Summer has always reminded me of cooking food on a grill, the smell of charcoal and the taste of a juicy cheeseburger. Unfortunately, living in New York City and Philadelphia for the past eleven years means I don't have easy access to the grill. While there are a million benefits to living in the city (walking to everything, public transportation, a ton of awesome restaurants), I still miss having a grill. Sometimes, you just want a juicy steak from the barbecue.
I've learned to live in this grill-less existence. I know where to get a good burger in the city and have embraced my broiler. The broiler is key, actually, since I am terrible at keeping cast iron pans in good condition. When I want a nice, juicy steak, the broiler is the way to go.
To cook a good steak, I have a few tips. First, bring your meat to room temperature and preheat your broiler. Season your steak with a little EVOO (I use a mister) and season generously with salt and pepper. To cook a steak that is between 3/4"-1", cook under the broiler for about 3 minutes. Flip and cook additional three minutes. Sprinkle some bleu cheese on top to hide the fact that there are no grill marks (bleu cheese makes up for that) and broil for an additional 1-2 minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
The second big tip is to let your steak rest on the cutting board for 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving. This allows the steak to suck back in (forgive the technical jargon) all of the delicious steaky juices. When you cut into the steak, they won't all run out onto the plate.
See how pretty it is? A perfect medium.
To finish off this summer, grill-less dinner, steam some corn in a few inches of water and liberally apply butter, salt and pepper. Serve with a summer beer and then walk to the local ice cream place for dessert. You'll soon forget you're grill-less.
Any of you city-dwellers have tips for recreating summer in your kitchen?