaning celebration, it was my post Thanksgiving cleaning requirement so that I don’t have a smoked turkey grease flavor in my chocolate souffle.

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Truffle Glaze

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Convection Oven 375˚

If you say that you Don’t like them you have not had fresh Sprouts.

Serves Four

1 Pint Brussels Sprouts, trim ends, rinse, cut in quarters
3 strips of bacon* cut into 1/2″ slices
1 small red onion, peeled & sliced thin
½ tsp Salt
Dash of Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Balsamic Glaze or reduction
1 teaspoon truffle oil

Set oven on 375˚ Convection or 400˚ Bake.
In a bowl, combine brussels sprouts, red onion bacon and spices. Spread onto a thin metal baking pan and place into middle rack of oven. Cook for 10 minutes, stir with a spatula and continue to cook until sprouts are tender (about another 10 minutes).
Remove from oven and place into serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and truffle oil. Enjoy!

* Turkey or vegetarian bacon works well with this dish.