Saturday, November 2, 2013

RBOC: Cooking, jobs, and great music

  • I nearly asphyxiated myself on smoke whilst practicing my skills at pan-searing steak.  Even with my oven hood roaring and the windows open, I don't think my apartment has enough ventilation to make searing a practical option.  I would love to hear from readers about other good methods for cooking a nice steak medium rare.  I know the ultimate method is to grill it, but I don't own a grill, and don't want to buy one until I know where I'm living long-term.  Am I kidding myself, or can I make this work without a grill?
  • I'm going to try out a spontaneous and improvised red wine-cream-tomato sauce tonight, if I don't lose my nerve.  It's largely motivated by my cheapness: earlier in the week, I opened a bottle of what turned out to be an undistinguished tempranillo, and even though I don't consider it more than barely passable as a beverage, I hate to throw it out.  I throw out really bad or ruined wine, but feel bad about doing that with something that could be useful in the kitchen.  Since I already have some cream on hand, I'm curious to see if I can work out a darker, richer tomato-cream sauce than the usual.  Wish me luck, or offer your own variations on this in the comments!  
  • (No white wine ideas, though, please: now that the weather is getting chilly, there will likely be no white wine at chez Koshary until April or May.)
  • I have mixed feelings about passing the 1st of November as a job applicant.  On the one hand, it's nice to have sent in that crapton of applications in timely fashion.  (Many pseudology job apps were due by then.)  On the other hand, it now means that I hardly see anything else to apply to, when I scope out the job postings at my various professional association websites.  The t-t jobs will mostly dry up from this point, and be replaced by the limited-term contract jobs that I've been subsisting on for the last few years.  Sigh.
  • But: first tiny nibble of interest from one of the jobs I applied to!  Here's hoping that it's the pebble that triggers an avalanche!
  • This:


  1. 1. As far as your steak goes, it's almost impossible to get a proper sear on a steak without 1) an outdoor grill or 2) an industrial-strength exhaust fan. The closest you can get is to get your cast-iron pan extremely hot (minimal, if any, oil), put the steak on for about 90 seconds on each side, and then put in a hot oven (450 F) for about 5 minutes or so to complete the cooking. You'll still get some smoke and drama, but not to the same extent.

    Oh, and use the wine to poach some fruit. Oranges, perhaps? A bit of cinnamon and sugar in the mix makes for a nice dessert.

    Hang in there with the job stuff. And I'm sending crazy positive vibes toward Corn State that this nibble becomes a great big 'ol fish on the hook!

  2. Good luck!

    I would vote for reducing the wine and lots of tomatoes and a little garlic and rosemary on a long simmer to make pasta sauce. There's a really god recipe in Deborah Madsen's Cooking Vegetarian book.