Finally – Chimichurri Steak Salad

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I stay true to my promises. To everyone who has queried about the dearth of blog posts this past month, here’s the long-awaited end to the drought.

Let’s talk about pet peeves.

I had a teacher in high school who had something against pen-clicking. She had the short gray curls of a woman past middle age and a wooly cardigan to match. It was in that class that I first trained myself to fall asleep in class, and it was also in that class that I found myself looking up at her dourly bespectacled glare one afternoon as I noisily clicked lead into my mechanical pencil.

In my defense, I just really needed lead in my pencil.

What is indefensible in my book is not pen-clicking or gum-chewing or lip-smacking. It is, rather, the horrible crime of leaving a drawer, cabinet, or door just a push away from being fully closed. I have tried many times to walk away from a slightly opened drawer or half closed door only to find myself rushing back two steps later with my fingers twitching to correct the grievous wrong and restore order to the world.

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Thinking about half open drawers just triggered a sneezing fit and now I’m here clutching a tissue and blowing my nose. I’m sorry, Mrs. D’Attilio. I understand your pain now, I really do.

That’s why I don’t suppress my urges anymore. No drawer shall remain half opened on my watch. Under no circumstances shall a cupboard door hover an inch away from its proper resting location. Closet doors must stay completely closed when not in use. And when my fingers twitch at the grocery store because plump portobello mushrooms and fresh summer corn are calling my name, I grab first and think later.

I can’t say obeying my urges always yields the best results, but there is no regret with this particular grocery store impulse buy. None at all. Go crazy at the grocery store. Make this salad. Fire up your long-forgotten food processor. Glory in the heck-yeah-it’s-summer punch to your tastebuds. Do it.

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Chimichurri Steak Salad with Portobellos and Fresh Corn

Serves 4

Chimichurri
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (including stems)
3 tbsp fresh oregano
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2-3 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Salad
mixed greens of your choice
2 ears of fresh corn, husks removed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 lb flank steak
2 portobello mushrooms, sliced thickly (~6 slices/mushroom)
sourdough bread, sliced
4-6 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for buttering bread
salt and pepper
olive oil (optional)

  1. First, make the chimichurri by pulsing all the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor or blender until finely chopped but not fully blended into a parsley soup. Set aside for dressing the salads.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet (or fire up your grill) over medium high heat and melt 2 tbsp of butter. Cook the ears of corn, rolling them to cook them all over until the kernels are cooked through and there are char marks on each side, 8-10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then set aside on a cutting board to cool.
  3. In the meantime, melt 1-2 tbsp of butter in the skillet again and cook the portobello mushroom slices, flipping them once after 2-3 minutes on one side and seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Once they are browned and cooked through on both sides, remove from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Crisp up the sourdough slices in the skillet. You can either butter both sides of the bread for a decadently crispy treat or drizzle with olive oil for a similarly crispy but less fatty effect. The sourdough will char quickly, so make sure to flip the slices over after a minute or two. To keep the bread warm, place in a 250˚F oven until you are ready to serve.
  5. Turn the heat to high and melt 1-2 tbsp of butter. Season the flank steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides, then cook in the hot skillet to your desired doneness. Set aside and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully slice the kernels off of the corn cobs by laying them on their sides and cutting straight down. Once you have cut the kernels off of one side, use the flat side to keep the cob firm while cutting off the rest of the kernels.
  7. Thinly slice the flank steak against the grain with a sharp knife.
  8. Put together your salads! Pile mixed greens on four large plates and sprinkle diced red bell pepper evenly over the top. Divide the corn and portobello mushroom slices evenly between the four plates, and finally top with the sliced steak. Drizzle with the chimichurri and serve with a slice or two of crispy sourdough on the side.

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Bonus for all my dear friends who scroll past the recipe to see if I put anything down here: a very glamorous behind the scenes shot taken with the nice camera I have recently obtained (thanks mom!). I’ll be practicing my photography skills, so you’ll have more badly composed, badly lit, and badly shot behind the scenes photos to look forward to. Cheers!

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