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"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook”
~Julia Child

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri sauce Tapa Style

Okay so this tasty treat was something that I happened upon when trying to come up with something different that Joe and I could cook together one Friday night a few weeks back, that was both creative, relatively quick, and tapa style.  I crossed paths with this recipe while meandering through the Food Network Website (sometimes I am just simply inspired when browsing through the recipes).  The occasion, since I am sure you very well want to know, was nothing out of the ordinary for one of our Friday nights, just dinner and a movie.  However, I wanted to make it a little bit more special and so wanted something that would tantalize the senses.  The movie we were watching was Julie and Julia (of course one of my favs) and I paid homage to Ms Julia Child, by cooking in my 1950s style purple gingham dress, heels, and pearls.

It actually ended up being quite a production starting off, as I was planning on simply taking the bus to Lincoln ave and trekking a couple blocks to get to Trader Joe's.  Alas mother nature had a different plan when she brought in a torrential downpour the minute that I was getting off the train.  Needless to say I tried to hail a cab for over a half hour (which the bus still hadn't arrive at that point either) and then had joe pick me up after I was done with the shopping extravaganza.  Trader Joe's had EVERYTHING I wanted and then some, including miniature Heirloom Tomatoes which I promptly picked up for a heirloom and feta cheese salad (doesn't that sound refreshing?).  I also grabbed a box of Trader Joe's frozen mini crab cakes and made a quick remoulade.  So without further ado, a appetizer that I will surely make again and again!

Flank Steak Crostini with Chimichurri and Vidalia Relish

 Ingredients

Steak:

 Buy pre-marinated steak from Trader Joe's, I got the Carne Asada Style and let me tell you it was divine.  One package was plenty for the two of us OR you can marinate your own however you would like it.

  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) flank steak
  • Kosher salt

Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup Basil
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vidalia Relish:

  • 3 Vidalia or other sweet onions, skin on, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 serrano chile, minced with the seeds or use Sirachi (Rooster) spicy thai sauce (about a spoonful)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

To serve:

  • 1 baguette
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steak:

Directions

Mix the wine, oil and black pepper in a nonreactive dish. Add the steak, turn to coat, and marinate at room temperature 1 hour.

Sauce:

Pulse the herbs and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse to make a soupy vinaigrette — it will look a bit creamy until it settles. Add more oil and/or vinegar if too thick. Set aside.


Preheat the grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and more pepper. Grill, covered, until nicely charred and medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing across the grain.  If you don't have a grill/want to take the time, use a George Foreman OR simply pan fry on the stove.

Relish:

Brush the onions with some canola oil and season with rub, salt and pepper. Grill the onions, turning, until charred and soft. Remove from the grill and chop coarsely. Chop again with the green onions and then stir them together with the chile, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
**I have also made it without grilling the onions, while grilled onion are super delish, if you do not wish to take the time the relish with raw onions was still quite good.


Slice the baguette on a diagonal 1/4-inch thick. Brush with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill briefly, until just starting to crisp (can also throw in the oven for a few minutes). Top each piece with some sauce, a slice or 2 of steak, more sauce and some relish.

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