Sunday, April 11, 2010

Baconfest: The Vendors

We arrived at the Stan Mansion (2408 N. Kedzie) shortly after 11:00 for the artery-cloggingest day of the year, Baconfest!!! (at least until they invent Butterfest).  As soon as we strolled into the front entrance, we were overtaken by the intense aroma of smoked bacon, it was wonderous.  The Head Bacon Man (a title I hope one day to attain) told us that the restaurants were upstairs and the vendors were downstairs, and he recommended starting with the vendors.  We heeded his advice and went to the basement.  What we saw in that basement may have altered my life forever.  In short, it was bacon everything (smoked bacon of all varieties, bacon shirts, bacon candy, bacon cupcakes, bacon lipbalm, bacon dog food, bacon chocolate, etc.).  I imagine that basement is what heaven looks like.

Anyway, we sauntered around the room sampling each vendors wares and deciding what we were going to come back to purchase.  The first actual bacon we had was from Nueske's Meat Products.  Before we ate it, they told us it was applewood smoked.  I bit into my inaugural piece of Baconfest 2010, and we were off.  The bacon was delightfully salty and sweet, with lots of smoky flavor too it.  It was some spectacular bacon, but I thought it was too heavily smoked for me, which is weird because it was applewood (and not hickory) smoked, and applewood is not a terribly assertive smoke.  Either way, I was glad to kick off Bacon Day with some excellent bacon.  Apparently the blood flowed out of my brain in a fit of excitement, so I forgot to take a picture of the good people at Nueske's, but in any event, it was awesome, and its website is  If you like really smokey bacon, this is the place to be.

The next place on our path also doubled as the strangest thing I ate during Baconfest (and possibly in my entire life, which is really saying something).  It was Torani Bacon Syrup.  Today they were sampling Bacon Pepsi and Bacon chocolate milk.  I began with the Pepsi.  I took a big sip to start off and it tasted like Pepsi, only with the distinct smack of bacon.  I probably should have expected that since it was bacon syrup and all, but I'm pretty sure no one could accurately anticipate what Pepsi and bacon would taste like.  No matter how much bacon Pepsi I drank, I could not get my mind around it, so I'm pretty sure I didn't like it.  On the other hand, the Bacon chocolate milk was amazing, like nothing you could imagine unless you have been stirring your chocolate milk with a bacon strip for your whole life.  The creaminess of the milk and chocolate went oddly well with the fattiness and smokiness of the bacon syrup.  I could definitely imagine myself drinking more bacon chocolate milk and also having a heart attack by the time I was 35.  Anyway, if you want to get some bacon syrup (or any other of their many syrups), the website is

Next on our epic journey was my personal favorite regular bacon (as in, not from a restaurant) from Dreymiller and Kray.  Like the Nueske's bacon, Dreymiller's was applewood smoked; however, this bacon did not have the same overly assertive smoked taste that I wasn't particularly fond of with Nueske's.  Rather this one, the applewood smoke taste blended in the background and really let the delicious (and it is delicious) bacon flavor shine through.  For those of you who do like a more asssertive smoke, they also make a hickory smoked bacon (although they didn't have any with them).  I also don't think that this one was quite as salty as Nueske's which was kind of nice.  The guy working the stand was awesome, and he even invited us out on a tour of their bacon making facilities (out near Elgin) because of Michelle's quest to get as much possible free stuff.  Although both bacons that I had from the vendors were great, to my taste, I give the edge to Dreymiller's and Kray (in fact, I bought some of their bacon when I returned).  Dreymiller's website is (but it is currently under construction) and their phone number is 847.683.2271.  I may be taking him up on h is offer after finals in May since I've always wanted to know how to make bacon (maybe a special treat for Canoe-a-palooza?).

