Showing posts with label steaks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label steaks. Show all posts

Friday, January 7, 2011

Braciole (Italian-Style Rolled Flank Steak)

Braciole, pronounced bra-shoal, is an age-old Italian meat dish. It's a very southern Italian, Italian-immigrant dish. My older relatives (think grandparents and their generation) used to make it all the time. I haven't had it in years and when I saw a post recently on Proud Italian Cook's blog, it made my mouth water and my tastebuds yearn for that melt in your mouth tender meat. The trick to braciole is the braising process - basically you sear the meat rolls and then simmer them for hours in a rich, winey tomato sauce. The end result is the most flavorful, fork-tender meat you'll ever eat. In my family, we usually rolled the pounded out flank steak with slabs of lard, which helps tenderize the meat. I noticed Proud Italian Cook used thinly sliced prosciutto and I absolutely loved this idea. I used pancetta however, and then I followed her basic stuffing combination and the rolls were delicious.
My mom was in charge of wrapping up the rolls and I think she went a little overboard! Check out those sailor knots LOL!
You don't need to use as much twine, not that it will mess with the taste but it did take quite a while to open these little packages when dinner was served. Mom was just being extra-cautious though so you can't fault her for hog-tying the rolls. She just didn't want the rolls to break up in the sauce. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that Italians are good with rope (lol little bad mob humor there, not sayin' anything of course! Just kidding!)
Anyway, here are some rough measurements I came up with for the recipe. In the true Italian tradition, PRC's blog doesn't provide measurements on her post, but I know not everyone can just improvise and I don't want that to be a reason why you didn't try this dish because it's out of this world. For the tomato sauce you can just use any basic tomato sauce recipe you like - one that has red wine in it might be nice, but not required. I think the wine helps tenderize the meat even more. You need kitchen twine to tie your rolls together. I prefer to cut the steak into strips in order to make individual rolls, but if you do an online search for braciole you'll find many recipes that have you rolling up the flank steak in one large piece and tying it that way. Do whatever works for you. Enjoy! We served this for Christmas dinner with some homemade crab and red pepper ravioli.

Source: adapted from Proud Italian Cook

4-5 lbs flank steak, pounded thin and cut into long strips about 3 inches wide
3/4 lb pancetta, sliced thinly (get this from your deli counter at your grocery)
1/2 cup minced garlic (almost one whole small bulb)
2/3 cup chopped parsley
2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1/4 - 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (use more if your mixture is looking too thick with parsley and garlic)
olive oil

Mix together your garlic, parsley, cheese and breadcrumbs. Use a little olive oil, about a tablespoon or two to bind the mixture. Lay out your flank steak, make sure it's been pounded to about 1/2 inch thick, or thinner if you can without breaking the meat too much. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Layer the pancetta in a single layer on top of each flank steak. Then top evenly with the stuffing mixture and pat flat. Finally, roll up your flank steak and secure with kitchen twine.
In a high-sided saute pan, cover the bottom with olive oil in a thin layer and heat. Once the oil is hot, add your rolls, a few at a time, and brown on all four sides.
Remove once browned and set aside. Once all your rolls are browned, add them to your simmering homemade tomato sauce and let them cook on low heat for a few hours until the meat is tender. Be careful when stirring the sauce pot so you don't break up the rolls within the pot. Once done, remove and serve with more sauce and grated romano cheese and your favorite pasta. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Philly's Best Cheesesteak

