Sunday, May 27, 2012

Penne with Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak and Pineapple Salsa

One way I know that dinner has been excellent - I'm looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch before we're even finished clearing the table. David got stuck with dinner making duty tonight. I'd picked out the recipe and bought the ingredients but got side-tracked helping plan a medieval studies project and study for a french test around the dinner hour. That might be another reason why I liked this pasta so much. Everything tastes better when you just show up and dinner is served. I'm proud of David for sticking with this dish. It included weird things like red onion and jalapeño pepper (weird is a relative term, remember). And at the point he ended up with a bowlful of this, he wasn't sure this was going to be a hit:

So. What's in the bowl? It's a mixture of vegetable oil, lime juice, red onion, jalapeño, parsley and crushed pineapple. This fresh salsa was tossed with penne pasta and sliced flank steak (chili (powder) rubbed and broiled, as per the recipes instructions) for a fairly quick and easy Summer Sunday dinner. I wouldn't hesitate to make this again, particularly on a warm summer evening (and particularly if David offers to cook). It would also be great at the cottage and I may whip it out when we have our annual friends weekend this June. The recipe comes from Food and Wine magazine, which I love even though I don't drink wine. Here's the finished product:

The pasta ends up being very lightly sauced but it's a nice change from heavier tomato and cream sauces. Be warned that if you get a larger piece of jalapeño in your mouth you'll want a glass of milk handy. David thought he might cut back on the amount of onion and jalapeño in this dish but for me this combination of flavours worked very, very well and I wouldn't change a thing.

Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak and Pineapple Salsa - from Food and Wine

1 pound flank steak
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 jalapeño pepper, with seeds, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 chopped parsley (I used the kind in a tube. Best. Invention. Ever.)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 pound Penne pasta

Heat broiler. Rub flank steak with 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp chili powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Broil until meat is medium rare, about 4 minutes per side. Let rest 5 minutes and cut diagonally into slices. 

In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine pineapple, remaining 1/4 cup oil, jalapeño pepper, onion, lime juice, parsley, black pepper and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp chili powder. Stir in the sliced steak. 

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain and toss with the salsa and steak. 

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