Welcome to an Extra Special Day

Before we get into why this day is special, let’s get a few other National Days out of the way. The first would be the official birthday of the United States Air Force. While the Air Force was first formed on August 1, it was a part of two existing branches of the military. So while historically the creation of the Air Force is August 1, it wasn’t yet an independent branch.

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A Special Steak for a Very Special Day

First off, doesn’t this steak look absolutely incredible? I mean, top quality best gourmet steakhouse presentation. Five stars all the way. Are you ready for this? The recipe came from (drum roll please) Smuckers – as in those jars of jellies and jams. I will admit, I did make one tiny, adult change. The Blackberry Sauce called for red wine vinegar. I dropped the vinegar and went straight for the red wine.  

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Grilled Grand Marnier Pepper Steak on a Bed of Tomatoes

There are a lot of good reasons to plant a garden, even if it’s just a hanging patio garden. Working the soil is good for you. Eating what you have grown brings satisfaction unlike any other. Every year I look forward to our tomato plants for three reasons – freshness, goodness and full flavor. If you cannot grow tomatoes, please find a good small farm. Tomatoes that are allowed to ripen naturally, that have not been bred for shipping have a flavor unlike any other.

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Beautiful Basil-Stuffed Grilled Steak

This marvelous grilled steak comes from Taste of Home, as part of their diabetic-friendly collection. Part of the beauty of the stuffed-steak is that the recipe gives you options – fresh or dried herbs. Whenever possible, fresh is always best. However; there are times when fresh can’t be had. If the herbs at your farmer’s market are not in season or the produce section of the grocery store doesn’t have what you are looking for; go for the dry. The only MUST in the fresh department is the basil. Without fresh basil, the entire presentation would fall flat.

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Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Today we are going to be “world travelers” at the supper table by heading off to Argentina. Before venturing off, I thought it would be fun to give you a little background on the sauce for our Flat Iron Steaks.

Chimichurri Sauce in a condiment sauce from Argentina that is used on grilled meats, much like the way Americans use A-1 Steak sauce except with more versatility. Chimichurri Sauce is not just reserved for steaks or grilled red meats. It can also accompany grilled chicken, pork or even as a side to grilled fish such as Sword Fish Steaks.

Typically Chimichurri is made from finely chopped parsley, oregano, minced garlic, olive oil and white vinegar. In Latin Countries outside Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, the dominant flavor comes from the use of chopped coriander leaves, more commonly known as Cilantro. Although usually served in its green form, like Enchilada Sauce, it does have a red version. This is accomplished with the introduction of tomatoes and red bell peppers to the mix. However; tonight’s rendition of Chimichurri Sauce is green.

The origins of the name for this sauce is unclear, although there are two schools of popular thought. Both are amusing, steeped more in folklore than fact. The first is that the word dates back to the early 1800, when the British were captured after a series of failed invasions to capture the Spanish colonies in and around South America’s la Plala Basin. British prisoners used a mixture of English, aboriginal and Spanish words to form the word che-mi-salsa or chi-mi-curry. Roughly translated, the prisoners were saying “give me condiments” or “give me curry” to have with their food. The word eventually became “Chimichurri”. Another popular tale is that the word hails from the Basque settlers of Argentina, and their term tximitxurri, loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order.” Personally, I like the latter theory if for no other reason than the randomness of preparing a sauce “in no particular order”. What fun – a little of this, a little of that, whipped it up and there you go.

The Flat Iron Steak, when grilled to a nice, warm medium rare is tender and filled with flavors. A light sprinkling of Montreal Steak Seasoning only adds to the beautiful, beefy flavor of this wonderful cut of meat.

The Chimichurri Sauce is a Latin Pesto of sorts for all things grilled. The wonderful texture, bright color and blend of flavors is delight for the senses. The cilantro and lemon complement one another beautifully, neither taking center stage while allowing their distinct differences to come bursting through.

While I enjoyed mine as a thinly sliced steak, Hubby and Kiddo wrapped theirs in warm tortillas, with more sauce and a dash of sour cream. Bottom line is that this dish is easy to make and a joy to eat.

Are you ready to start cooking? Then let’s get busy. You’ll want to season the steak, whip up the Chimichurri Sauce and build a nice bed of coals for grilling. Oh how I love nights like this, when Hubby and I spend quality time together preparing a meal. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Ingredients: Flat Iron Steak
1 Flat Iron Steak, about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds
1 Tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning

Ingredients – Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves (about 1 cup before chopping)
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves (about 1 cup before chopping)
2 Tablespoons Roasted minced garlic
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Teaspoons White or Red wine vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil

Take the steak out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking, rub with steak rub, and let it come to room temperature.

Wash cilantro leaves and parsley leaves and dry with paper towel or spin dry in salad spinner. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, finely chop the cilantro, parsley, and garlic.  Transfer mixture to a glass bowl.

Add lemon juice, wine vinegar, and seasonings. Whisk to combine.  Slowly whisk in olive oil. Let sauce stand at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes for flavors to marry. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Build a fire in the charcoal grill, heating grill to medium-high heat. Clean grate and wipe with a little oil to prevent steak from sticking.

Place Flat Iron Steak on the grill at an angle. After about 3-4 minutes, or when nice grill marks start to form, rotate steak 45 degrees using tongs and continue to grill for about 3-4 minutes more on first side.

Flip steak over, again at angle and repeat grilling on second side. Continue to grill until cooked to your liking. Flat Iron Steak should be cooked no more than medium rare, for about 12 minutes, depending upon thickness of the cut.

When steak is done to your liking, remove from grill, tend and let rest for 5 minutes to allow juices to settle. Slice steak thinly across the grain. Serve hot, with Chimichurri sauce drizzled down the center. Serve remaining sauce on the side to add as desired.


Season Flat Iron Steak and allow to rest for about 30 minutes prior to grilling.

While steak is resting, gather ingredients for the Chimichurri Sauce. Having everything at the ready makes it a snap to whip up the sauce.

Process parsley, cilantro, oregano and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped and well blended.

Once finely chopped, transfer mixture to a small bowl. Add fresh lemon juice and wine vinegar.

Add spices to the mixture and whip to blend well.

Slowly add olive oil. Whisk to blend. Set sauce aside to allow flavors to marry and mature. After about 30 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Grill Flat Iron Steak over a bed of medium-hot coals until desired doneness is achieved. Flat Iron Steak is best cooked medium-rare.

Remove steak from grill, tent and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes to let juices settle. Slice thinly, drizzle with Chimichurri Sauce and serve.

Flat Iron Steak goes well with warm tortillas and Mexican Rice for a quick, easy supper. Perfect for casual entertaining or spending time around the table with those we love.

Happy Travels!

Rockin’ Grilled Porterhouse – Need I Say More?

Can we talk steaks for a moment? The two biggest “rivals” for grilled steak has to be Porterhouse vs T-Bone. Both steaks come from the short loin, consisting of two cuts of meat on one cut of steak separated by the T-shaped bone.

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Asian Marinated Flat Iron Steak

In celebration of Asian-American Pacific Islander month, I have been on an Asian cooking kick.  This was inspired by a recipe for Asian Marinade Flank Steak that I picked up at justataste.com way back in June 2013. The recipes are very similar, with only a few minor adjustments.

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