Spaghetti with creamed spinach and eye fillet steak
I carb loaded today, so I figured why not have some more with some spaghetti.
I have great workmates. One friend made croissants yesterday (she’s a butter fiend), and she gave me one fresh out of the oven this morning. Another friend made coconut ice which is one of my all-time favourite confectionaries.
Yes, I’m spoilt.
Leftover sous vide eye fillet steak (thinly sliced)
Leftover caramelised onions
Cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 7 minutes.
Drain the spaghetti and rinse with cold water.
Put some olive oil in a cold skillet and turn the heat on to a low setting.
Add some sliced garlic to the oil and allow it to cook and release its flavour into the warm oil.
Add in the spaghetti and begin to warm it up with the caramelised onions.
Toss in the spinach leaves and allow the leaves to wilt.
Mix through a couple of teaspoons of dijon mustard and some cream.
Add in the sliced steak and some cherry tomatoes and keep cooking until the meat is warm.
Rinse the lentils in cold water and then put the lentils into the saucepan.
Then add the water (three times the volume of lentils, e.g. 900 mL of water to 300 grams of lentils).
Bring the water and lentils to the boil.
Remove the scum floating on the water with a spoon. I have no idea what difference this does, but apparently, French cooks do this. Not that I care about what French cooks do or think.
Slice the carrot with a sharp knife or a mandolin and be careful not to slice your fingers open.
Half the onion with a sharp knife and again be careful. Blood in the lentils may add a little saltiness but is not usually required.
Insert a clove into the top of the dome of half of the onion.
Add the carrot, onion with the clove in situ, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme.
Add the speck,
Mix everything so that the water covers everything.
Do not salt early, salt after 20 minutes because the lentils will not cook properly (or so they say).
Cook for 30 minutes with the lid on with low heat.
After 30 minutes, remove the aromatic vegetables but not the carrot.
Remove the speck and pan fry it for the finished dish.
Take some of the hot fluid and mix with the dijon mustard to dilute the dijon mustard.
Then pour the creamy thin dijon mustard back into the saucepan and gently mix everything.
Serve the lentils in a bowl.
Add a nudge of butter. What is a nudge of butter? I have no idea.
Add the speck to the bowl.
Garnish with something green to make it pretty because all TV and YouTube cooks will tell you, “we eat with our eyes”. Now, what a stupid thing to say. I mean, sure you can pour small quantities of a liquid over your eyes to permit the collection of nutrients in your conjunctivæ. The nutrients will travel via capillary action down through the nasolacrimal ducts into your nasal passages where if you swallow hard, you can ‘consume’ the liquid. This approach is hardly an efficient way to eat a bowl of lentils.
Add some wholegrain mustard for a contrasting taste and mouthfeel.
I’m guessing you’re wondering what am I doing combining salmon with sauerkraut and apple sauce.
On the weekend I bought a jar of sauerkraut and a bottle of apple sauce for a pork knuckle meal. The instructions on the sauerkraut jar read, “eat within a week of opening” so here I am eating salmon and sauerkraut.
Sweet potato chips
Cook the sweet potato chips at 200 °C for 30 minutes.
Cook the salmon in an oven at 200 °C for 15 minutes.
Add a spoonful of sauerkraut and a spoonful of apple sauce to the dinner plate.
For the first time in many years rather than buying Asian pasta, I bought some European pasta.
A simple meal tonight. I need to finish the leftover steak from last week. I also have some spinach left to finish too.
It’s an easy enough meal.
I boiled some water and cooked the spaghetti. After rinsing and draining the spaghetti I out it into a frying pan with some olive oil and butter and tossed it around a bit before adding in the spinach leaves to wilt. Add to the frying pan a dash of cream and a teaspoon of mustard for flavour and Bob’s your uncle. All I needed to do was toss through the thinly sliced steak, and dinner was ready.
The last few weeks I’ve cooked salmon under vacuum (sous vide) on a Sunday night.
Yesterday, while grocery shopping I saw a nice thick piece of scotch rib fillet steak and thought it looked too good to go past.
