Thursday, November 13, 2014

At Home: Flank Steak & Creamed Kale with Sunchoke Salad

For my second Blue Apron experiment...At Home, I focused on the sides, while Keith  mastered the protein in the recipe for Flank Steak & Creamed Kale with Sunchoke Salad. This was my first time using sunchokes (the edible root of a North American sunflower), and I used them two ways to explore their versatility and exquisite flavor. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness and gives them a light, almost fluffy texture. Raw, they add a delicious, earthy crunch to this amazing, hearty dish.

Flanked Steak & Creamed Kale (Adapted from Blue Apron - Makes 2 servings)
with Sunchokes Two Ways
  • 2 flank steaks
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 lemon
  • ¾ lb. sunchokes
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds 
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Wash and dry the fresh produce. Separate the kale stems from the leaves; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
- Zest the lemon rind. Quarter the lemon and remove the seeds.
- Peel one quarter of the sunchokes and cut into matchsticks; toss with the juice of 2 lemon wedges to prevent browning.
- Medium dice the remaining sunchokes. Place the diced sunchokes on a clean, dry sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange the seasoned sunchokes in a single, even layer. Roast 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Image via Blue Apron
- While the diced sunchokes roast, heat ½ teaspoon of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the sunflower seeds and toast 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Wipe out the pan.
- Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan used to toast the sunflower seeds, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned steaks and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium, or until they reach your desired degree of doneness. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a plate to rest, leaving any drippings in the pan.
- Heat the pan of drippings on medium-high until hot.* Add the kale and ¼ cup of water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the kale has wilted; season with salt and pepper. Add the cream and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced.  *To make the sides completely vegetarian - simply cook the kale in a clean pan with olive oil, instead of the meat juice drippings. 

Image via Blue Apron
- Add the butter and Parmesan cheese. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the butter is incorporated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finely chop the mint.
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted sunchokes, sunchoke matchsticks, sunflower seeds, lemon zest, all but a pinch of the mint and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper.

- Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the steaks. Thinly slice the steaks against the grain.
- Divide the sunchoke salad, creamed kale and steaks between two plates.
- Garnish with the remaining mint. Enjoy!

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