Flank steak, with its deep beefy flavor and standout striations that soak up rubs and marinades, it should be on everybody’s list of favorite grilling cuts. So when you’re craving a little barbecue flavor anytime of year, this recipe does the trick. The beauty of flank steak is that it absorbs the flavors of any rub or marinade easily.
One of the tastiest, and potentially toughest cuts of meat you’ll ever eat, there are two opposite cooking choices with flank. You either cook it hot and fast, or long and slow by braising. The purpose is to break down the connective tissues by cutting thin slices or by heat and moisture. Clearly we are doing the fast method here.
Using cumin as the common seasoning on both the meat and the cauliflower make them pair together well.
Honey-Chipotle Glazed Flank Steak and Cumin Cauliflower
Position an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Combine 1 tsp. of the oil, garlic, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add the chipotle and honey and stir until heated through about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and zest.
Rub the flank steak with the remaining 1 tsp. oil and season generously with salt. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and broil, turning once, until slightly browned and cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for an internal temperature of 140°F.
Spread the glaze over the top of the steak and broil until it begins to bubble and darken in places, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.
Cumin Roasted Cauliflower
1 medium cauliflower, broken down into florets
1 tsp. cumin seeds, lightly crushed
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, cumin seeds, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Spread the cauliflower on a large sheet pan and roast in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes turning halfway through cooking (cauliflower should be browned in spots and tender).
Even though Kung Pao Chicken originated in China’s Sichuan Province, it has become an iconic Chinese-American dish. The popular stir-fry typically includes chicken, vegetables and peanuts tossed in a dark, salty, sweet and spicy sauce, but in this vegan take, cauliflower steps in for the chicken.
Dark soy sauce is more caramel-flavored and less salty than regular soy sauce, and it adds color and richness to the dish. If you don’t have dark soy, substitute with regular soy sauce or hoisin sauce.
Make sure you have a lid for your skillet or wok on hand before you start cooking, as covering the cauliflower allows it to cook quicker and more evenly. And as with any stir-fry, always prep each ingredient ahead of cooking because you won’t have time in between.
Now, The Hubs inadvertently made more sauce than called for. He was using the “ounce” side of the small measuring cup instead of the “tablespoon” side. So he ended up doubling the soy sauces, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch. The vegetable stock remained at 1/4 cup. It ended up being a good mistake, as we tend to prefer our stir-fries on the saucier side anyway.
1 head cauliflower (about 2 lbs.), cut into small 2-inch-long florets
1 green or red bell pepper, core, seeds and membrane removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns, lightly ground in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or crushed with a rolling pin
8 whole dried chiles, such as er jing tiao or chiles de árbol
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 piece ginger, (1-inch) peeled and finely sliced
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
Steamed rice, to serve
In a small bowl, whisk together the dark soy sauce, soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, vegetable stock or water, and cornstarch. Set aside.
Heat wok or large (12-inch) skillet on medium-high until very hot. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, the cauliflower florets and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss for 1 minute. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing the cauliflower every 1 1/2 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender and charred in some parts. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same wok or skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of neutral oil, along with the bell pepper. Toss for 1 minute, then add the Sichuan peppercorns and whole dried chiles, and stir for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the garlic and ginger, and stir for 30 seconds, then add the cauliflower back to the pan. Stir the sauce in the bowl to make sure the cornstarch is well incorporated, then pour it over the cauliflower and toss until the cauliflower is well coated.
Toss in the peanuts and scallions, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Serve with rice.