Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"The Gay Cookbook" - Italian Meat Sauce - Gay Pride 2017

Date I made this recipe:  June 24, 2017 –  (Gay) Pride Festival

The Gay Cookbook – The Complete Compendium of Campy Cuisine and Menus for Men...or What Have You by Chef Lou Rand Hogan
Published by Sherbourne Press, Inc.
© MCMLXV (1965)
Recipe – Italian [Meat] Sauce – p. 45-50

I wish I could tell you that I absolutely planned to use this cookbook during Gay Pride week in Minneapolis but that is not what happened.  Instead, I was on the hunt for another book when I spotted this one and coincidentally, it was Pride week/weekend and so how perfect!

I cannot recall exactly when or where I purchased this cookbook , but the minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it.  Had. To.  I had to have this because of the cover art which is adorable ("Campy cartoons by David Costain") and because it was old – 1965.  And then there's the "tag line:" "the complete compendium of campy cuisine and menus for men...or what have you."  Could I pass that up?  No. 

You should also know that once upon a time, "gay" was the term used to describe someone's personality i.e. "he/she is so gay [happy, fun, or good spirited], or to indicate that a good time was had by all as in "Oh, we had a gay old time at the Frost's function this past weekend."

If not for the cover art and the tag line, I might have thought this book referred to that kind of "gay" but one look most certainly suggests not and that is all fine by me.  Sadly, I did not have a gay old time cooking from this book. Did not.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing a book in "narrative" form i.e. story-telling, but there is something wrong with recipe instructions being written in the same vein.  The recipe I made, for example, started on page 45, ended on page 50, and was pretty much one solid block of text and so I had to parse each and every sentence to figure out ingredients, cooking times, and whatnot.

And for this folks, I'm going to have to "ding" them which is to say "deduct points."  Not that I award points, but you get my drift.

And I have to tell you that every single recipe was like this and so I almost put the book aside for another day (i.e. after I'm dead) but no.  No.  I fortuitously found the book and so I soldiered on but nobody said I had to be "gay" about it!

Your chapter and food choices are as follows:
  • Chapter One – Canapés, Hors D'Oeuvres and Aphrodisiacs (This is a long title for only 9 recipes, one of which is not a recipe at all as it was for sherry: To prepare sherry, open the bottle and pour!)
  • Chapter Two – Soups...That Juicy Stuff (Apparently that saying comes from Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen from Verona.  There are four recipes here.  Four.)
  • Chapter Three – Salad and Dressings; including Le French
  • Chapter Four – Chili, Curries, Spaghetti Sauces and Other Blood Tinglers
  • Chapter Five – The Shell Game; Oysters, Lobsters, Shrimp and What To Do With Clams
  • Chapter Six – That Tired Old Fish (By which the author means the usual suspects – sole, trout, salmon, cod)
  • Chapter Seven – What To Do With A Tough Cut Of Meat (There are many recipes here for stews and braised meats and roasts and the like.)
  • Chapter Eight – Chicken Queens, Chicken A La King and Our Other Feathered Friends
  • Chapter Nine – Sauces, Gravies and Other Brownish Delights
  • Chapter 10 – Vegetables; Plain and Fancy
  • Chapter 11 – Loose Ends; Including Potatoes and Other Weight Lifters
  • Chapter 12 – In Your Oven! (As you would imagine, this is the cookie, cake, other category)
  • Chapter 13 – Drunks and Drinks

After much consideration and much skimming of the narrative to suss out potential recipes, I settled on the very long recipe for Italian Meat Sauce.  Six pages long, in fact.  Six pages long in teeny, tiny print.  I felt like I was editing a short story!  The first four pages are all about the basic sauce and then if that wasn't bad enough, the guy added two more pages about how to turn your basic sauce into a meat sauce.  Surprisingly, this recipe did not call for any wine which is sometimes used in Italian sauce cooking, but I decided that I needed a drink and so I had one!