Philly and I go way back. It's where I was born and lived for the first year of my life, it's where my parents grew up and it's where most of my relatives still live in or around today. My little brother attended Drexel University and then decided to stay in the city to live. So my husband and I go up for a visit every now and then to hang out with my brother in his stomping ground. Now despite my long history with Philadelphia and my countless visits and hours spent in the city, I've never ever had a real Philly cheesesteak. Shocking isn't it?? I've had most every other Philly food - great Italian, Philly pretzels, a hoagie, but never a real, honest to goodness cheesesteak. My husband, being a native Marylander, had never had a cheesesteak either and every time we go up to Philly to visit he gripes about why we never get cheesesteaks. So two weeks ago we went up on a beautiful weekend and took a trip to the famous "cheesesteak corner" in South Philly for one of Geno's gut-busters.
On this busy corner are two Philly landmarks - Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's .
My brother claimed Geno's was the better of the two, so we went with Geno's. Both cheesesteak joints had long lines, but they moved fairly quickly. Of the two places, Geno's definitely has much more curb appeal.
Bright, neon orange signs beckon hungry patrons. Vegas-style flourescent lighting draws your eye in while pictures of Geno's owners arm in arm with celebrities line the glossy orange-tiled walls. Big panel-size windows let you peek in on the quickly moving operation as four to five guys work feverishly to construct cheesesteak after cheesesteak.
The ordering can be a bit anxious, a la the soup nazi in Seinfeld , so we had my brother, a seasoned Philadelphia and cheesesteak afficionado, do the ordering for us.
The Rules? Here they are:
Don't linger at that window - know what you want, speak up, say it and move on. The line is long, people are hungry and Geno's cooks are busy. No time for a slow decision maker waxing poetic about the difference between a whiz wit and wit-out. Just do it man! Don't think about the calories, the cholesterol, the fat and the zero nutritional value of this meal.
That's something that should have struck you long before you waited in line. Once you commit to the cheesesteak, you need to go whole hog - cheese fries, whiz wit (translated to cheesesteak with cheese wiz and sauteed onions, the only way to eat it apparently) and a large soda to wash it all down.
I was afraid of the possible extreme saltiness of the cheese wiz, so I opted for the cheesesteak with provolone.
It was good, but one bite of my brother's whiz wit and I was regretting my decision. Nobody beats the whiz, at least when it comes to cheesesteak. The oozing, goey cheese just makes the sandwich, hands down.
I did get the fries with cheese whiz and they were delicious. The cheese whiz isn't what you're thinking. It's not the salt-laden stuff you find in the grocery store. It's much creamier and much less salty and has actual cheese flavor.
I knew my husband was enjoying his whiz wit meal because I don't think he said one single word once his cheesesteak was in hand. He wouldn't even stop to pose for a picutre! I made sure to document my first cheesesteak experience though, full, smiling mouth and everything!
Next time we're in Philly we'll conquer Pat's and see how it compares. According to my brother there is no comparison. Geno's is just better. We shall see...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grilled Ribeye with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce

Wow. This meal tastes as rich as it sounds. I saw it on The Pioneer Woman's blog and fell instantly in love. It encompassed some of my favorite things, steak (check), onions (check) and blue cheese (double check with a million plus signs!). This sauce is versatile and can easily be served with chicken, pork or even on top of hamburgers...yum. And it was simple to make too! I served this with a green salad and the hubs and I felt like we were back in Arizona eating at The Cowboy Saloon. Giddy up!

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce
The Pioneer Woman
2 ribeye steaks
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons butter
1 very large yellow onion
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks. Grill in 2 tablespoons butter until medium rare.
Saute onions in 4 tablespoons butter over high heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dark and caramelized. Reduce heat to simmer and pour in cream. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in blue cheese until melted. Serve steaks on generous portion of sauce.
Swoon - isn't that a thing of beauty??

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I just had to post some pictures of the glorious meat my family enjoyed over the holiday weekend. July 4th is important to me because it's not only Independence Day, but it's also the day after my husband's birthday. So we celebrate all weekend. And it works out that my husband's favorite food is hamburgers and steaks on the grill. We put a little twist on these American favorites. Hope it inspires you to bring out the best on your bbq!

Mediterranean Strip Steaks
4 steaks
4 cloves garlic minced
10-12 sprigs of fresh oregano, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese
Combine the chopped garlic, oregano and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the steaks and let marinate for about an hour so the flavor can soak into the meat. Grill until desired tenderness. Serve topped with crumbled feta cheese.

Gorgonzola Stuffed Burgers
There's really no need for a recipe here of course. These tasted so good! I mixed the meat with a little salt and pepper, and a small palmful of McCormick's Grill Seasoning "Hamburger". I then stuffed the patties with my favorite blue cheese, gorgonzola. Grilled and served. They tasted fantastic with some juicy tomatoes and dijon mustard.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Red Wine-Rosemary Grilled Flank Steak with Roasted Dijon Chive Potatoes

Steak and potatoes. Quite possibly the most perfect meal. Nuff said. This was a very tasty marinade for the steak. I wish I had marinaded it a bit longer to break down the steak a bit more, but it was still good. Flank steak can be a little tough sometimes, so a long stay in a nice marinade can help ease that burden. I'm submitting this to Joelen's Culinary Adventures Bobby Flay Recipes Contest.