Next on the Bypass Surgery Express was More Bakery, which was serving three types of cupcakes: bacon-maple, bacon-bacon-bacon, and BLT (which did, in fact, have a tomato on top).  I, of course, opted for the bacon-bacon-bacon and Michelle went with the bacon-maple.  The bacon-bacon-bacon was a piece of candied bacon, bacon frosting, and bacon batter.  It sounds, and is, extremely bacony, and hence delicious.  It did have a fair bit of sugar on/in it (as it was a cupcake) which made it a nice break from the saltiness of the other vendors.  Michelle ended up buying something called bacon brittle, which we have yet to eat.  I want to go back and check out more of More Bakery.  More Bakery is located at 1 E. Delaware Place and its website is

Our next stop brought us to a butcher that I didn't even know existed that is within 5 minutes from our house, Holzkopf Butcher.  They were sampling one of their varieties of barbeque sauce, of which they have several.  It was sweeter than the sauce that I make, but not so sweet as to be like one of the grocery store brands (KC Masterpiece (if it still exists), Sweet Baby Ray', etc.).  I think that this would be very good on ribs, which aren't as sweet as something like pork shoulder.  I definitely want to check this place out (I mean, it's 5 minutes from my house!) so that I don't have to drive all the way down into Lincoln Park every time I want good meat.  I may have a hard time getting over Geppetto's (really named Gepperth's), but I'm hoping Holzkopf can really wow me.  As an added bonus, they sell Dreymiller & Kray bacon.  They are located at 6155 N. Broadway and they apparently do not have a website.
The next stand was for Provenance Food & Wine, which is a small, high-end grocery store.  They were serving something called bacon cheddar and black truffle salami.  The cheddar was very tasty as far as cheddar goes, but it somewhat overwhelmed the bacon flavor, so I didn't really see the point of the bacon being in it.  However, the black truffle salami was absolutely splendid.  For lack of a better way to describe it, it tasted like very good salami except with a strong hint of black truffles.  I absolutely love black truffles, and, in my opinion, you can pretty much improve anything by adding black truffles to it.  This salami was no exception.  This was another one of the products that I purchased.  Provenance has two locations in Chicago, so look them up!  Their website is
We chugged along to the next stand which was selling Baconnaise.  Baconnaise is exactly what you think something called Baconnaise would be: bacon mixed with mayonnaise.  The guy, who was also wearing a bacon suit, told us that all the proceeds were going to charity; however, in a strange twist, he was giving away jars of the Baconnaise.  Unless he really dislikes charity, I couldn't understand the free products.  On the other hand, I didn't really care, I got more free stuff!  I tried some of the Baconnaise on some pretzels.  It would be difficult to mess up a combination of bacon and mayonnaise, and the good people at Baconnaise surely did not mess it up.  I can't wait to put out a big bowl of Baconnaise at my next party.  Their website is
The following stand was serving chocolate dipped bacon.  They had both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, so I, of course, tried both of them.  I felt that the bacon dominated the milk chocolate, so beyond a bit of added sweetness, it didn't do much for me.  The dark chocolate, contrarily, asserted itself from the beginning, and right when I was going to complain that the chocolate was too strong for the bacon, the bacon made a stunning comeback and exploded with flavor.  They were selling some bacon I was pleasantly surprised by the tastiness of the dark chocolate bacon.  This may have been Bleeding Heart Bakery, but I'm not totally sure.
After the anonymous vendor, we went to something called Bacon Hot Sauce.  Hot sauce has a special place in my heart since me and Urgo mapped out Horse Skull Fire based on a sleep-deprived vision I had while on an airplane.  Unfortunately, we were both pretty busy, so Horse Skull Fire has yet to get off the ground, look for it at specialty retailers near you in the future (around 2020).  Now that I'm done with that tangent, I can get back to an actual hot sauce.  Bacon Hot Sauce keeps the name simple and leaves no doubt about what you are going to eat.  Bacon.  Hot Sauce.  That is all.  Unlike some of the other products here, the bacon played a secondary role in Bacon Hot Sauce, which was nice if you like the taste of hot sauce.  Also, the hot sauce wasn't trying to prove anything and it had just the right amount of heat before I would have written it off as too spicy.  Again, Michelle dropped the blog-hammer and we ended up with a free bottle of Bacon Hot Sauce.  Like the Baconnaise, this will be served at my next party.  Get your own fire-breathing pig bottle at
The last stop on our list was Jake's Country Meats which is located in a town called Cassopolis, Michigan (somewhere near New Buffalo).  Bonus points for Jake's for resisting the Michigan-urge to make their hand into a mitten and point out the location of their city on their hand.  I would have probably walked away if they did that.  Anyway, they were serving three types of meat sticks: honey ham, jalepeno, and barbeque.  My favorite of the three was the honey ham.  It wasn't quite bacon, but it was salty and sweet and delicious.  The jalepeno wasn't quite as spicy as I would have liked out of a jalepeno stick, and I barely remember eating the barbeque one, so it must not have been  my favorite.  They also get bonus points for letting me pose with a pig statute.  If I lived closer to Jake's, I would be there all the time, but I could definitely see myself ordering some of their other meats to give it a shot.  I'm always on the lookout for a new smoked meat vendor.  Their website is
Lastly, we stopped at a stand that wasn't selling any bacon (weird); however, they were advertising for something called "Camp Bacon" which might be the best combination of words of all times.  Once I came down off my high of hearing about "Camp Bacon," I realized that I would be unable to attend this year.  However, if you want to have, what I can only imagine would be, the experience of a lifetime, look up Camp Bacon on June 19 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The website is, but it is apparently not working just yet.

