I was super-excited when I received my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this month. There may have even been some hand-clapping. Possibly even a really dorky happy dance. Possibly.
You see, was My FIANCE! Likes It, So It Must Be Good, a blog written and photographed by Peggy, a culinary student who lives in Louisville, KY. I’ve been a regular follower of her blog for a couple of years now, going all the way back to the days when it was still My Boyfriend Likes It, So It Must Be Good, so I knew I’d have a ton of great recipes to choose from.
In fact, Peggy has literally posted hundreds of delicious fiance-approved recipes over the past three years, ranging from basic meat and potatoes dishes like Skirt Steak with Stout Pan Sauce to highfalutin’ fancy meals like Pan Seared Trout w/ Black Trumpet Mushrooms & Almond Caper Dressing to newfangled twists on old stanbys like Red Curry Chicken Wings, and pretty much everything in between.
As it turns out, I had such a hard time deciding that I ended up making two recipes this month: Korean Flank Steak and Sweet Chili Green Beans, which I paired up to make a sweet-and-spicy Pan-Asian meal.
As always, I did make a few changes to the original recipes to suit my own preferences.
I happened to have a really nice flatiron steak sitting in the freezer, waiting for just the right recipe to come along, so I decided to use that instead of the flank steak… and since it really was a gorgeous piece of beef, I also decided to keep the steak whole rather than cutting it up into strips as Peggy did in her version.
The weather’s been so mild lately that I had initially planned on firing up the grill, because I’m a sucker for a proper grilled steak, but my plans were scuttled by a cold front and high winds that blew in overnight.
Instead, I opted to cook the steak under the broiler, since I find that tends to be a more reliable cooking method than pan-frying – especially since I don’t have a proper grill-pan (or any pan large enough to accommodate an entire flatiron steak, for that matter).
As for the green beans, I left out the bacon, since it seemed like it would be a bit much when paired up with steak. It was probably for the best, anyways, since the beans turned out a little bit on the salty side… the added saltiness from the bacon would’ve been too much.
Out of the two recipes, I have to say the steak was my favourite. It was juicy and flavourful, with a great balance of sweet and salty that makes it feel kind of like an upscale take on Beef Bulgogi… which is hands-down my favourite Korean dish. It was all I could do not to snarf down the whole thing in one sitting, though thankfully I managed to save enough to shoot a few photos. :) I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to fire up the grill, so that I can try this recipe again!
That’s not to say the beans weren’t great, because they were actually quite delicious, with a nice spicy kick from the sweet chili sauce. With a little less fish sauce on the next go-round (and maybe with the bacon added back in), I think it’ll be a total keeper.
All in all, I’d say I came out pretty well for this month’s edition of the SRC. Can’t wait to see who my assignment is for next month!
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp dry sherry or white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 lb flank or flatiron steak
- Thinly sliced green onions (for garnish)
- Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 red hot chile, seeded and finely minced
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- ¼ c. water
- Sesame oil (for garnish)
- Toasted black sesame seeds (for garnish)
- Combine soy sauce, sugar, sherry, garlic, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a shallow baking dish or a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak, and coat well with marinade. Cover dish (or seal up the zip-top bag) and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat the broiler on high, and line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Place the marinated steak on the prepared baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes on each side to get a medium-rare doneness, or 7 minutes per side to get a medium to medium-well doneness.
- Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain. Serve immediately, garnished with a sprinkling of green onions and sesame seeds.
- Note: If you'd like to make a sauce for the steak, pour the leftover marinade into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water until smooth. Whisk into the marinade and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and smooth.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, parboil the beans for 3 minutes, or until bright green. Drain and set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high heat, cook onion in oil for 3-5 minutes, or until softened.
- Stir in chile, ginger, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, and water. Add green beans and toss to coat. Saute for 5-10 minutes, or until the beans are tender and most of the water has evaporated, leaving only a thick sauce.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkling of sesame seeds for garnish.