Easy Cooking Techniques Every 20-Something Should Know

When it comes to cooking protein, we admit we can get a little intimidated. There are so many different culinary terms, hot grills, open flames, and marinades galore. Does it really have to be that hard? You know what? It really doesn't! Here we present Foodiversity: Protein 101 to help demystify cooking the perfect protein. Want to get comfortable fixing up foolproof salmon, steak, chicken, shrimp, and tofu? We got you covered. Also, never feel stumped by fancy-sounding cooking terms again. Just be sure to throw them around when you're whipping up the perfect protein for your friends.

How To Sear Steak

Photographed by Eric Helgas, Styled by Ali Nardi.
Cooking a steak at home is one of those daunting tasks that we tend to avoid at all costs. But thanks to this trick from recipe developer and cooking guru Amy Sherman, we can breathe easy. Start with a frozen steak so you get a better sear and the meat stays moist. And don't forget to LET IT REST! If you cut into the steak as soon as it's done, all of the tasty juices will escape, drying out your cut of meat. Instead, wait a few minutes and all of those juices will get locked into each and every bite.

Rib-Eye Steak
Serves 2-3

1 rib-eye steak, about 14 ounces and an inch thick
1 tbsp oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, then transfer to the freezer. Freeze for an hour or overnight.

2. Heat the oven to 200ºF.

3. Heat a cast-iron skillet until very hot, about 5 minutes; add the oil. Carefully place the steak in the skillet and sear the steak on one side until a brown crust forms, and sear any fatty edges.

4. Flip the steak so the seared side is up, and transfer the skillet immediately to the oven.

5. Bake the steak about 35 minutes (or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reaches 125ºF) for rare, 45 minutes (145ºF) for medium, or an hour (165ºF) for well-done. Times will vary depending upon how thick your steak is.

6. When it's cooked to your liking, let the steak stand for 10 minutes with a piece of foil tented over it. Thinly slice the steak, season with salt, and serve.