Sunday

SAUCY MOMOFUKU ...THIS IS WHAT YOU WERE WAITING FOR.....

OUR FIRST OF MANY POSTS ON STRESS FREE, ABSOLUTELY YUMMY, HILARIOUS, COOKING & INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINING

It was a crazy week. Morning turned into night with a blink, a blink I tell you, of the eye. Yet we were missin' spending some time with our good friends Pattynbuns.

" Come on down ", we said. "We just bought this amazing new cookbook. Let's make something from it together."

Now Buns likes his meat so much that he built and owns a Steakhouse in the city. So it was obvious which recipe to make...the PAN ROASTED RIB EYE from David Chang's and Peter Meehan's new MOMOFUKU cookbook.

Due to our frantic schedules, we needed the MEAT accompaniments to be simple, quick, easily accessible, yet" to-die-for" great. Because...we were dying to see our friends. Could we create a memorable night that felt and tasted as though we had worked for hours? Yes, yes we could!

Here's what we did:  For an appie, Bacon Boy whipped up a batch of his SHRIMP-ABAYA ( that's shrimp-as-big-as-your-head from an earlier post). Shrimp (8 count) we already had in our freezer. For a carb, Saucy (that's me,of course) found a few sweet potatoes in the fridge and dreamed up a tiny,very creamy gratin. A bunch of crispy arugula, tossed with a simple lemon vinaigrette and topped with shaved parmesan served as a tasty salad course. Dessert was decadent vanilla ice cream ( already in the freezer) with a huge dollop of good quality (from a jar) dulce de leche. Everything already in our cupboards and minimal work!

When Pattynbuns arrived the fun began. We started sipping some vino .....

Now let me ask you ... this collaboration involved red meat and fire...you guess which of our foursome did the cooking...? Yeah, Bacy and Buns made the steak while Patty and I read out the instructions. We hooted and laughed. Patty and Saucy were...well, saucy and bossy!. The boys were excellent co-chefs and very,very cute. ( Buns might own the name but both he and Bacon Boy are in a "dead heat on a merry-go-round" in the fine lookin' butt  department...)

Of course Chang and Meehan's writing style made for even more giggles as the meat seared away in that cast iron pan!

When it was time to eat the Rib Eye, we cracked open a bottle of CAMUS 2004 Cabernet. Ahhhh.

What a night. Look at the shots. Then the recipe. Try it yourself. Open lots of windows...the smoke will set off a fire alarm or two!! Buy the book, its GREAT. Only one regret : we didn't make David's CRACK PIE for dessert. Next time we will , you can bet on it.


The smoky searing begins....



Make certain all sides "covered".... DO NOT OVERDO, right David?



Loverly....



The "secret ingredients"....



JUST MAKE CERTAIN YOU FOLLOW DAVID"S INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER...



Want some ? ...betcha big toe that you do...

Here's how:

PAN-ROASTED  DRY-AGED  RIB EYE

( see page 187 of David Chang's and Peter Meehan's MOMOFUKU cookbook,Clarkson Potter,2009)

One 2.5 lb. bone in rib-eye steak, dry aged if possible
Kosher salt and ground pepper
4tbsp unsalted butter
a few thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves
2 small shallots
Maldon salt

Optional: Confit Fingerling Potatoes (Pg 189)...made with bacon...yum,yum

FOR STARTERS: I cannot possibly do justice to the detailed and humorous ( as in LOL funny) preparation method described by Chang and Meehan in the book. So buy the book and read it yourself ! I will however, list below my abbreviated version.

1. Heat oven to 400F

2.Heat a 10 or 12 inch cast iron fry pan over high heat until its really,REALLY hot.

3.Season the steak with salt...as the authors say: liberally, like you'd salt a NYC sidewalk ! Then add pepper. ( my feedback: that was a lot of salt,I'd cut it back but still salt both sides fairly generously)

4.The steak should sizzle aggressively when it hits the pan. Sear 2 minutes per side and then 30secs on the thick part. While the 2 minute searing goes on ,do NOT press it or touch it. The authors are very strict about this. They say that at the 2 min mark the meat should release easily from the pan.

5. Then put the steak in the oven in the pan for 8 minutes. ( Our experience: 6 minutes would have been sufficient for the medium rare result we wanted)

6. Bring the pan back to the stove top over LOW heat, for about 2 minutes but no longer. Add the butter,thyme,garlic and shallots . Then keep basting the meat during that 2 minutes.Constantly. Then touch the steak, If its kinda squishy-soft ( as the authors say), it should mean its "very rare". For medium rare, baste for another minute.Then remove to a plate. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes. NO TOUCHING!!

7. While it is resting cook the garlic and shallots a bit more.

8. Then slice the steak. Add any drippings from the slicing back to the butter mixture in the pan. Serve the steak with individual bowls filled with the pan butter sauce. Dunk the meat. Is this good or what...( no calorie comments,please)

9. The authors recommend serving the fingerling potatoes ( see ingredient list) on the side and also recommend sprinkling the sliced steak with the Maldon salt before serving.( Our comments: we served a decadent sweet potato and cream concoction instead of the fingerlings and skipped "more salt")

THE PHOTO ON PAGE 186 OF THE COOKBOOK IS STUNNING. ( its because of that photo that we chose the recipe and we were NOT disappointed!)