Tonight I cooked the steak by the reverse sear method. That is, I start cooking the steak in a low-temperature oven and then finished the cooking with a hot but short searing on a cast-iron skillet at the end.
I also thought it would be nice to make a blue cheese sauce with some leftover Gorgonzola cheese.
Baby green peas
Heat source (I use a portable induction hob)
Meat thermometer (I use a wireless one connected to an application on a smart device)
Last night, I unwrapped the steak and patted it dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
I put it on a rack over a baking dish and then seasoned all surfaces of the steak with salt.
I put the steak (left uncovered) in the refrigerator overnight and all of today.
Reverse searing the steak
When I was ready to cook dinner, i.e., after a Group FaceTime session with my daughters, I turned on the toaster oven to about 75 °C.
I took the steak out of the refrigerator and inserted the meat thermometer, so the tip of the probe was deep into the fillet portion of the steak.
For readers unfamiliar with the anatomy of a scotch fillet steak, the eye fillet is surrounded in part by the deckle meat which has a fat cap attached. The eye fillet is very tender and is relatively lean, unlike the deckle meat, which is often fatty. Regular readers will know what part of the scotch rib fillet steak I like the best. 😉
I opened the associated application on my smart device and set the desired target temperature to 45 °C.
I put the steak into the toaster oven and then allowed it to cook until the internal temperature had reached 45 °C.
On the application, I followed the progress of the interior and ambient temperatures As the internal temperature approached 45 °C I wiped some Queensland nut oil onto the cold surface of my cast-iron skillet and turned on the heat to high.
When the application signals the internal temperature has reached 45 °C, I turned the toaster oven off and removed the steak. I gently placed the steak onto the hot cast-iron skillet and began searing the surfaces of the steak.
To avoid uneven cooking of the meat, I like to turn the steak over relatively frequently. I also use kitchen tongs to hold the steak and sear the edges of the steak, especially the fat cap, so the fat renders a little.
Once the steak had seared to my liking, I removed the steak from the skillet and put it onto a plate and then brushed it over with some melted butter.
At this stage, I seasoned the steak with freshly cracked black pepper.
I allowed the steak to rest for a few minutes before dissecting away the deckle meat from the fillet. Dissection means inserting your fingers between the spinalis dorsi and the longissimus dorsi muscle bundles and prising them apart. With a cooked steak, the connective tissue plane has dissolved, and the muscle bundles should pull apart with little to no resistance. As the Borg say, “Resistance, is futile.”
I placed the fillet portion into an airtight container and refrigerated it for later in the week.
I sliced the deckle portion for dinner.
On the dinner plate, smother the steak with blue cheese sauce.
Blue cheese sauce
Weigh 25 grams of butter.
Weigh 25 grams of flour.
Crumble some blue cheese. I chose to use some leftover Gorgonzola cheese.
In a cold saucepan, begin to melt the butter on low heat.
When the butter has melted, add flour and cook the flour in the butter for a few minutes.
Slowly add some cold milk and stir until it begins to thicken.
Add in the cheese and incorporate with a wooden spoon until the sauce is smooth.
Baby green peas
Rapidly boil some water.
Add in a cup of frozen baby green peas.
Bring the water back to the boil and turn off the heat.
Drain the water from the peas.
On a warm dinner plate, add the sliced steak and next to the steak, use a spoon to add the peas.
With a spoon smother the steak with blue cheese sauce.
Tonight was the first time I’ve made a blue cheese sauce. It was a great addition with the steak.
If you make this meal, please let me know. Leave a comment or contact me on social media.
I had some dough in the refrigerator from last week for tonight. When I opened the container, I noticed the dough was more moist than usual, and it also had a bit of a sour, funky sort of smell. It was more like sourdough.
I’m bloody hopeless at shaping pizza dough. Take a look at tonight’s effort. I really need help.
Tonight’s toppings included tomato paste, mozzarella cheese, porcini mushrooms, gorgonzola, and basil. I also threw on a few cherry tomatoes. Check out the apron I wore tonight.