When you’re pleasantly confined to a beautiful sunny island for the summer, surrounded by water that contains edible sea creatures, sometimes a steak craving can feel as taboo as an irrational need for string cheese, which, not being real cheese, your body couldn’t possibly be asking for.
As I mention about every other post (perhaps to passive-aggressively highlight it’s annoyingness), my dad no longer eats meat. Just fish. My family doesn’t really eat out much on the island. Along with water and sea creatures, an island at high season also means restaurants with inflated prices on just about anything sourced from said water or anywhere else. And because we’ve been cooking just about every night, my mom and I are starting to resent fresh fish in the most ungrateful, privileged of ways.
To get our meat fix, we’ve been cooking up fancy and delicious Kobe beef hotdogs for lunch and eating them sandwiched in between a slice of white Udi’s bread. Kobe hotdogs… what a concept. Just the kind of low-rent-high-rent thing I love witnessing in gourmet markets, while secretly wishing their string cheese was the good-bad kind not actually made from cheese. Regardless, Kobe or not, the hotdogs are a tease. What we’ve really been craving is steak.
Earlier this week, my friend crushes and fellow Wednesday night tequila drinkers, Julia and Cleo arrived on island for the week. My parents decided to invite a few of their friends over and make an evening out of it. For the menu, I was torn. It would be cruel to deprive the ladies of a seafood-filled welcome. And I knew my dad would be less amenable to dish washing after the meal if he had only been served salad and corn for dinner. So it was decided: surf and turf, baby. The only way during the summertime that I can have my steak and eat it too.
For the surf, I made one of my vineyard go-to’s: scallops with Moroccan-spiced corn. But for the turf, I wanted to experiment. Earlier this year I made a gazpacho video for e-How. Since it wasn’t really cold soup weather yet, I had little desire to eat the leftovers as the week progressed. Luckily, gazpacho is one of those dishes that gets better with time. And as it sat in my fridge, it also thickened to the point where it was more of a condiment than a soup. And that’s exactly how I used it.
The gazpacho sauce is an entertaining home-run. It’s the classic soup recipe minus tomato juice, plus a little jalapeno for heat. And it tastes good on pretty much anything that comes off the grill – surf or turf.
When my parents’ friends arrived, they took one look at the turf platter and breathed a sigh of relief. “Steak. Oh my god, how I’ve missed you.” And by the seafood entertaining gods, all was forgiven.
Grilled Flank Steak with Gazpacho Sauce
Makes 8 servings
3 pounds flank steak, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
Gazpacho sauce (recipe follows)
1. Fire up a charcoal grill or set an indoor grill pan over a high flame.
2. Brush the steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. I always use a heavy hand when seasoning steak.
3. Grill the steak on both sides, turning 90 degrees halfway through on each side to get a nice cross-hatch, about 5 minutes per side for medium rare, depending on the thickness of the steak. The nice thing about flank steak is there’s usually a thinner end so those who like it more well-done will have some pieces to choose from without ruining the meal for the rest of us.
4. Remove the steak to a cutting board with grooves – you don’t want to wind up with steak juices all over your counter tops and floor, as I have on occasion. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
5. Slice the flank steak against the grain into ¼ inch thick slices. Angle your knife slightly (about 60 degrees from the cutting board) so that the steak slices fan out nicely on your platter. Transfer the steak and any juices to a serving plate or platter and spoon some of the gazpacho sauce over the top. Serve the remaining sauce in a bowl on the side and allow your guests to pass it around.
Makes about 3 cups
½ red onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped
3 plum tomatoes, cored and seeded, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped
2 small seedless slicing cucumbers, roughly chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1. Put the onion, garlic, and jalapeno to a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the tomato, bell pepper, cucumbers, olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings. Puree until smooth.
2. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or cayenne as necessary, depending on how much heat you can handle. Fold in half the parsley and garnish with the remaining.
3. Serve alongside grilled steak or chicken.
This post is brought to you, along with many other fabulous pepper recipes, as part of Food Network Summerfest. Check out the other participating sites below!
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Stuffed Peppers With Quinoa Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Sauce
Cooking With Elise: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
What’s Gaby Cooking: Oven-Roasted Peppers With Herbed Breadcrumbs
And Love It Too: Roasted Red Pepper Paleo Hummus
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Flank Steak With Gazpacho Sauce
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Seared Pepper Tacos With Pintos and Avocado Crema
Delicious Lean: Peppery Kung Pao
Daily*Dishin: Shrimp and Chorizo With Red Pepper Chermoula Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip With Baked Corn Tortillas
Thursday Night Dinner: Black Bean and Sweet Pepper Salad
Cooking Channel: 5 Stuffed Pepper Favorites
HGTV Gardens: Garden to Table: Peppers
Sweet Life Bake: Rajas de Poblano con Elote y Crema
Dishin & Dishes: Bacon, Onion and Green Chile “Jam”
Healthy Eats: Peppers for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
FN Dish: Meat and Peppers