I kind of threw together what I knew for the potatoes. I've been growing chives in a pot on my patio and they are thriving! I really wanted to find a way to use them. So I came up with this idea - which I'm sure has been done before a million other ways. I'm not claiming to have invented the wheel here. Just giving my take. So with that said, here's the recipes.

Red Wine-Rosemary Grilled Flank Steak
source: Bobby Flay
3 cups dry red wine
4 small sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (2 pound) flank steak
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the steak: Place the wine, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, onion, garlic and olive oil in a large shallow baking dish and stir to combine. Add the steak and turn to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Heat the grill, remove the meat from the marinade, season both sides with salt and pepper to taste and grill 6 to 7 minutes on each side (this was perfect timing for medium rare to medium). Let sit 5 minutes and slice against the grain.

Roasted Dijon Chive Potatoes
6 red potatoes
1 medium sized vidalia or sweet onion
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
juice of a small lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
a small bunch of fresh chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up your potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Slice your onion into thin rings. Place in a baking dish. In a small bowl whisk together the mustards, lemon juice and olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more olive oil if needed to balance out the lemon. Pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and onions and toss to coat. Roast for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender (may take longer depending on your oven). Remove and top with your chopped chives and serve.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Perfect Filet Mignons

Last Tuesday my husband had ankle surgery. He's not only flat-footed but, ever since he was about 5-years-old, he's thought he was Spiderman. He won't ever admit that, but that's my theory. He spent his youth jumping off bridges (I'm not talking like make-shift bridges, I'm talking public road bridges...yeah he's that breed of crazy!). He also could easily be found jumping out of really tall trees and even jumping out the window of his third-story bedroom. He was a child with no fear and it stretched into his adulthood.

About a year and a half ago at 36 years of age, he jumped off the top of one of the public buses he services as a mechanic as part of a practical joke. As luck would have it, the joke ended up being on him. He landed on a 5-inch thick power cord, twisted his ankle and chipped a bone in his joint. He whined and griped about the pain for about a year and then finally took my advice and went to the doctor. Surgery was the only remedy, so last week he went under the knife. Since then, he's been a permanent fixture on our couch, his ankle encased in a bulky cast. So as part of my marriage commitment to be a good wife in sickness and in health, I've spent the last few days making some of his favorite meals, the first of which are these Perfect Filet Mignons. I guess you could say the oxycodone and visteral are what's taking away my husband's residual surgery pain, but I say it's my fabulous home cooking. Hey, a girl can have her illusions.

Perfect Filet Mignons
source: Me and everyone else who has ever made a steak (honestly...come on! I'm not trying to claim trademark on a well-grilled steak but nor can I attribute it to one person.)
2 fillet mignons (I found that Trader Joe's has some of the best fillets available in a supermarket)
freshly ground black pepper
seal salt
olive oil
1 package of sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
a small half handful of chopped sage leaves
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola

Rinse and pat dry your fillets - the drier the better. Season each fillet with salt and pepper on each side. Place a grill pan, like my beloved Mario Batali flame red pan, over your burners. Turn the burners to medium heat and let the grill pan get HOOOOOOT! Brush it with plenty of olive oil. Once smokin', Throw in your fillets.
Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side depending on desired doneness.
Once done, remove from pan.
Top each fillet with half of the crumbled blue cheese.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet melt the two tablespoons of butter and add your sliced mushrooms and chopped sage leaves. Saute until the mushrooms are tender. Spoon over your fillets.
Serve and enjoy.
That's one beautiful steak! Makes a man forget his hurtin' ankle pain :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rubbed Flank Steak with Horseradish Cream and Gorgonzola Pear Salad

