Gambling, Shopping, Fine Dining, What else can I do? That was my big question when I was working in Las Vegas all last week. To tell the truth, I am not a big gambler or a big shopper. And, my personal budget usually isn’t big enough for frequent fine dining at expensive restaurants. Luckily, I was on business there, so, someone else was always picking up the checks for me. My wallet was “hole-proofed”.
My first impression of Las Vegas is “an adult Disneyland layered everywhere with a big shiny facade”. Every corner I turned my head, I saw over-the-top replicas covered with gold or some “lifeless” decorations. Everything seemed to be screaming, “Look at me. I am so great!”. To me, the city looked like a big gift box wrapped extra glamorously in a fantasy land. Unfortunately, I didn’t spend enough time there to see what is inside that “box”. I hope the inside is as impressive as the outside. With that thought, today I’m making grilled mushroom flank steak, which does not only look great outside but also tastes amazing inside. I’m happy to share with you real food for real people in the real world.
To start, in a large bowl, I mix ½ cup light soy sauce, ¼ cup 7th taste mushroom olive oil, ¼ cup toasted sesame oil, 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 cloves garlic (crushed) and some freshly ground black pepper. Then I marinade 2 lbs flank steaks in the mixture for about 30 minutes at the room temperature. Separately, I heat some of my mushroom olive oil and sauté 4-6 large mushrooms (sliced), ¼ cup chopped chives & 1 sliced Serrano chili (optional). Then, I pour 2 cups beef stock and 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard to the pot. When the sauce starts boiling, I reduce the heat, slowly stir in some corn starch to thicken the sauce and season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finally, I grill the steaks with some of my mushroom olive oil and drizzle the mushroom mustard sauce on top right before serving.
Flank steak, the cut from the abdominal muscle of the cow, is best known in the US as “fajitas meat”. The meat may not be as rich as rib eye steak, but the layer of fat surrounding the muscle in the flank steak makes it taste juicy and flavorful. My marinade, which nicely blends sweetness, sourness, earthiness and nuttiness, makes this well-cut steak taste even better. The sizzling sound of the grill and the delicious aroma of my mushroom olive oil and red wine vinegar totally makes my mouth watery while cooking. With the anticipation of biting this juicy steak, I quickly drizzle some mushroom mustard sauce on top. Not only do the flavors of the spicy, nutty, acidic Dijon mustard cut through the rich beef stock of the sauce, but the blended flavors of mushrooms and chives add other interesting dimensions to this dish. This rustic home-made dish is so tasty that I don’t need to cover it with gold, elaborate decorations, or have constant bells ringing in the background during dinner. It just tastes YUM!
Now that Spring is here, many of you may be getting ready for more outdoor grilling. I hope you, your family and friends enjoy this tasty recipe on a warm Spring day. Happy cooking!