Saturday, 1 August 2015

Griddle Me This!

Fettina di Manzo allo Salmoriglio con Fiori di Zucca & Bulgur Turco
Thinly Sliced Flank Steak with Salmoriglio Dressing & Turkish Bulgur with Zucchini Blossom


This is an absolutely classic, Sicilian, "secondo" or even a light meal in the summer... A very thin slice of flank steak, seared on a hot griddle and then richly dressed in tangy "salmoriglio"... A real, refreshing taste of summer!

And what about my side dish, to go with it this evening? And those possibly saddest looking zucchini blossom you have ever seen? Well, let me tell you a little story and explain to you what happened... Scroll on and find out!


Ok, before I begin, tell me what you think of this dish? Does it look tasty to you? I sure hope so- because it was!

The reason I ask and the sad story behind this little dish is this: when I bought them this afternoon, the zucchini blossom were possibly the loveliest, lushest and best that I have bought this year in any case. But it was hot here today and I don't own a car, so I ended up carrying them around with me as I went about my business this afternoon, which is what I usually do anyway.... But after 3 hours on the road, in temperatures of over 30C, well my poor, beautiful blossoms just wilted right down to nothing!

So what's a guy to do? Hmmm... Well this guy for sure was not about to throw them away! I figured that had I cooked them, they would have wilted down all the same... so I simply changed my plans of stuffing them and thought up a new dish instead. One thing I will never, ever do is waste good food! And those blossoms, although they were wilted, still had good flavor- and of course those still perfect little zucchini connected to them... And that was good enough for me!


Well, here you can see how small those tiny zucchini were, in relation to that lemon... And indeed to the parsley that is lying next to them... But the smaller they are, the better they taste!

So for my dish I had my single slice of very thinly cut flank steak, but I have to say that those 10 little zucchini so and blossom ended up making an ample side-dish for 2 by simply adding 1 cupful of Turkish bulgur to them, which I spiced up with a little sumac. For the salmoriglio, I needed dried oregano, fresh parsley, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt, sugar and pepper.

And to eat everything up... I needed no help at all... That just took care of itself really easily!


You may have noticed that it is not often that I post meat dishes, which is not because I don't like it, but because I simply do not need it every day... Or even every week! I don't eat it just for the sake of it, I like to do something a little different to it when I prepare it too! Like this!

This dish reminds me of my childhood... And I have to admit, I didn't really appreciate how wonderful it was back then- except for the salmoriglio which I always loved... And which is the star of the show here in any case!


I cut the zucchini in half lengthways and removed the stamen from inside the blossoms, I finely chopped the zest of the lemon, although grating would have been an alternative and I finely chopped the parsley.

That took care of all of the really hard work.  


To prepare them, I simply heated some olive oil, added them, seasoned with salt, pepper and a little sumac, added a little of the lemon zest and then tossed them for a minute or two until they were nicely coated.


I then added the bulgur, which as you can see was that awesome, Turkish stuff with the toasted vermicelli in the mix and tossed that through also.


I deglazed the pan with boiling water, adding enough to just cover the bulgur, stirred it through, turned the heat down low and let it simmer away for around 5 minutes... And in the meantime I prepared the salmoriglio and the steak!


By the time the steak is finished... Meaning in just 5 minutes... The bulgur and zucchini will be perfect like this!


You will need 1 minute or less to stir together your salmoriglio! To the juice of 1 lemon, I added the zest of about 1/3rd of the lemon, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, about the same amount of fresh parsley, 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.


And that very thinly sliced steak goes onto a very, very hot grill for just 2 minutes from each side! As soon as the meat changes color and is slightly seared, it is good to grind generously with pepper and to flip over onto the other side!

What I then like to do is to serve up the meat, but to spoon the salmoriglio into the pan and deglaze it, then pour it back into a bowl with all of the added flavor of the meat juices... And THEN and only then is it done!


So, as unusual a combination as this may be... Let me just tell you how perfect it is! The salmoriglio is super-tangy and refreshing, but the sweet zucchini with that touch of sumac is also pleasantly sweet and sour, which makes for a great contrast to the steak... Oh yes, you might well like it!


Have a little taste and tell me what you think...

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