From connectivity to cooktops and the latest gadgets, the ever-progressing kitchen of 2020 provides endless opportunities to simplify life in the home.
Whether cooking for his family, hosting a dinner party or serving up Michelin-starred dishes, Chef Curtis Stone based in the US believes in cooking smarter, not harder. Having tested, mastered and embraced many of 2020’s kitchen advancements, Stone shares four ways to master the kitchen this year with maximum flavour and minimum effort.
1. What’s your favourite tool of 2020?
“For quite some time, the thought of bringing technology into the kitchen felt a little out of place for me. However, as someone who is always on the go, connected appliances have really become a time-saving luxury that help me find more time to dedicate to the most important things in life, like my family.
“I believe in technology that is simple to use. I also manage household chores from my smartphone, so I never have to worry about little things like reordering dishwasher detergent tabs or whether I shut off the hood lights – automations like this are kind of a dream.”
2. There are so many different types of cooktops – electric, induction, gas. Which do you recommend?
“At my restaurant, Gwen, we cook all of our meat over a traditional open flame for a straight-from-the-fire essence and perfect char. However, it’s no secret I’m a big fan of newer methodologies like induction cooktops for faster boiling and easy cleanup. From a chef’s perspective, precision, power and efficiency are key to creating flavourful dishes that will keep your guests coming back for more.
3. Cooking for a crowd can be overwhelming. What’s your ultimate entertaining secret?
“One of my biggest tips when preparing a meal for a crowd is to keep your station (or kitchen) clean throughout the cooking process – this is a chef standard. Whether it’s a big dinner party or an intimate gathering, cleaning as you go prevents clutter that may get in your way and simplifies post-meal cleanup, which is crucial when you have guests waiting for you and your food.
4. You recently earned a Michelin star for the seasonal dishes you’re serving up at LA-based Maude. What’s your go-to dish for springtime hosting?
“When hosting, I like to cook within the season and keep it simple. Seasonal fruits and vegetables always taste best at their peak and can easily turn a simple dish into something that wows. I always look forward to cooking with asparagus every spring, and after mastering the kitchen, this mouthwatering, herbed steak dinner will be ready to serve before you know it. Enjoy!”
Pan-Seared Ribeye Steaks with Roasted Asparagus
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Ingredients: Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Ingredients: Butter-Basted, Pan-Seared Ribeye Steaks
2 boneless ribeye steaks (1 inch thick; 12 ounces)
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 garlic cloves, bruised
6 large sprigs fresh thyme or 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
* Using Convection Bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place rack in centre of oven.
* Toss asparagus in oil on a large baking sheet. Line asparagus in one even row lengthwise over sheet pan. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly.
* Preheat 2 large skillets on cooktop over high heat. Meanwhile, place asparagus in oven, roasting for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
* Just before cooking, pat steak dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillets, then add steaks. Cook steaks for 4 minutes, or until dark brown and caramelized on bottom.
* Turn steaks over and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add butter, garlic, and thyme to skillets. Use spoon to baste melted butter over steaks as they cook, for about 2 more minutes for medium-rare doneness.
* Transfer steaks to rack set on a sheet pan and let rest for about 4 minutes (half the cooking time).
* Slice each steak against grain using sharp knife. Divide steak slices and roasted asparagus among 4 plates. Serve with lemon wedges. -BPT