Thursday, December 16, 2010
Beef, It's Whats For Dinner.
Flank steak is the best part of the cow. There I said it. No going back now. Cooked properly (marinated and grilled 2 minutes each side until medium rare) it is so freaking tender and mouthwatering. Growing up in a mostly Cuban household we didn't do much beef. The holy pig was out beast of choice and with the exception of my Mom's famous Hamburger Helper and mi Abuela's rabo encendido (ox tail stew) we never ate steak. Oh, and once in while my French Canadian father cooked up a mean burger and charred a couple hot dogs on special occasions. I remember the first steak I had ever eaten. I was in in my teens and the whole family went to one of those cheesy chain steak restaurants (I think it was an Outback Steakhouse because I vaguely remember my deep fried onion explosion). It was probably from some corporate factory farm where the juiced up super cows are pumped full of growth hormones and stacked into cramped cow towers while getting fatted up for my consumption. It was a tasty steak though. I think it was injected with MSG and braised in cocaine butter and I remember orgasmically seeing the light like I had just been invited into Heaven or Valhalla no questions asked. I was now a steak fiend. I needed it to survive. Steak had become my air, my water. I asked for steak every meal. A couple of months later I became a vegetarian for 11 years. All it took was a PETA video and a few Youth of Today songs (okay, actually the girl I was crushed out on was a vegetarian). I eat meat now like my life depended on it now. Being vegetarian is about where you draw the line. As I got older I decided that my line would be drawn a little higher up the food chain. I just choose to buy my meat from more humane and healthy places. I try to be an educated eater and that's good enough for me.
I made Spicy Marinated Flank Steak and Queso Oaxaca Quesadillas with Cilantro and Almond Salsa. I marinated the flank steak in chipotles in adobo, cumin, oregano, hot piménton, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil for about 2 hours. In a hot grill pan I seared the steaks for about 2 minutes each side and then took them off the heat and let them rest for 15 minutes. Quesadillas are one of the easiest things ever. Tortilla, cheese, tortilla. Heat in a lightly oiled skillet, both sides until slightly crispy. Cut into quarters. For the sauce I pureed cilantro, parsley, olive oil, toasted almonds, garlic, scallions, cumin, salt, pepper, lime juice, hot sauce. On a plate lay down the quesadillas, top with the sliced steak (sliced against the grain), and drizzle with the salsa. Garnish with cilantro, parsley, and coitja cheese. Yum.