Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak

Martha Stewart’s Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak

My Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak (minus the red pepper sauce)

I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while, but wasn’t sure how Bryan would feel about it because it has a cheese that he isn’t very familiar with and it also has capers.  I offered to leave out the capers but he said he would try them.  I should have  listened to my instincts and left them out.  He tried one but he just wasn’t a fan, they were too salty for him.  I’m not one for very salty foods but I love these green little gems, probably because I love chicken piccata so much. As it turns out, Bryan really liked this recipe and said this is one we should make again.

The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine and it is also in her Everyday Food Cookbook “Fresh Flavor Fast” Another great recipe from here that is also naturally gluten-free!  You would be amazed how many of these recipes are naturally gluten-free or can very easily be adapted to gluten-free.

Seeing as this is a stuffed steak, it needed to be butterflied first, then stuffed with the spinach mixture and rolled up.  I always hear about people going to the grocery store and having the butcher cut their meat a certain way such as butterflied so I thought, why not give it a shot and have them do it.  I was so wrong, no pun intended here but he butchered my flank steak.  I was so upset when I got home and opened it up.  I should have taken a picture to show you all how bad it was.  It was completely uneven with some pieces being extremely thing and others looking like they hadn’t been cut.  I made the best of it for this because I didn’t want to waste the meat but not to self, next time do it myself!  However if you have a good butcher I’m sure he would do fine but this guy was complaining the whole time he was cutting this piece.  I am very much looking forward to my meat cutting class at school!

Here is how to butterfly the flank steak according to the recipe:

Butterflying the Steak: Lay the meat on a cutting board, with the grain of the steak running horizontally. Using a long sharp knife, cut the meat almost in half horizontally, opening it like a book but stopping before going all the way through.

With the steak being cut so uneven I had to adjust the cooking time a bit and despite having to put it in a few times because the middle just wasn’t cooked to our liking (it was pretty much raw – but again I blame that on the butcher and not the actual recipe its self.) it was a very tasty, easy and fairly quick dinner.  We served ours with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Too add a little something extra to it I made a Red Pepper Sauce to go on the side to either drizzle on top of the steak or just to dip it in.   I used a container of Wild Veggie Red Pepper Soup as the base, added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon fine ground pepper.  To thicken it up just a bit I added a small amount of cornstarch/water mixture.

Have you heard about Wild Veggie yet?  If not you should check out their website and products.  Here is a little blurb about them from their website:

What is Wild Veggie? Is it a soup? Is it a drink? Is it an ingredient? If you think it’s all of the above, then you’re right! Wild Veggie is good in everything… and is good for everybody. Compared to similar products on the market, Wild Veggie is low in sodium and calories, and typically has more vitamins and nutrients, not only meeting but exceeding daily recommendations in many cases.

We start with the absolute freshest vegetables we can find, always picked at their peak of ripeness and flavor. We then wash, micro-cut, and fast cook at a low temperature, and then quickly freeze to preserve as much of the natural vegetable flavor as possible. There are no preservatives. No fake chemicals. Just the wonderful taste of pure, fresh vegetables.

Our unique process preserves the natural integrity, flavor or nutrients of the vegetables — we do not compromise on flavor or freshness, meaning that Wild Veggie is good for every body.

Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak (Martha Stewart – Everyday Food Magazine)

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen leaf spinach, thawed

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 small flank steak (1 pound)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

    1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, parsley, cheese, capers, vinegar, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cut and open steak.
    3. Cut several 12-inch pieces of kitchen twine; space evenly underneath steak. Spread spinach mixture down center of meat (see opposite). Roll steak over mixture, pressing firmly to compact the filling as much as possible; tie twine to secure roll. Cut roll in half crosswise. Place halves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet; rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
    4. Broil until browned, 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare; let rest, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes. Remove string, and slice steak into 1/2-inch rounds.

     

    Weekly Menu Planning

    I’m determined to get back into planning out a weekly menu and base our grocery shopping on that menu.  I hope that this will save us money but also the frustration of what to eat each night.  This week is a very Asian inspired week as you’ll see below.  I really miss my favorite little Chinese restaurant in Monterey, Full Moon.  They were so great to me, I would bring them a bottle of gluten-free soy sauce and they would make my food with that. We have both been craving Chinese food lately and Bryan could go out and get some but I can’t so I figured I would make a few Asian inspired recipes this week that will hopefully hit the spot.

