September 27 – October 3, 2021
Monday: Flank Steak with Corn and Bacon Salad
Tuesday: Olive Walnut Pasta with Salad, App of Olives and Cheese
Wednesday: Skillet Pork Chops with Blistered Grapes
Friday: Crispy Salmon with Salad
Sunday: Roast Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Spinach
BACK ON TRACK
Those of you who count (a larger number than we had thought) will notice that this post is published on time – on Friday of the week following “what we cooked last week” – a mere 5 days after our previous post. Beez advised me not to mention the scapular, the hair shirts, the rising at dawn for a cold shower, the 10 miles runs, the dieting, the abstention from alcohol and the other disciplines and bodily mortifications that got us back on track, but I thought you ought to know what we go through to produce these posts every week. I will note, in passing and in defense of future anachronisms in our publishing schedule, that timeliness is not always a great virtue. Those of you who were old enough to have been taught world history will remember that Mussolini was said to have made the trains run on time. Otherwise, he was not admirable.
To reward ourselves for our promptitude, we are going to share with you a short and simple recipe for grilling a tasty steak quickly. The amount of flavor in this un-marinated, but perfectly seared, flank steak will surprise you. And the time you save in cooking can be usefully spent watching sports or having a cocktail or walking your dog. And then, when you are hungry enough to eat a horse, you will have this luscious piece of cow cooked in seconds flat.
Flank Steak with Corn and Bacon Salad
(adapted from Michael Symon from his series “Cooking Out”)
This recipe uses the last corn of the year and is so simple it hurts. Do not be thrown off by the grill pan I used. You can simply cook this on your grill for longer (you’ll need to flip it), but if you have a grill or panini pan and heat it up (I mean get it really hot) in your oven, you will have a beautifully seared surface and the great taste that goes with it.
If you don’t know about Michael Symon here’s an introduction: Symon is bald as a cue ball and has one of the great laughs of any tv personality. In his ‘Dinners Cooking Out’ he does not have one of those $30,000 outdoor kitchens you see in the Frontgate catalogue, but cooks on regular Weber grills and preps on a table that was hauled into the backyard by Michael and his wife, Lizzie, themselves. The man does not strut.
I am reconstructing this recipe from memory – it’s that simple.
I would cook the bacon and corn salad ahead of time and reheat just before serving. You will note that you need some serious oven mitts for this cooking.
Timing: 10 minutes for corn salad / 10 minutes for steak
(Note: You’ll need to heat a panini pan skillet and lid for 20 minutes before cooking)
Ingredients: Serves 3 or 4
1/3 lb. of thick-cut bacon
Kernels from 3 ears of corn
Salt and Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Heat grill (or pannini) pan over high on stove-top and lid for the pan in 500F oven for 20 minutes at least
If you wish to cook on a grill – light charcoal or start grill (on high) now. You can also cook the steak indoors on the stove-top.
Cut kernels from corn
Dice bacon into ¾” pieces
Trim steak, if necessary. Season by rubbing with a little olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper.
Render the bacon in a skillet over medium. When bacon is cooked, add corn kernels, a bit of salt and two pinches of red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and cover.
When panini pan and lid are very hot, move them to your heated grill or cook indoors.
Put the steak into the panini pan and sear (don’t move) for 5 minutes, after placing the lid of the panini pan on top of the steak and pressing down. The steak should be medium-rare at this point. Cook some more or remove from pan, cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes. You can reheat the corn salad if you need to.
Drizzle a little olive oil onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes. Then move the steak to the cutting board and – cutting across the grain* – slice into serving pieces. Place the steak slices on a platter and spoon the corn and bacon salad across them. Serve.
*With a flank steak it is easy to see way the grain (the muscle fibers) run.