Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Light Tapas With Boursin Topped Flank Steak

Tonight I am doing another original recipe, combining a favorite cut of beef with a simple twist, served alongside a series of simple tapas dishes.

As always, simplicity is the foundation of all things great -- and so it is in this meal.

So, let's get to work .....


- 2-3 sprigs fresh basil
- 1 medium tomato
- Block havarti or fresh mozzarella cheese for slicing
- olive oil
- 7-10 shrimp, peeled and de-veined with tail on
- red or white seedless grapes
- Block brie cheese
- 1 fresh carrot
- Chopped parsley
- For cocktail sauce: 1/4 ketchup (be upstanding and get something organic, k?!), a few dollops fresh prepared horseradish, green hot sauce (pick your fave), and fresh lime juice (squeeze to taste).

- 1 Flank steak, seasoned with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and drizzled with olive oil. Rub ingredients into meat (don't be a jerk! get your hands dirty ....)
- Boursin cheese

- 1 large bottle red wine

Open wine, pour glass, and start cooking!

First, set meat out to reach room temp. Then, make cocktail sauce: Combine ketchup, horseradish, hot sauce and lime juice. Stir to mix well, then place in fridge to keep cold.

Julienne carrot and place on plate with grapes and four slices brie cheese. Arrange artistically!

Slice tomato and arrange on plate, drizzling all with olive oil. Place slice of havarti or fresh mozzarella on each, as well as a basil leaf to top. Grind fresh black pepper on top and serve.

TO COOK SHRIMP FAST: place in bowl and microwave on low heat for 1:30 or so. This produces a clean, cooked shrimp. Place them on a plate, sprinkle chopped parsley over all, and serve with cocktail sauce.

THAT is the tapas course. Enjoy with wine.

NOW for the meat .....

Place in convection oven/conventional oven/broiler on 425, or grill with hood up on high heat. Cook to medium rare (that's right ... DON'T waste this cut!!!! The cow gave its life for you to eat it .... have some respect and don't burn it!!!) and let cool for two minutes after removing from heat. Spread boursin cheese on top of steak, covering completely. Slice into medium slices and serve with more wine.

Tonight's music: Parade and Around The World In A Day by Prince and the Revolution, Katy Lied and The Royal Scam by Steely Dan, Live at the Fillmore East by the Allman Brothers.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Spicy Flank Steak With Red Curry Mussels

This week we revive a favorite, the spicy flank steak, and combine it with red-curry mussels for some heated surf and turf. The spices employed here bring flavors of the near east from Turkey and India.

This is a good meal any time of the year, as far as I am concerned. While this blog focuses on the solo eater, the steak in this meal is enough for two. So, you'll have some fun leftovers.

- 1 Flank Steak
- 3 Tbsp Baroody Turkish Hot Sauce
- Crushed Red Pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- Kosher or sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 pound mussels
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1-2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 yellow onion
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Turbinado sugar
- Red Curry Paste
- 1 large bottle red wine

Pour a glass of wine and get to work .....

Mince garlic and chop onion. Place flank steak in a dish to marinade, and cover with Baroody hot sauce, massaging it into all sides of the steak. Sprinkle crushed red pepper and 1 clove minced garlic over the steak, rubbing it in also. Top with a pinch of the salt and fresh ground pepper. Let sit at room temperature for around 20 minutes.

Heat a large pot, heat sesame oil to medium heat. Add 2 cloves garlic and chopped onion. Saute with a WOODEN spoon for 5-7 minutes. Add coconut milk, a few dashes crushed red pepper, lime juice, and a dash of turbinado sugar (I use the latter two ingredients instead of fish sauce). Stir well, then add curry paste (to taste -- I use at least 1 Tbsp. Stir until paste is dissolved into coconut milk mixture. Cover.

Place steak directly on the an oven rack to broil (range or convection), or place on a grill with the hood up to sear. I recommend cooking rare or medium rare.

While the steak cooks, the curry mixture should be boiling. Remove lid and add mussels in groups directly to mixture. Cover 3-4 minutes to steam each group, placing steamed mussels in a covered container while the rest cook. Discard any that do not open.

When mussels are finished, spoon some of the curry mixture over them.

Remove steak from heat when it is cooked to taste and let sit for 2-4 minutes. Slice and serve alongside mussels. Pour another glass of wine and enjoy.

Tonight's music: Solitude Standing by Suzanne Vega

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hawaiian Hula Melt With Jerk-Spiced Shrimp

Tonight we once again fix some light, summer fare. This meal is an island combination from both Hawaii and the Caribbean ... both of which prove a good combination of flavors ... a good balance of sweet and savory. And, a nice and easy dinner for the summertime.

I originally planned potatoes on the side here, but upon discovering there were none to be had, I decided to substitute shrimp.

Everything still works fine.


- 1/4 pound ground beef, buffalo or venison
- 8-10 shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- Jerk Seasoning
- 1-2 slices fresh pineapple
- 2 slices whole-grain bread
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Sliced muenster cheese
- Yellow mustard and mayonnaise to taste

AND, I will offer a jerk seasoning recipe:

2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons crushed dry thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

This meal could be cooked inside (on a stove top range or toaster oven) or outside (on a grill). Crack open a beer, put on some tunes and get to work.

Form meat into a patty for grilling, pan-frying or broiling (I used venison, which is very lean and cooks pretty quick). Slice pineapple, and drizzle shrimp with olive oil and jerk seasoning.

Cook meat until medium, then remove from heat and place on bread with cheese, pineapple, mustard and mayo. If using a grill, brush each side of bread with melted butter. If not, coat skillet or griddle with a thin layer of it. Cook patty-melt style until the bread is toasted on both sides.

In the meantime, place shrimp in separate skillet (or skewer on grill). Cook until done (they will cook fast ... ).

When patty melt is done, cut in half and serve as pictured with shrimp. Crack another beer and enjoy.

Tonight's music: Sarah McLachlan, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

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