Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Leftovers I like

One of my flaws as a cook is that I dislike leftovers. I often make too much food for us to consume at one sitting and sorely neglect my part of the responsibility in dealing with the leftovers the next day. I'm not a big fan of eating the same thing twice in a row so contemplating last night's dinner for lunch the next day makes me grumpy. Thankfully Brian is happy to take leftovers to work with him, he's no human-trash-can, but he doesn't have the food-repetition disorder I seem to have. But I may have found an exception to my leftover loathing; here is what I had for lunch yesterday:

Does that look like a dreary plate of leftovers? I think not!
On Monday night I made the flank steak with arugula and goat cheese salad and it was terrific. I loosely followed the Cook's Illustrated recommendations (May 2005 issue) for how to deal with flank steak: I made a paste of lots of garlic (I think I used 6 cloves) and olive oil (about 6 T) and salt, pricked the steak all over with a dinner fork (great stress relief to poke the hell out of a piece of meat!), rubbed on the paste and let it sit for half a day in the fridge. At dinnertime I wiped off the paste, ground some pepper over the steak and tossed it on the gas grill. I didn't really time it--I think it was about 4-5 minutes per side. Then I plopped it on a carving board, tented it with tin foil and left it for a good 15 minutes while I finished making the salad. I'm convinced that this last step is what transformed the steak from shoe leather to a chewy but juicy steak. Most of the time I'm so hungry that by the time I'm done cooking I have no patience to let food "rest" (I have also been accused of having a tongue made of asbestos since I often eat foods that are pretty darn hot, temperature-wise).

For the salad, I tossed the arugula with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, ground some pepper over it and sprinkled it with a little coarse salt and then tossed it again with a little balsamic vinegar. I topped the arugula with halved grape tomatoes and some crumbled plain log-like goat cheese.

By the time I was done with the salad prep, the steak had rested and was ready to be sliced (against the grain at a slight angle). And the resulting dinner was terrific! The warm steak and cool goat cheese combined nicely and the arugula and tomatoes offset the richness with their bitterness and acidity. I had plenty of Farm Bread on hand to mop up the steak juice and olive oil, but if one was on a high protein diet, the bread would not be missed. I'll definitely be making this again--it strikes me as a terrific dish for an outdoor party or buffet since it doesn't rely on the meat being hot to be good.

And I discovered that left-over grilled flank steak is a nice thing to find in the fridge when one is hungry the next day! I assembled a steak sandwich and paired it with some of my garden's fresh radishes, romaine lettuce thinnings and cornichons. And much to my surprise, I found myself smiling over a plate of leftovers.


Julie said...

Wow, that looks good! I love flank steak more than almost anything. In fact, I was just recently daydreaming about Sauce Bearnaise. I figure if I can make custard sauce I should be able to make Bearnaise, right?

Sometimes we marinate flank steaks in soy sauce/garlic/ginger. Sigh.

Kate said...

Now that I have had a successful flank steak experience, I can't wait to try it again with a different marinade--the soy/ginger/garlic sounds like just the ticket.

I don't think I've ever actually made Bernaise sauce but now that you mention it I can't stop thinking about it. Let me know if you try it and what you think of the effort level.

Julie said...

I'm going to make it this weekend to bring to a barbecue. I'll keep you posted. :)