Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak

You may have noticed that this is the first recipe post since I attended BlogHer Food in Atlanta. The conference was fabulous!!  The education top notch!! I left energized and (I have to admit) a tad intimidated by what my next move would be. After meeting so many fab bloggers I questioned where my little slice of the blogesphere would fit in.

Around the same time I was trying to figure out what to do with Home with Mandy... Jim accepted a job in California, with the plan to commute two weeks on and two weeks off. He left this month for a three week observation/training period and when he did my muse. The whole reason I cook is for my love. I enjoy preparing meals for the two of us. I cherish the look on his face after his first bite and he looks over at me (almost in surprise) to say to me every night, "Wow, this is GOOD!"

I've been cooking (a little), but I have not been inspired to take photos this month. I haven't been inspired to take notes or to post about my meals at all.

Until now...

I returned from a business trip today and spent a few hours with my sweet mother in law. She prepared lunch for the two of us and for once, I was the recipient of a lovely homemade meal. It was thoughtful and beautiful and most of all tasted delicious. She is such a sweetheart that she even sent me home with leftovers so I can take some to the office for lunch this week.

When I got back to my house tonight I found inspiration from my Cooking Light magazine when I read their Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak with Fresh Salsa recipe. You should know by now I don't really follow recipes, so click the link to see the original recipe... keep reading to see how I made this delicious entree my own.

Spice Rub:
These approximate measurements will make enough for two maybe three portions of flank steak (6 ounces each.)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (adjust this to your liking)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Since I was cooking for one, I went to the meat counter at Whole Foods and asked for a small 4-8 ounce flank steak and ended up with a nice 6 ounce steak. Depending on what you are serving this with, will determine how much you should order per person. Mine came already trimmed, but if yours has any fat on it go ahead and trim that off before you get started. After I mixed the spice rub, I drizzled the steak with a little olive oil and then sprinkled (heavily) with the rub. This spice rub is VERY potent, if I make this again (and I probably will make this when Jim comes home) I would add the rub more sparingly...or, I might ease up on the chipotle chile powder. The spice was AMAZING, but as I type this I have heart burn. I want my husbands heart to burn for me, but actual heart burn really isn't necessary.

In place of the salsa in the original recipe, I used a bell pepper relish that my mother in law sent home with me today. The relish consisted of diced yellow and red bell pepper, tomatoes and red onion.

I took a heaping tablespoon of the relish and mixed it with baby greens of spinach and arugula. The spicy arugula and the sweet and spicy bell peppers worked so well together. I dressed the salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few knobs of mozzarella cheese I had to rescue from the cheese drawer.
Dinner for one coming right up! The preparation could not have been easier. I pulled the steak out of the fridge (it was in there with the rub for about an hour) and then let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes so that it would come to room temperature.

Unfortunately I couldn't grill the steak on Jim's super cool gas grill that he received as a graduation gift. Last week when I grilled, I left the gas on after I grilled salmon...and remembered 12 hours later. So the tank is empty, oops. THIS is why I need Jim back! Instead of grilling outdoors I took a cast iron grill pan and heated on the stove at high heat. To make sure the meat didn't stick to the grill pan I took a paper towel, blotted with vegetable oil, and using tongs I wiped the grill with the oil. The flank steak I purchased was fairly thin (less than an inch thick) so when I put the steak on the grill I set the timer for 90 seconds, then turned the meat 90 degrees in order to get a perfect crosshatch sear. After another 90 seconds I flipped the steak and repeated. It is important to let the steak rest for at least five minutes when you remove it from the grill.

To serve, I sliced the steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with the salsa, or make a big salad to cool off your mouth. I absolutely loved this dinner because it was quick, easy, healthy and flavorful! I can't wait for Jim to get home so I can cook this for him. I miss him dearly! But until then I will try to enjoy having complete control of the remote and being able to watch Next Food Network Star and So You Think You Can Dance back to back to back...without any disruption from ESPN or whatever sport is playing at night. I will also enjoy my guilty pleasure of adding both floral scented fabric softener to the washer and a scented static sheet to the dryer (two of the luxuries I had to give up when I married a red head with sensitive skin.)

I miss you love! I really do!!


  1. Yum! We've been looking for different ways to make flank steak. I'm keeping this in mind.


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