All that was before we even went upstairs to any of the twelve restaurants which were all serving bacon related dishes.  This was going to be a marathon.

Tastes Just Like Chicken

As mentioned before, I went to the Fish Guy Market to pick up some fish and ended up with a pork chop for lunch (which was delicious), but I also ended up buying some softshell crabs and some sturgeon.  The sturgeon looked very dense and meaty (like a steak), so I was intrigued by it.  The fishmonger told me that it was, in fact, like steak, so I could grill it with high heat, roast it, or do anything that I would normally do with steak.

After looking at it for a while, I chose to do a barbequed sturgeon.  I also wanted something that would mimic a normal summer side dish, and my mind immediately turned to mashed potatoes.  However, I have made mashed potatoes dozens of times, so I wanted to do something different.  I took off to Jewel to figure out what I was going to make.  When I got there, I came across some parsnips and remembered the last time that I was at Tru for dinner they served a barbequed salmon with a fried parsnip log.  I figured I could make a garlicky  parsnip puree (courtesy of Tyler Florence, just changed a bit) that would be an interesting substitute for mashed potatoes.  I knew that I was going to do the crabs very simply (floured and fried in oil with some lemon), so that was well settled.

I made my own barbeque sauce as I always do (using Sprecher root beer as the base) and adding some fennel seeds instead of juniper berries as the seasons are changing and I wanted to get a little away from the winter sauce that I make.  I then briefly grilled the sturgeon to brown it on the outside, put it in a pan and basted it with the sauce, and cooked it in a very hot oven (450 degrees) for 8 minutes to finish and bake the sauce on .  To my surprise, the sturgeon was nearly the exact same texture as chicken, so it was particularly suited for barbeque sauce.  Also surprisingly, the parsnip puree tasted like coconuts which paired nicely with the vinegar-y sauce.  The crabs were beautifully crisped and sweet.

Sturgeon (serves 2)
2 sturgeon filets
kosher salt
barbeque sauce

1.  Preheat oven to 450 and a grill to high heat.
2.  Put the sturgeon filets on the grill 2 minutes per side turning 45 degrees after 1 minute to make grill marks on each side.
3.  Put the sturgeon in a frying pan and generously baste with barbeque sauce.
4.  Put the pan in the oven for 8 minutes to finish cooking and to bake on the sauce.
5.  Remove from oven and baste again with more sauce.  If you want, use a blowtorch to singe some of the sauce to give some interesting variation in taste and texture.

Parsnip Puree
1 lb of parsnips, peeled and large diced
1 cup cream
1 sprig of thyme
4 tbsp butter
1 head of garlic, sliced horizontally
kosher salt

1.  Put parsnips in a sauce pan and put in just enough water to cover.
2.  Bring the water to a brisk simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes until parsnips are extremely tender.  Remove parsnips from the water, but reserve water on the side.
3.  While the parsnips are simmering, put the cream in another sauce pan and put the garlic (cut side down) and thyme in it.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
4.  When the cream is done, put the parsnips in a food processor with the butter and a couple tablespoons of the water they cooked in.  Puree on high until it gets smooth.
5.  Once smooth, with the food processor running, pour in some of the cream in a thin, steady stream until puree is the consistency you want it (should be like slightly thinner mashed potatoes, but not liquidy).
6.  Add kosher salt to taste.