Now then, time for true confession:  I was so done in by the time I got done with the basic sauce that I had no patience to deal with the meat portion of our program and so did this instead:  I fried up the last bit of Trader Joe's Bacon Bits and Pieces and added that straight to the sauce without following a single direction for the meat sauce.  Not only did the sauce taste good with that addition but I saved myself several hours in the process.

Also?  The full recipe was supposed to make about 3 quarts (12 cups) and although the author froze some of it, we don't freeze in this household and so I cut the recipe way, way down.  We are a small family of two, not 22.  Sheesh.

Here then, is my best attempt to filter the ridiculously long and involved instructions and the ingredients I used.  Please note that I cut this recipe into 4ths and still had plenty left over for more servings, so for the first and maybe last time ever, I'll do the math for you so that you don't end up with 3 quarts/12 cups on your hand because you never know, you may hate it and then where would you be?  With a freezer full of spaghetti sauce, that's where!

Italian [Meat] Sauce – Ann's Notes: The revised amounts, shown below, likely made 3 cups of sauce instead of the 12 the recipe called for.  That should be enough for about 4 servings, depending on how much sauce is used per serving.
  • ¼ cup celery
  • ¾ cups chopped onions
  • 1/16 cup chopped garlic (Ann's Note:  I think I chopped one large clove of garlic and threw that in.)
  • 1/16 cup (optional) grated carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped Leeks (optional) (Ann's Note:  I added the carrots but left out the leeks.)
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • A few small mushrooms (optional) sliced
  • 1 large can "standard tomatoes" (Ann's Note:  I used a 14 ½-ounce can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 small can tomato puree (Ann's Note:  I didn't have puree on hand but I had tomato paste and so I mixed some paste (maybe 1-2 T) with some water and used that instead.  I just now noticed that the author said some cooks like to use this instead of puree.  Count me as one of them!)
  • 4 cups stock or water (Ann's Note: Eyeball this.  I think I added a bit more water later.  Or maybe it was wine?  I was too stressed out to keep track!)
  • 1/16 cup mixed Italian herbs (Ann's Note:  If you have "Italian Seasoning" mix on hand, just use that.  If you don't then mix together some basil, oregano, rosemary leaves, tarragon, a half a bay leaf and if desired, some whole cloves.  Or—just use whatever floats your boat!)
  • 3 chilis tepenos (Ann's Note:  I have no idea what a chili tepenos is but I left it out as it is better to be safe than sorry.  If you want a little heat, throw in some dried red pepper flakes.)
For the meat sauce (Ann's Note:  I did not make this portion of the recipe but these are the amounts to use if you are making 3 quarts.  If you aren't making 3 quarts, cut this way, way down.)
  • Salt, pepper, oil, flour, MSG
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 lbs. (good) ground meat (or more)  (Ann's Note: I know what the author meant by "good" ground beef but I laughed anyway.)
  • 3 cans consommé
 Okay then, sorry for all the notes but hopefully this will help you get set up. I think I just eyeballed a lot of things because I could and you can too!

As to the instructions, here, to the best of my ability are the instructions, parsed for your reading enjoyment.

1. Finely chop all the vegetables you plan to use. 

2. If you want, wrap up your seasonings in a cheese cloth, simmer the mixture with them and then throw the seasonings away.  Or, you could do what I did which is to add them to the sauce, sans cloth or other protective covering because it is the only way I know. 

Then, and I am not kidding, a page and a half later, we get to how to actually put the thing together.  "We" (the author uses the royal "We" all the time) will make this as simple as possible – moving on...

3. Put some fat or oil in a heavy pot, add the fresh vegetables, cover and cook for a few minutes then add the prepared vegetables (canned mushrooms), then your ground beef (if you are using it), then the tomatoes, salt, sugar, herbs and bring it all slowly to a boil. 

If you are using ground beef, sauté your vegetables first, brown the meat and then add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, and herbs. 

4. Regardless of whether you made this with meat or went meat-less, reduce the heat to simmer and cook 1-2 hours, stirringly occasionally.  Add more broth or water if the sauce starts to stick.

