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Old 02-05-2003, 12:28 AM   #1
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Steak - I find pan frying tastier

Almost everytime I see a discussion of cooking steak, it recommends broiling or grilling/barbequeing. Those methods are fine, but has the world forgotten simple pan frying? So much easier, faster, and in my opinion, tastier.

I just toss an inch and a 1/4 filet mignon into a smoking hot cast iron skillet (no butter or oil) for 4 minutes on each side and have a beutifully crsip brown outside with a rare inside. For medium rare, I add 1/2 minute each side. (Beyond that it's burnt, in my book - so I have no info). If I want the smoky barbeque flavor, a finger-tip of liquid smoke (good quality) on each side is subtle and delicious.

Want Chateaubriande? Remove the filet, turn the fire low, add a pat of butter and brown it, then deglaze with a splash of red wine, stir until reduced and smooth and pour sparingly over the filet. Serve at once, of course!

Works for this

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Old 02-05-2003, 12:35 PM   #2
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oldcoot - I totally agree about pan frying. It lends more flavor to a steak than grilling on gas in my opinion. I guess the grilling just goes hand-in-hand with summer! LOL It's just a forgotten way of doing things. We try to do things different than the way we did them growing up thinking they are "better". We buy different gadgets, cooking appliances, etc. I will have to say though that the texture of the steak is different (the outside only) when pan frying versus broiling or grilling and sometimes I don't want that texture change, other times it's a "comfort" thing to want that texture. Did that make sense? :?

I even went back to buying 8:00 coffee because after trying different coffees for many years it still has that great coffee flavor that I was missing in other coffees! LOL

As far as fish - I pan fry 99% of the time. I can control it better, it doesn't fall apart like it does when grilling, and it has a much better flavor. I can also just toss the pan in the oven if the fish is too thick and finish it there.

If I had a charcoal grill, however, I probably would tend to be happier with the flavor of my steaks and other foods. So, to get me through this time until I can afford that Weber grill that uses charcoal but has a gas starter (now THAT'S cookin') I use charcoal seasoning. It's subtle but good.

Have you ever grilled nice chunky asparagus spears? A little olive oil, lemon, kosher salt - grill - it doesn't get any better!!!! :D
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Old 02-06-2003, 07:51 PM   #3
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Kosher Salt?

This salt thing really amuses me. Sea Salt, Kosher Salt, flavored salt, etc., etc.

Now I can understand using , for example, Kosher salt on the rim of a marguerita glass, or on bread crust or other places where it "shows". but in food that include liquids? It's going to dissolve and become absolutely impossible to differentiate in any way from any other salt form.

I'm not wild about sea salt. It is made by only partiallly evaporating and rinsing (purifying) the salt. Ergo, inevitably som imppurities are bound to be included. Considering what is dumped in the world's oceans, I just sort of prefer pppurified salt.

The advent of iodized salt a few decades back put a sudden and almost complete halt to that disfiguring thyroid condition, the goiter. Haven't seen one in many years. They were common 60 years ago.

Perhaps folks who have a more soophisticated palate than I can, or at least think they can, detect the flavor difference.

As for charchoal grilling, we have one of those gas-charcoal units. My wife insisted on getting it a few years ago. It gets used perhaps three or four times a year. In spite of the fact we dine in the garden frequently when weather permits.

But, to each his own. If you enjoy what you're doing and the way you're doing it, whay change?
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:14 PM   #4
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About the salt thing - I can only tell a texture difference. The taste is the same except (ok, call me crazy :oops: ) but kosher salt doesn't taste quite as salty - it's probably just because of the bigger grain so it doesn't cover as many taste buds. Hey, don't laugh - that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!! :P Anyway, it's just what I like to cook with for some reason.


I had a friend about 8 years ago or so that had a goiter - really weird I thought! Once she showed me her neck it was plain as day but I just thought she had gained a little weight
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Old 02-07-2003, 01:30 AM   #5
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Salt preferences

I neglected the obvious: Kosher salt is, of course, appropriate for persons of Jewish persuasion, and I certainly respect that! As for coarser salt tasting less salty, the larger crystals dissolve a tad more slowly, so that yes, it might taste less salty. Also, being larger, there is less of it in similar areas.

All salt is simply sodium chloride, NaCl. No more, no less. All salt is sea salt in the sense that it is constantly washed out of soil by rain and collects in the oceans because of evaporaton (distillation). (It doesn't evaporate up into the clouds to be recycled like water does, so the ocean is alty.) When past seas dried up due to changes in elevastion caused by tectonic plate movement, the salt remained and is now mined - but it is still the same salt, sodium chloride.

Conditions of temperature and concentration determine salt crystal size. The crystals are always cubic, however.

Using coarser salt for cooking is just fine. My only initial point was that it is silly for recipes to specify this or that salt, as all will have exactly the same effect. Well, not quite. A teaspoonful of regular table salt will contain somewhat more thatn a teaspoonful of coarser salt, simply because the smaller crystals can pack together more easily, leaving less air space between them.
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:05 AM   #6
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I recall a fancy cooking show where they were discussing the different kinds of salt. What the chef said was the only taste difference comes from the extra fancy unpurified or "raw" salts that contain a fairly large content of other minerals. The only one that I remember them speaking of specifically is one with a large sulfur content (Mmm, tastes like matches! Yum!). I have no idea why anyone would want to use that! I do like kosher salt for the texture, though.
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:38 PM   #7
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Oh kris - now the "match" salt sounds so appetizing!!! LOL I like kosher salt for the texture too. I'm trying to think of when I would need a match flavor and I just can't think of one!!!
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