Thursday, February 19, 2009

Culinary Revelations

Photo by Flickr user lamentables.

"Duh" Edition:

1) Although I hatehatehate the texture of egg whites when the eggs are fried (I don't care how capably they're done, I find them rubbery and squeaky and just overall YUCK), I lovelovelove them when they're poached. Fluffy, cloudlike, utterly ephemeral. WHO KNEW? (Well, other than everybody except me.)

2) Mashed potatoes are incredibly easy to make. Really. So easy that there's no excuse not to make them RIGHT NOW. I used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking (adding a little garlic, celery, and half an onion to the cooking water), and they were to die for.

3) There really is a difference between a $10 steak and a $20 steak. For Valentine's Day, we went to Fero's and picked up two inch-and-a-half-thick New York steaks, the cost of which we justified by noting (out loud, repeatedly) that these steaks may be expensive, but we'd sure have spent lot more going out! Whatever: Seared first in a hot pan, then slipped under the broiler for five or six minutes, they were extraordinary. To gild the lily, I made a modified version of the sauce for steak Diane (Bittman has an authentic recipe here)--a rich, mustardy cream sauce that seeped into the rare meat in the most decadent way imaginable. Not the kind of thing I'd eat on a weeknight, but a perfect special-occasion indulgence.

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