Ann's Note:  Since I used bacon instead of ground beef, I cooked my bacon, then added it (bacon bits only, not the fat) to the pot after the sauce mixture had been cooking about a half an hour.  I think my sauce was pretty much done after about an hour but I let it go a bit longer to let the flavors settle in.   

If making the meat sauce:
Skim off the fat that rises to the surface while cooking and reserve it.  Add some flour to the fat then cook that mixture in a small pan over medium heat until you have a dryish paste or mash. 

Add some tomato sauce from the pan then add that mixture back into your pot and continue cooking.

Ann's Note: "We" use this as a thickening measure so if you want to skip it, my guess is you can but you'll still want to skim the grease from the sauce so it's not a big greasy mess.

If you wish, you can add canned mushrooms, some salt or MSG, and continue to simmer until you're satisfied that it is done and the flavors are incorporated.

Now then, was that hard?  No! This concludes my tutorial about how you go about parsing a recipe so that it can work for you.  As I said, we loved the finish product and now that I know what's involved, this sucker is a snap!  The best thing though, was that it was tasty.  "We" (our author) noted that the carrot tends to make the sauce sweeter but I think that's true if you were to make the full recipe using ½ cup grated carrots.  Here, I grated one carrot and that was that!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

"Cooking With Spirits" - Martinis In Suspension (Jell-O) for National Martini Day 2017

Date I made this recipe:  June 19, 2017  - National Martini Day

Cooking With Spirits by Ruth Vendley Neumann
Published by Reilly & Lee
© 1961
Purchased at Curious Book Shop, East Lansing, MI
Recipe:  Martinis In Suspension – p. 52

I am a gal who knows what she wants and what she wants in a beverage when out for dinner and drinks is simple:  a dry gin martini, up, with (preferably) pimento-stuffed olives.  The choice of gin depends on where I am and what's available, but favorites include, in order of "toxicity," Tanqueray, Hendricks, Blue Coat (made on the east coast) and local favorite Gunner Ghost which is really paint thinner in disguise.  Gunner Ghost is 114 proof or 57% alcohol – whoa! I save that one for special occasions.  Bombay Sapphire used to be my absolute "go to" for years and years until a few years ago when I started getting headaches every single time I drank it.  It didn't seem to matter if I ate or not, or whether I drank copious amounts of water which I did.  I suspect it has one "botanical" too many as I have sensitivity to those things; "Nature" is not my friend.

And call me picky, but a proper martini is not a proper martini unless and until I see a toothpick skewered with small pimento-stuffed olives resting in the gin bath.  I will accept large green olives sans pimento but rather reluctantly, and I will also accept green olives with pits (as served in a few favorite restaurants) but small pimento is what I grew up with and I want what I want.

Furthermore, and I've said this before:  gorgonzola-stuffed olives are an abomination and are completely and totally unacceptable and yes, I will make the server return to the bar to fetch me a proper martini.  This hasn't happened in a while which is good, but there was a time when these olives were all the rage in martinis  No.  I am also not fond of a lemon twist in my drink and it's gin, not vodka, period, end of story.

Now the good people associated with the National Martini Day (if they exist—they may not) did not give any guidance to what kind of a martini to make but I have no doubt they envisioned everyone the world over, even expats, making the standard, liquid version.  Could I have made a liquid martini?  In my sleep!  In fact, I enjoy a martini every day during the cocktail hour.  It's just how I roll.  I thought though, that it would be more fun to cook something with gin, and so selected Cooking with Spirits to do the job and it did it admirably.   Fifty-two pages in, I found this spectacular dish -  Martinis In Suspension – and we were ready to roll.

Do we not love this title? Translated, this 1961 recipe for Martinis In Suspension is really an early attempt at a Jell-O shot only fancier. And the Jell-O comes with olives – how sophisticated!  I hear the applause of the good people associated with National Martini Day – if they exist – golf clapping at the brilliance of it all!
Not only does this concoction have a great name but the recipe is ridiculously simple:  mix a little lemon gelatin with unflavored gelatin, add your desired mix of gin and vermouth and when that mixture is slightly chilled, insert your skewered olives.   You can, if you want, make a salad garnish to surround the upturned martini glass (ingredients and directions below) but nah—we concentrated our efforts on making sure the mixture itself was sound and it was, and we loved it.  In fact, I may have to repeat this dish every year because when something works, it works.

