After a great holiday weekend we came back with some good leftovers, and some that were a little suspect after three days in a cooler. Tonight we decided to dispense with them all and fire the grill up. It’s that time of year, and having a new grill doesn’t hurt, either. Summer is supposed to be the time for lighter fair, but the weather has turned a bit cool on us again. Temperatures down into the 30’s at night and up in the 50-60’s is actually normal for Alaska this time of year – it’s just barely summer here, although the trend for the last couple of years has been warmer at this time of the season and I think we’ve gotten a bit spoiled. I recently discovered soy (edamame) beans, and the only thing I can think is: why does anyone bother with lima beans at all? My parents love them but I loathed them as a kid and that never really went away. Just something about that mushy texture, and the only flavor to me is what you douse them with. The soy beans are crisp and pop when you bite them and the flavor is great. I boiled these for 2 minutes, drained them, added a pat of butter and splashed a bit of soy sauce (synergy, for you MBAs out there) over them.
Flank steak somehow has gained a strange Tex-Mex association in my mind. I can’t say why, but I have this overpowering urge to rub them all down with paprika, garlic and marinate them with lime juice and tequila. Must be the fajita thing. Anyway, Mexican edamame didn’t sound right, so this steak was rubbed down with a more Asian concoction and seared quickly on both sides. Flank steak isn’t the most tender cut. as it’s obviously from a striated muscle the cows actually use a lot. Marinating overnight before grilling or broiling and then slicing thinly against the grain before serving will go along way towards overcoming this. I like to sear the meat hard on both sides and then turn the heat almost all the way down so it will finish cooking slowly.
2 tbs paprika
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 thumb-sized bit of ginger, grated
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chili oil
Mix everything but the oil together in a non-reactive bowl and use this to rub down the flank steak. Drizzle the chili oil over the meat, flip a few times to coat, cove with plastic wrap and allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Allow to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minute or so before grilling. Sear on both sides on high heat, and then either raise th grill over the charcoal or turn the burners to low. If the heat is low enough, you can cook for about 10 minutes on a side and still end up with a rare to medium-rare steak. Better to err on the side of caution. Some people like to score flank steaks before cooking, but all this really does is drain the juices and make things cook faster, and neither of those things are good for me. Slice the meat thin, cut on a diagonal against the grain.