Monday, August 26, 2013

Favorite recipes: Grilled flank steak

For full blog post, including printable recipe, please visit

I have some recipes that are such staples in my rotation that I have them printed and posted on my bulletin board. Occasionally, they will become victim to the ingredients and/or process of the recipe, so I will re-print them every so often and put them right back on the bulletin board.

However, I have found that I much prefer the convenience and experience of using my iPad as a portable recipe.  In order to facilitate the transition to getting my recipes online, I am going to occasionally post recipes both to share them (on my pinterest page,  the food board always gets a lot of activity, so I am hoping that some of you appreciate recommended recipes too) as well as provide an online library of my favorites.

Years ago, we went to dinner at a friend’s house and flank steak was on the menu. I am not a big red meat eater, and had never had flank steak, so I wasn’t too excited about the meal. But, as a polite guest, I tried it – and was I surprised. The flank steak was delicious and flavorful, with just the right combination of flavors.  I asked for the recipe, and it has been one of my family’s favorites ever since. In fact, my youngest daughter asks for this flank steak every year for her birthday dinner.

Here is the recipe for the rub:
Flank steak rub
1.5 lb flank steak (I trim the obvious fatty parts)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix the dry ingredients together, then rub into both sides of the flank steak. Steak is then ready to grill.
Serves 4 (usually with a small amount of leftovers).

Note: I always double the rub recipe. I think that this is not enough rub for a 1.5 lb flank steak, although doubling it is a bit too much. I double the recipe, put on enough rub to give both sides a good coating, then discard the remaining rub.

For special occasions, I make chimichurri sauce, which tastes great with the steak.

I mix the rub ingredients in a bowl (as noted above, I always double the original recipe). I use enough to generously rub on both sides, and discard the extra – you don’t want to over do it and make a thick crust, or it will be too salty.

We always grill our flank steak. Every grill is different, so refer to your grill manual for recommendations.  For our Weber gas grill, which gets very hot and heats up very fast, we turn on all of the burners on high and get the grill hot, to about 600 degrees.  We put the flank steak on, close the lid, sear it for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, open the lid and turn off the middle burner, turn the side burners to medium-low, and flip the steak.  We set the timer to 8 minutes, then we bleed the heat off to about 425 and close the lid.  After the 8 minutes, we flip the steak one more time and cook 6 minutes.  We like our steak more on the medium side, so adjust the time more or less to get to your liking.  After the steak is taken off the grill, let it rest for a few minutes, then cut it against the grain.

So basically our perfect formula for our grill is 16 minutes – 2 searing/8 cooking one side/6 cooking the other side. However, my husband notes that on our old grill, we did the 8/6 part on medium indirect heat, and our new grill is more on the low side indirect heat because it is a very hot grill, so use your own judgment.

Here is the dinner we had last Sunday. A butter lettuce salad with a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper mixed with one crushed garlic clove, tossed with a bit of feta cheese, an avocado, and grape tomatoes; fresh butter beans from Lucy’s Market (boiled for 12 minutes or so); and flank steak. A perfect summer dinner.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Sneak peek: Suzanne Kasler in House Beautiful

Earlier this year, when I was picking up some fabric samples from Suzanne Kasler’s office, there was a big meeting going on.  Suzanne and her book team were working on the layout for her brand new book, Timeless Style.  Suzanne’s first book, Inspired Interiors, is one of my all time favorites, and her new book promises to be just as good.  I was able to see some of the images that will be featured in the new book, many of which have never been published; the images beautifully reflect the depth, range and beauty of Suzanne’s work.  In my humble opinion, her work keeps getting better and better.

The cover for the new book features a picture from Suzanne’s own house. The framed art is striking – I love the scale, how they are framed, and the tight way in which they are hung. Note how the artist’s name, Kris Ruhs, is featured  in one of the pieces.

In the new House Beautiful, which will hit newsstands on August 13th, Suzanne Kasler is interviewed for the Master Class feature.  This monthly column features the most famous names in interior design, and in the new issue Suzanne shares some of her favorite things and reveals design inspiration for her projects and her product lines.  Here are a few of my favorite highlights from the article.

“Sunburst mirrors are true classics. This one is a starting point for my new collection for Ballard Designs”. 

Many of Suzanne’s products are inspired by her own personal collection, and this mirror appears to be modeled after one that she had above her bed in her old house.  I checked the Ballard website and this particular mirror doesn’t appear to be available quite yet, but I predict it will be a bestseller when it is launched – it’s a charming spin on the classic sunburst mirror, and looks like it would be equally at home in either a casual or an elegant setting (and everything in between).

“When traveling, if you see you love, buy it. You’ll find a place for it. You’ll always remember where you were when you bought it, and it’s those kind of memories that make a house a home”. 

This is a new view of Suzanne’s living room, and illustrates her advice perfectly – the Picasso lithograph is a treasured find from one of Suzanne’s trips to Paris, and has a place of honor on her mantel.  Suzanne notes that many of her favorite items found on travels end up in her living room.

“My Thornton Lamp for Visual Comfort was inspired by a French antique. Vintage pieces inspire many of my designs – when you unearth something really great, you want to be able to find it again”.

You can read more Master Class advice from Suzanne Kasler in the September 2013 House Beautiful, which will be on newsstands next week. 

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Twitter: @TTIBlog
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Visit my online store, Quatrefoil Designwww.quatrefoildesign.bigcartel.com
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.


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