Category Archives: Grilling
(originally posted 4/26/13 – I’ll post another recipe tonight, too)
These were fun. Not as much effort as it looks. Although I save them for special occasions. The steak can be prepped the day before, just wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Makes it great for a date night, anniversary or small dinner party. I pan-seared and finished in the oven because with the cheese, I thought grilling them wouldn’t work as well. The reward was great pan drippings when I was finished, which I drizzled over the potatoes before serving.
If you’d like something with a bit less work, how about a Spicy Grilled Flank Steak? (Recipe here)
JeffreyW works his magic on Flat Iron Steak with various recipes and lots of pictures. (click here)
How about you? When you want to make an impression, either for a special dinner for two or a small dinner party, what’s your go-to recipe? What’s more important, foolproof or dazzling on the plate? Hit the comments with your ideas.
Now tonight’s featured recipe:
Flank Steak Pinwheels
- 1 large flank steak, butterflied
- salt and pepper
- crushed garlic (at least 2 cloves)
- 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
- 1 bunch washed and dried spinach leaves
- 8 wooden skewers
- olive oil
Cast iron or oven proof skillet
You can ask the butcher to butterfly your flank steak, which is what I did. But it’s fairly easy to butterfly. You want the grain running up and down in front of you and then you’ll slice it in half, NOT slicing all the way through. When you’re done you’ll lay it open, flat, basically making a larger, thinner steak.
Once you have it laid out flat in front of you with the grain running left to right, you’ll want to tenderize it, pounding it flat. I use my pronged tenderizer, so I add the spices first and use the tenderizer to help infuse the meat.
If you haven’t already, once it’s pounded, add salt, pepper and garlic evenly over the meat. Layer the spinach over the meat. You want it to be several leaves thick, because it will reduce as it cooks.
Next layer the provolone cheese slices, two to three slices thick, over the meat.
Now it’s time to roll. Roll tightly in the direction of the grain. Add a skewer every 2 inches and then slice between the skewers, so you have 2-inch thick pinwheels.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil in large skillet, reduce heat to med-high and add pinwheels, flat-side down. After a minute, using the skewer (you may also need a metal spatula to get all the cheesy goodness) flip over, sear additional minute. The usual method of waiting until the meat moves easily to flip will not work with this because the cheese is sticky. So just do one minute each side, it will be fine.
Place the skillet in the oven, turn the oven off and let the steak finish for 10-15 minutes for medium rare. These are thin and don’t need a lot of cooking time and you don’t want the cheese to burn.
Remove to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes. You can then use the great juices in the skillet to make a gravy if desired. I just drizzled them over the steak and potatoes right before serving.
My steak made 4 pinwheels. If you have more, you may need to finish cooking on a baking sheet after searing them in groups.
I put up a post on my Facebook page to poll my family on their favorite ways to prepare corned beef to supplement tonight’s Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe exchange. Here are two of my favorites.
Corned beef – buy the flat, not the point. Roasting or simmering in water. I prefer the simmering method. Cut across the grain – easier to cut and eat. After simmering til tender, place in the oven and brush a mixture of brown sugar and mustard on it and bake til this is carmelized. 20 minutes or so at 350 -385. This firms it up and it improves the flavor While you do this, you can toss potatoes, carrots and onions in the cooking water and cabbage the last 10 minutes or so.
I really like her idea of taking it out and finishing it in the oven. I would under-cook the two recipes I’ll be posting, the pressure cooker by 10 minutes and the slow-cooker by a half hour.
And from my uncle Bob:
Corned beef – buy the flat for simmering/roasting but get the points if you want to cook it on the grill. Corn beef, potatoes (preferably baby reds, carrots and onions, gotta have my onions all go into the roaster. Cover with water and put in the oven on low temp. Add cabbage about 30 minutes before you plan to eat. I like my cabbage to be soft. Remove the corned beef, wrap in foil and let rest 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
For the grill I prefer the points. ‘Slather’ plain old prepared mustard on the points and place on the grill. Use indirect heat, cook about 2 hrs, then wrap in foil and throw them back on the grill or in the oven at low temp. Let rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
I like the grilling idea, but it may take me a few more tries with basic cooking before I attempt that style.
Kirk Spencer had a terrific suggestion in an email this morning. We were talking about bamboo skewers (and how you MUST soak them before grilling to avoid flaming kabobs) and he said he’d used rosemary stems as skewers. I thought this sounded just wonderful. Maybe a lemon marinated chicken skewered on rosemary. It wouldn’t need much other seasoning, that’s for sure, and of course you’d really need to like rosemary. Lamb would probably hold up well with that type of seasoning. Yum. Can’t wait to try on something.
Now for some news on the Thursday Recipe Exchange. This week it will be postponed to Friday because the wonderful Wiley Cash will be live blogging over at Balloon-Juice about his book A Land More Kind Than Home tonight. And since I post the recipe exchange specifically to be cross-posted over there, a changed seemed prudent.
Friday night is where it’s going to stay for the time being, because of some special events planned at B-J on Thursdays. I’m good with that, hope you are, too.
