Friday, March 16, 2012

X is for: Xavier Steak & the Irish Car Bomb Jello Shot Experiment

People always ask me, "How in the world do you have time for a blog??"

It's a valid question. I love the blog, and as crazy as my life can get juggling job and social life and cooking/photographing/blogging, I usually find a way to make it work.

Until today when everything came crashing down. Literally. Boy am I having a week. I won't get into specifics, and I don't say that to solicit a pity party of any sort. I think it just provides some back story to the epic fail I had when I *attempted* some super cool Irish Car Bomb Jello Shots for St. Patty's Day.

But let's start with the steak.

 During the Chinatown scavenger hunt, one of my Twitter followers suggested I do Xavier Steak for "X week." I had never heard of Xavier Steak, but I was delighted to have a bonafide X dish. When I looked it up, I had to chuckle. Steak, asparagus, and cheese. Seriously. This is like the easiest dish ever. My dad would probably pass out if he saw me putting cheese on my steak, but for the sake of the blog, I'll do it just this once.

First you'll need to cook the asparagus. I like to roast mine in the oven, but feel free to steam them or even grill them if it's nice out. If you've never cooked asparagus before, make sure you snap off the woody ends. Simply bend the bottom of the asparagus spear and allow it to naturally break. Discard the ends. From there, I simply toss them in a little oil and season with some salt and pepper. Roast at 375 until crisp-tender. (About 15 minutes).

Now let's talk about cooking the steak. Normally, I would probably prefer to grill it, but it's been monsooning in San Francisco all week. (Rain, rain GO AWAY). Anyways, I cooked it inside so I'll share with you my method for doing that. Make sure you choose a good-quality cut of meat. I prefer filet, grass-fed, choice grade beef that is at least 1.5 inches thick. Allow steak to come to room temperature before cooking.

Oil and season your steak. Choose an oil with a very high smoke point (I went with Safflower oil). Brush both sides with oil and then season with salt and pepper. You really don't need much more than that. If it's good-quality meat, it will have all the flavor you need.

Use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and heat on the stove until smoking hot. You'll know it's smoking hot when you place a tiny drop of water on it, it will sizzle immediately and then disappear. Place the steak on the skillet and don't move it for 2-3 minutes. Flip it will be a gorgeous deep brown. (P.S. Check out the smoke coming off the steak!)

Cook for another 2-3 minutes and then (using oven will be hot) pop the whole skillet into a 400 degree oven. If you want to up the flavor even more, top with a pat of butter. Continue cooking until it reaches your desired level of doneness (I prefer medium rare). Remove from pan and cover with aluminum foil and allow steak to rest for five minutes. Top with four asparagus spears and a couple slices of Swiss cheese (I chose Gruyere) and broil until melted.

And there you go...Xavier Steak! (Read on past the recipe for the story about my Irish Car Bomb Jello shots).

Xavier Steak

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: roast fry entree gluten-free low-carb asparagus steak gruyere cheese

  • Asparagus
  • Olive Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Freshly ground sea salt & pepper
  • Good quality steak
  • Butter (optional)
  • 2 slices Gruyere cheese
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Snap off the woody ends of asparagus. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 375 until crisp-tender. (About 15 minutes). Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  2. Allow steak to come to room temperature. Brush both sides with Safflower oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron pan on the stove until smoking hot. Place the steak on the skillet and don't move it for 2-3 minutes. Flip it over and cook for another 2-3 minutes and then (using oven will be hot) pop the whole skillet into a 400 degree oven. If you want to up the flavor even more, top with a pat of butter.
  4. Continue cooking until it reaches your desired level of doneness (I prefer medium rare). Remove from pan and cover with aluminum foil and allow steak to rest for five minutes.
  5. Top with four asparagus spears and a couple slices of Gruyere cheese and heat under broiler until melted.
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Now normally, this is where the post would end. I would post the recipe and that would be that. But I promised you a story about my jello shot debacle. So this is what happened. While I was working at the Warriors game on Wednesday, my co-worker J.C. says to me "I'm surprised you aren't doing anything on the blog for St. Patrick's Day."