Now if you like gin but would rather not make the suspended martinis, consider also "Stuffed Celery" (p. 23) with blue cheese and gin, and "Cold Curried Shrimp" (p. 29), also containing gin.  There are likely more gin recipes that followed but once I found what I didn't know I was looking for, I stopped!

If gin is not to your liking, be not afraid because this book has a ton of recipes from soup to nuts made with everything from beer to bourbon and beyond.  Had I not been so singularly-focused, I saw many recipes that likely would have been fantastic. 

The only downside or challenge if you will to this book is that you won't be able to look up a spirit by name (e.g. vodka [recipes] or brandy [recipes]) as neither the table of contents nor the index breaks things out by spirit.  Instead, here are your Table of Content choices :
  • Spirited Coffee 'Round the World
  • Spirited Appetizers and Cocktail Dips
  • Spirited Soups
  • Spirited Salads and Salad Dressings
  • Spirited Fish and Shellfish
  • Spirited Meats
  • Spirited Relishes and "Window Dressings" for Meats and Fishes
  • Spirited Poultry
  • Spirited Egg and Cheese Dishes
  • Spirited Pasta and Rice
  • Spirited Vegetables and Vegetable Casseroles
  • Spirited Sauces and Gravies for Meats, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables
  • Spirited Breads, Waffles, Pancakes and Popovers
  • Spirited Cakes, Frostings, and Fillings
  • Spirited Pies, Cobblers, and Tarts
  • Spirited Desserts (Gelatin and Refrigerator Desserts; Custards and Puddings; Dessert Sauces)
  • Spirited Fruits for Cocktails and Desserts
  • Cookies and Confections

Now then readers, did you spot an error in the above list?  Note that every chapter titled begins with the word "Spirited" except for Cookies and Confections.  I thought that was hilarious and so of course I had to double-check and am quiet relieved to tell you that cookies and confections are indeed loaded with booze.  In fact, page 199 contains a recipe for "Cognac Butter Cookies," and I think we can all agree that cognac is a spirit, no?  (A very good spirit!).  Two words: editorial error!

If I used this cookbook again, in addition to the above-mentioned cookies, I might make  also "Mexican Arroz Con Pollo with Beer and Tequila" (p. 121), "Cheese and Mushroom Soufflé" made with Dry Sherry (p. 127), or a "Sweet Potato Casserole" with Curacao (p. 157) because they all sounded delicious.  Frankly, most of the book sounded delicious.  Potentially deadly perhaps, but delicious and who doesn't like "delicious?"  That said, do remember that this is adult Jell-O so perhaps it's best if you eat this after the kiddies have gone to bed?  Even then, be warned that these pack a punch!

This concludes my National Martini Day 2017 cookbook and recipe review report.   I almost missed the whole thing (a childhood friend tipped me off), but then again, every day in my house is martini day so there you go!

Martinis In Suspension (Gin and Vermouth) with a Garnish – serves 4
For the Martinis In Suspension
1 T. unflavored gelatin
1 T lemon gelatin
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar
¾ cup of your favorite martini mix (or ½ cup gin and ¼ cup dry vermouth)*
1 cup boiling water
1 T. lemon juice
Stuffed green olives
For the Salad Garnish
3 cups very finely shredded cabbage
2 T. white vinegar
¼ cup dry vermouth
2 T. granulated sugar, or more, to taste
1 tsp. salt
White pepper to taste
Few dashes of Tabasco
Small stuffed olives

*Ann's Note:  Oh dear god, ¼ cup dry vermouth, what?  No.  No properly made martini on this planet contains that much vermouth ever.  Since I made a half recipe, I added "some" vermouth for good measure, emphasis on "some" as in about an eyedropper full.  But that is my martini preference not yours, so if you want to add that much vermouth, by all means do it.