    When planning weekly menus I usually look at my cookbooks, blogs etc and search for dishes that are tasty, easy and that the ingredients can be used in more than one dish during the week.  This weeks menu inspiration comes from: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, Everyday Food-Fresh Flavor Fast and a few recipes I found online.

    November 29-December 5

    Monday

    Grilled Steaks, mashed sweet potatoes and corn (these were our last steaks from Omaha Steaks -a gift from Bry’s parents)

    Tuesday

    P.F. Chang’s inspired Beef A La Sichuan (Bryan’s favorite dish to order there, even off of the gluten-free menu)

    Wednesday

    Asian Inspired Noodle Bowl (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 30)

    Thursday

    Beef Stir Fry (Everyday Food Fresh Flavor Fast pg. 190)

    Friday

    Penne A La Broccoli (Light dish with red pepper flakes from DrWeil.com)

    Saturday

    General Chang’s Chicken (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 163) I’ll be making this for my birthday dinner along with some cupcakes, or maybe even a cheesecake…I have yet to decided which one I really want.

    Sunday

    Not 100% sure what to make just yet for sunday, maybe some beef stew or pot roast.

    If you haven’t picked up a copy of the Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking cookbook by Kelli and Peter Bronski you really should – this cookbook is fantastic.  I’ve made several of their recipes and have enjoyed every one of them.

    What are you cooking this week?

    PJ’s Organics – Gluten Free Enchiladas & Taquitos

    One thing we really seem to lack around us is Mexican food!  I was beyond spoiled living in California and I have to say that even though I love the Mexican food in Monterey the Mexican food in Ventura was still better.  One day we decided to try an “Authentic Mexican Cantina” near here and I posted about this before – bottom line, it’s not good at all, so we make tacos at home now, and by no means are they authentic but they are at least tasty!

    A few weeks ago, I was contacted by PJ’s Organics and was asked if I would be interested in trying and reviewing their new gluten-free products.  I didn’t even have to think twice about that, my answer was yes!  I was sent samples of their four gluten-free products: Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada, Gluten Free Steak Enchilada, Traditional Taquito and Deluxe Taquitos.  Bryan and I were both excited to try PJ’s Organics products – even though he isn’t gluten-free, he is my taste testing companion – I think its great that I get to do this, but I love getting his non-gluten free opinion on these products.  If he says its good, then you know it must be really good!

    So first up we really wanted to try the Enchiladas which come with black beans and brown rice.   We decided to make them both, and cut the Enchiladas in half and each try them both.  Let’s start with how Bryan felt about them “You can’t even tell these are gluten-free!” and I think that sums it up pretty well, they were delicious for frozen meals.  The perfect serving size, the meat in side wasn’t just mush either, there were actually chunks of meat.  These were very filling, I don’t think either of us even finished the rice and beans.  We would defiantly buy the Enchiladas again – if you can find them around you, give them a try!

    Next up we had the Traditional and Deluxe Taquitos.  Again, we tried them both together and out of the two I have to say my favorite was the Deluxe Taquitos…they have chicken, corn, red bell peppers along with rice and cheese.  Both were a bit dry, but that was easily solved with a little bit of salsa and sour cream.  Again, there were actually chunks of meat and decent flavor – the enchiladas had a bit more than these did but they were still pretty tasty. The Taquitos were a very good size too – so about two or three of them are great for a snack after school.

    These products defiantly fixed our need for some tasty Mexican Food – and yes they are frozen meals, but they did the job just fine! Click here for places to buy PJ’s Organics – They have a whole ton of gluten containing products and the gluten-free products listed above!

    Thank you to the very kind people of PJ’s Organics for letting me taste your wonderful products.  Great job on making them taste fantastic and even those with out Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance will enjoy them!

