Not Green Goddess Flank Steak

Monday, August 4, 2014

I have no idea what to call this marinade.

It's super duper green - cilantro, jalapeño, tomatillos, lime juice, scallions - but it's certainly not your standard Green Goddess blend, which veers sharply down the chive and parsley route. The similarities are the same, however, in that both have a creamy component and an herb component and both began as salad dressings.

I found the original inspiration for this dressing while sliding contentedly down a crock pot recipe rabbit hole. I added my own twist and used these ingredients:

1 cup 2% Greek yogurt (eyeballed - I spooned out about half of the 17.5 ounce container)
2 medium + 1 small tomatillo ('small' was golf ball sized, 'medium' were lemon sized)
1 massive bunch of cilantro
1 large garlic clove
juice of 3/4 of a lime (the other 1/4 was previously sacrificed to the Vodka Tonic Gods)
1/4 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed
6 scallions (dark green tippy tops removed and discarded)

I zapped these in a blender and used it, initially, as salad dressing on some nice crunchy hearts of romaine. It was good - tangy, very mildly spicy, super flavorful from the lime and herbs. But really, romaine was born to be a vehicle for Caesar dressing, and this dressing was born to be a marinade for steak.

Think about it: herbs, acid, heat, garlic, onion. That's the general basis for any overnight meat marinade I'll ever use. I poured all but the few spoonfuls I used as salad dressing into a large Ziploc with a little over a pound of flank steak. Since this cut is from the tummy of the cow, marinating it can help break down any toughness. I let the meat marinate for 24+ hours in the fridge.

Since I did all of the heavy lifting - putting ingredients into a blender, hitting "on", and pouring them into a bag - I enlisted J's superior grilling capabilities for this meal. He thought it was only fitting that he had a cameo on the blog.

Yup. That's just his hand. It was the least blurry picture of the bunch that I attempted while he carved this gorgeous steak.

Love you, honey.

You can just barely see the remaining green marinade in this shot. I like my beef on the rarer side, but if you prefer yours more fully cooked, I'd highly recommend getting a meat thermometer. Our original one died recently, rest in peace, and our replacement ingeniously printed meat doneness temperatures on the side.

This whole plate is just a fancy steakhouse dinner done at home with the roasted cauliflower and crunchy greens - I told you that romaine needed Caesar dressing, right? The marinade just brought such a bright, vibrant punch to the steak. I'm glad I took the seeds and ribs out of the jalapeño - they hold all the heat - because the whole mix would have been too spicy otherwise. It was one of those mild, creeping heat sensations. You initially taste the cilantro and tomatillo and scallions. They're zingy and forward and catch you right away. Then, that little creep of spice comes in from the pepper. It's really a winning combination and would be even more delicious on an outdoor grill. Ever the fan of Leftovers As Breakfast, I sliced up some remaining slices of this with eggs a few days later and they absolutely rocked. Creamy scrambled eggs with juicy steak and a spicy kick? That is a glorious way to start the day.

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