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Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

Great flavor.  Sometimes that is all a girl needs to say.  ‘Specially a girl who will always push the protein to the side of her plate and let it sit neglected while she smacks her lips over her bread and salad.

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But this flank steak was bold enough to take center stage on my plate and for once Nate actually had a fork fight on his hands for the leftovers.  A great balance of sweet and salty and a great method to let steak remain what it is while enhancing it in all the right ways.

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Bourbon and Brown Sugar Marinated Steak
From Fine Cooking 73, pg. 86
Serves 4

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup bourbon or other whiskey
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar, preferably dark
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1-1/2 to 2 lb. beef steak, preferably flank, or 1-1/2-inch-thick New York strip steaks

Prepare a medium-hot grill fire. Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, bourbon, sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a large zip-top bag. Seal and shake to combine the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Add the steak to the bag, seal, massage to cover the steaks with marinade, and set aside for 15 to 20 min. at room temperature. (Or you can marinade for up to 2 hours in the refrigerator, bringing the steak back to room temp before grilling.)

When the grill is ready, remove the steak from the marinade and shake off any excess, but don’t pat it dry. Reserve the marinade. Grill the steak until good sear marks appear, 3 to 4 min. With tongs, rotate the steak 90 degrees (to get a crosshatch of grill marks) and continue grilling until grill marks form and the edges are a little crisp, another 3 to 4 min. Flip the steak and grill the other side in the same way until the exterior is nicely seared and the steak is cooked to your liking, 10 to 12 min. total cooking time for medium rare. Let the steaks rest for about 5 min.

Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until syrupy, about 3 min. (watch carefully to prevent burning). For flank steak, slice the meat thinly across the grain. For strip steaks, slice thickly or serve in chunks. Serve with a drizzle of the sauce.

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Butter on steak?  I know.  Red meat alone is supposed to kill us all, never mind adding butter on top.  But still, after having read this combination in a fleeting glance at a magazine cover I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  And luckily I had two steaks in the freezer and fresh rosemary sprigs in my fridge just begging to be put together.  And I’m pretty glad that I did put these four, simple ingredients together (plus salt and pepper), regardless of whether Dr. Oz, Jenny Craig, or any trainer on The Biggest Loser would approve.

Steak with Balsamic-Rosemary Butter
Serves 4

4 4 oz. steaks
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Rosemary, minced
Butter

Make the butter first.  Begin by putting the balsamic vinegar in a pan and simmering over medium heat for a few minutes to reduce it slightly.  Take it off the heat and let cool completely.  Bring butter to room temperature.  Mix reduced vinegar and rosemary into the butter.  Place into fridge to firm up.

Heat grill.  Pat steaks with a paper towel to dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.  Oil grill grates with olive oil.  Cook steaks on grill for just a few minutes on each side, until medium rare, or longer depending on your preference.  When cooked, immediately plate and place a mound of the butter on top.  Serve immediately.

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One great tradition that my church has is to provide meals for families with brand new babies.  It’s an excellent idea because, as I’ve learned firsthand, families with newborns do not have two hands or two minutes to throw together a real meal.  They end up eating takeout or frozen pizza … unless their lovely mother and sister stocked their freezer full of food.  It also gives people a chance to meet the new little one and has the side perk of allowing you into other people’s kitchens in a sense.

Nate & I received a delicious meal chock full of salad! which made us both super happy and pecan-crusted chicken.  The chicken was great and stayed in my mind so that when I was thumbing through an old magazine and came across this recipe I wondered why I’d never turned it down in the first place.  The pecan-crusting is quite different in that this one rests on sweeter notes to the chicken recipe’s hotter notes.  But both are great (and this ones a cinch to put together) and I’ve since deemed the pecan as the new walnut of my kitchen.

Pecan-Crusted Skirt Steak
Originally from finecooking.com
Serves 4

1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup pecan pieces
2 Tbs. cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp. honey
1-1/2 tsp. roughly chopped fresh rosemary

Position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease the foil with the oil. If necessary, cut the steak crosswise into pieces 8 to 10 inches long. Arrange the steak on the baking sheet in a single layer and season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Put the pecans, butter, honey, rosemary, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a food processor and pulse until well combined and the pecans are finely chopped.

Broil the steak until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip it and broil until it’s cooked nearly to your liking, about 3 minutes more for medium rare. Spread the pecan mixture over the steak, patting the mixture with the back of a spoon to help it adhere. Continue broiling until the pecan coating is toasted and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Set the steak aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Thinly slice the steak against the grain and transfer to plates. If the pecan coating falls off the steak as you’re slicing it, spoon it over the top.

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What would dinner be without at least two attempts to put our child back down for his nap?  At least, we call it a nap.  Maybe he thinks it is part of his night sleep but something that only lasts 45 minutes can hardly be called “down for the night.”  That doesn’t generally happen ’til much later.  Fortunately this meal can survive fits and interruptions to re-rock the little one.

It’s simple and hearty and not too terrible on the thighs, full of folates from all those buttery, white beans.  Serve it with a slice of crusty, toasted bread to scoop up all those beans and you’re set for the evening.  Originally this recipe did not include corn and you are perfectly welcome to leave it out.  But Nate is not a huge bean fan so I knew I needed to jazz it up a bit to get him excited.  Corn is pretty much a great way to do just that and I spent the minutes that the steak was grilling swatting his hand away from the cutting board full of corn kernels.

Tips for those short on time: put the spice mix together anytime you have a minute … or even days ahead.  You can also drain the beans and cook the corn earlier if it helps get it on the table faster in the end.  Then it’s a 15-minute fix come dinner time.

Spice-Rubbed Steak with White Beans and Cherry Tomatoes
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Serves 4, Total Time: 25 minutes

2 ears of corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse kosher salt
1 1 1/4-pound top sirloin steak (about 1 inch thick)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1-pint container cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained

Start by cooking the two ears of corn in a pot of boiling water.  Allow to cool enough to handle and then use a knife to strip the kernels.

Meanwhile, mix chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, crushed red pepper, and oregano in small bowl. Sprinkle spices, salt, and pepper all over steak. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steak to desired doneness, 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board. Wipe out skillet; add 1 tablespoon oil. Add tomatoes; sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and 1 teaspoon cumin. Add drained beans and corn kernels; stir until heated through, adding water by tablespoonfuls if dry, 3 minutes.

Slice steak; serve with beans.

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Fast and simple food packed with flavor.  What could be better than that?  Well, 0 fat grams I suppose, but that would be too much to ask.

I eyed this steak with absolute relish.  I dug in for three robust bites of tangy, bright flavor.  Only to immediately feel full – too full to enjoy my steak, or the accompanying squash and zucchini gratin, too full to finish my meal.  Of course an hour later I was very hungry and somehow able to polish off a gigantic slice of peanut butter chocolate cake (thanks Catherine for the take-home!).

Pan-Seared Flat Iron Steak with Spicy Cilantro Sauce
Originally from wholefoodsmarket.com
Serves 6

1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (I used less because I like things tangy and don’t ever think as much oil is required as listed)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 (10– to 12-ounce) flat iron steaks

Combine the cilantro, garlic, 1/2 cup of the oil, lemon juice, cumin, chili powder and salt in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set sauce aside.

Sprinkle steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare or 4 to 5 minutes for medium.

Transfer steaks to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing. Serve with sauce on the side.

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