This flank steak should really be called "Drunken Steak with Horseradish Cream" or "Real Man's Steak". I found this recipe in an issue of Waterfront Living , a Maryland-based magazine about life on the Eastern Shore. They had a section for "smokin' tailgate recipes" and this one caught my eye. Not because I'm a tailgater, but mainly because my husband loves bourbon. I imagined him reading this recipe like Joey from friends, "Horseradish...good, steak...good, Bourbon....GOOOOOD!"
The recipe literally embodies all the food groups he enjoys - alcohol, meat and condiments. So we gave it a shot with very successful results. The steak is marinated overnight in a mixture of soy sauce and bourbon and then rubbed with a fragrant spice mixture about 30 minutes before throwing it on the grill. Then you serve it with horseradish cream. I threw in some caramelized onions for good measure. It was quite delicious and a very unique flavor combination. The bourbon definitely shines through, and to me that was a bit hard to get used to at first. Bourbon is not for the faint of heart, but my husband loved it. So fire up your grill and get your man-pants on, this steak is sure to impress. And I would also imagine it would go very well with a few cold beers and a mid-season football game, if you really are a tailgater. Enjoy!

Rubbed Flank Steak with Horseradish Cream
1 (1 to 1.5 lb.) flank steak
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
Horseradish Cream
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (my addition)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1.5 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch of salt

Marinate your steak overnight or for as long as 24 hours.
Prepare your horseradish cream and chill.
Prepare your rub.
Remove your steak from the marinade and discard the marinade.
Rub your spice mixture on the moist steak 30 minutes before grilling(coming up is a photo showing why I never became a successful hand model):
And there you have it! Fire up your grill, throw your steak on and cook till desired temperature.
My man is a medium rare steak-eater so I gave it about 5 minutes per side.
It came out nice and juicy and pink.
Honestly, it was a little too pink for me, but I ate it anyway.
Once you let your steak rest a while and cut it up, serve it with your horseradish cream and top with some caramelized onions.

I served this with one of my favorite salads of all time from my Nordstrom Family and Friends cookbook.
Pear, Gorgonzola and Sugared Walnuts Salad
Any lettuce you prefer, I think field greens or butter lettuce work best here.
1 pear, sliced thin
6 oz. of Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup whole walnuts
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 egg white
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/8 cup champagne vinegar or more if you like your dressy really tangy
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Wash and drain your lettuce. Arrange your pears, peppers and cheese on top. In a separate bowl mix together your walnuts, brown sugar and egg white. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay your walnuts out on top.
Bake the nuts in the oven until crispy and golden brown, tossing once while in the oven. Remove your nuts and let them cool.
Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Once your nuts have cooled, toss them into the salad with your dressing and serve.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Grilling Contest Wins Yield Yummy Steak Dinner!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! That post title sounds like a newspaper article headline. Anyway, I digress. So last night's dinner was inspired by a number of factors: I had a craving for grilled steak, I had a sleu of grilling spices sent to me by the lovely Joelen from Joelen's Culinary Adventures, (See pics)
and I had a pint of garden tomatoes graciously given to me by a co-worker. As you can see, the whole plan was all about me. My husband gets pretty much no say in dinner. I am a kitchen nazi. No - seriously I'm just kidding. But not really because if he had his say in dinner we'd be eating canisters of Pringles, Ledo's pizza and buffalo wings every night. We'd be 300 pounds and our asses would be fused to the couch. I'm not kidding. It's not that he doesn't enjoy good, healthy food but he would never choose or prepare it for himself. That's where I come in.
This meal was quite healthy. I made a grilled corn and vegetable salad, marinated the steaks in my Montreal Steak marinade from McCormick, pictured above, and served it with the grilled naan I rave about below. See - the blog is coming full circle!
The Montreal marinade was very good on the steaks. You can see the big spices in there:
When they came off we topped them with some crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Because that's how we rolls, all gourmet and shizzznitty.
And served them up with this great summer vegetable salad.

Grilled Corn and Vegetable Salad
1 jar of pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1 English cucumber, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 pint of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup chopped green onions
4 sprigs of fresh oregano, chopped
a handful of basil leaves, shredded
4-6 ounces feta cheese, cubed
4 ears of corn
2 tablespoons of olive oil
For dressing:
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to season

Chop all your vegetables accordingly and put them in a bowl. Add your feta cheese. Set aside.
Slather your ears of corn with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a hot grill. Grill until the kernels begin to char up a bit and get soft. Remove from the grill and let cool. Once cool, cut the kernels off the cobs and toss with the rest of your veggies.
In a bowl, whisk together your dressing and pour over the vegetables. Toss together and serve.