We are absolutely thrilled to introduce our next guest chef, the legendary, Traci Des Jardins. Foodies know Traci from her iconic San Francisco restaurants including Jardiniere and Arguello, her appearances on Top Chef Masters, her awards and involvement with the James Beard Foundation and as a culinary advisor to Impossible Foods. We are huge fans of Traci as a chef and as a human being. Melinda and Traci have been friends for over 20 years. Having taken a step away from cooking professionally, Traci's friends and loved ones are currently the lucky ones to receive the gifts from her kitchen.
A few weeks ago, Traci, Melinda and some dear friends were hanging out at a wonderful home on the beach. Traci made an incredible fire charred steak with beef fat potatoes and chimichurri. A bottle of Old Vine Carignan was open et voila! a match made in heaven. Traci has kindly offered her recipes to us to share with you. This is a holiday-worthy, impressive meal to serve to a group.
LR: Where are you from?
TD: Firebaugh, CA
LR: What motivates you to cook?
LR: Describe your cooking style
TD: French California but since I cook mostly at home I cook all kinds of ethnic foods now! Japanese, Vietnamese
LR: 5 ingredients always found in your kitchen:
TD: Great selection of salts, olive oils vinegars, animal fats
LR: Most beloved kitchen tool:
TD: A great knife
LR: Three words to describe Lorenza
TD: Delicious, approachable, easy
LR: Why did you choose this recipe to pair with Lorenza
TD: it was a hot summer day and we were grilling steak and it was the perfect wine served lightly chilled to pair.
NY Steak with Beef Fat Potatoes and Chimichurri
"I had a happy accident when I cooked this meat the on this occasion
for friends, which may or may not want to be repeated! If you are
familiar with cooking steak and have a method to do so, stick with
that. If you want to go on a flamey adventure then you can try to
repeat my happy accident! Just make certain your grill is away from
any structures or anything flammable." - Traci Des Jardins
4 pound bone in dry-aged New York Steak (whole piece)
Freshly ground black pepper
- Season the roast very well on all sides with the Kosher salt and the pepper and let sit for up to 6 hours (if you have the time) remove from refrigerator an hour before you start the cooking process.
- Heat the grill on high, turn to medium high and put the steak on the grill, fat side down.
- Once the fat starts to render, you will experience a flame up and the meat will essentially catch on fire and start to blacken, allow this against common sense.
- Once the steak is well charred and blackened, turn the grill off and allow the flames to extinguish.
- Once the fire has died down, turn the grill back on to low and cook for about 20- 25 minutes to come to an interior temperature of 120F for rare.
- Remove from the grill and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
- Remove from the bone, slice into 6 steaks, season with Maldon salt and serve on a platter with the chimichurri sauce and the potatoes on the side.
Golden Potatoes with Beef Fat
3 lbs. Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and held in water
1 pound piece of beef fat cap (3 tablespoons duck fat or clarified butter may be substituted)
Day prior to cooking potatoes, prepare the beef fat.
Cut the beef fat into tiny ‘lardons’, which would be like sliced bacon cut into slivers.
Thinly slice it into pieces ½ inch long and as thin as you can cut it.
Place into a saute pan with 2 cups of water on medium high and cook until all of the water is evaporated, turn to low and cook until the fat pieces are golden brown and crisp.
Remove the fat pieces and drain, strain the remaining fat through a sieve and reserve until the next day to cook the potatoes.
The next day, drain the potatoes in a colander and dry as best possible with paper towels.
Cut the potatoes in half.
Preheat oven to 450 F and place a roasting pan into the oven.
When the pan is hot, add the rendered beef fat (the strained liquid fat not the pieces) and the potatoes, season with kosher salt.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Add the rendered beef fat pieces (solids) and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add a little Maldon salt and freshly cracked pepper.
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, quarter and remove seeds, finely cut into little half moons
½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped Marjoram or oregano
1 heart of celery with yellow leaves, finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1-2 teaspoons dried chili flakes, less or more depending on the desired spice level
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Form a paste with the chopped garlic.
- Combine all ingredients mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.