Combined gelatins, salt, and sugar, then dissolve them in martini mixture.  Add boiling water and lemon juice and mix thoroughly.  Pour into very lightly buttered cocktail glasses (for easy removal at serving time).  When aspic has partly thickened, press a stuffed olive into each glass so that it will remain suspended part way down.  Ann's Note:  "One" olive?  Surely, they jest!  So. Not. Happening.  I put about four olives on a toothpick and stuck that into the mixture instead and it looked exactly as a martini should only it was made of Jell-O. 

Chill until very firm.  To service, run a thin sharp knife around molds, then unmold each in the center of a salad plate; leave the glasses in place, upside down in the center of the plate.  Encircle each inverted martini with a ring of the following:

To Make the Salad Garnish
Marinate the cabbage in a mixture of all other ingredients, except olives.  Drain thoroughly, then make a wreath of it around the martini glasses.  Garnish here and there with the stuffed cocktail olives. Have these martini salads in place as guests are seated.  Then, when the oh's and ah's begin to subside, remove glasses.  This makes for a really dramatic presentation of your edible martinis.

By the way, and for the first time ever - the finished product!  I've had those plastic martini glasses for decades now - aren't they fun?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

"Secret Ingredients - The Magical Process of Combining Flavors" - Roasted Sirloin of Beef with Five Onions - for Iron Chef Gauntlet

Date I made this recipe – June 24, 2017 – Iron Chef America returns and a Father's Day do-over

Secret Ingredients – The Magical Process of Combining Flavors by Michael Roberts
Published by Bantam Books
ISBN: 0-553-05320-5; copyright 1988
Purchased at Magers & Quinn, Independent Booksellers, Minneapolis
Recipe:  Roasted Sirloin of Beef with Five Onions – p. 155

Before I get too deep into this blog post, let me get this off my chest:  aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

There, I feel so much better!

Here's the deal:  I set this cookbook aside while watching the return of Iron Chef Gauntlet on the Food Network because how perfect, right, and was all set and ready to roll in a timely manner until I was not ready to roll in a timely manner because things happened.  For the record, this series aired in May.  We are now nearing the end of June and by the time I post this, it will be early July.  You do the math.

If you read my Father's Day post, you'll know that I erred big time in making a pasta dish instead of burgers and it has bugged me ever since.  So for "redemption," I thought I should finally getting around to making the dish I selected for an Iron Chef post – "Roasted Sirloin of Beef with Five Onions," and I did but it didn't quite work (or redeem me) as I intended and now I have to deal with the fact that I botched both Father's Day – twice! – and Iron Chef. Rats.

By the way, let me just say that I thought the show I was watching was the Next Iron Chef, but no, that's a different series:  same format, different title.  There is also Iron Chef America but this was not that.  This was Iron Chef Gauntlet,[1] not to be confused with "Iron Chef Hands Tied Behind My Back," or "Iron Chef Blindfolded," or any Iron Chef-titled series, real or imagined to which I say "Come on Food Network.  Come on.  These are variations of the same thing so let's keep it simple out there m'kay?"

At any rate, the premise of ALL Iron Chef shows is that two chefs (or two chefs with teams of minions) compete against each other making several dishes from the "Secret Ingredient." The reveal of the secret ingredients makes me laugh every time as it is so dramatic, and yet sometimes it makes me almost hurl because of the ingredient is so egregious. [2] Although the cheftestants don't always make a dessert with a secret ingredient, some do, and I am sorry, there is no world out there in which "fish" and "dessert go together."[3]  Not happening.

The secret ingredient for my own private (and singular) Iron Chef competition, taken from today's cookbook, Secret Ingredients was "Battle...Meat."

Well, okay, nothing like a broad category, so I decided that the five onions in my dish – Roasted Sirloin of Beef with Five Onions - were way more interesting than "meat" and so I changed the battle to Battle...Onions!  I can do that.  It's my blog.  Also?  My late fathered loved sirloin and loved onions so this to me was the perfect Father's Day redemption recipe.  (There might even be an "Iron Chef Redemption" show although I can't be sure.  What I do know is that some cheftestants who were eliminated on a previous episode sometimes do come back for redemption.  This is not that story.)

