Hey, Internet

Honestly, what is it with you? I post a picture of seasonally-appropriate pumpkin pie, positively groaning under the heavenly decadence of a cumulus cloud of whipped cream, anointed with a lascivious dribble of maple syrup, and even go so far as to post said picture along with an ACTUAL RECIPE for the best crust in the world. And submit the picture to the most shamelessly dessert-whoring websites in tubedom. And what do I get?

Nothing, is what. I give up.

Now I realize that just about all of my commenters have babies, which I take as a personal insult. Between Blanche over at Pumpernipple, Amy at We Are No Fun Any More, Muffin Twat at The Girl With A Pearl Necklace, and the tag-team vortex of slack that is the Dual Airbags, the average number of comments here has plummeted in the past few months. I feel like Tracy Morgan: “If you read this blog, you’re gonna get PREGNANT!” (I just took off my shirt). Also, dudes evidently find my sensitive-yet-masculine aura off-putting. But that’s not really news. Let’s not even get in to what’s up with Claudia. Interestingly, though, traffic is brisk. So for you good lurkers, here are some pictures of non-dessert food that I made all by myself just for you. Let’s begin with that steak, right? You know you were going to ask me about it.

I got some wonderful grass-fed, biodynamic rib eyes from the nice people at Threshold Farm, and they’ve been snug in the freezer since then. I like rib eyes; a nice thick bone-in steak has plenty of character and also offers opportunities for advanced frugality. First, one steak per couple. That’s the easiest way to keep cost and calories where they should be. Second, take it apart before cooking. There’s the main central steak, which can be marinated or rubbed and cooked to a lovely crust as steaks should be, and there’s the spinalis dorsi, possibly the very best muscle on a cow when it comes to eating. My favorite thing to do with them is roll them up and skewer them, making little roulades to serve as a first course or alongside the sliced steak for contrast. Last, there’s the bone, which can make an excellent quick stock on a night where stock is required, or it can add beefy depth to some chicken or vegetable stock or a stew of some sort. Treated properly, a $13 steak can make two meals for two people.

In this case, after disassembly, I rubbed the steak with salt, pepper, Espelette pepper, and herbs and let it sit. I reconstituted some leftover whole wheat couscous with a bit of random chicken stock, adding shallots and peas, and I cooked two diced slices of bacon until crisp, poured off the fat, and then added a mess of kimchi to warm through. I seared the steak in the bacon fat, turning often to get a nice crust, then removed it to a plate to rest before slicing. The iron skillet full of steaky, bacony goodness was too much to resist, so I added in a mixture of mustard, gochujang, and wine and whisked it all together into a thick brown sauce that I suspected would be pretty good with steak and kimchi.

It was.

And the bone, dutifully saved (I ate the spinalis dorsi, quickly seared, as a cook’s treat because it wasn’t very big) went in a pot with the following to make a wonderful soup the following day: 1 quart of smoked chicken stock, some leftover radish cooking water, and a bag of the mirepoix I bagged and froze in September. I took the bone out after a while, then added quinoa, Israeli couscous, cubed potato, chiffonaded kale and Asian cabbage, and herbs. I poured in a bit of soy sauce and vinegar to balance it, and whisked in two well-beaten eggs to thicken it just before serving. The garlic chives are from the yard; they’re early spring and late fall’s little garnishy gift to us.

There was no pie.

24 comments to Hey, Internet

  • the steak looks like it’s floating in suspended animation… so that’s all i can say. that and yes, it’s crazy that the internet is not falling at your feet. you are wonderful and amazing.

  • pam

    Well, I am behind on my blog reading or I would have definitely commented on that glorious food-porn pumpkin pie!

  • Wah, wah, wah. And yes, I came here of my own volition, not because your link has caused some spike in traffic to my blog that made me curious (sadly, I haven’t even checked yet, is how lame I am).

    Your problem is that NY Magazine or whoever shouted you out and now you think you have to blog every goddamn day to keep ‘em coming. You just exhaust me, with your sauces and your pies and your fonts of profundity. You’re dizzy-making.

