Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fig and Prosciutto Salad

Dear Fresh Figs:

You are amazing. I am so sorry that Fig Newtons gave you a bad rap, and I will do everything I can to restore your reputation.


I realize that you may question my sanity for writing a letter to figs, but I can assure you that I am slightly off. However, I have a very good reason: fig and prosciutto salad. I made this about two weeks ago for a family dinner. Through I learned more about cooking than I probably realize from my parents, this was kind of a hard sell - until they tried it.

Fig and Prosciutto Salad

2 large bunches arugula or baby salad greens (about 1/2 pound total)
6 firm-ripe green or purple figs (about 1/2 pound)
6 to 8 large thin prosciutto slices (about 6 ounces total)
a piece Parmigiano (about 1/3 pound)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, pepper, and salt to taste. In a slow stream, whisk in the oil until emulsified. Toss arugula with the vinaigrette and mound in center of each of 6 plates.

Wash the figs, and trim the tough stem ends. Cut each fig into 8 wedges. Cut the prosciutto into strips, about ¼ to ½ inch wide. Arrange the prosciutto pieces and figs on the salad. With a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices from the Parmigiano, and add to the top of the salad. Eat.

Adapted from

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spicy Asian Flank Steak

This spicy asian flank steak is SO good. I do not think I need to sell this recipe any more than that because I know that once you try it, you'll make it all the time. It is that good. The secret is cutting the finished product correctly: you can see from the photo that I've sliced the meat very thin. The reason is that flank steak is a tough cut of meat, so by slicing it thin and across the grain, you get to enjoy a meltingly tender bite of steak. Winner, winner, steak dinner.

Spicy Asian Flank Steak

2 pounds flank steak

1⁄4 cup hot chile sauce, Sriracha

1⁄4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, grated

Juice of 1 lime

1⁄4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

To make marinade: In a gallon side zip-top bag, add the chile sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and lime juice together. Seal the bag and squeeze bag to thoroughly mix the marinade. Add the meat to the bag, seal it shut, and evenly distribute the marinade over the meat. Then ensure that all air is out. Marinate meat about 30 minutes, turning bag over a few times to distribute marinade evenly. (If you want to make this the night before, don't add the lime juice until about 30 minutes before you're ready to grill it and make sure to keep the bag 'o meat in the fridge. Prior to grilling, have meat come to room temperature by removing from fridge for 30 minutes.)

When ready to grill, discard the marinade, and grill the steak on high heat to desired doneness. Steak should not exceed medium rare for optimum tenderness; many people prefer flank steak to be medium rare. Grill 4 to 5 minutes per side; remove meat and let sit at least 5 minutes before slicing; if more grilling is required, grill 1 to 2 more minutes per side. Remember to thinly slice it across the grain.

To enjoy this gorgeous flank steak, try the following: thinly sliced onion, avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, lime, and corn tortillas.