Saturday, February 14, 2009

Plan #3 - You Can Flank Me Later

Plan #3 is dedicated to Costco's Flank Steak. If you know how to prepare it, this underrecognized cut can be a great source of red meat for those on a budget. It's not the tenderest cut out there and so can usually get an excellent price per pound. The trick with Flank Steak is to cook with strong, bold flavours, and to slice thinly against the grain into small pieces when serving, otherwise it can seem a little tough. And try as we might not to be food wasters, Don and I have found that we just do not enjoy reheated steaks of any kind. So pay attention to how many people you are serving, portion off the meat and only prepare what you plan to eat that night. I've found from experience, that Costco's Flank Steak packages usually come with two very large cuts per package. One large costco cut can typically feed up to six people. For just Don and I, I cut each steak in half and freeze the four sections separately. Each half a steak contains more than enough meat for a dinner for two in our household.

Below are a couple of recipes for flank steak. As I mentioned above, start by dividing the meat into the right proportions for your family size. The Soy-Balsamic Marinade can be prepared ahead of time and frozen with the meat in an airtight ziploc bag, then grilled or broiled for an easy weaknight meal. Serve the marinated grilled steak as is with some roasted potatoes and veggies, or try it with the Chimichurri Sauce shown below for some additional flavor. The Curried Beef and Onions is an easy weeknight meal which makes use of lots of typical pantry items and spices. If you decide to make ahead and freeze, only complete the directions up through the tomatoes. Then on the night you are ready to serve, cook up some fresh rice and stir in the yogurt right before serving. Be warned though that this recipe is not one for those who cannot handle the heat. It's a spicy one but very tasty!

Soy-Balsamic Marinade

Notes: This marinade imparts a rich mahogany sheen and spicy bite to red meats and salmon. The recipe can be multiplied for larger batches; cover and chill up to 2 weeks.

This recipe goes with Grilled Marinated Meat

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

In a small container, mix soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, chili flakes, and garlic.

Yield: Makes about 1/2 cup, enough for 1 to 1 1/2 pounds meat, poultry, or fish

Sunset, JULY 2002

Garlic-Rubbed Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is a traditional tangy herb sauce from Argentina that's usually paired with grilled meat. Set aside half of the flank steak for Steak Panzanella another night.

1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
4 servings Garlic-Rubbed Flank Steak

1. Place first 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely minced. With processor on, slowly pour oil and 1 tablespoon water through food chute; process until well blended. Serve sauce with Garlic-Rubbed Flank Steak.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 1 tablespoon sauce)

CALORIES 221 (50% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 3.2g,mono 7.1g,poly 1g); IRON 2.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 37mg; CALCIUM 33mg; CARBOHYDRATE 2.2g; SODIUM 349mg; PROTEIN 24.2g; FIBER 0.5g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2008

Curried Beef and Onions

1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 cups hot cooked basmati rice
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak, and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add ginger, garlic, and jalapeño; sauté 1 minute. Add onion, curry, and coriander; sauté 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, and simmer 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates.

Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Stir in yogurt. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup steak mixture and 1/2 cup rice)

CALORIES 408 (30% from fat); FAT 13.6g (sat 5.2g,mono 5.1g,poly 1.7g); IRON 5.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 56mg; CALCIUM 116mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.2g; SODIUM 418mg; PROTEIN 27.5g; FIBER 3g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2003

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