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One 1 1/2-inch-thick filet mignon (about 8 ounces)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Special equipment: a probe thermometer
Season the steak on both sides with the salt and place on a rack set inside a sheet pan for 10 minutes at room temperature while you preheat your oven.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Insert a probe thermometer horizontally through the side of the steak and roast the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F, about 30 minutes (see Cook’s Note). Remove the steak from the oven and rest uncovered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place a 12-inch cast-iron pan over high heat until it reaches at least 600 degrees F, about 10 minutes. (You’ll know you’re close when a half teaspoon water dropped into the middle of the pan is completely evaporated in 5 seconds).
Brush a very light coat of peanut oil onto both sides of the steak. Sear steak on each side for 1 minute.
Rest the steak on a rack 5 minutes, and then slice diagonally against the grain to serve.
Cook’s Note: This is the kind of thermometer that has a control base with a readout, a long metal cable and a long, sharp probe that goes into the food and remains throughout cooking. Typically, the base will have a temperature alarm that can be set to go off when a target temperature is reached.
Eggplant Pasta with Breadcrumbs
RECIPE COURTESY OF ALTON BROWN
Total: 1 hr 5 min (includes resting time)
Active: 35 min
Yield: 2 servings
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
Special equipment: a mandoline, optional
Peel the eggplant, leaving 1 inch of skin at the top and bottom. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (I would use a mandoline for this).
Place the eggplant slices on a cooling rack set over the sink and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Wait 15 minutes, flip, sprinkle again and wait another 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly under cool water and gently squeeze out excess water. Place on paper towels and pat dry, then cut the slices into 1/4-inch-wide strips so that they resemble linguine.
Heat a 10-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it shimmers, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and toss for 10 seconds. Add the eggplant and toss to coat. Add the tomato and toss for 15 to 20 seconds. Add the cream and toss for another 10 seconds. Finish with the basil and Parmesan. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with the breadcrumbs, toss and serve immediately.
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