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Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at Home - Review

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin

In his introduction to Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at Home, author John Tesar starts with "I don't know when cooking a steak became so complicated". Truly I know what he means.

When I cook a steak it is a pathetic, sad, horrible thing. Cooking a steak for me means I'm going to be eating shoe leather. But I love steak, more than almost any other food in the world. I love ordering steak at a restaurant because that was the only way I could get an edible one. Before now.

Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at HomeI've always wanted to be able to cook a steak the way restaurants do, when it's done really well it can be a wonderful thing. Like Tesar says "a delicious perfectly cooked piece of meat is a precious thing - I hope it means is much to you as it does to me". When I got this book I was thrilled because finally I could learn how to cook a steak properly!

Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at Home not only gives you all the directions even a "shoe leather cooker" like me needs to make a luscious steak but is also full of information. You learn with how to choose the right piece of meat, then learn how to choose the right equipment.

The book starts with a brief history of how Tesar found his way to the Texas steakhouse restaurant business, it's a fascinating insight. That leads to the four page introduction on what Tesar refers to as "back to the pan" cooking, how to cook a steak in a pan (which is much too long for this short article so I won't be telling you how to cook a steak here, sorry). One of the best things about this book is not only does it tell you how to make an awesome steak but he also tells you how to make other food like the lamb, burgers, and all manner of deliciousness you might find in a Texas Steakhouse.

He even includes the all-important "John's playlist". This is his top 10 all-time favorite kitchen songs and a dish to cook to them. How many other recipe books give you an accompanying playlist?

Below is the recipe for the best Onion Rings of all time:

Onion Rings

I'm an onion ring fanatic, and I've tried so many in the world. It was either at Kraft Steak or BLT steak in New York where I first had tempura onion rings, and they blew my mind. The test of a good onion ring is one that you can eat bite by bite without the piece of onion slithering out from inside the batter and slapping you in the face. This recipe will give you such majestic, perfectly flavored rings. It will sound like a production to those at home but it's not bad if you stay organized. My advice use one designated hand to dredge the onions in the rice flour, and use the other hand to dip them in the batter. You'll stay much more clean and sane that way.

Serves: 2

Tempura Batter

If you're going to deep fry something, I always recommend temper as the batter. It's one of the million millions of things about foods that the Japanese have nailed. It's crisp, light, and greaseless the perfect batter. We use it as a secondary layer to really create a great coating for our avocado fries and our onion rings. You can make this dried mixture and keep it fresh in the freezer or fridge, and as long as it stays dry, it keeps forever. You can use seltzer, club soda, or mineral water like San Pellegrino for the batter. If you use club soda or mineral water, you may want to cut back on the salt a little.


    Onion Rings

    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 Spanish or large white onion
    • Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
    • 2 cups rice flour
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
    • Tempura Batter (see recipe below), made with 1 1/2 cups dry mix and 2 3/4 cups sparkling water

    Tempura Batter

    • 4 cups cake flour
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 3/4 cups sparkling water


Onion Rings

Pour the buttermilk into a nonreactive bowl. Slice the onions 1/2 inch thick and separate the rings; place the onion rings in the buttermilk and soak for 2 to 3 hours.

Fill a deep fryer or heavy bottomed pot halfway with oil. Heat the oil to three 75 F.

In a bowl, combine the rice flour with the salt. Remove the onion rings from the buttermilk, a few at a time and let the excess buttermilk drip off. Toss the onion rings in the rice flour until they are evenly coated with no clumps of rice flour.

Drop the onion rings into the tempura batter. Bring the ball to the deep fryer or pot.

Carefully drop the onion rings into the hot oil. Cook until they are golden brown, flipping them a couple of times so they cook evenly.

Remove the rings to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and season with a pinch of salt.

Tempura Batter

Sift or whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.

To make the batter:

In a large bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cups dry mix with the sparkling water. The batter should have the consistency of a crpe batter or vegetable oil.

About the Author:
Chris Sadler is Owner and WebAdmin of The
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