Saturday, June 3, 2017

Today I grilled some delicious steaks, here's how I did it

Today I Grilled Some Delicious Steaks, Here's How...

The Mrs asked me to grill some steaks today.  Here are the steps I took:

1.  Get Shell Steaks

I feel like the steak grilling community sleeps on shell steaks but they are delicious and flavorful.  They cook up in a few minutes and come out great.  More people should grill with shell steaks.

2. Be wholly unprepared

I was not expecting to grill today so I just threw together some things that I had around the house.  Normally I like to make a nice marinade and let the steaks baste overnight but these came straight from the fridge to the grill touched only by a few things I had lying around.  Still came out great though.

3. Preheat grill to 425

We want direct heat on half of the grill and indirect heat on the other half.  For my three burner grill this means turning two burners up about three-quarters and leaving the third one off.  We're only going to cook on the direct heat side which I read somewhere is good for convection which improves the blah blah blah of whatevers.  I dunno.  It helps the tastees stay in the meat.  Also useful if you're going to cook something that wants indirect heat on the other side like chicken legs.

4.  Slather some Olive Oil on those bad boys

The real step one is to douse the steaks in olive oil.  This adds moisture which is important and will also help our other ingredients stick to the steaks.  Many marinades I use have an olive oil base, and adding olive oil directly to the steaks when you have little time seems to help a lot.  

In addition, the olive oil will cause the grill to flame up when you toss the steaks on.  That will allow for some nice grill lines and extra flavor.  However, it is important to quickly move the steaks after the grill flames up so that the steak doesn't get burned.  I leave the steaks on the flame for a few seconds and then move them to the indirect heat.  After 15 seconds or so the flame should die down and we can put the steaks back on the direct heat.

5. Good Quality Salt Matters

After adding olive oil I gave a liberal pour of that thick kosher salt.  It's yummy.

6. Black Pepper

Then I added a less liberal amount of black pepper.  Fresh would have been better but I used the big canister you get from the super market and it was fine.

7. Rub Some Ginger In There

For a soy sauce based marinade I like to add some ginger which I think improves the gingerness of nearly everything.  In this case I didn't have any soy sauce but adding ginger was easy (because it was around) and helped to round out the taste.  You gotta rub the ginger in though or it won't really take.

8.  Crushed Basil FTW

I was running out of time but I felt like it needed a little more something.   I'm a big fan of basil but a big leaf on a steak feels offensive to me.  Luckily we had some crushed basil in the pantry and I dumped gently coated the steaks in the spice.  The olive oil helped it stick which was key.

9.   Grill 5-6 Minutes each side

Once the grill was heated it was time to throw on the steaks.  I was careful because of the flames (see #4) and then let the steaks grill on the first side for about five minutes.  When one side was done I flipped them over,  re-added some of the seasoning on the other side and then let them cook for another five minutes.

10.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes

Every site says you're not supposed to dig in right away because you need to let the fibers of the meat fibernate or something after they come off the grill.  In my case the kids wouldn't come inside and wash their hands so it took about 10 minutes before we could start.

11.  Revel in the accolades of your loved ones

As everyone stuffs their face they're sure to say: "Can I get up now?" or "Why can't I get up now?" but what they really mean is: "I love you, daddy!  Thank you for making the greatest meal I've ever had!"

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Minion Movie Review

In "No Exit", Jean-Paul Sartre's seminal work on the ontological paradox of ascribing to another's world view in a meaningless universe of indifference, he writes:  "Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this [Minions Movie] that gnaws and fumbles ... and never hurts quite enough."  I might be paraphrasing, but Sartre's inability to reconcile a world that would produce The Minions Movie with a true and living God seems on the face of it, a bit harsh.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Requiem For A Stupid Idea

I have a dream

In 2012 I had a dream.  A dream that I could feign interest in my friends without actually doing anything.  And not just my friends. Colleagues. Acquaintances.  That lady my mom said was at my wedding.  In short, everyone I'm Facebook friends with.  "But", I thought, "how can I do this without expending any energy?  I know, I'll put weeks and weeks into developing an app to do it.  Then I can just sit back and reap the sweet sweet benefits of ... something ..."  And with that solid plan, I set off to work.

It's a stupid dream

My plan was to develop an app that would automatically send birthday messages to my Facebook Friends without my having to do anything.  My first problem was

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How to replace a CPU Fan

Replacing a CPU fan is probably the most fun thing you can do with your computer.  Ok, maybe not, but it is an occasional maintenance task that there doesn't seem to be too much detailed information about on the internet.  I recently had to replace one and here are the steps I took.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

For My Baby Boy

Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one baby to dissolve the umbilical bands which have connected him with his mother, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should wait exactly 40 weeks and one day and then cause his mama’s water to break at 9pm so as to make known that which impels him to the separation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How those Spring @Enable* Annotations work

Spring's Java Config is a great way to configure your application without writing a lot of configuration code.  One reason is those awesome @Enable* annotations that let you magically set up things like Transactions (@EnableTransactionManagement), Spring MVC (@EnableWebMvc) or timed jobs (@EnableScheduling) with a simple class level annotation on your configuration class. These simple statements provide a lot of functionality but their machinations are fairly obscure.  On the one hand, it's great to get so much functionality for so little work, but on the other hand, if you don't understand how something works it makes debugging and problem solving much harder.  I couldn't find any posts or documents that covered how those annotations work so I figured I would write up one based on the research I did while debugging.  I don't work for Spring and I didn't write any of this code so please post any corrections or improvements in the comments and I'll update the post.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In Place Editor Custom Binding for Knockout.js

I recently discovered knockout.js and was totally blown away. It does a great job of removing the need for (most) DOM manipulations which lets you focus on your data model and get complex UIs running with a minimal amount of code.  That said, those complex UIs are by default made up of simple widgets (input boxes, buttons, etc) and if you want more complex widgets (date pickers, inline editors, etc) you need to either find them elsewhere or roll your own.  Ryan Niemeyer gives a great explanation of how to create a date picker (or any custom binding) and I quickly incorporated it into my own site.  Since I also needed an inline editor I figured I would post my results so others could reuse and improve upon them.  The following code is very much based on the Custom Bindings article referenced above and the Jeditable inline editor.