Thursday, September 16, 2010


This has been a month where I've found it difficult to go near the kitchen. Busy days that leave you in no mood to cook, or to take pictures, or to sit down alone with your thoughts in front of a computer screen. Couldn't even think up of a sentence or two to accompany an article... Burned out, I was.

I guess I needed a healthy dose of protein to pep me up.  In the September 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living I found this recipe for steak, and it's a winner!!! Making it was fun, and it got me back into the kitchen, back to my usual routine. Routine sometimes can be good. Now I want to buy more of this cut and make the recipe again. I'm not even that much of a red meat eater. Yet this was so good. The challenge was to buy an inexpensive cut of meat such as flank or skirt steak, marinate it, grill it or broil it, and see how by marinating an inexpensive cut of meat, one can have a tender and delicious steak for dinner. The magazine offered two recipes for marinade: a Latin, and a Mediterranean. In keeping with the theme of this blog, I chose the Mediterranean recipe.

First thing I did was to pound the steak well. This breaks down the fibers and tenderizes the meat.

Then I cut it into serving pieces that I placed into a container to marinate. After grilling, the pieces were further sliced into thin strips.
My butcher did not have skirt steak, and he had just ran out of flank steak, so he recommended a similar cut, called flat iron steak. Flank and skirt are cuts from the beef abdomen, flat iron is a cut from the beef chuck.

The flat iron steak was inexpensive, moist and tasty. I served it with a salad of arugula and tiny pasta beads (acini di pepe, which means peppercorns). Also for accompaniment I used some olive tapenade. The idea for the salad came from Food and Wine magazine. All in all this made a nice dinner, with a nice amount of leftovers, which is always good. This was a really tasty dinner!

Here's the steak sliced up with the olive tapenade on top.  No pink in this steak, I love mine well done!

Flat Iron or Skirt Steak, about 1 & 1/2 lb
4 tablespoons 
olive tapenade
For the marinade:3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the salad:1 medium red onion cut crosswise in ½ inch slices
1 orange peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
4 large radishes, thinly sliced
5 ounces baby arugula
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup acini di pepe pasta

  1. In a food processor mix the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, oil and balsamic vinegar. Place the steak in a bowl and pour the marinade over. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, or if you can, marinate it overnight, particularly if you are using skirt steak.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  3. Grill the onions and steak. (I like steak to be well done, so I grilled it for 4 minutes per side). Let it rest 10 minutes. Let the onions cool slightly, then coarsely chop them.
  4. Into a large bowl add one tablespoon of the tapenade and the olive oil. Whisk the lemon juice into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Add the orange slices, arugula, fennel, radishes, pasta and grilled onion and toss well.
  5. Slice the skirt steaks thinly across the grain and arrange on plates. Spoon the olive tapenade over each steak, place some of the salad alongside, and serve.


  1. This must be really good, especially the salad. I must find out what flat iron steak is or, for that matter, skirt stake. I am very bad at meat cuts, I do not know the names for them in my language (they are meaningless to me), let alone in English. But I shall find out because this is so appealing.

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I tried the Latin marinade and we loved it so much we made it again the next night. I noticed that skirt steak was on sale this week at my grocery so I might just have to try the Mediterranean marinade now! Thanks for trying this with me