Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Flank Steak with Corn Salsa and Roasted Potatoes

Back when I was in law school and Dave and I were just dating, he was the cook.  I could successfully boil water and sometimes nuke some ramen without needing to call the fire department.  Occasionally I made "gourmet" ramen which consisted of a sytrofoam cup of ramen with some sliced green onions, a packet of soy sauce, and maybe some Tabasco if I was feeling adventurous.  Dave on the other hand, made actual food.  He used to marinate flank steak and grill it, and it was awesome, especially when my idea of cooking meat was to keep it on the stove for so long that it made "well done" look practically raw.

When I was teaching myself to cook, I bought a copy of the Wine Lover's Cookbook and found a recipe for flank steak with corn salsa.  The first time I made it I thought it was super complicated based upon the number of ingredients in the recipe.  But it was so good that I've made it a ton over the years and now it doesn't seem that tough any more.  It's labor intensive because of all the chopping, marinating, and roasting, but it's definitely worth it!  The salsa is only slightly spicy, most of the heat in this dish comes from the potatoes because they're roasted with jalapenos.  If cooked properly, the flank steak should be tender and relatively pink the middle.  If it's overcooked it'll be tough.

The original recipe called for pancetta.  But I'm obsessed with buying nitrite free products and my grocery store doesn't sell nitrite free pancetta.  They do sell nitrite free prosciutto, and so that's what I used and it worked fine.  Bacon would also work; I've used it before and it was quite good.  The recipe also suggested that I roast my own red bell pepper.  I used a pepper from a jar to save time.  I also cheat-roasted my garlic by heating a small pan and placing unpeeled garlic cloves over medium high heat and turning them occasionally until they smelled roasted, about 10 minutes max.  After letting them cool for a few minutes, I peeled and minced them.  This is much faster than roasting them in the oven!   

This recipe has a lot of active time, but it's technically easy and worthy of a special occasion.

Grilled Flank Steak with Roasted Corn Salsa
From The Wine Lover's Cookbook
Serves 2

1/3 cup dry sherry
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp minced chipotles en adobo (or one dehydrated dried chipotle pepper, stemmed and minced)

1 pound of trimmed flank steak

2 ears of corn
olive oil
1 ounce prosciutto, chopped
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper
3/4 tsp minced roasted garlic
1/4 tsp white wine Worcestershire sauce (I substituted regular Worcestershire sauce here)
1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
1 tsp sherry wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (1 1/2 tsp dried)
salt and pepper

1) Combine all marinade ingredients. Place in a zip lock bag with the steak and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours, turning the bag occasionally.  Time this so you remove steak from the marinade when you are ready to grill it after completing steps 2-4.
2) Preheat your oven to 350.  Rub the corn with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  Roast for 45 minutes.  (Alternatively, heat the oven to 400 and roast for 30 minutes, which is what I did). Remove the corn from the oven and when it's cool enough to hold, remove the kernels and place them in a large mixing bowl.
3) Heat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat and cook the prosciutto for 8 to 10 minutes or until it's lightly browned.  Drain oil and add the prosciutto to the mixing bowl.
4) Add bell pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, jalapeno, vinegar, and basil to the bowl.  Mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste and allow it to come to room temperature.
5) Grill the steak for 5 minutes each side.  Place it on a cutting board and slice it on an angle against the grain.  Serve with corn salsa and jalapeno roasted potatoes.

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