    San-J’s Gluten Free Szechuan Sauce (Review)


    My favorite gluten-free soy sauce is San-J’s.  You seriously can’t tell the difference from regular soy sauce and this one, but the best part is they also have a low sodium option.  Here is what their website has to say about their gluten-free reduced sodium tamari sauce:

    Enjoy all the benefits of Organic Gluten Free Tamari with 25% less sodium. Organic Gluten Free Reduced Sodium Tamari is certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI). It is made with 100% soybeans and no wheat. Organic Gluten Free Reduced Sodium Tamari is naturally fermented for up to 6 months. We add no MSG or artificial preservatives. Organic Gluten Free Reduced Sodium Tamari’s fermentation process is different than ordinary soy sauce, giving it unique flavor enhancing properties. Add Tamari to gravies, sauces and casseroles. Use it as a marinade and in stir-fry dishes. Certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

    We came across a few of their other gluten-free selections at a store in New Jersey and we picked up the Gluten-Free Szecuan Sauce because we both really enjoy spicy things.  Here is what their website has to say about this Szecuan sauce:

    This hot and spicy sauce will tingle your palate. The complex combination of wheat-free Tamari, spices, ginger, plum and sesame gives San-J’s Szechuan Sauce a balanced heat. This certified gluten-free sauce is perfect for putting a new twist on your favorite chili recipe or stir-fry. For a tasty party snack, coat Buffalo wings with Szechuan Sauce and bake or grill. Even morning meals can be more exciting – add a drizzle of Szechuan to your scrambled eggs for a spicy kick. Look for the Certified Gluten Free logo on the label.

    You can do so much with this sauce.  You can marinade chicken, steak or even some shrimp to grill, saute, stir-fry or even broil.  Yesterday I marinade two good size steaks in this sauce for about five hours or so.  You don’t have to marinade it that long, you can always baste the meat while you are cooking or grilling it.  My dad has let us borrow one of his old hunting grills so I cleaned it all up, washed and scraped the grates (just to be on the safe side!) and decided that we should put it to use.  I am the type of person who will grill in the snow.  I love grilled food, meat, veggies, seafood – you name it!

    Grilled Steak with San-J Szechuan Sauce

    2 medium-sized steaks

    1/2 cup of San-J Szechuan Sauce

    Marinade steaks in the Szechuan sauce either in large zip lock back or in a shallow baking dish (make sure to cover it if you do the second option). Marinade as long as you like.  I prefer to marinade my meats for several hours, or over night for a more intense flavor.  Be sure to turn meat several times during the marinade process to make sure both sides get covered equally.

    Grill depending on thickness and how you prefer your meat to be done (well, medium well etc.).  I prefer mine to be medium rare so I grilled my steaks for about four minutes on the first side and about three to four on the second side because they were quite thick.

    We also had two ears of corn and two sweet potatoes to use up so I grilled the corn (the husks were already off but I would normally have kept the husks on for grilling). I boiled the sweet potatoes up with a half a stick of cinnamon (Bryan loves his sweet potatoes mashed with ground cinnamon) then whipped them up with a little bit of butter, soy milk and some freshly grated cinnamon.

    The best part of this sauce is you really don’t need to add anything to it.  It is perfect just as it is!  Great flavor and spice…we even put some in a little bowl to dip our steak in we loved it that much.  I look forward to trying some of their other gluten-free sauces, marinades and dressings.

    Balsamic Steak

    Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine (issue  #43 – June 2007)  This recipe is so simple and is already gluten free!  The original recipe calls for skirt steak, however I had a little bit of a hard time finding that so I used flank steak the first time and the next time I made it I filleted a piece of tri-tip (a cut that is native to California)  in thirds and used that.  I also had the meat sit in the marinade over night.  Again, another really simple recipe yet very tasty!!  Its great for those busy nights, you are going to love it, I promise.

    Balsamic Marinated Skirt Steak (see note above)

    1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar

    2 tablespoons light brown sugar

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

    coarse salt and ground pepper

    1 1/2 pounds skirt steak

    oil for grates

    – In a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish, combine vinegar, sugar, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Pierce meat all over with a  fork; add to marinade and turn to coat.  Let marinate at room temperature at least 15 minutes (or over night in the refrigerator and then let sit out for 20 minutes or so before grilling).

    – Heat grill to high; oil grates.  Remove steak from marinade, allow excess to drip off.  Grill steaks 2-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Transfer to a plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 5 minutes.  Slice against the grain and serve.

    – A nice side for this is mashed or bakes sweet potatoes.

