Winter is here again – on the heels of what has been an insanely busy few months. One constant however has been the thrill of finding new recipes, and using my sous vide whenever possible. Phil has a weak spot for a good steak, and (since it was a particularly cold evening) pairing with potatoes felt like the right move. Fresh herbs and a solid Malbec made for a memorable meal with these Sous Video Steaks and Salt-Crusted Potatoes.
I’ve written about the magic of a sous vide prior to this, but steak is the appliance’s true pièce de résistance. A grill cooks quickly with dry heat, which creates a piece of meat with a wonderful crust and a perfectly-cooked center. It is difficult to achieve the same effect with pan-frying – and broiling just sets off the smoke alarm (at least in small NYC apartments). Sous vide maintains the perfect temperature throughout the process, and then you finish the steak right at the end over medium/high heat pan with some butter and oil for a beautiful seared crust: avoiding smoke alarms and overcooked meat with one simple fix. Click HERE to see the recipe for these easy-to-do steaks.
There’s a restaurant near my apartment that makes these perfect little salted potatoes that Phil and I have come to love – they are simple and incredibly delicious. Yes they are covered in salt, which is probably why they are so amazing. They take just under an hour, but the result is a side dish you will be addicted to in no time. Any dipping sauce works, so choose your favorite (aioli, ranch dressing, or our favorite: the jalapeño sauce from Trader Joe’s). Click HERE to the see recipe for this simple but delicious side.
Steak begs for a pairing that is both lush and to the point – which brought me to one of my favorite composers (if not overall favorite): Tchaikovsky. There’s nothing better than taking a bite out of his artistry, which can be both heart-wrenchingly passionate as well as colorful and honeyed. His range of styles affords for a variety of pairings, and – since steak doesn’t require lots of bells and whistles to make it great – Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48 felt like the perfect choice.
Completed in the Fall of 1880, Tchaikovsky crafted the Serenade from (in his own words) “from inner conviction…It is a heartfelt piece and so, I dare to think, is not lacking in real qualities.” When Tchaikovsky claims a piece is heartfelt, you better believe it’s going to tug on some heart strings. The music mirrors the depth and color of his much larger symphonic orientations, while also taking the listener through a variety of narratives. Below is a performance of the piece with the Concertgebouw Kamerorkest – enjoy!
“Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48”, Chicago Symphony Orchestra