Today is the first time in my life that I made a dinner for a group of people. This dinner happened to be for our family of eight (out of towners and an extra guest), and I could not have been more overwhelmed. I […]
Month: July 2017
I know I’ve had a good day when I can say I’ve learned something new. Today, I learned quite a lot. … I also failed quite a lot. Today consisted of five recipes from Mina Stone’s cookbook. That’s right. Five. Not too bad, […]
Clearly one challenge is not enough for this girl.
Having had so much fun with Jenny Colgan’s book, Little Beach Street Bakery, I thought that it would be a great idea to cook through another of my cook books on hand!
It was not hard at all to determine which book would be the next one for me to cook through. A while back my father purchased Mina Stone’s Cooking for Artists for me. We actually found it while visiting Detroit in the Shinola store! How weird… to have cook books in a store that sells watches… Even so, that book always had a special place in my heart. It was also… decently expensive compared to some cook books I own. I felt obligated to go through the book not just because of the price tag, but also because of some special ties we have to it.
Mina Stone is Greek.
My father is Greek.
We had no idea of this when purchasing the book.
There’s something special about finding such simple recipes by a Greek chef. The book is filled with photos of her family, her house, and multiple set tables. We thought now would be the perfect time to take it upon ourselves and dive into the world of Greek Culinary-ness.
Oh! And what better day to start it than my Dad’s birthday?
(In case you’re reading this… Happy 77th, Pop!)
The Challenge: Cook through all recipes in Mina Stone’s book, Cooking for Artists
The Contender: Anna Tritchonis. Full time student. Master Barista. Foodie.
Challenge Duration: From today, July 1st, until the last day of summer, September 22nd.
Mina Stone, Fellow Readers… I hope to make you proud!
This challenge is going to run a little differently. Because of the abundance of recipes, and only so many days remaining in summer, I am doing multiple recipes on a single day. Those are all going to be in one post, just to save some time and be a little more “real.” I’ll be cooking them mostly at the same time anyways, so might as well keep them together!
On to the next challenge, yes?
Weeks ago my family and I decided that Sundays would be brunch day. I recall one Sunday my dad telling us a story about when he was growing up. His mom would cook eggs in a thick layer of both olive oil and butter. The combination of the two would fry the egg while giving it a buttery and olive oil-y taste. Yum yum.
What better way to start my father’s birthday breakfast with Greek Fried Eggs. It was easy enough, but a little different than dad’s childhood days. Just no butter.
Can we just talk about how beautiful this picture is? I mean… this cook book is for “artists,” so we might as well talk about the picture a bit! Look at all of the different colours, like where the egg white is so thin that it looks like blue is shining through… Absolutely beautiful. Also fun fact, the brighter orange the egg yolk, the healthier the chicken!
So eggs are a very simple task. They were actually the first thing I ever learned to cook. Steak, on the other hand, is a foreign land from me. I tend to stray away from eating meat, so cooking it for my dad was an incredible adventure!
Mina Stone’s book comes with the recipe “Greek-Style Seared Skirt Steak with Lemon and Oregano.” I was taken aback when I went to the local butcher to order skirt steak. It was there that I learned the myriad of cuts of steak there truly are! Not wanting to venture too far off course, I purchased one pound of skirt steak (which the recipe calls for) as well as one pound of butter steak. The local butcher explained that when it comes to searing meat, the butter steak would not get as dry as skirt.
And in case you’re wondering, that thick chunk on the left is the Butter Steak. The long cut on the right is the Skirt Steak.
It was up to determine which cut tasted better. A little extra and fun challenge for us!
The recipe was simple enough. After making the simple marinade I let the steak sit while I sat out and worked on my bullet journal. We then heated up our grill pan on our oven and began cooking! Simple enough, not time intensive at all, I basically sat as everything cooked, then sat again as the meat rested.
Dad then came to the rescue. He taught me how to properly cut steak against the grain. I even got to use his special steak knife which I’ve never laid hands on before. It was a wonderful bonding experience to have with him.
Onto the cuts. Throughout the cooking experience I was actually quite nervous for the skirt steak. It seemed to shrivel up quite fast, and I was concerned that it was going to get too well done too soon! My family tends to be more of a medium to medium-rare kind of family, so my anxiety was a bit high on that one.
Even so… it all ended up turning out perfectly! Of all the meet, only a few inches of it was more than medium. I was proud.
And, of course, I had to try some of it too. I spent the money and the time and the effort, and I have to test every recipe of Mina Stone, so why not?
Turned out I’m a bit more of a fan of steak than I remember being. I was actually very satisfied with this recipe, and plan on using the marinade for other foods as well!
So that was it for today’s challenge. Two recipes down… and a lot more to go. I’d say we’ve got a good start so far, and quite a few fun and unique recipes ahead of us!