    (The Whole Gang – Friday Foodie Fix, Secret Ingredient – Balsamic Vinegar)

    A Very Merry Christmas

    This year I saved up my vacation time the best I could so I could spend almost three weeks with my boyfriend and our families back east.  We don’t get to see each other very often and its really hard.   We get to see each other every few months, its really taught us not to take each other for granted. We met over five years ago now but we’ve learned a lot about each other over the past ten months.  For example I learned that he is lactose intolerant and allergic to onions, raw apples and a few other things.  So, not only will our house be Gluten Free, it will be Onion Free and mostly Dairy Free.

    I got my first experience cooking both GF and DF while he was here for Thanksgiving.  I made a complete dinner for us.  GF stuffing, a turkey, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes and to top it all off a GF Apple Pie!  He and I both loved it.  And have to admit looking forward to doing it all over again next year.

    This year we sent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family back in Mass.  Christmas Eve is spent with my mom’s side of the family each year.  Lots of food and plenty of family to share the holiday with.  Its never a dull moment, trust me!  Christmas day is spent with my dad and step mom.  I had filled my parents in on Bryan’s allergies and my step mom made one amazing meal.  Completely GF, DF and OF!  Prime Rib with DF scalloped potatoes, green beans with pancetta.  The only part that wasn’t 100% GF, DF was the cheese cake.  My step mom makes the best cheese cakes, I swear!!  She even made me own special one with no crust.  Oh man I can still taste it.

    They also wanted to take us out to dinner one night at the 111 Chophouse in Worcester.  I’ve been there once or twice before, but this was before finding out about having Celiac.  I made sure to bring my little Triumph Dining card with me, however I didn’t need them.  The Chophouse has a gluten free menu.  Not just a few things either, it was a very complete menu.  It had apps, salads, main dishes, and deserts.  I was highly impressed with their selection for GF guests.  I ended up going with the Wagyu Flat Iron Steak. (Thanks again Dad and Sue for another amazing meal!)

    After about a week in Mass we headed back down to New Jersey to spend some more time with Bryan’s family and our friends.  We went to The City a few times, ate at Risotteria twice.  Shared the goodness of that place with our friends and Bryan’s Dad. (I have to say they were good sports to go to a GF place just for me! – Thanks guys).  On our first trip to the City we also went to MoMA to see the Tim Burton Exhibit, which is AMAZING.  I highly recommend going if you are there.  He is an extremely talented man, that is for sure.  Next stop was the Empire State Building!!  My dream finally came true.  (I know a self proclaimed dork, but I’ve always wanted to go since seeing An Affair To Remember).  Not only was it almost empty – no lines believe it or not, but we got to go to both the 86th floor and the 102 floor!  Both of which are amazingly beautiful.  It was night time and the city looked like it had a million Christmas lights all lit up.

    Our next trip was with Bryan’s Dad to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, NYC (which sadly closed on 1/3/10). They had some amazing things on display.  When you first got in they show you a “movie” of different artists who have been inducted.  It made me sad that I’ve missed some pretty amazing artists growing up.  Don’t get me wrong, I grew up listening to great music, but sadly didn’t get to see any of these artists.  I realized that we have lost amazing talent over the years and most musicians now a days just don’t measure up.

    On our  way home we stopped at BabyCakes!! Its a small little place, but the cupcakes are unbelievable.  I walked out of there with six cupcakes and two brownie cupcakes.  Don’t worry I didn’t eat them all myself, I shared ;-)  I even love whats printed on the back of the box “Saving your behind one cupcake at a time”.  My friend Adina gave me their cookbook for my birthday, and now I can’t wait to try some of their recipes.

    For photos from my trip back home visit my Flickr page!

    Steak and Salsa

    gf1483

    This is by far one of my favorite and easiest recipes. To me its definitely a comfort food. Sadly I didn’t not come up with this one, but I try to make it my own.

    Steak and Salsa

    1 – 2 lbs of Steak

    2 Garlic Cloves minced

    1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

    4-5 Shakes of Gluten Free Soy Sauce

    1 Medium size jar of Salsa (chunky salsa works great)

    2 tbs White Sugar

    *Olive Oil

    White Rice

    *If using a non-stick pan, there is no need to use oil

    Cut steak into bite size pieces. Brown steak in a non-stick skillet. Add garlic. Pour salsa over steak. Add brown sugar, white sugar and soy sauce. bring to boil. After 5 minutes turn to low heat. Simmer about 45 minutes. Serve over white rice.