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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spicy Flank Steak with Grilled Polenta

Flank steak is my favorite steak. You have to marinate it for a good long while and with the right ingredients. My mom ALWAYS used soy sauce and...vermouth. It may seem like an unlikely candidate for marinade but there was always a good stock of it in the house - for the martinis - and it adds a distinct flavor and helps tenderize the meat. I often throw the meat in a velcro bag with the marinade before heading off to work in the morning. By the evening, it's perfect!

This recipe is great because you can either grill the steak or do it in a pan, which actually works well. We had to resort to pan frying our steak this winter after Paddy went to flip some burgers one night and found our grill engulfed in flames in the backyard. But that's another story for another time...

The other part of this is polenta. I don't bother making it on the stove, I buy the tubes of it at the grocery store and it's great grilled or fried stovetop. I just recently got into it, it's effortless and it goes REALLY well with this steak. Don't skip it!!

1 TB vermouth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-4 cloves garlic crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
black pepper
1-2 lb flank steak

*marinate for at least one hour and better if marinated for the whole day

For the steak and polenta:
4 tsp canola oil, divided
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tube of polenta cut into 8 slices
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup queso fresco (it's worth getting for this)
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Combine 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp salt, cumin, chili powder and pepper and rub evenly over the steak.

3. Put your stove fan on!! Add the steak to the pan and cook for 6 min. on each side or until desired temperature.

4. Remove from pan and let stand for 5 minutes with some foil over it.

5. Turn the heat down to medium and add some more oil to coat the pan if needed. Add the polenta slices and fry on each side for 2-3 minutes, until softish and slightly browned.

6. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices.

7. Serve the steak and polenta with slices of avocado and sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro and a little salsa on the side.

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