Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato and Queso Fresco

Stuffed Flat Iron Steak Pinwheel

I am always trying to think of new ways to make old foods.

Case in point; the flat iron steak.

This is a relatively new cut of meat

that was developed by scientists at the University of Nebraska

and the University of Florida.

They wanted to take a cut of meat from the shoulder

of the cow that commonly went to waste because of the

tough connective tissue that ran right down the middle of it.

They figured out a way to cut this piece of meat

eliminating the connective tissue

and the flavorful flat iron steak was "born."

As this piece of meat is a non-loin cut,

it should be marinated before cooking and should never

be cooked past medium.

Now that you know a bit more about flat iron steaks,

let's get on with the cooking.

The Sun-dried Tomato and Queso Fresco Stuffed

Flat Iron Steak Pinwheel covered

with a honeyed soy whiskey glaze.

The ingredients for the stuffed steak are:

the flat iron steak

1/4 cup crumbled Queso Fresco

1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes*

2 tablespoons Country Dijon

1 clove garlic, grated

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

*I dry my own tomatoes, either in the sun,

or if the weather does not permit, in the oven set on 200,

with a bit of olive oil.

This is a good way to use tomatoes that are a bit wrinkled.

I then keep this bag in the freezer.

Carefully slice the steak open from the side, butterflying it. Looks like I need to practice. Mix the ingredients for the stuffing. And spread the mixture evenly over the steak. Then roll up, starting at one long end, making sure to keep the roll tight. Now you can practice your bondage knots. Oh, I'm so knotty.
Next up on the agenda is the marinade.

I personally never measure the ingredients,

but I did this time for you:

1/3 cup whiskey

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

Pinch black pepper

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 teaspoon ground garlic

Mix together.

Marinate the meat in the marinade for at least an hour,

turning every 15 minutes or so.

About an hour before cooking the meat,

take the meat out of the fridge to allow the meat

to come to room temp.

Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high

heat on the stove.

Add a couple of tablespoons of oil

and when the pan is hot,

add the meat.

Sear on all sides and pour the marinade over the meat.*

Place the pan in a pre-heated 350 degree oven

and roast until the internal temperature reaches

135 degrees.

Take out and cover with foil.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting the strings

and carving.

*There is some controversy about reusing marinade

that has had raw meat in it.

My take on this is that you are eating formerly raw meat,

so why not the cooked marinade,

as long as it has been thoroughly cooked?

However, if this does bother you,

then by all means, just make up another batch

of the marinade, heat it up in a pan and

reduce it by half.

Ready for service.

Gotta work on those carving skills.

The meat was perfectly cooked.

And this was a delightful dish.

The meat was tender and the filling didn't overpower it.

The glaze was slightly sweet and had

a bit of a bite to it.

This dish definitely goes into the recipe rotation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Foodie Girls Enter

The March Dessert Wars Challenge

Once again the Foodie Girls put their heads together

and tried to come up with an appropriate and tasty

The challenge for Dessert Wars

this month was to take at least

two green foods,

one traditionally thought of as a dessert ingredient

and one that was not,

and to make a green dessert.

The March prize package includes:

Whisk and cupcake necklace from Moon & Star Designs

Beanilla Sampler Pack of Vanilla Beans

Lenox Personalized Musical Cupcake

1,000 ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes

Organic Valley $50 Gift Certificate

Organic Prairie $50 Gift Certificate

Theme Kitchen $50 Gift Certificate

BEKA Cookware Crepe Pan

We came up with a few possibilities

and went shopping for the supplies that were needed.

Of course, I was flying without a net

so I had to make up my own recipe.

This should be fun.

Ta Da!

May I present our entry?

Kiwi Surprise Sorbet.

The traditional ingredient is kiwi

and the non-traditional ingredient is rosemary.

The rosemary is the surprise, of course.

The ingredients are

6 kiwi

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced*

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water *Rosemary is a remarkably pungent herb and should

be used sparingly, lest it overpowers any dish it is in.

This made about 3 cups of sorbet.

Peel, chop and puree the kiwi. If desired, the mixture could be more finely pureed or even strained. Meanwhile, pour the water in a small pot and place over high heat. Add the sugar and minced rosemary. Bring to a boil and allow the sugar to melt into the water. Swirl as necessary to mix the sugar into the water. Once the mixture becomes clear, turn off the heat and allow to cool. Add to the pureed kiwi before adding the mixture to the ice cream maker. Follow your ice cream/sorbet maker's instructions. The mixture happily churns away. About half an hour later we have sorbet.
Kiwi Surprise Sorbet This is a thing of beauty. The kiwi bursts upon your tongue and then the rosemary whispers to your palate as you finish the bite.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

At Long Last Spring!

Today is the first day of spring.

After a long, snowy winter,

that is happy news indeed.

My crocuses are blooming.

And my daffodils are blooming.

In some parts of the country

these are referred to as jonquils.

Happy Spring everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Long Way Home Again

This past Thursday was a beautiful day

with temperatures in the high 60's, if a bit breezy.

Time for another detour on the way home.


Deer ahead.

The deer gaze at me as I pass.

The water is even deeper this week.

I parked the car and pocketed my cell phone

while I took pictures.

Looking towards Lake Monroe.

The tops of the guard rails of the bridge

over Moores Creek can be seen in this picture.

Looking upstream.

Where lake meets road.

The road is now part of the lake.

This will stay this way for some time.

And now for some barns.

Color striations on the barn's roof.

Keep hangin' in there.

I like old barns.

Can you tell?

Another one just down the road.

The deer say goodbye as I head home.

A sad sight this morning.

Our neighbors decided to have their spruce cut down

after it received damage in an ice storm last month.

Goodbye tree.