Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Cooking

From the food editor: For Father's Day, steak with a side of mushroom risotto

My dad is not what you would call an adventurous eater.

But that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate a good meal. In fact, he has come a long way from the more limited diet I remember growing up. A true meat-and-potatoes man, he now embraces zucchini as well as hot dogs, broccoli in addition to pork chops. He has recently discovered the wonders of things like short ribs and risotto.

I don't think he would call himself an avid cook, but he's no stranger to the kitchen, always up for helping to grate cheese or slice potatoes. There are some things he makes regularly, lending his Dad touch to dishes including grilled cheese, zucchini noodles, hash browns. His scrambled eggs are still the best egg dish in town.

One of his very favorite things to eat is steak, something he probably got from his filet mignon-loving parents, and has since ingrained in me. A reliably gut-busting story in our family is the time I was 10 years old and ordered a filet then slathered it with ketchup.

So for dad's special day, I am going to be cooking up a large cut of meat. New York Strip is an ideal option to make at home, more affordable than a filet but still easy enough to work with and flavorful.

I use a cast iron skillet to cook my steaks at home, but if you don't have one of these, use the heaviest skillet you have. Set it on the stove and crank the heat up to high, allowing the pan to get hot before adding any meat to it.

Meanwhile, pat the meat dry with a couple of paper towels. This removes moisture from the steak, allowing it to get a better sear. Season with salt and pepper on both sides, then place it into the pan.

The pan should be smoking at this point, and the steak should sizzle immediately. Let it cook on this side for about a minute, then flip it over and let it cook on the other side for another minute. Press down gently and keep cooking, flipping every 30 seconds or so. After about 4 or 5 minutes, check for doneness. Medium-rare meat will have a reading of 120 to 125 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Remove from the pan and move to a plate or other flat surface. Cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and let rest at least 5 minutes.

If you can persuade Dad to give up the standard baked potato with his steak, serve it with a creamy risotto that uses mushrooms and caramelized onions to match the meat's umami flavor. (If you go with the potato, make sure to serve with plenty of butter and chopped scallions or chives on the side.)

It's best to start the steak after the risotto is completely finished and left to stay warm on a burner turned very low. That way, both can be served warm and at their most flavorful. A meal fit for the dads who cook — or those who will just eagerly clean their plate.

Comments
Taste test: Texas toast

Taste test: Texas toast

Texas may have invented extra thick and buttery toast, but plenty of us enjoy the slathered slices with our own barbecues or Italian night dinners. Our judges like the addition of cheese to the toast, browned in the oven with a few herbs dotting the ...
Published: 08/13/18
Find your groove with jam

Find your groove with jam

It took me an embarrassing number of years to overcome my (unreasonable) paranoia about making jam that would somehow give my friends and family botulism. The nasty, if rare, illness ó which can lead to paralysis, death, etc. ó is caused by a toxin g...
Published: 08/08/18
Five ideas for cooking with watermelon

Five ideas for cooking with watermelon

Watermelon has always felt indulgent to me: a staple of backyard Fourth of July celebrations, a respite from the summer heat. The last time I had it, I was sipping a watermelon-mint cooler in a Brooklyn cafe, trying to escape the sweltering air that ...
Published: 08/07/18
Grits make a compact cushion for spicy shrimp in this recipe

Grits make a compact cushion for spicy shrimp in this recipe

By Leah EskinGrit is grainy and annoying, as in: Whatís that grit on the countertop? Itís grating, as in: Scrubbing the countertop makes me grit my teeth. It honors pluck: That girlís got grit. Perhaps it could also pinpoint one speck of the breakfas...
Published: 08/07/18
Roasting tomatoes is a delicious way to use them at their summer peak, like in this steak recipe

Roasting tomatoes is a delicious way to use them at their summer peak, like in this steak recipe

Sometimes I spend hours in the kitchen working on new recipes, starting with a kernel of an idea and playing with it a bit, adding stuff here and tweaking stuff there. Other times, I shamelessly steal recipe ideas from my friends. My husband and I we...
Published: 08/07/18
Taste test: Ginger salad dressing

Taste test: Ginger salad dressing

After years of enjoying Japanese restaurants, I have tried numerous times to re-create a delicious ginger salad dressing. Every time, though, I fall short of that tangy-sweet balance and chunky gingery mixture that perks up even a plain, green salad....
Published: 08/06/18
10 ideas for no-cook summer meals

10 ideas for no-cook summer meals

Now that summer is in full swing, the oven roasts my apartment along with my food. Even turning on the stovetop is risky, dooming me to sticky misery for the sake of a single tortilla. Iíve started eating cereal for dinner.Weíve got a couple more mon...
Published: 08/01/18
Tofu gets a bad rap sometimes. Hereís how to make it great.

Tofu gets a bad rap sometimes. Hereís how to make it great.

Tofu has long since ceased to be a special ingredient, especially now that meatless eating has become mainstream. But it still confounds some of us. Perhaps because itís so versatile ó you can do so much with it, you may not know where to start. Plus...
Published: 08/01/18
Stuffed Peppers are easily adaptable, for carnivores and vegans alike

Stuffed Peppers are easily adaptable, for carnivores and vegans alike

Cooking for friends or family members who do not share your tastes, or have special dietary restrictions, is one of my greatest challenges in the kitchen. My brother and his girlfriend are vegans (and I, pretty avowedly, am not). My husbandís still o...
Published: 07/31/18
This chicken recipe is so good it could bring back the balsamic craze

This chicken recipe is so good it could bring back the balsamic craze

I share with you a go-to recipe thatís so simple and versatile that it actually dropped out of my weeknight rotation, because (a) itís "just chicken," and (b) there are so many other chicken dishes to try. I came up with it back when balsamic vinegar...
Published: 07/31/18