I first started using a metal skewer when I was staging at the restaurant Michel Rostang in Paris. All of the cooks would temp their meats by using a skewer—they would stick the skewer through the roast, whether it was lamb or something larger, and then hold the skewer to the top of their bottom lip, rubbing it from side to side. They’d know the doneness of the meat by how warm the center of the skewer was. They didn’t have to remember specific temperatures, it was all by feel. The first time I saw it I thought it was just awesome.
1/3 cup fresh red chili juice (preferably from Fresno chilies)
2 tablespoons lime juice 2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced on a mandolin
2 cups whole milk
Rice bran oil, for frying
12 ounces beef strip loin (2-inches thick)
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup scallions
In a small mixing bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Reserve until ready to use.
In a large pot, combine the garlic and whole milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a simmer, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and rinse garlic with cold water until it runs clear. Transfer the garlic onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet to dry.
Pour enough oil into a medium pot to reach a depth of 2 inches. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring the oil to 275°F. (Use a deep fry thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil.) Add the garlic in batches so that they do not overcrowd the pot. Fry, turning the garlic over occasionally and adjusting the heat to maintain the oil’s temperature, until the garlic slices are light golden brown and crispy. Transfer the pieces to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Reserve chips until ready to use.
Prepare a grill or grill pan over high heat. Using paper towels, pat the strip loin dry and generously season all over with salt. Rub a touch of oil on the grill grate or pan. Grill the strip loin and cook to medium rare by testing the steak with a metal skewer. (Insert the skewer at an angle at the thickest part of the steak. Pull it out and rub it across the bottom of your lip. For the perfect medium rare, it should feel hot, then warm, and then hot again going from one end of the skewer to the other.)
Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak against the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices.
In a serving dish, place the steak slices on the bottom and drizzle the chili vinaigrette over top. Garnish with garlic chips and scallions. Serve hot.