Monday, August 3, 2009

Flank Steak with Chimichurri, Purple Potato Salad & Fresh Summer Tomatoes, Avocado & Mozz!

Dinner party Saturday night ... OK a few Saturdays ago ... at my place ... and it is, guess what, 100+ degrees - who knew?

Right. Austin this summer has been a veritable inferno ... and I was NOT about to cook something warm and toasty in my house where I don't have a patio to grill. But serving my guests fish again was not optional either ...

Enter a nice flank steak over salad idea ... inspired by my lovely subscription to Bon Appetit (a bday gift courtesy of my friend Michelle:) ... about seven steak & chimi recipes later, I arrived at the below which was heralded by all as fantabulous!!! (measurements may be less than exact;))))

Try to have 3-4 hours for marinating ... so plan just a lil' ahead plz!

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, Purple Potato Salad & Summer Tomato, Avo, Mozz Salad
(will post the potato salad recipe separately) Serves 8-10

Steak & Marinade
  • 3 lbs Flank Steak (it was a bit much for my 6 person table, but mmmm the leftovers!)
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsps Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 4-5 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
  • 1-2 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Chimichurri Sauce - Kir's Tweak ...
  • 1 1/2 large bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro (my add - not in traditional chimi)
  • 1/3 bunch fresh basil (my add - from my garden - sweetness that popped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves(must be fresh - don't even think about dried)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled (or 5 ... that's what I used:))
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (add a smidge of balsamic to sweeten it & cut the acid)
  • 2 Tbsps dried red chili flakes (start with 1/2 of this and then taste periodically as you add - mine had heat, but not too much ... just right for my crew)
  • Salt to taste, sea salt is best
The beauty of this whole deal is that once you make the chimi & marinade ... it's all downhill!

Mix all the marinade ingredients and then place the meat in a shallow pan with the marinade, ideally covering it. You can also use the plastic bag methodology (which creeps me out for some reason ... flesh ... in a bag ... ugh). Put this in the fridge for 3-4 hours ... or overnight if you are that well planned (I usually am not).

Make your chimi a bit in advance to let the flavors meld and give yourself time to get dressed for guests:))) Because I use a really small Cuisinart (which I love - if I haven't told ya before - and you can get at Costco for like $40 - best gadget EVER) ... I usually do a large dice of my ingredients so I don't kill the thing. Therefore, smash your garlic and chop the leaves of your lovely herbs. Drop this plus your olive oil and vinegar into the food processor and blend away. Once you have a pretty sauce consistency ... start adding salt and red pepper flakes ... perhaps that drip of balsamic ... this is the fun part. You must taste. Add things, blend more and taste. I tasted with some pita chips ... and ultimately reached a heat that left me just wanting a bit more ... addictive heat is what we got ... and what my guests LOVED.

I was asked to blog about this and, Jeremy, now that I have ... I challenge you to try it ... tweak it ... and improve upon it!

OK. I digress. You've got your chimi and your meat chillin ... I then made a really nice potato salad and prepped my veggies for the evening ... so finally, the cooking happens.

Several options:
  1. Grill - I don't have a grill ... my man does (since I bought it for him two bdays ago ... but it resides at his abode ... so ... I'll give you my guess on cooking times). 4-5 minutes per side on med-hi heat.
  2. Grill Pan - Aha! A gift from my father, Le Creuset Grill Pan, results in very nicely scored flank steak ... that ... well ... I got 1/2 right and 1/2 overcooked since I had two big slabs. The good one was about 4 minutes per side and then rested. The bad one I did 3 then 4 and then put it in the oven to keep ... oops ... probably could've done 3 and 2 or so and then in the oven to keep warm and it would've been great.
  3. Broiler - I am not going to guess on this one ... go check another recipe!

Let that bad boy rest ... cut it on the bias* (very important!) and serve over your fave salad. My trick here was to take my chimi sauce and turn it into a much milder salad dressing by mixing about 2 tbsps chimi with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp buttermilk. MMMM.

Cutting on the Bias - if you don't know is cutting at an angle ... ideally against the grain of the meat. This breaks the sinew allowing your guests to enjoy the shortest muscles and therefore tenderest mouthfeel ... and if you've marinated well ... then 'like butta'!

Enjoy beating the summer heat with this delish recipe inspired by Argentinian classics!!!!

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