Sofshell Crabs
3 softshell crabs
kosher salt
canola oil

1.  Lightly sprinkle both sides of each crab with salt and pepper.
2.  Film the bottom of a saute pan with canola oil and heat over medium-high heat for a few minutes until hot.
3.  Dredge each crab in flour and shake to get off the excess flour.
4.  Put each crab top-side down into the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes.  Flip the crabs and fry the other side for 3 more minutes
5.  Serve with lemon wedges.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Return of the Fish Guy

I hadn't cooked fish in a while since I got a job and all (which makes it difficult to get to my fish guy by 6), so I decided that I would do it on Friday.  I headed over to the Fish Guy Market ( to pick up something.  While I was looking, I was drawn to the sturgeon.  I talked to the fishmonger, and he said that sturgeon is very much like chicken, so I should roast it at high heat.  I also wanted to eat soft shell crabs, so I got three of those.  While I was checking out, I got distracted looking at a kurobuta pork chop, and decided that I wanted it for lunch.

They told me just to cook it simply to let the pork flavor really come out.  I decided on a white wine-cream sauce.


1 kurobuta pork chop
kosher salt
1/2 cup white wine
juice from 1/2 lemon
pinch of thyme leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream

1.  Preheat oven to 450
2.  Put some oil in a frying pan and heat it over high heat until it is smoking.
3.  Using some tongs, hold the fat side down into the oil to render some fat for about 30 seconds.
4.  Put the pork fully into the pan for 4 minutes per side to brown.  Dump the oil out of the pan.
5.  Put the pan in the oven for 8 minutes until chop is done.
6.  Take the chop out and wrap it tightly in foil while you make the sauce, but do not discard the fat.
7.  Put the pan over medium heat and quickly pour in the wine to deglaze, scraping the bottom to get up all the pork bits stuck to the pan.
8.  Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the thyme leaves.  Let it reduce for about 3 minutes, then pour in the cream and whisk to incorporate.
9.   Put the pork chop on a plate and pour the sauce over it.

A Blast from the Past

Maybe its my abject horror caused by dealing with some interesting dinners while I was growing up, but I have never wanted to eat skirt steak at all.  However, I was aimlessly wandering around Jewel trying to figure out what I wanted to make for dinner when I stumbled upon some skirt steak.  I decided that I would give it a shot to try to right the Good Ship, Skirt Steak.

It turnded out amazingly, made me rethink my whole idea of skirt steak.  I think this might get added to the rotation of weekday food since it was so easy and delicious.

2 one pound skirt steaks, excess fat trimmed
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, smashed
juice from 3 limes
1/2 tspn red pepper flakes
1/2 tspn cumin seeds, crushed
2 green onions, leaves cut off, cut in half
4 tbsp brown sugar

1.  Combine all ingredients except for steak in a blender.  Blend on high until mixture is smooth.
2.  Put the steak in a large zip lock bag.  Pour contents of blender into the bag.  Toss the steak around in the bag so that each of them is completely coated.
3.  Let the steaks sit in the bag in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
4.  About 5 minutes before you are ready to begin cooking, take the bag out of the refrigerator.
5.  Preheat the grill to high.  When it is ready, put the steaks (still coated in marinade) on the grill, 2.5 minutes per side.
6.  When it is done, you can finish with a blowtorch briefly to give it some more color and char the tips.  Wrap the steaks in a double thick layer of foil and let it sit for 10 minutes.
7.  Remove the steak from the foil (but don't throw out the juice).  Slice the steak crosswise and pour the juice from the foil over the steak.
8.  I served it with some mushroom Rice-a-Roni.  It was pretty good, but I could have made a mushroom rice better myself.  I also made some caramelized onions (thinly slice an onion and cook in oil over medium-low heat for 20 minutes until caramelized), which went very nicely.

A New Twist on Pork

I've made Pork Tenderloin with a Cranberry-Balsamic sauce many times over the last year.  I felt that with the turn of the weather, I wanted something lighter and Spring-y.  My mind immediately turned to oranges.  I wanted to make an orange sauce of some sort, when i stumbled across an orange-rosemary glaze that sounded like I could tweak it a bit for what I wanted.

I think it turned out pretty well for a first try.  Next time, I would try to get a bit more orange flavor in there (possibly reduce the orange sauce separately) to really make it perfect, but this has a bunch of promise.