  • Some would-be commenters are being denied, with a message saying your blog is for members only. I noticed your drop-off too. This would explain it. I wonder how I got past the velvet rope.

    “leftover radish cooking water”

    I love you, man.

  • Peter

    Claudia: The dodge tool is like potato chips.

    Pam: Well, you still can. I’m just saying.

    Blanche: Yeah, that linkless, cryptic shout-out did next to nothing for traffic. I post this often because I like to.

    CC: Do you know of anybody besides Z? My theory is that it’s a Blogger problem. You sign in with openID and it works fine. People with custom urls seem to have no problem, either. I checked and rechecked my comment settings and there should be no problem.

  • I couldn’t tell Z what to do, because I didn’t remember signing in myself. (And I’m on Blogger.)
    But yeah, she’s the only one I’m aware of.

  • dana

    peter, i always read you but never write you. did you see MY amazing photos on fb of our tour through Piemonte? I mean did you see those labels on those bottles of wine? The ones we drank on YOUR birthday? If you write me, I will write you.

  • Here we go again, trying to leave you fan mail.

  • Hot damn, it worked this time!!! Yaay! Okay, baby, I’m back!

  • Peter

    CC: Methinks it was a plugin. I deactivated some, and behold!

    Dana: It is an honor to have you here. And yes. Didn’t you see my comment about the burning, seething jealousy? Do you have any idea how much I love Gaja and Giacosa? I have a 1998 Sperss that I’m saving for when I turn 50. Or 100. Maybe you should hire me to be the cook there next year, full-time.

    Zoomie: It worked! I think it was the OpenID plugin. Now you can go back and comment on all the posts between now and September.

  • Don’t get greedy, kiddo. Not happening.

  • Oh, and BTW, I’d better see some comments from you on Zoomie Station, too. Ahem!

  • Peter

    A savvy blogger would have made that a link.

  • Yes, but I’m just an aging former career counselor, not a savvy blogger.

  • Parenthetical

    I read all the time, but I’m not witty enough to comment. So there.

    (But seriously, thanks for the always fascinating posts.)

    • Peter

      It’s witty enough to be the recipient of the first-ever nested comment reply. Please keep reading and commenting. Thanks.

  • h

    I’ve been lurking in these parts for so long, the old blog feels like a cosier era gone by.

    Sending you some admiration, so you know you have people hanging on every word you write.

    Here’s what I wrote to a friend, when I sent him a link to your blog:

    “He’s saucy, irreverent and expressive in a way that only someone who’s *very* intimate with his food can be. And he gets full marks for titling-badassery.

    A writer with personality.

    A foodblog with even more personality.

    And food that’s just short of leaning jauntily on a bar sipping expensive cognac and chatting up the ladies [with just the right edge of coarseness].”

    • Peter

      Wow. I’m glad you finally de-lurked. As soon as I finish this article, I’ll put up another post for you to hang on every word of. Maybe I’ll even put some cognac in the sauce.

  • Rachel

    Perhaps they were all busy trying the pie crust, as you’ve touted it for so long?
    Or perhaps, like myself, they are just lurking takers, always reading, never giving you that bit of feedback you crave.

  • i just wanted to add one more comment to this list. but i have nothing of any value to say. again.

  • funder

    I’ll delurk too – long time reader, first time commenter.

    Pumpkin pie – even Cookblog Peter’s Foodporn Pumpkin Pie – is gross. Sorry dude. :(

    Now ribeye – I love me some GF bone-in ribeye. No cook’s treats here, though – my husband’s kung fu is weak, and he thinks the spinalis dorsi is (gasp!) too fatty and chewy. I just sear the whole thing in lard, then do minor surgery to split the steak according to our tastes.

    I always forget to keep the bone for a mini-stock. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Peter

      I used to not like pumpkin pie so much, but it’s grown on me. And look upon your husband’s aversion as your gain.

      Thanks to you and all the other de-lurkers for commenting. It’s gratifying to meet you and know you’re all out there.

Yours Truly

I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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