Friday, April 08, 2005

Flank Steak Does Not Go Well With Cereal

cookbook2 Last night's dinner wasn't exactly an unqualified success. I tried the new flank steak recipe in this Cook's Illustrated (they haven't posted it on their website yet), and although it was good, it just didn't knock my socks off as I've come to expect from this consistently reliable (redundant, I know, but these recipes work, baby) if you're not a subscriber to their website, fork over the twenty bucks for unlimited access to culinary success*) publication. As opposed to the typical marinade of herbs, vinegar or lemon juice, and oil, CI called for a wet rub of garlic, shallots, rosemary, and olive oil. I remembered to do the steak the night before (miraculously) so I expected a really pungeantsteak, redolent of garlic and rosemary. Instead, the flavor wasflat, with little penetration to the interior of the meat. I much prefer Steven Raichlen's outstanding marinade on p. 54 of Barbecue! Bible : Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes which does call for 1/4 cup of lemon juice. CI claims the acid in a marinade makes the beef gray and mushy, but--oh, no, no, no--I beg to differ. Or maybe I don't care about a little mushiness if it means fabulous flavor-packed meat. At any rate, that's the way I wished I gone. I whipped up pureed cauliflower and roasted green beans to go along with the steak and was a lot more successful with these reliable side dishes. The cauliflower is simply a South Beach Diet innovation. Although the South Beach people offer it as an alternative to mashed potatoes ( Surprise South Beach Mashed 'Potatoes'), I think it really stands on it own. I steam up a bag of frozen cauliflower for about 10-15 minutes or until very tender, and then puree the now steamed cauliflower in the food processor with about a tablespoon of butter (or, more healthily, Brown and Brummel spread), 1/4 c. milk and lots of salt and pepper until smooth, creamy, and delicious. Roasted green beans are even easier: toss your beans with about a tablespoon of good olive oil and some coarse salt, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then bake for about 8 minutes in a 500 degree oven, turning once. Transfer to a serving dish and toss with a tablespoon or two of grated parmesan (with thanks to Ann Hodgman's book, One Bite Won't Kill You. Of course, my children only ate the green beans and a little steak. And complained loudly when they were denied breakfast cereal to round out the meal. *I am neither compensated nor bribed by Cooks Illustrated or any of their associates. None of the links I include constitute advertising, and although they do mostly constitute endorsement, contextually, I might just be dissing them.

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