Back to Mr. Cash, first of all, has there ever been a better novelist’s name? I read his book when it first came out and gave it as gifts over the summer. It’s worth a read, sets a beautiful North Carolina mountain scene as the backdrop to a dark mystery. It’s a quick and compelling story, told from the perspective of several characters in the first person.
I think that covers everything. Hopefully Kirk and I will have a big cooking announcement in the coming weeks.
I was thrilled when JeffreyW put together a batch of chipotles in adobo sauce, using jalapenos from his summer garden. I learned a lot from his post. I’m going to direct you to the entire thing instead of just reposting his recipe because he does a terrific explanation of the whole process. So before you try any of tonight’s other recipes, you might want to start with JeffreyW’s recipe (found here).
Once you’ve got your chipotles and sauce all prepped (or bought), you can try them in any of the following:
My absolute favorite is Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon (recipe here). A great way to kick up a comfort food.
The spicy sauce is great in combination with fruits. When strawberries were in season I spiced up someone else’s recipe for Chicken in Strawberry Sauce with some chipotles in adobo sauce for a real treat (recipe here).
And from the photo at top, JeffreyW uses it to spice up his breakfast (recipe here).
So are you a fan of chipotles in adobo sauce? Have a favorite way to use them? If you haven’t tried them, are they something you might try now that we’ve wowed you with their many uses?
Finally, tonight’s featured recipe:
I had canned a big batch of apple butter a while back and one night I was wondering what to do with it besides spread it on bread. I had been thinking that it would be good with chicken or pork and eventually decided that barbecue chicken thighs would be where I would start. Then I decided to heat it up. A spicy, smoky mix of apple butter, chipotles in adobo sauce and a touch of spices made the perfect sauce:
Chipotle-Apple Butter Barbecue Chicken
I decided that bone-in, skin on thighs would work best.
- 8 chicken thighs
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 cup apple butter
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to start, add more as desired)
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
Season thighs with 1 tsp crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Let sit for 5-10 minutes while oven or grill preheats to 375 degrees. Bake or grill chicken for 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, blend together remaining ingredients until smooth. Brush on chicken thighs thickly at the 15 minute mark and add more every 5 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees internal temperature (usually 10-15 minutes for a total cooking time of 25 to 30 minutes). Serve with lots of napkins.
A local market had a great sale on NY Strip steak in the value pack. I froze most, finding some room between the great deal on chicken thighs and my extra turkey. I kept one out for dinner last night. They were a little under a pound each, so I cut it in half and each one was a perfect serving size. Served it with mashed potatoes and gravy and a nice salad. In a weird twist of happenstance, the night before I was flipping around and America’s Test Kitchen was on and they were pan frying strip steaks, so I stuck around.
The first thing they talked about was baking them in the oven to start the process. I thought, no way can that work. But it’s cold here now and grilling is not an option, so I decided to try out their method. After all if I botched it, I had a freezer full, so if one wasn’t great, I’d turn it into salad fixin’s or something and try with another one.
Surprisingly, the method created some of the best steaks I’ve had in a while. Perfectly cooked, with great flavor, which is a trick if you aren’t grilling them, in my experience.
Now I wanted to link to their recipe or even better their video, but their entire site is locked down. You have to register with a credit card to have access. So you’ll just have to do with my version.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
Pat steaks dry with paper towel. I actually seasoned mine the night before and put them in an overly large container with a lid, which helped dry them out. This seems to be key with this method.
They recommended 8-ounce steaks, mine were probably 6 oz. Season entire surface of steaks liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder (opt). Place a wire rack on a cooking sheet, add the steaks and transfer to the oven. Cook until thermometer inserted in center of steaks registers 90° to 95° for rare to medium-rare (20-25 minutes) or 100° to 105° for medium (25-30 minutes). Mine were there by 15 minutes, so I’d check at 10 minutes, and every 5 minutes until you reach that temperature. Because of the cooking method, at this point you don’t have to worry about the thermometer piercing the meat and letting juices flow out – it’s still basically raw, but still try to use the same hole. If you do this method more often, you’ll probably be able to eye it and know it’s the right temp.
Next, heat oil in a skillet until it is almost smoking. I used olive oil and my cast iron. Place steaks in skillet, press down with your fingers, to make sure the whole side touches the skillet – the oil helps here, filling in the gaps. At about 1 minute, lift to redistribute oil and at the 2 minute mark, flip and sear the other side for 2 minutes, repeating the procedure. Now, with tongs, grab both steaks and sear each side for about a minute (if you’re making more than two steaks, remove all the steaks from the pan, onto a wire rack and sear sides two steaks at a time).
Set steaks on a platter, tent loosely with foil for 10 minutes. When you cut into it, you’ll find a perfectly heated and rare center with a beautiful crust on the outside. And something in this cooking method really brings out the flavors of the meat.
They made some kind serving sauce to go with their steaks, but I didn’t pay enough attention to it to recreate it. I made gravy instead.
If any of that needs clarification, ask in the comment section and I’ll see if I can describe the method better. I really wish I could link you to the video.