Of course I couldn't just let it go. I immediately began brainstorming ideas. Green food, Irish food, and then a stroke of genius: Irish Car Bomb Jello Shots. See, I used to take Irish Car Bombs all the time. I loved the magical way they sort of tasted like chocolate milk, while getting you very drunk at the same time. And knowing how popular jello shots are on the blog, I decided I would make a jelled version of an Irish Car Bomb. I thought I was sooooo original.

Well guess what? I'm not. I did a quick web search and my dreams were crushed. Apparently I'm not as clever as I thought because the lovely lady behind Bakers Royale posted these gorgeous Irish Car Bomb Jello shots on Endless Simmer two weeks ago. Then I found THESE adorable mini Guiness jello shots with a Bailey's foam head. Damn it!!!

 Well of course I decided to do them anyways. I was going to do my own take on them and make them my own. This was my first mistake. When you're going to the liquor store before work to buy Jameson, there's something wrong with you. I considered doing little blocks like ones I saw on Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. But then I realized I didn't have time. What I SHOULD have done is use the little pyramid molds from my Santa Hat Jello Shots. But I didn't. **Sigh**

I decided to try and do the foam heads mentioned above except I was going to do them in a pan because I don't own adorable miniature beer shot glasses. Not to gross you out, but mine came out looking like someone vomited all over my pan of jello. I have a photo of said-vomit-looking-jello, but I refuse to post it for fear of making you lost the appetite you just built up from reading about my Xavier Steak. So I then scraped off the gross layer, added another Bailey's layer, which didn't completely attach to the other layers.

I used a melon baller to scoop them out which resulted in these weird little acorn-looking things with a weird second layer that kept slipping around. I thought green whipped cream would add some flare, but that turned out disgusting looking, so I threw it away too.

I finally decide to plop them on some tasting spoons and make some the best out of this disaster of an experiment. As I'm photographing them near my big window, I hear a crash in the kitchen. I run over, and I see that my mischievous orange cat has knocked the entire thing on the floor. The weird second layer was laying in a pile next to the pan. So fitting.

I will say this: despite them looking completely unappetizing (especially when compared to my fellow bloggers), they were actually pretty tasty. And they tasted exactly like an Irish Car Bomb. Small victories. Maybe someday I will re-visit the Irish Car Bomb Jello Shot Experiement...but for now I'll just give you my recipe. I would suggest following one of the links I listed above for technique. May the luck of the Irish be with you.

Irish Car Bomb Jello Shots

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: jello shot gluten-free guiness jameson knox gelatin

  • 2 cups Guiness beer, divided use
  • 2.5 to 3 packages unflavored gelatin (depending on how firm you want your shot to be)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or muscovado
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Jameson
  • 1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  1. Put 1 cup of Guiness, sugar and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and sprinkle with 2 packets of gelatin and allow to soak in for a minute. Heat and stir until everything is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add the remaining cup of cold Guiness. Pour into a pan or molds and allow to set for about 30 minutes.
  3. Place Jameson in a saucepan and sprinkle with one packet of gelatin. Allow to soak in for a minute. Heat and stir until gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Stir in Bailey's and allow mixture to cool. Pour on the slightly set Guiness mixture. Allow to set several hours or overnight.
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  1. Irish Car Bomb Jello Shots. I am amazed.

  2. Man that the bomb alright! can I make you an offer to make more for me lol

  3. These look delicious...but just some food for thought on lightly throwing around the term "Irish Car Bombs:"

    1. Thank you...point well taken.

    2. Stfu. Stop being part of the pc plague on humanity.

  4. Everything looks delicious...Don't know what to start with. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jaymee I am excited to make these!
    I have the pyramid molds and that is going to be what I use :-)

    I was wondering how far in advance you think I could make these. I saw on another site one day. But I know that jello shots are often made several days to a week in advance.

    What are your thoughts

    1. Hi Teralyn! I usually recommend one day so they set properly. Two should be ok if you really need to, but I wouldn't go much longer. Cheers!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. They certainly look delicious. Can't wait to make these for my friends.

  8. They certainly look delicious. I'm looking forward to making these for my Irish friends. Slainte!

  9. what cut of steak did you get? also, what can I substitute for Gruyere cheese? (cannot locate)


I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!