(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.
When I did the meatball post a while back, I asked for some vegetarian meatball recommendations. This was the one that I thought sounded really good and I can’t wait to try it. It may take me a while before I can get to it, so I thought I’d go ahead and link to the original recipe. I’ll revisit it when I have the chance to test it out.
Spinach and Ricotta Vegetarian Meatballs
Yield: Serves 4. Prep Time:20 minutes Total Time:50 minutes
- 1 Cup ricotta cheese
- 1 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 Cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 1/2-2 Cups Italian breadcrumbs (plus some for rolling)
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
For the complete recipe, click on this link and let me know how yours turn out.
Posted by jeffreyww
I made this with the “no boil” pasta that’s been in the cupboard for a spell. It works pretty well, nothing you will brag about to your mother but it’s not a bad thing.The noodles are thin, and they don’t bulk up too much more. They don’t give the kind of body that the regular noodles do. Damned easy to layer them into the dish.Here’s a little better angle on the layers.
Nothing special about the recipe, ricotta and mozzarella with an egg and chopped spinach for the cheese layer. The sauce was my awesome sauce with my own Italian sausage. That thick top layer of cheese is about half and half provolone and mozzarella. I expect this will be better tomorrow.
I decided that we’d do stuffed peppers tonight and when I went trolling around the blog, found we’ve done a few variations on them over the years. Tonight’s featured recipe is from my cousin Scott. He mentions in the original post that we’re a family who loves to cook and I couldn’t agree more. On his side of my family, I think everyone has the gift in the kitchen. I have memories of my grandparents’ farm and the great food we’d have there. My Grandma Lois made the best fried eggs in the world that I have never been able to duplicate. They were crisp on the bottom (a treatment my family always called “shoe leather” –though that does not do that crust justice), perfectly medium on top and covered in so much pepper you’d sneezed just looking at them. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to come close to those eggs. I asked my mom a few years ago what I was missing and she replied, “lard”. And I’m sure it was previously used lard at that. Grandma Lois kept a can on the stove. It’s probably why her fried chicken was so amazing, too.
Anyway that story has nothing to do with tonight’s recipes. Stuffed peppers. We have several takes on them:
JeffreyW does a traditional Stuffed Peppers with homemade tomato soup (recipe here).
I have a pretty easy stuffed Red Pepper recipe – though you can use green peppers, no problem (recipe here).
And our featured recipe, below, from my Men Who Cook series, is a vegetarian treat.
How about you, any favorite memories of foods from childhood you can’t recreate? Do you have a different take on stuffed peppers that you like to use? Hit the comments and share.
Now for tonight’s featured recipe:
This comes from my cousin Scott Adams. Scottie follows in the footsteps of many in my family – the love of cooking (click here for the full story). These peppers are practically gourmet!
Scottie’s Stuffed Pepper’s
- 1/2 pound short whole wheat pasta
- 4 large red bell peppers, tops cut off and reserved, seeded
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
- 4 jarred roasted red peppers
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 small portobello mushroom caps, chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 sprigs rosemary, stems discarded and leaves chopped
- One 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed or diced tomatoes
- 2 cups arugula or baby spinach (a few generous handfuls)
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
- 1 tablespoon of Oregano
- 1 teaspoon of Dill
Preheat the oven to 425°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Trim the bottoms of the bell peppers, without cutting a hole, so that they stand. Season inside with salt and black pepper. Turn the peppers bottom side up in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, set the tops alongside and drizzle with EVOO. Roast for 20 minutes.
Using a food processor, puree the roasted red peppers. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic, mushrooms, crushed red pepper and rosemary and cook until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in the pureed peppers and the fire-roasted tomatoes; season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and toss. Add the arugula and basil and cook until wilted.
Preheat the broiler. Turn the peppers upright; fill with pasta. Top with the cheese and broil until melted, 2 minutes. Cover with the tops and serve with any extra pasta.
Cross-posted at Balloon-Juice sometime this evening.
Tags: arugula, basil, cheese, dill, fire-roasted tomatoes, food, fried eggs, garlic, green peppers, menu, mushrooms, olive oil, onion, oregano, pecorino, portobello, recipe, red peppers, roasted red peppers, romano, rosemary, spinach, stuffed peppers, thursday recipe exchange
I started this blog as a complement to my business of 10 years – I provided weeknight menus and recipes for busy families. It was a lot of fun. I’ve moved on to other things and the blog has evolved from just my simple recipes and flavor palate to guest bloggers, co-bloggers and lots of guest recipes. It’s been a pleasant surprise.
But as the holidays approach and life gets busier, I wanted to come back to those simple recipes and highlight them several times a week. These are quick, fresh recipes that take about 30 minutes. And I swear to you, if you’re not confident in the kitchen, these are foolproof. A way, I hope, to help alleviate some of the stress around this time of year. So tonight’s recipes are in that vein.
First up: the photo above is from JeffreyW, it’s a nice, quick Shrimp and Pasta dish that he liked well enough to make again. (recipe here). Next up is my quick Skillet Lasagna, recipe below.
What are some of your go-to recipes for those nights when there is no time to cook but everyone needs to eat? Do you have family favorites that everyone wants at least once a week? When I was a kid, I would beg my mom to make her rice crispy baked chicken.
Tonight’s featured recipe is one of my favorites because it has a nice blend of flavors for a quick, skillet dish. I use dry spices because they are always in my pantry – make sure to crush them well to bring out the flavor in a dish that doesn’t have the advantage of a long simmer. Use good quality mozzarella and ricotta to take it up a notch. Skip the ground beef for a vegetarian meal (I’d add some nice mushrooms instead) or spice it up with 1/2 Italian sausage and 1/2 ground beef. In other words, don’t be afraid to change it up to fit your needs. For a side, try green beans or zucchini and you’ve got a nice, quick dinner.
- 8 oz bowtie pasta
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ onion, chopped
- ½ green pepper chopped
- 1 tsp basil, crushed
- 1 tsp oregano, crushed
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 carrot, diced
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 4 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 oz grated parmesan
In saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, cooking to al dente (slightly chewy), drain well. Do Not Rinse (it inhibits the sauce from being absorbed by the pasta). Meanwhile, in skillet brown beef, onion & pepper. Add spices, garlic, carrot and sauté for 1 minute. Add sauce, paste, stirring well into meat mixture. Let simmer 10 minutes. Add pasta, stirring gently to mix. Mix together ricotta and spinach, spoon evenly onto mixture (do not stir in, you want to create little cheese balls), top with mozzarella, cover and let simmer on low until mozzarella is completely melted. Serve with parmesan. Serves 6 generously.