Ever been intimidated by the idea of making a steak in your own home? Don’t worry it’s much easier than it sounds. Here’s a very basic guide to cooking the perfect steak:
• A one-inch, well-trimmed, boneless strip steak
• Any high smoke point oil, such as safflower, soybean, peanut or extra light olive oil
• Sea salt and black pepper
Unwrap the steak. Dry the surfaces with paper towels.
Sprinkle both sides with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Place uncovered, on a rack, in your refrigerator for an hour or more before cooking. (The idea is to achieve the driest-possible surfaces.)
Heat a tablespoon or so of the oil in a heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. (Much is made of using well-seasoned cast iron pans, but any heavy bottom skillet will do just fine.)
When the pan is hot, but before the oil smokes, add the steak. Cook uncovered on one side for four minutes. Turn with tongs and cook on the other side for four minutes. Holding the steak perpendicular to the pan with tongs, cook the fatty edge until the fat is rendered a bit and the edge is browned.
Remove to a warm plate. Cover with foil for four minutes. Serve.
Cooked this way, the steak should have a firm crust and a tender, juicy, medium-rare interior. Add a minute of cooking on each side for medium.
John F. Greenman created the travel site, www.36hoursincolumbus.com. He is a retired professor of journalism at the University of Georgia and the former president and publisher of the Ledger-Enquirer.