No. 210 & 211: Cilantro-Serrano Lime & Ultimate Asian Flank Steaks

I spent Saturday afternoon at the 2nd Annual Pigskins & Pearls, hosted by Cal Football. The event provides women with an opportunity to meet the Cal Football staff while receiving on field football instruction by the coaches. The best part is that 100 percent of the proceeds goes the Oakland Boys and Girls Club.

While we were waiting in the registration line, Oski stopped by to say hello. He has to be the sweetest mascot around.

Oski

After registration it was off to a little pre-game gathering with players, band and spirit squad. The incoming freshmen were really sweet, personable guys. They did a nice job mingling with everyone and helping out on the field.

Cal team

Then we were off to the tunnel to get ready to run onto the field for our 'practice.' The coaches asked for volunteers to run the flags, just like for a home game. Obviously I jumped at the chance!

Flags

After running the flags onto the field, we were put through our paces - running drills that linebackers, running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers and special teams do every day.

Of course we made time for a little clowning around too.

Cal

I was definitely sore the next day, but we had so much fun meeting the coaches, players and running drills. I will definitely be doing this again next year.

Cilantro-Serrano Lime Flank Steak

After all that fun, it was time for a low-key Sunday and a bit of grilling. We decided to do flank steak two very different ways, beginning with this spicy number.

Ingredients

1 cup of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 green onions, chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded if desired, chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 -1 1/2 pound flank steak

To make

Place the cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, green onions, chile, and sea salt together in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place a flank steak into a large zip lock bag and pour in marinade. Seal and squish the bag so the marinade is completely covering the flank steak. Place into the refrigerator and let marinate for 3-4 hours.

Marinade

(This recipe is the one on the left:)

Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Brush grill grate with oil. Grill flank steak, covered, for 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Grilling

Transfer to a cutting board and let the meat rest for 5-7 minutes before slicing and serving with reserved sauce.

At rest

Ultimate Asian Flank Steak

For our other marinade, we wanted to go in a different direction.

Ingredients

1 1/2 - to 2-pound flank steak
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, thinly sliced

To make

Whisk soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, oil, honey, garlic, ginger and scallions together in a bowl.

Marinade

Add steak to a large plastic bag and pour marinade in over it, flipping steak to coat it in the marinade. Seal the plastic bag and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 12.

When ready to cook, remove the steak from the fridge and preheat your cooking surface (grill or stovetop grill pan). Remove the steak from the marinade, discard the leftover liquid, and sear the steak on each side until it's cooked to your desired degree of doneness.

Resting

Let the steak rest for 5 minutes and then slice it against the grain and serve.

The results

After impatiently waiting for our steaks to rest, we cut up the cilantro-serrano version for a few lunchtime tacos.

Tacos

The rest we sliced and put into the fridge. With a week worth of busy nights ahead, I'm so excited to have this steak in the fridge to keep us happy and fed.

Of the two marinades, I have to say the Asian version is my favorite. We only marinated with it for 3 and a half hours, but it had already made quite an impact.

Here's to steak sandwiches, tacos and other delights this week.

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