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Old 09-14-2007, 07:18 PM   #21
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Okay, I did preheat and everything. I let my husband cut the steak, and I think he just cut it straight. Would cutting it across the grain make it less stringy as well? Also, I could cook, say, a New York strip steak in this way, right?

I admit I returned the cookbooks in a fit of frustration. I mean, I'm cooking for my husband, and he looked at the recipe and said the recipe was no good. So... Will I be heading to the bookstore to sheepishly buy them back? lol I don't know. I'll check out the other books first, I think.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:19 PM   #22
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And maybe instead of watching Dr. Phil or Oprah while I fold laundry I'll watch the Food Network, yeah?
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:26 PM   #23
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My all time favorite: The Best Recipe by Cooks Illustrated. Amazon.com: The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition with 1,000 Recipes: Books: Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine
It does contain recipes, but more importantly, it tells you the science behind the recipes. Once you know these basics, you can make your own recipes. Good luck!!
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:29 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_young221 View Post
Would cutting it across the grain make it less stringy as well?
Absolutely!!! The way you cut a skirt steak makes all the difference in the world. Cutting it with the grain guarantees it will be tough and stringy. Cutting it against the grain (assuming it is not overcooked) will ensure tender easy to chew meat.

I would really recommend getting Alton's book again, but do not use it for the recipes. It is not a cookbook after all. Use it just to learn how and why to do things. Use that knowledge along with another actual cookbook (How To Cook Everything is a great one) and you will have your husband asking for seconds and thirds in no time.

If you have a mind for science then another great book is What Einstein Told His Cook.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:37 PM   #25
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Okay. If I get his books again I'll have to go to the next town over or something; I live in a small town and the bookseller would look at me funny if I bought the books I returned the day before! ::chuckle:: Wow, I got a lot of books to check out. And next time I make a skirt steak, I'll cut across the grain.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #26
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Do you have a library near by? That might be your best bet.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #27
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The grain in a steak are long fibers of meat. If you slice with the grain, you are basically cutting yourself one long continuous fiber. If you cut across the grain, you end up with a slice composed of many fibers.

When you chew it, the meat breaks apart into the individual fibers making it easier to chew. It gives you the perception that it is more tender because it breaks apart into the smaller fiber pieces, and each fiber is only as long as the meat is thick.
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:58 PM   #28
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Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense!

I'll check my library/bookstore/Amazon for the books you've all recommended.

Thanks very much!!
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:08 PM   #29
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If you have a decent-sized library, plan to go there and spend an hour or two. There you can examine a lot of the books recommended at one time, compare them to each other, bring one or two home for more detailed examination, then decide which is worth buying - all for free.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:16 PM   #30
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I don't know the author of it, but I'd highly reccomend "Culinary Artistry". It's a book that discusses ingredients by season, and has many recipes and tables regarding what sorts of foods and flavors and textures go well together, what foods are appropriate during certain season, etc.
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