Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Cooked a Cow- and I Liked It!

I apologize in advance if the title of this post has offended any non meat eaters or lovers of Cows but I just conquered a HUGE kitchen fear and am quite proud of the results. I have always been petrified of cooking red meat. There is not particular reason for this crazy fear of mine but an animal that once moo-ed seems far more complicated to cook than the ones that cluck or the ones that swim the seas with Ariel. Now that I life with a boy, red meat is almost a must, especially if I expect him to make a meal out of something meatless like pumpkin risotto or butternut squash soup from time to time. It only seems fair. Since we're always looking for ways to expand our palates into the realms of flavors other than the given favorite, Italian, I found an Asian inspired marinade from Cooking Light. Flank Steak was my first victim and I must say, it was a huge success! Not only was it bursting with great flavor, but the broiler cooked it to perfection- WIN! Broiler cooking is another worry of mine but this meat turned out beautifully. The meat was cut across the grain which improved the tenderness and enhanced the flavors. Another thing to note, this cut of meat was extremely lean and I didn't have to cut off one snippet of fat. We even had enough left over to enjoy fajitas two nights later- another WIN! Best of all, MM got his protein and loved every bite. Asian noodle salad and soy sauteed zucchini was the perfect pairing to our sweet piece of meat. Both recipes were a great way to sneak some sesame oil, rice vinegar and Sriracha sauce into our kitchen. They all add so much flavor and are great to have on hand!

Maple & Soy Glazed Flank Steak
Recipe from Cooking Light

1 lb. flank steak
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sriracha (Asian hot chili sauce)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the six marinade ingredients together and whisk together. Pierce the steak generously on both sides and place in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the meat and let sit for at least 20 minutes, making sure each side gets to mingle with the marinade.

Remove steak from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place steak on a broiler pan. The recipe suggests spraying it with cooking spray- I covered a broiler pan and coated that with the cooking spray which made for an easier cleanup. Pour the marinade into a small skillet and bring to a boil. Cook on medium-high heat until it becomes thick. Once you have a syrupy sauce, brush the steak with half of the glaze. Once broiler is heated, broil on the first side for 5-7 minutes, depending on how "done" you want it. Turn the steak over and brush with the rest of the marinade and finish cooking.

Place the steak on a cutting board and let it sit for five minutes. This will allow the juices to work their magic. Cut steak diagonally across the grain in thin slices.

Scallion Noodles
Recipe from Cooking Light

8 ounces wide rice noodles, cooked according to package, drain and rinse with cold water
1/2 cup shaved carrots
1/4 cup green onion strips
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper and salt. Once the noodles are cooked and cooled, toss in the carrots and onions. Pour in the dressing and lightly toss around. This can be served room temperature and is excellent if served chilled.

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