What Does The Buffalo Say?

I’m a sucker for sales at the grocery store, and even moreso when it’s at the meat counter.  Remember that time I got a bunch of Prime NY Strips just to save a few bucks?  Well it happened again, but this time with Buffalo!  So I picked up a few Buffalo NY Strips from Whole Foods and got excited about the sous vide prospects.

Taking a page out of the Food Lab’s playbook I laid out the steaks the night before and salted them heavily before placing them in the fridge to chill overnight.  The next morning they were noticeably darker and most delicious looking.

Just after lunch the bagged steaks made their way to the waiting water bath, set at 132.8°F (converted from 56°C) and left there for 4.5 hours.  During that time they were getting all tasty and tender and gray.  So to combat that grayness I turned to the trusty cast iron skillet, cranked up to “Screaming Hot” and coated with a bit of oil.  The trick here is to get the gray steaks as dry as possible before putting the fsear of god in them.  A minute per side is all it takes to finish these off.

I eagerly sliced into mine to see what it might look like, but truth be told, there was no doubt.  Perfectly medium-rare, end-to-end.

The difference we noticed with the Buffalo is it’s quite a bit leaner than Beef, so the steak was a little less juicy than a “normal” steak, but no less tender.  As for next time, I’d do it exactly the same way.  Maybe served with a compound butter on top to make up for the missing fat in the meat.

Water and Fire

Our grocery store ran a special on USDA Prime New York Strip steaks.  Never one to miss out on a deal, I bought four.  And for no other reason than “why not?” I picked up a grass-fed New York Strip to compare.  With five steaks and some new toys to play with, we invited some friends over for dinner and got cooking.  But seriously, just look at these steaks!


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Brunch with Team Vicious and Delicious

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it explicitly, but we have some pretty outstanding neighbors.  Monthly happy hour, meet-ups at the neighborhood bar, impromptu wine/beer/whiskey on the patio/front porch/street… and now we can add “friendly knock down drag out no holds barred potluck brunch” to the mix.  We were invited over to our neighbor’s house along with another couple to flex our brunching muscles.

Some of the key details included coming up with a team name (Team Vicious and Delicious), voting on: taste, creativity, presentation, and “bonus points”, and adhering to the theme: Cracker Barrel Chic.  Yep.  With about 10 days to prep, there was a lot of menu planning and email trash talk going on.  But ultimately it came down to the food, so here’s a recap of how things went down.

Team Vicious and Delicious

We absolutely made team shirts.  Bonus points!

Note: Due to the obscene number of photos I took documenting our epic brunch, I’ve tried to reduce the length of this page by creating gifs, slideshows, and self control. Continue reading

On Turning 30

Well yesterday I was 29 and today I’m 30.  It’s not a big deal really.  More than anything it provides a good milestone to use for reflection as, many friends have said, it’s time to enter the best decade yet.  If that’s true, it’s going to have a lot to live up to.  In my 20s I…

::big breath::

…graduated from college, moved to DC, got engaged to my best friend, moved to Austin, got married to said best friend, bought a house, had a baby — and those are just the major things.  I also…

::big breath::

…ran 13 marathons, qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon, completed an Ironmanand read all five Game of Thrones books.  So my 30s have some big shoes to fill.  But based on how amazing the last 12 weeks of Wesley’s life have been, I’m pretty sure my 30s won’t have any trouble taking the title of top decade.

Turning 30 is also a great excuse to make an extravagant dinner to celebrate our birthdays!  After a great brunch in the morning, we reasoned that we only turn 30 once and had to go big.

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Sous Vide Short Ribs

Sometimes I get overly appropriately excited and take on a big culinary project, like homemade English muffins or home-ground burgers.  Ev is a great sport and doesn’t even roll her eyes (in front of me).  Recently I came across an amazing website called Chef Steps, which puts together extremely high quality videos and guides for some seriously impressive recipes.   I decided to leverage my recent fascination with sous vide cooking and one of their fantastic videos for sous vide beef short ribs, and an idea was born.

Short Rib on board

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Sous Vide Steak Fajitas

About a year ago I backed a project on Kickstarter for the Sansaire Sous Vide machine.  It was a purchase of passion and took a little convincing to a certain rationally-thinking wife that it was going to be amazing.  It arrived, I tried it out without much fanfare, and put it in the cabinet.  Well I recently got re-excited about it and have had lots of success, so I thought I’d share what came out of our kitchen!

Sous Vide 136

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