Thursday, August 9, 2007

Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Flank steak is a tasty and affordable cut of beef. It's suitable for a simple quick meal any day, or for entertaining. But, you have to prepare the steak in a manner which best accentuates it better attributes. I find that preparing it over searing heat works best. Tonight, I used a cast iron grill on the stove top to cook the flank steak to medium-rare*. I grilled the steak on each side for approximately 3 minutes, felt for doneness** and placed it on a cutting board. Then, as with all animal protein, I let it rest for 8-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat. Slicing it across the grain makes each piece tender.
Here, I arranged the steak over a salad of romaine lettuce, garden tomatoes, carrots, celery, chopped almonds, sectioned orange slices and feta cheese. It's a great way to clean out your refrigerator! So, whatever you have and your taste buds desire will work on this salad.
To plate, arrange the salad, drizzle over the orange vinaigrette (recipe below )and top with sliced flank steak and feta cheese.
Orange Vinaigrette
1/4 cup orange juice reserved from sectioning orange
juice from resting steak (yes! do it!)
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients, except olive oil, into mixing bowl and combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Stream in olive oil while whisking mixture. Continue to whisk until emulsified.
*The best meat temperature chart from Martha Stewart. I have this printed out and keep it in my kitchen for reference. I find that going with the professional kitchen temperatures works best.
** How do I know how well done my steak is?
Here is a link to The City Cook. It beautifully demonstrates what I think is the best method of manually determining how well done a steak is. It takes some practice, but once you master it, you wont need a thermometer.
If you still want to measure the temperature of your steak with a thermometer, I recommend using a simple and inexpensive analog instant read thermometer or a Thermapen.

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