Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

In which I catch up.

Posted: June 10th, 2008 | Author: johanna | Filed under: Johanna | No Comments »

On Friday night, I made a delicious dinner. It was the last night before a heat wave, although I didn’t know that yet. All I knew was that since my plan to make dinner got foiled on Thursday night, I had a chance to make two glorious compatriots together on Friday night: Flank Steak, and Gorgonzola-Walnut Spaghetti. I modified both of these recipes, as I am wont to do, from Rachael Ray’s excellent cookbook, Cooking Round the Clock.

I got home and marinated the steak. I can’t remember exactly what I used, but I can approximate.
2 chopped garlic cloves, a few healthy pinches of salt, several grinds of black pepper, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce (I used a TON, because the bottle was more full than I expected. Oops. Still good), a few splashes of Balsamic Vinegar, and about 1/3 cup of olive oil.

I put the above in a plastic Ziploc bag (a big one), and stuck my lovely 1 pound of flank steak in there to hang out at room temperature, while I started the pasta.

I brought the water to a boil for spaghetti, of course.
While that was happening, I put 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 2 of butter into a big skillet. I dropped in 3 smashed (not chopped, just crushed) garlic cloves and about half a cup of chopped up walnuts. I cooked them on about medium heat, probably a little lower, until the garlic cloves turned golden brownish. Stir them occasionally, so that the walnuts don’t burn. Because burned garlic, burned walnuts, it’s just not happy. This took about 5 minutes. Possibly longer.

While that was going on, I also heated up my grillpan, which is basically just a large round skillet, very thin, with ridges like a grill. I put it over screamin’ hot heat, which is a technical term. When the water from the pasta pot vaporized basically the second it was dribbled over the pan, I put the steak on. I was eyeballing it, and I didn’t want to undershoot the timing and have to cook it too long on the second side, so I left it for a solid 4 minutes on the first side. This went on about the time that the garlic was starting to get brownish.

I pulled out the garlic cloves, and poured in half a cup each of chicken broth and cream. You stir that around and bring that to the bubble. About the time this is happening, you should be flipping your flank steak.

(underlying all this is the fact that when the water boils, you should salt it and drop your spaghetti, about half a box)

When it bubbles, add about 6 ounces of Gorgonzola crumbles. This equates to about 3/4 of a tub if you have an 8-ounce tub, or you can always bust out your kitchen scale if you’re being fussy. Basically, I just dumped in enough to make me feel good. As it’s melting, you should probably be draining your pasta, and taking your flank steak off after its second 4 minutes, to rest on a plate for at least 4 minutes to let the juicies redistribute.

Once the gorgonzola is all melted, crank on a bunch of black pepper. Taste it to see if you need salt. Shake the hell out of the pasta in the colander, and dump it into the big skillet. Toss it all around and divide between two plates.

Wait until you can’t stand it any longer, and then cut your steak against the grain (whatever that means). Apparently it makes it more tender. I’m going to go with just slice it thin and you’ll be ok. I’m not going to lie, kids, I like a bloody steak. Medium-rare is A-OK with me, and since I generally pull steaks before they hit medium-rare because I’m afraid of a medium-well steak, I usually end up on the rare side of medium-rare. Which is also fine with me. One of the best things in the world, in my newly-formed opinion, is the combination of steak juices and the gorgonzola cream sauce of this pasta. It’s a match made in heaven. Seriously.

I didn’t take any photos of this dish, mostly because I was too hungry to. And because it disappeared all too quickly. But, trust me, the steak was perfect…. nicely crusted on the outside, still a beautiful pinky-red on the inside. I was thrilled. Thin steaks are tough, because it’s hard, of course, to get them done through, but still delicious quickly. Things can get out of hand if you’re not paying attention. Luckily, I was. Yummmm!!!!

Ok, better luck next time, In which I discuss our pizza for dinner tonight. :)



Leave a Reply