Pan-seared Thyme Butter-Basted Tenderloin Steak

I was home alone for dinner the other night, what a treat!!!! A good time to indulge myself in a thick pan-seared, thyme, butter-basted steak. I followed the directions on Serious Eats. I had a small tenderloin that turned out absolutely perfect.

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First salt and pepper both sides of the steak and set aside.

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Thinly slice some shallots and brown in the fat of your choice, I usually use a pat of butter with a little olive oil. 

Wipe out the pan you cooked the shallots in, add a little oil and get it screaming hot over a medium-high flame. 

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Add the steak and keep flipping it until a golden-brown crust starts to develop. Add a couple of tablespoons of butter and a few sprigs of thyme, or rosemary. I added thyme, I think even a few leaves of fresh sage would be wonderful. Fried sage leaves are great. 
Very carefully tip the pan so the butter collects toward the side of the pan. Keep basting and flipping the steak until your desired doneness is achieved.
Using an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the steak, the temperature should read 120-125*F for medium-rare and 130* for medium
Add the cooked shallots back to the pan right before serving. Drizzle the perfect steak with the butter, thyme, and shallots. Enjoy

Now, I'm not_that_selfish that I wait for everyone else to have other plans so I can have a perfectly prepared steak, I have prepared steak for everyone in the past, but only twice. The first time some asked for their steaks well-done. O.K. even though well-done steak goes against the grain, (no pun intended) I understand that's just how they like their meat served, after a mild protest from me I accommodated them. The next time I prepared, actually grilled, steaks for everyone a couple more wanted well-done, o.k. I was getting used to that by now, but when one of the well-done diners asked for ketchup, I could hardly keep my composure (and you know who you are). Ergo, no more steak for you.
K my little tangent is over, for now.  
I hope you try cooking your next steak this way, I think you'll love it. 

And that's that!


Mango Cabbage Slaw

 

Jump To Recipe Print Mango Cabbage Slaw

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I really, really, really, I mean REALLY need to get my eating habits back on track. I've enjoyed my "foodie" staycation, maybe just a little too much.
You know how it goes, we have the freedom of choice, but not freedom from the consequences of our choices. 

One of the first things I made to get myself back to reality is this cabbage slaw. It's so easy even a...well you know the rest. 

I like that the mango is the only sweetness you need in the slaw and the little bit of lime and shallots temper that. I didn't add the jalapeño because there are some lightweights in the household and besides, I didn't have one or I would have added some to my portion.
Just don't make it too far in advance because it does weep. 

We had it with pork in BBQ sauce sandwiches, a great combination. 

BTW it's pretty darned good for breakfast too.  

Mango Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients

4 servings
30 minutes total time

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot or red onion
    Juice from 2 limes
    2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
    1/2 small cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
    1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
    1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper.

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, soak the thinly sliced shallots in the lime juice with a cube of ice for at least 10 minutes
    When you’re ready to assemble the salad, toss the mango and sliced cabbage into a large bowl.
    Add the soaked shallots and lime juice.
    Add the mint and jalapeño pepper (if you want the slaw to pack heat).
    Season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss well.

    From Ready or Not Cookbook: Michelle Tam & Henry Fong

And that's that!

 


The Grove Grinder

This was the last stop on my staycation. The Grove Grinder sandwich shop Not saying I saved the best for last but it was pretty darned good and I'll eat there again for sure. 

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You walk up to the counter to order, I would have taken a picture of that part of the restaurant but it's a small space and they were really busy and the lady behind the counter must have been having a bad day, not pleasant or helpful at all.

 

Whole lot of collectibles 

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There are only 4 tables. It was easy getting a table, most of the business appeared to be take out. 

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I got a Philly Cheesesteak. The sandwich was wonderful, I had the choice of smoked meat or not, I chose not. Nicely seasoned tender meat and the veggies were done to perfection, still a bit crispy. 
They have a large selection of sandwiches and all sandwiches can be made breadless as a salad which I think is nice. 

Out of the places I've been to, there is only one I won't be going back to, so I think I hit up some pretty good places in my Zip Code. 

And that's that! 


Peach Panzanella Salad

 

Jump To Recipe Print Peach Panzanella Salad

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I know, I know Panzanella salads have bread in them. This was going to a BBQ later, so I added the bread and dressing when I got there. 

This is my take on the Peach and Cornbread Panzanella salad Katie Lee has on the food network. 

I say "my take" on the salad as if my creative juices were flowing when in actuality, whenever I made this if I was lacking some basil I’d substitute flat leaf parsley, and so far I’ve never used cornbread, I’ve been using pita bread that I toasted and cut into cubes.  I always use Persian cucumbers, I can't remember the last time I bought an English cucumber the original recipe calls for. 

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The dressing is a pretty straight forward vinaigrette with the addition of capers. 

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I usually make salad dressings in canning jars. They have nice wide mouths, and the lids don't leak when you shake the jars to mix the ingredients. 

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The salad ingredients are few and simple, with the exception of the peaches and bread,  this is one of the salads I make frequently.
Our Middle Eastern students loved it so I tried to have cucumber, onion and tomato salad with the evening meal.  

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I hope this entices you to make this salad. You don't even have to add the bread, just don't call it panzanella or the salad police will come looking for you. 

 

Peach Panzanella Salad

Salad:

  • 2 large peaches cut into cubes
  • 3 Persian cucumbers cut into same size cubes as the peaches
  • 1-pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 15 basil leaves torn or parsley leaves from 6-8 sprigs of parsley roughly chopped

  • Salad toppings:
  • 2 cups of toasted and cubed bread of your choice cut into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes, .
  • 6 slices prosciutto for garnish, optional

  • Dressing:
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon style mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • For the dressing:
    In a pint size canning jar combine all the dressing ingredients, screw the lid on tightly and shake.
    Or; whisk the dressing ingredients together in a large salad bowl

  • For the salad:
    Add the salad ingredients to a large salad bowl and toss with the shaken dressing.
    Or; add the salad ingredients and toss with the whisked dressing in the salad bowl.

  • Salad topping:
    Add the bread cubes and toss again, then place prosciutto slices on top of the salad.  

And that's that!


Chef John's Fish and Chips

One of the restaurants on my staycation list is Chef John's Fish and Chips

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It's been a Lemon Grove institution since 2004 serving up London Style fish and chips. Don't know about the London Style having never been to London myself, or pretty much anywhere for that matter. But that doesn't stop me from enjoying the foods of places I've never been.

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This is the fish and clams with coleslaw and fries. The clams were really good one of the better parts of the meal and the fries pretty darned good too. 
I hear the sauces are made in house which is a plus. The coleslaw is o.k. not bad, just o.k. 

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The fish was nicely done, not over cooked and nice and flaky and flavorful and a delight to eat once I peeled off the greasy batter. 

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This is the fish and shrimp with fries and hush puppies,  OMGosh those hush puppies, if I go back there it will be for the clams and hush puppies. They had a nice crunch, well seasoned and tender inside. Just look at the size of those shrimp. 


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Looks can be deceiving, after biting into one I had to look twice for the shrimp. Oh! there you are. They were still good and not greasy. 

Would I go back?  Yes, I'm a big believer in second chances and besides, those hush puppies keep calling my name. 

And that's that!