Fausta's buys

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The perfect steak

The WSJ tells us how to cook a steak. Since the article is by subscription only on line, as a service to my readers I'm copying it:
  • Preheat your oven to 450F degrees
  • On the stove top, heat a large, dry skillet until it is very hot. Season the steak (a 4-5 lbs porterhouse or bone-in-ribeye steak, 1 1/2" to 2" thick) well with salt and pepper and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side, until it has a dark crust [Note If your smoke alarm is very sensitive, like mine is, make sure to run the hood fan or you'll get blasted]
  • Place skillet in preheated oven for about 14 minutes for a 1 1/2" steak. Cook to between rare and medium rare, because residual heat will continue cooking the meat while it is resting. To test for doneness, press your finger to the meat: it should yield to the touch but not be soft. The chef says a thermometer will pierce the meat and allow the juices to run out.
  • Rest steak for at least 5 minutes before slicing or serving
Tester's note: If you don't feel confident about judging the doneness of the meat the way professionals do, use an instant-read thermometer to be sure the meat has reached an internal temperature of 120F for rare or medium rare
And here's the steak:

Baked potato with sour cream and butter, a salad, and maybe some green beans with almonds.

The perfect meal.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

In praise of Saul Bellow

Yesterday my son brought to my attention this wonderful article about Saul Bellow that was published in the NYT Book Review two weeks ago, Beyond Criticism, and asked me to blog about it.

The article starts by saying,
It may be heretical, or just foolish, for a book review editor to admit it, but there are times when criticism is beside the point.
and ends with
Bellow's books illuminate themselves. And all commentary is only so much background noise.
Sam Tanenhaus, who is the editor of the NYT Book Review and who wrote the article, is not alone in his admiration. My friend Roger Harris, who used to be the books review editor of the Star Ledger is equally enthusiastic about Saul Bellow. Bellow was a rarity in the modern literary world: a writer of great literature that is also fun to read.

Tanenhaus wrote his article because The Library of America has issued a new edition of Saul Bellow's major fiction from the 1950s and 1960s

Since I do my recreational reading usually lying down on the living room sofa with a book on my lap, I prefer single novel editions. The novels included in the second Library of America volume are Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, and Herzog:

This is the second Bellow volume by the Library of America. The first one,

included novels from 1944-1953, Dangling Man, The Victim, and The Adventures of Augie March

And don't forget his short stories,

Him with his foot in his mouth - We can all sympathize with a character such!

Labels: , , ,