In Kristen Kish Cooking, the star chef gives us tips for her essential techniques and provides recipes inspired by her unique upbringing.
When I don’t know what to make for dinner, I make a recipe like this: a roasted or seared meat, a simple sauce, and a side. It’s my go-to combo when I want something quick and I don’t have much time— like if I offer to cook for friends last minute. The leek fritters are inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe. The first time I made them, I kept thinking that such large chunks of leeks wouldn’t stay in the batter or cook evenly. I should have known better than to doubt Yotam. This is how we learn and stay inspired— from other cooks and chefs.
- TEMPER THE MEAT: Take the meat out of the refrigerator 1½ hours ahead of time.
- AFTER 1 HOUR, GET STARTED ON THE LEEK FRITTERS: Soak the leek disks in water for 20 minutes, lightly swishing them in the water with your hands. Drain the water and repeat once more. Drain and lay the leek disks on a kitchen towel or paper towels to dry.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cumin, coriander, and caraway. Whisk in the milk and add soda water as needed: the consistency should be smooth and like that of thick pancake batter. Stir in the leeks. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Put a medium saucepan filled with a few inches of water on to boil over medium heat—you’ll need this when you make the mustard sabayon after the steak is cooked.
- COOK THE MEAT: Place a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan over high heat, pouring in a thin layer of grapeseed oil. Season the rib eye generously with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot and the oil is shimmering, sear the steak until a golden-brown crust has formed, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and turn over the steak. Arrange the shallots, garlic (cut-sides down), thyme, and sage around the steak. Continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. I like my meat medium-rare. Using a digital meat thermometer, when the internal temperature of the steak hits 118°F, add the butter, allowing it to foam, then baste the steak fifteen to twenty times. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The final internal temperature will climb to 123°F to 126°F.
- WHILE THE MEAT IS RESTING, MAKE THE SABAYON: In a stainless steel or heat-resistant bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, vermouth, honey, and a pinch of salt. Set it over the pan of hot water over medium-low heat. Make sure the bottom of your bowl does not come into contact with the simmering water to ensure the egg mixture doesn’t curdle. Whisk constantly until the sabayon nearly triples in volume and turns a pale yellow, about 10 minutes. The sauce will become thick enough to hold a ribbon: when you raise your whisk and let the sabayon pour off the end of the whisk back into the bowl, that ribbon of sauce should sit on the surface of the sabayon for a couple of seconds before melting back into the mixture. Turn the heat off but keep the bowl sitting on top of the saucepan to keep warm. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the sabayon to prevent a skin from forming.
- Using a new pan or cleaning out the pan you used to cook the steak, bring the 1 cup of grapeseed oil up to 350°F over medium-high heat. Drop 2-tablespoon dollops of leek batter into the hot oil and shallow-fry, flipping the fritters over if they’re not completely submerged in the oil, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt immediately.
- TO SERVE: Serve family-style: slice the rib eye on the cutting board, stack a pile of the leek fritters next to the meat, and add a bowl of the mustard sabayon and a spoon.
Reprinted from Kristen Kish Cooking. Copyright © 2017 by Kristen Kish. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.