Tired of Turkey

Broke out the sous vide rig for a flat iron steak, ran it to 140 degrees for 4 hours, sliced it, and tossed it into a skillet with a sliced onion just turning brown.  Made a roux of butter and flour, whisked in milk, and cooked that to thicken, adding Provolone bit by bit to make a nice cheese sauce for the the sammiches.  The buns are toasting on the grill.  I love my new oven.


DSC_8453 (1600x1060)My flat leaf parsley and oregano are doing well enough that they’ll provide more than enough material for a little chimichurri.  I remembered the last time I made this I liked it a lot so I gave it another go last night.  This one has the fresh parsley and oregano in equal measure, all spun out in a food processor to save a lot of chopping.  It also has minced onion and garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  I think the last recipe I used included paprika and cumin.  Last night’s iteration was pretty good, I didn’t miss the extras.DSC_8458 (1600x1060)We had enough leftover for a nice steak sammich for lunch today.  I gave the meat a quick zap to break the chill and layered it onto a buttered and toasted hoagie roll.  Yum!

Chimichurri and Rosemary Smashed Potatoes

DSC_6816 [1600x1060]I’ve been seeing chimichurri on many steaks lately and finally decided to find a recipe I could deal with.  Most of them have cilantro as a main ingredient and I just can’t go there.  I found this one and ran with it.  I have flat leaf parsley growing in containers on the patio and was happy to find a good use for it other than as a garnish.  There is a fair sized bush of Greek oregano growing out there, too. It’s in the ground and came back this year from a planting last year, I almost forgot we had it.DSC_6811 [1600x1060]  Mrs J found it too garlicky for her taste but it was fine by me.  The paprika and cumin were interesting additions.  I’ll be doing it again.

The potatoes were from A Pioneer Woman’s recipe:DSC_6813 [1600x1060]The fresh rosemary is really key to this, recipe, I chopped a twig’s worth and infused some into the olive oil with a clove of garlic and sprinkled the rest on top before they went into the oven to roast.  These were the little golden potatoes instead of red ones but they were just right for this.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Flank Steak Pinwheels

Flank Steak Pinwheels Final

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 Pinwheel Prep Final

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 Tenderizertenderizer, 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.

Mmm… cheesesteak sammies

DSC_4803 [1600x1200]So good and so easy to pull together.  Slice up a nice big sweet onion and some beef.  I like flat iron steaks for this kind of thing.  Give the onions a head start, brown them a little in oil and then toss in the beef slices.  I use tongs to stir and flip the meat until it browns and then mix every thing together.  While that is going, make a roux in a saucepan, add milk to make the white sauce, and then add cheese and stir as it melts.  As usual, I made way more than I needed but it will keep in the fridge for a few days.  Add some pickled jalapenos and reheat it for an excellent nacho cheese sauce.  Mmm… nachos!

Cheesesteak Fries in the Nacho Style

What can I say?  I did it for reasons.  The dish was well received by all. moar cheesesteak friesI mentioned this to Mrs J when the whim struck me as I was slicing the frosty flat iron steak.  She said fries with her cheesesteak sammich would be fine.  I said, no, I mean put the cheesesteak filling on top of the fries, like cheese fries.  We’ve had those before.  She said “Oooohhh”!  I took that as an assent.  LOL

Fusion Fajitas

I was sorting through the freezer looking for tortillas when I ran across a package of onion nan bread.  Mrs J is a big fan of fajitas and we were going to use the leftovers from the steak and peppers dinner yesterday to make them.  I decided to go with the nan bread because it had been in the freezer longer and I thought it would make an interesting dish.  It turned the fajita into something like a gyro.  Mrs J even put some sour cream on hers which made the comparison even more apt.It was quick work reheating the leftovers with fajita seasoning and a splash of water to get it all working.  I made the seasoning, from a recipe I pulled off the web, with corn starch and a powdered chicken stock base.  The rest of the mix was the usual:  Cumin, black pepper, ground dried oregano, onion and garlic powders, various chili powders, cayenne, paprika – you get the idea.  Ratios are more of a person preference than anything, make it as hot as you like.

Warm the nan bread (or tortillas) in the microwave for a minute, covered with plastic, or invert another plate atop them, that works fine.  The red peppers in this dish are cherry peppers from the garden.  Also in the mix are green and orange bells, and a sweet yellow pepper called “gypsy”, and some mildly hot peppers that are yellow and turn orange when ripe.  I planted those expecting to get cayennes but they were mislabeled and I have no idea what their names are.  Going to have lots of them, whatever they are!