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Perfect Pan-Seared Steak
The basics to any perfect steak dish is a good quality, high-grade cut of beef. Ingredients: 1 bone-in or boneless rib eye steak or sirloin steak at least 1 ½ pounds, cut to at least 1 ½ inches thick Pinch of salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons butter 2 peeled garlic cloves, left whole Few sprigs fresh parsley, including stems Optional: Wine and stock (chicken, beef, veal,etc.) and butter for deglazing the pan and making a delicious pan sauce Directions: 1. Salt and pepper one side of the steak. 2. Heat your seasoned cast iron skillet to smoking hot. Add oil and swirl around to coat. Add steak seasoned-side down (place it in pan away from you so you don’t get splattered), and then salt and pepper the other side of the steak. At this point do not touch it for two minutes. Using tongs (never pierce the meat with a fork), flip the steak and add butter, garlic and parsley to the pan next to the steak. Allow the steak to cook for 2 more minutes. 3. Right after you flip the steak for the first time, with a spoon or small ladle, keep basting the melted butter over the steak. Baste continually for the full two minutes (tilt pan a little if you have to, to get the butter onto the spoon). 4. After two minutes on each side, keep flipping and basting the steak each time leaving the steak for 30 seconds before turning. Test the steak with the poke test (see note below) and remove at medium rare at about the five to six minute mark of total cooking time. Cook a minute or two longer for medium to well. A thicker steak (such as a sirloin) may take longer. 5. Turn off the heat and baste one more time. Leave the steak in the pan loosely covered with foil for 10 minutes and allow to rest before cutting. Baste one more time, and remove to a cutting board. Either cut the steak in half for each serving or for a nicer presentation, slice on the bias and serve slices. 6. Discard the pan drippings or if desired, deglaze the pan with a little wine, then and stock and simmer for a few minutes to reduce the drippings. Add a tablespoon or two of butter to thicken for a nice pan sauce .
Meatloaf Cupcakes
According to this meatloaf cupcake recipe, cupcakes don't have to be sweet. And I'm totally sold. Plus, everything is much better in miniature form and this includes meatloaf. If I have enough mashed potato leftover I will use this recipe. Makes 12 servings. For the meatloaf: 1 pound ground beef 1 pound ground pork 1 small onion, grated 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 cup panko crumbs 2-3 splashes Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 1/4 cup milk 2 eggs, lightly beaten For the sauce: 1/2 cup chili sauce 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon dry mustard For the potato “icing”: 3 cups boiled potatoes, chopped into chunks 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream Pinch of salt 2 tablespoons melted butter Instructions: Preheat your oven to 350 F. Prepare the meatloaf by combining all ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix until incorporated. Don’t over handle the mixture or the meatloaf may be too dense. Chill while you prepare the sauce and potatoes. Make the sauce by whisking the chili sauce, brown sugar and mustard together until smooth. Set aside. While the meat is baking, whip the boiled potatoes together with the egg yolk, half and half or cream and salt until smooth. Stir in the melted butter. Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip and fill with the potato mixture. Set aside, but do not refrigerate. To assemble the cupcakes, lightly spray a cupcake tin with nonstick cooking spray. Fill each indentation with a small handful of the meat mixture, gently pressing it down until it is completely filled. Spread a teaspoon of the sauce around the top of each cupcake, and bake for about 30 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Remove from the oven and turn on the broiler. Pipe some potato “icing” on top of each cupcake. Put the cupcakes under the broiler for a few minutes until the potatoes are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy.