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The Steaks Are High When it Comes to Relationships, Part 8: Have You Ever Dreamed of Going To Culinary School?

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The "steaks" are high when it comes to relationships, and Lisa's young lover liked his medium-rare with a side of perfectly done French-Fried Potatoes.

As I make my way through Central Park, a hint of summer is finally in the air. For any city girl worth her salt, this can only mean one thing: time to go country. From the Hamptons to Fire Island, there are few things more badass then any girl who can finally master the art of grilling.

I walk into class and begin to assemble my ingredients for today's recipe. Chef Will, our substitute, greets me at the door with an infectious smile. After all of the braising and roasting and pickling and poaching, I am relieved to find a simple grill and a basic fry would round out our day.

All of the instructors at the International Culinary Center are outstanding Chefs who have mastered techniques and all of the elements that one uses to measure culinary greatness. However, each brings a signature flavor and their own unique style to the craft of teaching. Today, I will learn my own important lesson.

To become truly great and inspired at some point in life, as in cooking, you have to stop relying on recipes and the exact measuring of ingredients and start trusting your very own instincts. Chef Will can tell how firmly his egg is poached with a quick eyeball and a poke. He can also check the doneness of a steak by the amount of firmness and spring in its middle. In class today, my instincts got me an undercooked steak and some crispy potatoes. I realize I just need more practice.

On my way home, I stop at the Union Square Greenmarket. Like any New Yorker with a foodie fetish, I get lost walking from vendor to vendor. After compiling all of the ingredients, I head home to prep the kitchen for Lisa's date night.

When I arrive, she's giddy as a schoolgirl, and I'm forced to remind her the only thing Extra-virgin in the room is olive oil. If our culinary Cyrano is to be a success she would have to put down the wine and focus to master these basic steps.

In the spirit of Chef Will, I put away my recipe and get lost in the Zen of cooking. I season my steaks and begin to prepare my tomato fondue, a key component to the savory goodness of my Choron sauce. To me, Choron sauce is the closest I'll ever get to heaven here on earth. I prepare the béarnaise sauce reduction. I combine the water and vinegar, adding the shallots, tarragon and cracked pepper. I take in a deep breath and my mouth instantly begins to water. I add the egg yolks and after straining my vinegar reduction, I whisk it over water until the sabayon is thick and light. And then comes the butter, in a slow and steady stream until the creamy, savory mixture is ready to taste. After adding the fondue, I give Lisa a taste.

She says, "That Choron is crack sauce and must be banned in at least 50 states."

We set the reduction aside and prep our fryer for our Frites. In the meantime, I am determined to teach Lisa quadrillage. Although it sounds like a sexual position demanding a certain level of physical prowess, it's simply the art of grilling with crisscross grill marks. I place the steaks on the hot grill at a 30-degree angle, toward the right. As the luscious piece of meat crackles and sizzles, it sears with the most perfect line. I then turn it at a 30-degree angle to the left, and it sears to form a beautiful, charred crisscross pattern. This is not only to achieve the perfect look but also to carmelize and baste the steak, making it even more juicy and tender.

We end our master class with the Pommes Frites and Soufflé. Through a simple wireless microphone, I would be by her side the whole night, from steak to soufflé. I wasn't sure how it would end. But for now, Lisa's out of the frying pan and quickly moving towards the fire...

Tune in Monday for the last few posts of the series. For more posts from Heidi Brod on culinary school, click here.

Excerpts inspired by the class, Serious Amateur, French Cooking, Culinary Techniques, Recipes taken from International Culinary Center.

Heidi Brod and Lisa Stolov have a daily newsletter/website DishInOutBeauty.com that focuses on health and beauty from the inside out.

PHOTOS: Grilled Beef Steak with Choron Sauce

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Grilled Beef Steak with Choron Sauce (Faux Filets Grillés avec Sauce Choron)
Serves 4
Estimated completion Time

For the Fondue
2 teaspoons of unsalted butter
1/3 ounce shallots, finely diced
½ clove garlic, crushed
3 ½ ounces tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Béarnaise Sauce Reduction
6 Tablespoons of water
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
¾ ounce shallots, finely diced
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
14 tablespoons warm clarified butter
2 teaspoons, fresh tarragon, finely chopped
2 teaspoons, fresh chervil, finely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Steak
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons
Four 5 ¼ ounce pieces well-trimmed strip of loin of beef
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of unsalted butter for brushing and creating shine.
½ bunch watercress, washed, tough stems removed

Pommes Pont-Neuf (Thick-Cut French Fries)
Serves 4

1 pound, 5 ounces russet potatoes
2 quarts vegetable oil
Coarse salt to taste

Using the vegetable peeler, peel the potatoes and, using the chef's knife, cut them into sticks 7 centimeters (2 ½ inches) long by 9 millimetres ( 3/8 inches) thick. Rinse under cold running water an pat dry.

Heat the oil in the fryer over high heat to (300 degrees Fahrenheit) on an instant-read thermometer.

Add the potato sticks a few at a time and poach for about 2 minutes or until the potatoes are limp and pale. Lift the basket from the fryer, gently shake off excess oil, and transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Set aside until you are almost ready to serve.

When ready to serve, turn the oil to high heat and bring it to (350 degrees Fahrenheit) on the instant-read thermometer. Add the poached potatoes a few at a time and fry for about 3 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp. Lift the basket from the fryer, gently shake off the excess oil and transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain.

Season with salt while still hot and serve immediately.