We were lucky enough to enjoy plenty of sirloin steak dinners in our house, but only if it was on sale.  My mother always did her homework and studied the Munising News when it came out on Wednesdays as if she was a librarian at the Library of Congress. (She actually did a stint as a librarian before she was married.)  Then with the sales price firmly in her head, she went to whatever grocery store out of three featured the sale on steak and ordered up.  Suffice it to say that the local butchers became very familiar with my mom and knew to cut her a beautiful 2-inch thick piece of sirloin. "On sale" sirloin.  If it wasn't on sale, we didn't have it, the end. (She also often applied this reasoning to clothing which drove my dad crazy because he could afford her clothes and told her constantly "If you like it, buy it."  Yes, well, my mother wasn't buying any of that argument, clothes or no clothes, steak or no steak!)

As these things go, while mom might have purchased the steak, dad was in charge of cooking it because that's what dads did back then.  My dad's preferred method of cooking was the broiler and to see him in action was seeing a master at work.  He was so good, he could have easily worked in any steak house in America

If my dad had his way, every steak would be cooked to rare as in "practically mooing" as in "Why bother to even put it under the flame?"  My mother didn't roll like that.  My mother feared that we would all die someday from eating raw meat and so insisted that he cook hers to medium.

To his credit, my father never cried about this abomination against nature (his words) but he came close.  My brother and I redeemed ourselves though by asking for rare steak (we still do when dining out), but dad compromised and gave it to us medium-rare lest my mother keep him up all night over how her children were going to get sick and die from eating "raw" (rare) meat.  Never mind that none of us ever got sick from our parents' cooking (we wouldn't dare) but these are the things that mothers stressed about besides the current price of steak.

This recipe eschews a broiler for an oven, and roasting instead of broiling and I should have taken that as a sign and run away from this recipe because roasting the meat requires a thicker cut than I purchased and could afford.[4]  In fact, the first directions are to "...sear the meat on both sides very well and then place it in the oven" and I'm not going to lie – I should have stopped right then and there.  Right then and there.  Seared meat is the equivalent of rare meat (according to the Gospel of Lou Verme) but I didn't stop there and like a good soldier, followed directions to the letter.  Well, almost the letter.

This recipe called for a 2 ½ - 3 pound piece of sirloin and hahahahahaha...are they kidding?  Not at current market prices.  The roasting time for that amount of meat was 30-40 minutes but I knew that was too long for my little (but pricey) steak so I cut it down to about 15 minutes and also got out a trusty meat thermometer so I could double-check.  The recipe said to cook until rare to medium-rare, approximately 130-135°. 

So I took the meat out of the oven, and even took it out a few minutes early and...140.  The meat's temperature was at 140°. Crap!  Crap, crap, crap!  I kept an eye on it but you know what, steaks are tricky; one second too long and it's all over but the crying.   Keep in mind that steak continues to cook while resting and I knew as soon as I starting cutting it (after letting it rest), I was screwed; it started pink but ended up brown. 

Now, would the medium (and brown) meat have satisfied my mother?  Naturally!  My dad?  Well, this is when I let out one great big "argh," which, when my father did it, sounded just Chewbacca, the Wookie (from Star Wars) and it is funny, but it is not a good sound.[5] It is the sound of pain, crushing disappointment, and overdone meat!  And I have to say it, but damn, I was mad!  Had my father taught me nothing?  I am not worth Obi-[Lou]-Wan Kenobi.  I am not worthy.

As to onions, this recipe called for a yellow onion, a leek, a red onion, scallions, and chives.  The yellow onions and leeks were to be sautéed but the red onion, scallions, and chives were added as garnish.

Now, I like red onion but not raw and so I sautéed the red onion with the yellow onion and the leek, and then at the very last minute, threw in the scallions and the chives and let them cook for about a minute and the result was pretty good.

In my opinion though, all the onions could have all benefitted from longer cooking times, particularly the leeks as they remained crunchy and I hated that.  If I made this again (assuming I raise enough money for my sirloin budget), I would sauté the hell out of the three key onions until they were almost caramelized and then still throw in the scallions and chives just to soften them up for a bit.

