Sunday, April 26, 2009

Roasting, In More Ways Than One

Whew, after a long and dreary start to the spring, warm, make that hot, weather hit with a vengeance. The temperature was into the nineties and records for high-temperatures were shattered all over the Northeast, some by as much as ten degrees. For example, in Central Park it hit 92 F yesterday, the previous record was 83 F, and that was in 1942.

I still started the day out with a hot bowl of oatmeal.

An Oatmeal Blend

I think that two bags is too much though. Going to cut it back to a bag and a half.

A Big Breakfast, A Bit Too Big

I had the leftover spaghetti that I wanted for lunch, but for some reason also had a hankering for an egg. I just modified the egg in toast routine a bit.

Spaghetti Instead Of Bread

And, I used the old bit of water with the cover trick too. I didn't need to add any water, though, because the spaghetti had enough moisture.

Pretty In Pink

Spaghetti And Eggs, A Surprisingly Nice Lunch

I had the roast sitting in the refrigerator overnight and then let it set out for awhile. I like my meat close to room temperature before I cook it, particularly larger cuts. I am not sure if this is recommended or not, but I must have picked it up from somewhere. I know this is important when grilling so you don't overcook the outside in order to get it cooked all the way through.

A Nice Cut Of Meat

First of all I just seasoned it with plenty of salt and pepper and then put it into my cast iron Dutch oven to brown it in a bit of olive oil.

A Meat For All Seasons

All Browned Up

I wanted to cook it to an internal temperature of 135 F. One of my favorite Christmas presents from the Mysterious Chinese Woman's family (they know I like to cook) was this handy, dandy device. A Williams-Sonoma remote thermometer. It works really well, with one small quirk. You can't set the alarm to specific temperatures, only to presets based upon the type of meat, and their perceived level of doneness. For example, for beef done rare it sets at 140 F, and you can't seem to override it. To me, that is too way too high a temperature for rare.

Still, Pretty Nifty

Because it is a remote thermometer, you can set the read-out device anywhere within 100 feet.

In My Technology Center

This allows me to do much more important things while still keeping my eye on my meat.

Is That A Giant Spider Creeping Over The Hill?

When the roast hit 135 I ran to the kitchen, leaving my Death Knight, DeeKaa, to fend for himself, protected by his faithful ghoul, Skullchewer (hey, I can't choose the name of my ghoul).

Looks Just Right

It is very important to let your meat rest before, well, before a lot of things, actually. In this case before slicing it. This lets the juices reabsorb into the meat and not just run out when it is cut. Also, the temperature will continue to rise about another 5 F during this resting periond. I like to loosely wrap it in foil while it is resting to keep it moist.

My Meat Is Resting

While the meat was roasting (before it was resting) I also made some rice and threw another serving of my frozen vegetables into some boiling water. I sliced up some ginger and then fried it up in the melted fat that had accumulated on the bottom of my Dutch oven.

Crispy Ginger

When the rice was done I dumped it into the Dutch oven and stirred it up with the ginger and let it absorb some of the nicely browned up fat and crispy pieces on the bottom. It adds a nice flavor.

Browned Rice, Not Brown Rice

Now it was time to slice the roast. As you can see, my 135 F was a good call. This is more of a medium rare so the 140 F setting on my thermometer would definitely not be rare.

Just About Perfect - No, Make That Perfect

Plating is important, even when I am only serving myself. Although, I do have to admit, most of the time I just throw everything on a plate.

Restaurant Worthy, And Probably Expensive

I also have a heck of a chunk of meat left over too. Tomorrow I think I will use part of it for a nice sandwich for lunch.

Another scorcher tomorrow, but it isn't supposed to be quite as hot as today. I have a dental appointment tomorrow, just a check-up, but I am wondering if I can use this flu-scare thing to get out of it. Crowded subway and everything. Probably won't though, don't want to leave my dentist with a hole in his schedule, he may take it out on me next time I visit.