Posts

Showing posts from September, 2019

Dry-Aged Prime NY Strip with Bercy Butter, Red Wine Pan Sauce, & Almost-Instant Roasted Potatoes!

Image
This is a rare splurge that's worth every penny. I decided to make a full steakhouse meal with all the usual "steak enhancements" - flavored butter, sauce, side, with a few shortcuts.

First of all, stop waiting half an hour or more for cold butter to soften. you can fully soften a brick-hard cold fridge butter in under half a minute. The trick is to microwave 5 seconds at a time, and keep turning 90 degree in between intervals. Microwaves work essentially in sine waves. By rotating lengthwise in intervals, you're changing the heat direction from up-and-down to front-and-back every few seconds. This will allow even heating, so no part gets too hot while the other parts are cold. You should be able to fully soften your butter in 20~25 seconds, depending on how cold your fridge is. Give it a pinch after 20 seconds to test softness.

Bercy butter is basically bercy sauce in butter form. I'm omitting the white wine and stock, since I'm already making a pan sauce …

Red Bean & Coconut Oil Pastry Mooncake

Image
This is an accidentally-vegan recipe, where the coconut oil substitution is applied as an upgrade to the traditional lard - and it worked out better than I hoped!

A little background...

why traditional pastry calls for lard

Recipes tend to call for the same fat in lean dough and the oil dough for simplicity. But only the oil dough has finicky requirements. it calls for a fat that is solid at room temperature, but is very soft and easy to handle. Because the oil dough mixes the fat with flour in the oil layer for ease of handling (vs pure butter in western puff pastry, that requires chilling in between turning), it also requires pure fat to puff right - that's why supermarket butter, with its 20% water content, does not work very well for this application.

what are acceptable substitutions

Store bought lard has a melting point of 97~113F - you want to pick a fat with relatively high melting point like this, for ease of handling, as the temperature from your hand will warm up the dou…