1 pork tenderloin
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tspn rosemary leaves
kosher salt

1.  Lightly salt and pepper the pork tenderloin.  Preheat oven to 450.

2.  In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, corn syrup, and rosemary.

3.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low.  Simmer for another 10 minutes until smooth.

4.  Heat some oil in a large saute pan over high heat and brown the tenderloin on all sides for 1 minute on each side.

5.  Brush some of the orange sauce all over the tenderloin and put it in the oven for 15 minutes.  Reglaze every 5 minutes while it is in the oven.

6.  Remove from the oven and wrap it tightly in foil for 5 minutes before slicing.

7.  I served it with green beans.  When I cooked them, I used a little bit of the orange sauce to glaze them with.

Yet Some More From Early Easter Day

I'm apparently doing a backwards chronology of Easter weekend, Memento-style.  While I was out shopping for stuff for Early Easter Dinner, I stopped at Brand BBQ Market for lunch.  Brand BBQ Market is located at 2824 West Armitage and its website is  Some of you with especially good memories may remember my ill-fated attempt to eat there before.  For reasons that still elude me, they are not open for lunch on weekends, but they are open for lunch during the week.  To me, Bucktown doesn't seem like an especially business-vibrant community whereby people would be eating lunch all the time during the week, but who knows.  In any event, I had off work on that Friday, so I decided to check it out.

Fortunately, it was open this time, and I got a sweet parking spot right in front.  Plus, that day was the first 70+ day of the year, so the city was teeming with life.  I'm going to break this down into categories broadly described as "The Good," "The Indifferent," and "The Bad."

The Good:  drinking out of mason jars, pulled duck, the delicious buttery bread, wood paneling, chalkboard menus, the awesome waiter (and possibly owner), and iced tea.

The Indifferent:  All seven types of bbq sauce

The Bad:  The fries

To elaborate a further, the sandwich itself was really good (but to be honest, if you screwed up something called pulled duck, you probably have a bigger problem).  I also appreciate the broad swath of sauces that they tried to cover (from what I remember there was classic, smoky, signature, bourbon cherry, peach, some type of mustard, and one other one), but none of the sauces were particularly noteworthy.  The fries were awful.  They were soggy, green, and tasted like bug spray.  Gross.

Brand has a few more upscale options than Smoque, but for the same price, Smoque is much better. 

Early Easter Dinner

Before I got into any of the many issues at August Grocery, I should have mentioned my early Easter Dinner Day.  As is tradition of the last three years, I make a rack of lamb with a rosemary plum sauce each easter.  This year, I was going to my uncles house to eat ham on actual Easter, so I had to adjust my plans to keep the tradition alive.

This time, we were going to head out to Cuvee Cellars after, so I invited Vu out to come and eat with us.  As per usual, the lamb was amazing.  I think I finally got the fat crisping part down because that was better than usual.  Vu ended up eating the plum sauce like it was ice cream after he finished his lamb.

Here is the recipe and a picture.

1 rack of lamb, frenched
2 plums, pitted and cut into halves
2 plums, peeled and diced
1/2 cup of red wine plus 3 tbsp of red wine
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup veal stock (you could also use chicken)
kosher salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Put the plum halves in an oven poof pan with the sugar, three tbsp of red wine, two tbsp butter, and one sprig of rosemary.  Cover the pan with foil and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.  When plums are done take them out one at a time, remove the skin (it should come off easily) cut each half in half (so you have quarters) and put them back in the pan and toss with the sauce.
3.  While plums are roasting, put 1/2 a cup of red wine, the veal stock, and 1 diced plum into a pan.  Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
4.  Put plum halves, and the red wine-plum mixture into a blender, and blend on high until smooth.  I like to thicken it with a bit of Ultra-Tex 3, but as that is not a very common kitchen thing, you could probably add a little flour if you want it thickened, or even make a little roux in a pan and pour the plum sauce into the roux.
5.  Heat a frying pan over medium heat and put the last tbsp of butter in it.  Put the last diced plum, the leaves from the last sprig of rosemary, and a pinch of salt and pepper into the pan.  Stir frequently for 3 minutes until plums are cooked through.
6.  Increase heat in oven to 450.  Lightly sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper.
7.  In a large saute pan, heat some olive oil over high heat until it begins to smoke.  Put lam, fat side down into the oil.  Brown for 2-3 minutes and then flip to brown the other side.  Transfer the lamb to a baking sheet, fat side up.
8.  Put the lamb in the oven for 15-18 minutes until it is medium rare.  Take out and wrap tightly with foil for 5 minutes before slicing.

