I’ve moved continents!
I never thought I’d do it – move so far from family and friends and everyone I know and love. But sometimes you gotta take the plunge, right? (Tell me I’m right.)
It’s a big, big change – incredibly fun and incredibly difficult at the same time.
When I got to New Jersey early last month, it was cold. I mean seriously cold.
I didn’t want to step out of the house because my eyes would water and I was scared it would turn into icicles and I’d have shards of ice in my eyes and I’d be blind forever. (I’m not over-dramatic AT ALL. Can you tell?)
I missed the sun and my family and everything warm and familiar so much it hurt my insides.
But then after a few weeks of staying in, I decided that I’ve had enough. I needed some light and air and people.
So grudgingly I put on several layers, took off all expectation and set out on a walk.
Then I saw this – and it was love at first sight.
And slowly, just like that, the cold wasn’t so cold anymore. I could feel the warmth on my shoulders and a gentle light in my eyes.
I explored beautiful parks filled with gorgeous dogs.
Ate cupcakes I’ve only read about for the longest time.
Even made some of my own at home :)
Shopped for all kinds of furniture and slowly watched our house transform into a warm and welcoming home.
Baked my first cake here! (Have you noticed how birthday cake smiles are the best kind of smiles?)
Had the most fun it is humanly possible to have in a museum.
Indulged in long, lazy brunches with many drinks, and even more laughter.
Gazed at the most beautiful tulips and wondered how they could possibly be real.
Ate ice-cream from an ice-cream truck and felt like a child again.
Stared wide-eyed at sights I’ve seen a million times in the movies.
Chanced upon things from home that made me fuzzy inside.
Walked around in the sunlight with the handsomest man in town.
And then there was this.
The best steak I’ve ever eaten and cooked.
Something has to be said about the meat, particularly beef, that’s available here. If you buy the right stuff, you will be able to taste the quality.
The recipe came from a friend who actually tutored me through the process while I cooked it. It was the very talented, rather funny and mighty cute Madhu Menon.
It all began with some very, very good meat.
Just look at the marbling on that.
A good steak doesn’t need much, but it definitely needs aromatics and fat. Here are the aromatics.
And here’s the fat!
Also needed – a heavy cast-iron skillet that works your biceps each time you pick it up.
Salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to give this beauty a good massage.
Drop it in the smokin’ hot pan.
Then some quick searing on both sides.
Throw in the aromatics and keep flipping.
Rest it a while – poor thing’s been flipping in a hot pan for ya!
And just look – a perfect medium-rare.
Serve with a fresh arugula salad. Yum!
Here’s the more detailed recipe:
Dry-aged Ribeye and Arugula salad
Recipe from: Madhu Menon
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins, plus resting time
approx. 1 lb dry-aged boneless rib-eye steak
salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to season
1 tbsp tallow or butter
2 tbsp unsalted butter
5-6 cloves of garlic, sliced
fresh rosemary, bruised
For the Arugula salad
1 packet fresh baby arugula leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Take the steak out of the freezer and place in the fridge 45 minutes before you want to start cooking. Once you’re ready to cook, take the steak out of the fridge. Put the cast-iron skillet on a high heat and get it smoking. Season your steak with salt and pepper generously and massage it into the meat on both sides.
2. Add the tallow to the hot skillet and then place the steak in the pan – you should hear a good loud sizzle. After about a minute and a half, lift one corner to see if it’s brown. If yes, then flip over and do the same on the the other side for another minute and half. You should have a brown crust.
3. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook for about 6 minutes on each side, flipping every 2 minutes (6 flips in all!). After the first 3 flips, add the butter, garlic, and rosemary. As the aromatic butter melts, use a spoon to scoop it up and pour it back on the steak, basting both sides of the steak.
4. I like my steak medium-rare, so this is when I took it off the heat. Keep it on for a couple more minutes if you like yours more done. Rest the steak on a plate for about 5 minutes.
5. For the salad, mix the lemon juice, honey, and oil and season. Pour over the arugula and toss. Cut the steak and serve with the juices from the pan and the salad.
This dish is proof that the best food comes from good quality ingredients and non-fussy cooking.
Also, it shows me that good food will always be a comfort in times of unfamiliarity and sadness. It will be your ray of warmth in the cold.
I’ve always said food is magical. I know this is true – because it always makes things better :)
Change is always hard but it’s impossible to have new adventures without them. I hope you will join me in this new journey – it promises to be mighty fun :)