So there you have it. Great night. Easy peasy. No jibber jabber....well,maybe after the wine... Certainly no poopycock ! (...Sorry, Lately I've been watching Boston Legal reruns... DENNY CRANE ! )

Just wonderful friends, laughter, no stress, no prep, terrific group effort, tasty as "all get out". A great time had by all. Even if OUR RIB EYE did NOT have the called for "bone in". Sorry, Momofuku! We loved it...LOVED IT anyways

Yours in red meat, Hugs from
SAUCY and Bacon Boy and Pattynbuns.

Friday

FAUX-SAGNA *..... (FAKE LASAGNA)

* Thanks,Jessie!!

O.K. Here it begins. This is the first in many posts designed to help you have THE- BEST- SIMPLE- EASY- TONS- OF- FUN- EVENINGS with dear friends, acquaintances, business associates, relatives.....anyone!! We will give you menus and/or recipes and/or game plans and/or other stuff to enable you to plan stress free easy evenings. You can then  engage your guests, feed your friends, spoil your loved ones and do all sorts of "giving- foodie- playtime- things" for those near and dear to you.

We recognize that busy lives dictate finding a way to make it fun and simple and unique... all at the same time. And we insist that this is all possible.  So here begins our hints and ideas and recipes and photos and plans and whatever. Many told to you in story and discovery form. Hopefully with a few laughs or a couple of "ah-ha's" along the way. Send us your comments and tell us what you think. But I gotta tell you, we're havin' a ball.

There are two NewYear's Day food stories. This is one of them.

Bacon Boy and I decided to cook "Fake Lasanga". Its easier than the real thing and if you ignore the fact that the noodles are the wrong shape... ( or just plain close your eyes)...the taste, man...the taste... is phenomenal!! So what you do is this. You and a friend (or your very own Bacon Boy ) cook this lovely dish together. You drink martinis. You make two "beauty- TEE- full " baking dishes full of the stuff. You eat one as a reward for dinner and the other YOU FREEZE ( before baking) and its the main course for another interactive night that we will refer to in a later post. A night where you invite 4 other friends and part of the dinner is already done. And this is NOT a frozen casserole we are talking about....Oh no.... This is one key gourmet item ingredient for a later "awesome- tasty- friend lovin' it -can't wait for a repeat invitation" night. And you, the host(s) are not exhausted.You are having a great time.

(Sorry about all the hyphenated words, but I'm in a mood for it while telling a story here...)

STEP 1: Have fun making this, eating one serving and freezing the rest. Don't use the frozen part until we tell you to . Make certain you supplement your cooking with a nice "martin "( Saucy's word for a vodka martini...super dry with olives, in a beautiful glass with lots of ice) or  chose another favorite personal cocktail. Dark rum, anyone?

STEP 2: Here's the recipe:

     S&BB's FAKE LASAGNA                                              

NOTE: We did NOT make this recipe up. Sadly, we cannot take credit for it. But we did TINKER with it when the recipe passed along to us sometime ago. It came to us from a pal who was given it by another pal and so on and so on....

1 pound of penne ( We like gluten free rice pasta ( you cannot tell the difference in this dish) , but its up to you
Cook pasta according to instructions. Rinse in a colander in cold water and then dry as much as possible with paper towels. Set aside.

1/8 c olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground veal
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes,drained
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
s&p

Saute onion in olive oil first , for about 5 minutes. Then add meat, breaking up with spoon and cooking till brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add rest of ingredients above and set aside in a large glass bowl.

Make bechamel sauce. Melt 1 stick unsalted butter over medium heat in a dutch oven pot. Add 3/4 cup flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Whisking still constantly, add 1 quart of whole milk.Increase the heat to moderate high and KEEP WHISKING till sauce thickens. Maybe 5 minutes. Then remove from heat. ( If sauce too thick ...add in a bit more milk) Add 1 cup finely grated, good quality parmesan cheese and 2 egg yolks. Season to taste with salt and tabasco sauce. ( add teensy amounts of drops of  tabasco and taste as you go, you want to accent the cheese only). Remove 1 and1/2 cups of sauce from the pot and keep aside.

NOW. Mix pasta, meat mixture and sauce FROM THE POT together in the glass bowl. Check that seasoning is acceptable and adjust. Then put mixture in two baking dishes(buttered) . Spread reserved sauce on the top. Glob it on in numerous chunks, don't smooth it out all "neat like"

 BAKE the one you will eat tonight at 350F for 30 minutes. (Freeze the other one before baking.)

Baking is done when dish bubbles aggressively. Then brown the top of your fake lasagna under broiler till golden.

Oh. And make yourself some garlic bread at the end by spreading lovely baguette slices with good quality store bought garlic butter, sprinkle with a few pinches of grated parm cheese and broil.

Note to all broiling. Watch carefully. It will only take a minute or so....

Enjoy your portion with a green salad and feel free to sprinkle your pasta serving with dried chilies.. Oh and some robust red wine...

STEP 3: Here are some tempting photos:

onions begin to saute in olive oil


2 types of meat are added


 then the chopped,drained tomatoes



starting to make the bechamel. If your wrist gets sore,you are doing it correct!!



Nice-a, nice.....



One for you and one to freeze for later. DO NOT BAKE now, the one targeted 4  l8r !!



Glob on in dabs the reserved sauce. Do not smooth out.



See?


This, after going under the broiler....



In our pretty bowls with the garlic bread added....

ENJOY, folks . Stay tuned for when, how and where to use the stuff you just put in the freezer. We plan on inviting Dr Sam Spade, Ace -girl and two others over for an evening very soon. Included will be Fake Lasagna and more ....

Lotsahugs
SAUCY  (and one from Bacon Boy)