Needless to say, I did not redeem myself for my late father, nor did I pass an Iron Chef test and dammit all, I was so ready, was I not? (!)  Exactly! Next time around, I'm going to "study" and then look out!

As to alternatives to the beef "secret" ingredient, you can also select a dish from more overly-broad categories such as:
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Raw, Marinated, and Cured First Courses
  • Pancakes, Fritters, and Croquettes
  • Sausages
  • One-Dish Meals
  • Quick Stews
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Vegetables and Side Dishes
  • Desserts
  • Kitchen Pantry (Stocks, Dips, Condiments)

There's also a chapter titled "Pep Talk to the Reader" which I skipped (bad decision) but which I am pretty sure did not contain the directive "for best results, ensure that your steak is as thick as a wedge-heel sandal!"

Here then, is the "Secret Ingredient Sirloin" with Five Onions.

Roasted Sirloin of Beef with Five Onions – serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon salad oil
2 ½ - to 3-pound New York sirloin
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek, white part only, finely sliced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
1 ½ cups veal stock or 1 ½ cups canned low-sodium beef broth
24 chives, finely minced
4 scallions, finely minced
½ small red onion, finely diced(about ½ cup)

Ann's Note:  what follows below is how the author wants you to cook the sirloin, but as I advised above, I don't think I would roast it at all as you are unlikely to get a piece of steak thick enough to withstand roasting.  Instead, I would broil the meat and/or sear the meat a little longer than required until you achieve the steak doneness that you want, and then move on to the onion mixture.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan over high heat.  When the oil is very hot, sear the meat very well on both sides.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven.  Roast 30 to 40 minutes for rare to medium-rare, turning once.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 1-quart saucepan over low heat, add the leek and the yellow onion, and cook gently, without letting them color, for 8 minutes.  Add the veal stock (beef stock), raise the heat to high, and cook until liquid reduces and thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining butter.

Remove the steak from oven when cooked to desired doneness and let rest on a carving board for 5 minutes before carving.  Slice the steak against the grain into ½-inch thick slices, arrange on a platter, and spoon the sauce over it.  Garnish with the chives, scallions, and red onion.  Ann's Note:  I decided to cook all the onions as I wasn't that fond of them raw, particularly the red onion.  My recommendation is to cook the yellow and red onions and the leek until almost caramelized and then add the chives and scallions and cook them for about 1 minutes.

[1] On this season's Iron Chef Gauntlet (was there another season?), Chicagoan [chef] Stephanie Izard beat out several highly-talent chefs for the chance to become an Iron Chef.  Once she won all her cheftestant rounds against fellow chefs of similar caliber, Stephanie had to compete in three separate rounds against current Iron Chefs Morimoto, Flay (Bobby) and Symon (Michael) in order to become a true Iron Chef.  Spoiler alert:  she did, she is!  Stephanie also won Top Chef, season 4.  She is a one to watch.  Another one to watch is fellow Chicagoan, Sarah Grueneberg, top chef at Monteverde in Chicago.  This year, Sarah walked away with a coveted James Beard Award as the Best Chef: Great Lakes.  Even though she lost to Stephanie, she was mighty impressive and I need to eat at her restaurant, STAT!
[2] You cannot tell me that some of the cheftestants don't have the same reaction as I do. You cannot tell me that.  Oh sure, they act all giddy and jump up and down about having to use fish fins or eel eggs as a secret ingredient but I know this is not so.  I know it.
[3] Ibid.  Which is to say "ditto."
[4] I paid nearly $12.00 for a one-pound piece of sirloin that wasn't the correct thickness – yikes!
[5] After Star Wars came out, I noticed the startling similarities between Chewbacca and my dad when they were upset about something.  Chewy raised his arm when he bellowed and so did dad plus, they both made a similar sound.  My dad was not at all upset about this comparison which was a good thing because I teased him about it until the day he died.  He'd always chuckle and say "Yeah, you're right!"