~ Serving American home cooking on the Upper West Side Since 1981 ~

Cooking with Color and Texture

Cooking with color and texture. The food doesn't just have to taste good!

Cooking with color and texture. The food doesn’t just have to taste good!

No matter how perfectly cooked a steak dish may be – it is extremely important to pique interest when the dish comes to the table! How do we do this?

One can easily do this by creating some drama using colour and texture to make a truly spectacular and inspirational dish.

The 10 Bat farm is beginning to produce all the different vegetables and herbs, one of them being yellow radicchio – which inspired us to write this blog post.

What You Will Need:

  • Hanger Steak
  • Yellow Radicchio
  • Worcester Sauce
  • Chellula (like tobacco, but smoother)
  • Watercress,
  • Red onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Toasted almonds
  • Crumbled blue or goat cheese
  • Blood orange buttermilk

Cook from Inspiration: 

Yellow radicchio is from the chicory family and has bold, bitter characteristics, so because of this bitter flavor we opted to marinate our hanger steak with Worcester sauce and Chellula – which incorporated a contrasting sweet, salty and spicy taste.

We allowed the steak to be cooked medium, which meant it was a pinky brown color – when you are cooking steaks at home, it can become quite tricky to cook it the right way.

Here’s a little trick to help you tell on your own how well-cooked your steak is without using a thermometer or cutting into to it to check:

Rare Steak 

Touch your thumb and your index finger together to create a circle, and then press the fleshy part of your palm right below the thumb with your other hand – your rare steak should have the same feel.

Medium – Rare Steak 

Now touch your middle finger with your thumb, this should feel a bit more firm – this will indicate that it is medium-rare.

Medium Steak 

As you move from your index finger to your ring finger, this will feel a lot more resistant – this will indicate that your steak is medium.

Well-Done Steak 

Once your pinky finger and index finger are touching the fleshy part should now be firm, indicating a well-done steak.

As your steak is cooking, occasionally press it in the centre of the steak and compare it to your hand.

Adding the Texture & Color: 

Yum yum!

Yum yum!


To accompany your medium steak, add watercress, julienned yellow radicchio, thinly sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, toasted almonds, and crumbled blue or goat cheese and toss with a blood orange buttermilk dressing.

You want to create a dish that has the correct balance of tastes, colour and the contrast of texture. By adding the crunch from the nuts, onion and watercress with the creamy and saltiness of the crumbled blue or goats cheese, combined with the vibrant colors of purple, yellow, red, and orange – we create a well balanced plate.

Top this tossed salad with the thinly sliced steak and garlic croutons for an added element of crunch and balance.

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