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Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Quick Weeknight Meal Options - Flank Steak

Incredibly easy to prepare and delicious, flank steak is a chef’s top choice for creating versatile, simple, and flavorful dishes that can be cooked quickly and with minimal effort. Flank steak is popular in Argentina, where it is known as vacio, and also in Mexico where it is known as arrachera. French chefs are quite partial to this cut known as bavette. Flank steak is also widely used in Asian cooking, often marinated with cornstarch, oil and other flavorings, and then quickly stir-fried.

As its name indicates, flank steak is cut from the flank, a muscle from the belly. It can be somewhat tough because this is a well-exercised muscle. A lean cut of meat, flank steak should not have much marbling, and should have a bright, red color.

Flank steak is commonly marinated before it is prepared, simply because marinades offer an additional layer of flavor, but also because the acid (vinegar, wine, lemon juice, etc.) used in the marinade tenderizes the meat, making it even more palatable. Flank steak should be marinated for 30 minutes before cooking, or up to 3 hours. Do not exceed 3 hours, or the meat will have an overpowering flavor from the marinade, and the texture will be unsatisfactory.

Flank steak can be grilled, broiled (it was the original cut of meat used to prepare the classic London Broil), sautéed, or stir-fried. It is less commonly braised. No matter which cooking method you use, it is essential to avoid overcooking the meat. When overcooked, flank steak will have a very tough, rubbery texture, and will be unpleasant to eat. It is recommended to serve flank steak rare or medium rare, so as to preserve its tender texture.

Grilled flank steak is a delicious choice for fajitas, a perfect addition to a chopped salad with crumbled blue cheese and dried cherries, an irresistible baguette sandwich with cherve and freshly dressed greens, or served grilled with roasted potatoes.

You can prepare quick and delicious weeknight meals that you & your family will make time and time again in our Quick Weeknight Meals class on April 19. To register, go to

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