by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to stay at home. I don’t know someone who hasn’t been affected, but this does not have to be something bad. The time we used to spend walking to the bus or warming up the car or going to class has been eliminated by staying at home. It is true that it is more challenging and time-consuming to learn, study, and work. However, with enough time management, it might be achievable to have extra time that can be used to maybe cook at home and even save money.
This is one of my all-time favorite meals and what my old roommate called “the classic”. Tonight, we are making pan-seared steak, roasted potatoes, and arugula salad. The first thing you should do is take out your steak from the fridge if it is already thawed and set it on a board and leave it to rest. Then gather the rest of your ingredients. You need, high smoking point oil, olive oil, one shallot, a few garlic cloves, a handful of small potatoes, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, rosemary, and butter.
Then get your baby potatoes and slice them in half and place them facing down on a pot (this lets you know about how many you can fit once they are done boiling). Fill the pot with water until it covers them and set the pot to boil in some salted water. While that is heating up, set a cast iron pan to medium-low heat and start preparing the steak.
First pat-dry the entire surface of the steak with paper towels. I recommend using tongs to flip the steak as you season it with FRESHLY grounded pepper and coarse salt. Once the steak has been seasoned on all its sides test the pan to check if it’s hot enough.
You can do this by splashing some water and see it bounce rather than evaporate or if it’s smoking. If it’s ready, splash some high smoking-point oil such as avocado or peanut and carefully put your steak facing away from you. If the pan isn’t ready you can still do the following step while it warms up.
Check if the potatoes are done by poking one with a fork. It is ready if it’s firm but easy enough to poke through. Once they are, then strain them, and rinse the pan.
Return the pan to the stove with the potatoes facing down along with some oil, salt, and pepper. I recommend using a fork to arrange them and set the pan to medium heat.
At this point, you should start mincing the shallots and peeling and crushing the garlic.
Then, check if the steak is done by looking at the edges and seeing if a crust has formed or if it has slightly lifted off. If it has, then flip it, and wait for it to do the same on the other side. Do not move the steak after the flip. If it’s moved the sear won’t create a good a crust.
Check the potatoes to see if they have reached a golden crust on its underneath and if it has then add the shallots and butter until they caramelize and once it does add the rest of the seasonings (cayenne, paprika, rosemary), lower the heat, and toss until well mixed and return to the stove and lower the heat slightly.
Once the steak has lifted on the edges and it has a crust hold with tongs on its sides. It should have a dark golden color all around the steak.
If a golden darker color has been reached, lower the heat, add butter, crushed garlic, and set the steak away from the heat, and start basting it with a metal spoon.
Once the garlic has fried up in the butter and slightly browned set it over the meat and keep basting until the desired cook (I am going for a medium-rare so I will remove it from the pan and set it to rest). Steaks should rest at least half the amount of time that they cooked for. Remove the potatoes from the stove once they are golden all around and the seasoning sticks and set them aside.
Place your arugula along with some salt, pepper, olive oil, Dijon mustard, whole mustard seeds, and balsamic vinegar with honey or balsamic glaze if you have it. Toss around and get ready to plate.
I use cooking tongs to handle most of my cooked items, these enable me to have more control and serve items on the plate carefully. I Suggest drizzling some of the garlicky butter over the steak for added flavor.
Hope you enjoy the recipe, it is a great way to impress guests or just reward yourself. Cooking doesn’t have to be scary, anyone can cook with the right tips and suggestions.
This is a picture taken a few minutes after the previous one. Just in case you were wondering if I had achieved indeed a medium-rare.
I am a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato, born and raised mainly in Venezuela. I have had many opportunities to travel, explore, and go on a variety of adventures. Alejo’s Mischievous Adventures will be my attempt at sharing my experiences with you.