Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grilled Skirt Steak, Oh Well

It got even later than usual before I had any idea what I was going to make for dinner. I have been trying to clean out the freezer since we just laced an order for a share of a grass fed grass finished cow from Hearst Ranch and I have to make some room. There was one lonely skirt steak so I snatched that out and popped it in a sink of cool water to defrost.
Just this morning I picked the last of the black kale and turned that garden bed over to summer lettuces (fingers crossed) since it's pretty shady when our backyard tree is fully leafed. I really wanted to use that kale and I'd been saving a recipe for long braised and crisped kale from Suzanne Goin for just such an occasion. I thought that might make nice garnish for the steak. I blanched the coarsely chopped leaves and added them to a heavy pot where I cooked chopped onions, dried chiles and a sprig of rosemary. The kale soften and then crisped after about 40 minutes on a medium flame.
There I had chewy and crisp -- this dinner needed something smooth and buttery soft. I grabbed the head of cauliflower in the fridge, cut it into florets and tossed it in a pot along with about 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cloves of garlic. I let that cook for about 10 minutes until very tender and pureed it in the food processor along with a glug of olive oil, a knob of butter, salt and pepper.
So far so good. Now I needed a little spice, a little sauce, a little something. Searching around the internet I spied a recipe for Chilean spicy salsa. I can't say I'd ever heard of it before but the ingredients were all things I had in the house. I put 1 bunch of cilantro, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 TB hot Pimentón (Spanish roasted paprika), 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, a coarsely chopped onion and, in my own twist on the recipe, a roasted tomato I happened to have into the food processor and whirled it into a slightly chunky sauce. Maybe the best all purpose sauce I've made in years -- I'll be trying it as a marinade and topping on a variety of dishes, from meats to fish to roasted vegetables, very soon.
The skirt steak was just coated in a little olive oil salt and pepper and grilled over high heat.
In the end the steak was a little chewy -- okay I admit it I got distracted while I was grilling, and the ale -- which I though was going to be a big winner, James declared "okay as a garnish but not that great to eat." Oh well, tomorrow is another dinner.

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