Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Foodie Challenge: Stuffed Flank Steak

February is winding down, and it's time to submit my recipe for The Foodie Challenge. This project, the brain child of Joanna and Trish, asks participants to try at least one new recipe per month and blog about it.  February links are being collected on Trish's blog.

My crock-pot has been getting quite a workout this winter, especially since purchasing Stephanie O'Dea's Make It Fast, Cook It Slow cookbook. This was one of the first cookbooks I borrowed from the library for a test run. After the maximum two renewals, it clearly deserved a spot in my permanent collection.


The Ingredients:
3 pounds flank steak
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green apple, diced (no need to peel)
1/3 cup raw almonds, chopped

The Directions:
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Put the flank steak in a plastic ziplock bag with honey and soy sauce and marinate overnight.

In the morning, combine the feta cheese, garlic, green apple, and chopped almonds in a mixing bowl.

Pour the flank steak and marinade into the stonewear. Remove the meat from the marinade and put it on a cutting board. Put a handful or two of of the cheese filling in the middle of the flank, and roll it up.

Return the meat to the crock, seam-side down. If you'd like to secure the meat with twine or skewers, go for it.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for about 4 hours. Slice carefully, and serve. If the meat unrolls a bit, you can stick it back together with toothpicks to present nicely. Or don't worry about it - it's just going to get eaten anyway. If you are left with extra garlic, feta, apple, and almond mixture, it makes a great salad topping.

My notes:
This needs to marinate OVERNIGHT, so be sure to start the evening before. I somehow missed that fact the morning I was planning to serve it - we had it the following night instead.

There was way too much stuffing for my 2 pound flank steak, but the author was right. The leftovers were outstanding on a salad!

We had no flank steak leftovers. I can't tell you the last time this much meat was consumed in one meal.

Food photography is hard... this actually looked much better than the photo suggests.

Did you try a new recipe this month? Stop by Trish's blog and link up.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Saturday Soup

Winter weekends are made for soup. This week's offering comes from Wegmans, my favorite grocery store. I've been making this spinach lentil soup for years.

Spinach Lentil Soup


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Classics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) Food You Feel Good About Salsa
  • 1 1/4 cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pkg (10 oz.) fresh spinach, stemmed

1. Heat oil in soup pot on LOW.  Add onion and carrots; cook, covered, on low for 5 minutes.

2. Add salsa, lentils, spinach, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to LOW and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes until lentils are tender.

My notes:

  • I used organic green lentils.
  • Instead of 6 cups water, I used 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water. (Margaret would have preferred vegetable broth or just water)  
  • I also waited until the last 10 - 15 minutes to add the spinach.

Visiting Wegmans website this morning, I noticed the recipe has been updated to include matchstick carrots and Goya red lentils. The new recipe can be found here.  Matchstick carrots would make the soup seem even heartier, and I'm willing to give red lentils a chance, too. I wonder if they have a different taste...

Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone with a food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button, head over to Beth Fish Reads, and link up anytime over the weekend.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Almond-Ginger-Peach Treacle Tart

The tart before it was put into the oven.

I am, and will always be, a huge Harry Potter fan. I store the hardcover books in a safe glass-windowed chest, I know the lines to all of the movies by heart, and an entire shelf in the playroom is dedicated to Harry Potter games, action figures, cards, bookmarks, stickers, stationary, etc.

Obsessed? C'est possible.

Now, imagine a kid like me attending a Harry Potter class every other day. Discussions, debates, movie-watching, and other various Potter-related activities (ie. Divinations). End your daydream, because I am actually enrolled in such a class. Magical, isn't it?

Technically, I am a muggle (a person without magical abilities), but I am in a stage of denial . . . which has lasted since 1997 when the first book came out.

But nevertheless!

I made a wonderful Almond-Ginger-Peach Treacle Tart from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook for my class on Monday. The filling was easy to prepare, but the crust was, well, a nightmare. I finally got the hang of it after a while, and it was worth it. The crust was pure almond-y flaky goodness, and balanced out the perfect sweetness of the filling.

Witches, wizards, and muggles alike will enjoy this tasty treat.

Ron: Do you think we'll ever just have a quiet year at Hogwarts?
Hermione, Harry: No.
Ron: Yeah, didn't think so. Oh well, what's life without a few dragons?