I am 5 years old. I wake up in bed. It is almost midnight and I hear the TV in the next room.
It smells so good. Daddy is cooking again.
I crawl out of bed, walk into the hallway and stand in front of the wooden sliding door that leads into the living room. The comedy show sounds funny and Dad’s laughing. He stands up and walks into the kitchen. I can hear his rubber slippers squeaking against the tiled kitchen floor.
He returns and sits down at the folding table in front of the TV. I hear the clatter of silverware and the scrape of his knife against his plate.
What’s he eating? Smells so tasty. I’m hungry. He’ll be angry if he knows I’m awake. I’ll slide the door just to peek. Very quiet. Like Charlie’s Angels. I want to be like the pretty one when I grow up… pretty, smart and have my own gun.
I wedge my fingers, like a spade, into the tiny crack and slide the door to the left. No noise. No noise. A little noise. I stop.
Dad moves his chair closer to the table. I can barely see him so I nudge the door a little more. He doesn’t notice the noise it makes. I can see the TV reflected in his glasses; I can’t see his eyes.
Is he looking at me? What’s he eating? Maybe if I lean forward just a bit… it’s steak! Mummy’s going to be mad. She says we’re not supposed to eat beef. Tough on my belly and Hindus aren’t allowed to kill cows. Daddy’s being naughty. But… I want a bite too.
He scoops up a dollop of buttery mashed potatoes with his fork and pierces a juicy piece of steak, spends a few seconds preparing the bite, and a few more admiring it before he places in into his watering mouth. He laughs again but this time I notice that the news, not the comedy show, is on.
“I see a naughty little monster somewhere in this room. I can hear her.”
His gentle loving voice startles me. Laughing, he stands up and walks over to the sliding door. I fall to the ground pretending I’m asleep. He lifts me up, kisses my forehead, walks over to the chair and steak, and perches me on his lap.
“Mummy’ll be mad.”
“No, she won’t. Here…”
Mummy’ll be mad if she finds out. I’ll say he said it was alright. Not my fault. We’re being so naughty. This is our secret. Shhh…
I sit patiently in a calm awe as I watch him arrange a perfect morsel of mashed potatoes on a scrumptious triangle of steak. His hands are so big and hairy, just like his mustache. He lifts the fork up to my mouth and all I see are his large knuckles. He laughs as some of my drool escapes onto his sleeves. I close my eyes, lunge forward and bite the piece.
So juicy. This is better than chicken. Daddy and I… friends. I’m sleepy. Our secret. Shhh…
This memory epitomizes my relationship with my father. He is forever introducing me to new flavors and ideas, and has instilled in me the confidence to walk down new paths to try new things. These days he fuels my love of food by asking me what I ate that day the very minute we get on the phone oceans apart, and he calls me whenever he eats an incredible meal to tell me all about it. I have without a doubt inherited his obsessive love and insatiable curiosity for food. I am without a doubt his doting daughter. Thank you, Dad.
A printable list of ingredients and directions are at the end of this post,
along with an image of this Perfect Morsel.
Remove the steaks from your fridge and place on your counter to bring them to room temperature. This recipe is for a pan roasted steak. Searing the steaks in a scorching hot skillet locks in their juices and makes for incredibly delicious steaks. Rib-eyes are my favorite cut. Their rich marbling of fat slowly melts and bastes the meat throughout the cooking process resulting in a tender and seriously flavorful steak. I strongly recommend buying organic, hormone and antibiotic free meat.
Generously coat both sides of the steak with salt and crushed black pepper. Next, lightly coat the steak with vegetable oil.
Place a cast iron skillet into your oven and set the temperature to 500° F. Once the oven reaches 500, remove the skillet carefully and continue heating it on high heat on your stove. Transfer the steak to the skillet and let it sizzle for 1 minute, without moving it. Flip the steak and let it sizzle for another minute. Searing each side on a hot skillet locks in the juices. Add a small pat of butter to the steak and place the skillet into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip the steak and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Be very careful during these steps and use oven mitts as the skillet is scorching hot.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place the steak on a cutting board or serving dish.
Let the cooked steak rest for 5 minutes before you slice into it. This step allows the juices to get sucked back into the meat. Cutting it sooner would cause the juices to drain on to your plate.
Slice and serve with your favorite sides. I like mine with roasted fingerling potatoes and mushrooms sauteed in garlic, butter and parsley. Stay tuned for those recipes!
Steak: A Forbidden Morsel
- 1 organic rib eye steak, 1½ inches thick
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp crushed black pepper
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Remove the steaks from your fridge and place on your counter to bring them to room temperature.
- Place a 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet in your oven and set the temperature to 500° F.
- Generously coat both sides of the steak with salt and crushed black pepper. Then lightly coat the steak with vegetable oil.
- Once the oven reaches 500° F, using oven mitts, remove the skillet carefully and continue heating it on high heat on your stove. Do not turn the oven off.
- Transfer the steak to the skillet and let it sizzle for 1 minute, without moving it. Flip the steak and let it sizzle for another minute.
- Add a small pat of butter to the steak and place the skillet into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip the steak and let it cook for another 2 minutes.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the steak to a cutting board or serving dish.
- Let the cooked steak rest for 5 minutes before you slice into it. This step allows the juices to get sucked back into the meat. Cutting it sooner would cause the delicious juices to escape on the board.
- Slice and serve with your favorite sides. I like mine with roasted fingerling potatoes and mushrooms sautéed in garlic, butter and parsley. Enjoy!
NOTE: This recipe is for a medium-rare steak. For rare steaks, let them sizzle for 30 seconds on each side on the stove and 1 minute on either side in the oven; for medium increase oven time by 1 minute on either side; for well-done, increase cooking time by 1 minute all around. I recommend using a meat thermometer since cooking times vary for thickness and cut. Temperatures to look for in are: Rare = 125°F, Medium Rare = 135°F; Medium = 145°F; Well Done = 155°-160°F.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 1