Saturday, January 30, 2010

Successful meat cookery is all in the squeeze

Chef Dan Fluharty took his time critiquing my entrée plating (right)  on Friday.

First, he looked a the texture of the hollandaise sauce, then tasted it and commented that it had good flavor.

Then came the asparagus, which he judged to be just the slightest undercooked.

He inspected the potatoes for browning and tasted one. "Well done," he said.

With a spoon, he dipped into the demi-glace and mint sauce beneath the lamb chops. "Good flavor, good seasoning," he said.

Finally, Chef picked up a knife to cut into a lamb chop to check for doneness to medium rare. I told him with confidence that the squeeze, pinching a chop between my finger and thumb, told me it was cooked correctly.

"That works," he said. "It's the only way to check on a small piece of lamb like this. You're not going to stick a meat thermometer into it."

He cut in and exposed the meat, cooked just right. "That's perfectly medium rare," Chef said. "It's turning to medium here on the edge, but it's medium rare in the center. Good job, mate."

The squeeze worked. It had a resilient firmness, showing some resistance and then springing back. That means medium rare.


  1. Yum!
    Way to go, mate!
    But most impressive are the new photos on your blog (I haven't checked in for a week or so, so I'm looking "forward" in time.). The photos are so crisp and clean and vibrant! Looks like you are retiring your cell phone camera?

  2. Cell phone camera is officially on Social Security.