Home Alone

Last Saturday, I skillfully avoided going to something called "Saddle Up."  Saddle Up, at least the impression I had, involved a variety of hillbillies, hilljacks, other such hill people, every jackass in a frat from miles around who finally found an excuse to wear both flanel and a cowboy hat without being mercilessly ridiculed, and a mechanical bull.  Needless to say, I was not going to go to Saddle Up.

Instead, I bought myself a New York Strip Steak from August Grocery Store (1500 W. Diversey,  I was kind of excited about August Grocery since I read that they are friendly people who teach cooking classes.  I could assuredly have gone to a closer meat shop, but I wanted to get the feel for August Grocery since I was interested in taking a cooking class there.

When I walked in, I saw the fresh produce on the table immediately in front of me, some pre-prepared food on the shelves on both the right and left, and a small meat counter directly ahead of me (the fish counter was a little farther back).  However, I didn't notice any customers, so I figured I would have a good chance to talk to the workers to see how this place works (and pick up some steaks).  I approached the meat counter to examine the wares.  I think I came in too close to closing time to get a good impression of their full product offering, but what they did have looked very fresh with good marbling.  I decided what I wanted and looked up at the workers to signal that I was ready to make my choice.  Strangely, they did not respond.  I stood there, semi-baffled, that I had apparently worn my invisibility cloak that day without realizing it.  What?  You say invisibility cloaks don't exist?  That's right, these people must have just been unhelpful (since they clearly had no other customers).  I stood there slack-jawed (maybe I did belong at Saddle Up) at their apparent lack of attention.  Eventually after 7-8 minutes of me staring intensely at them, someone approached and got me my steak.  As you could probably guess, I didn't bother asking them about cooking classes or anything else since I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to ever come back.  I walked my steak over to the cashier and she rung me up for a total of $63.  I questioned this absurd price, and she simply repeated that it was $63.  I think she sensed from the dumbfounded look on my face that something was amiss (and the fact that I only bought a little steak).  Eventually she corrected the price to what it should have been.  August Grocery, I will not be returing to you.  I'm also not going to tell you about the typo on your website, so take that!

I returned home with my steak, and since I was going to be home alone, I could make anything that I wanted.  The possibilities were boundless.  Since I never get to eat bernaise sauce normally, I decided that I was going to make that.  I haven't made bernaise sauce since Christmas 2008, so I was excited t do it again.  Bernaise is one of the most satisfying sauces to make since it requires just the right touch (even over a double boiler) to make it perfect.  If you do it too long, the eggs scramble and its ruined, if you do it for too short, its too liquidy and not good.

I made it as well as I ever had, so I was very pleased with myself.  I should have used juice from actual lemons though, instead of ReaLemon, but it was late and I was tired so I didn't want to go to Jewel to get a lemon.  The consistency was perfect, but it was fake sour, so it wasn't quite where it should have been.  Anyway, here's how I did it.

1 tspn fresh tarragon leaves
1 tspn white wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely diced
black pepper
3 egg yolks
1.5 egg shells full of water
4 tbsp butter, melted
lemon juice
kosher salt

1.  Bring the water of a double boiler to a boil and put the top pot on it.  You can use a saucepan with sloped sides if you want, but you really need to be careful about scrambling the eggs if you do it without a double boiler.

2.  Put the shallots, tarragon leaves, vinegar, and  a few grinds of black pepper in the pot.  Gently stir around until the vinegar has mostly evaporated.

3.  Put in the eggs and the water (for each egg you use, you should take half of the egg shell, fill it with water, and pour it in).  Whisk constantly until it thickens up to the consistency of mayonnaise about 4-5 minutes)

4.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.  Season to taste with lemon juice and kosher salt.  You should serve this sauce relatively quickly so that it does not "break." 

5.  Cook the steak however you prefer and spoon some of the sauce on top.  I'm a pretty big fan of bernaise sauce, so I heap it on heavily, but you can do whatever you want.