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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Toasted Rosemary Almonds

These are a great snack for any adult get-together. They're pretty fast and easy, too. I like to have nuts around because I have to eat five or six times a day. I haven't tried this recipe with pecans, but I'm sure it would just as good, if not better.

The recipe is adjusted from a Better Homes and Gardens special interest publication, Holiday Appetizers 2001.

Toasted Almonds with Rosemary
8 ounces (2 cups or so) unblanched almonds or pecan halves
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. butter (no substitutes)
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 packed tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (I use a New Mexico brand of very mild ground chilies) or to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or till lightly toasted and fragrant.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat till sizzling. Remove from heat and stir in rosemary, sugar, salt and red pepper. Add nuts and toss to coat. Cool slightly before serving. Store in airtight container. Refrigerate up to a month.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Marinated Flat Iron Steak

What a lousy picture. But what a great recipe for a steak marinade. This probably isn't the steak for you if you like beef well done, because with this cut you want to go for medium rare or close to it. I like it pink, but Joe gets the ends that are cooked a bit more.

This is my adjusted version of a recipe from I increased the amount of herbs (I don't have chives on hand in the winter, while I do have my trusty giant rosemary plant, which lives in our reading room). A half teaspoon just wouldn't cut it for me. The amount of dry mustard might sound hefty, but it is not at all overwhelming. All the ingredients really meld well together and make for a juicy steak.

Do cut the steak across the grain for really tender eating.
Great with asparagus and your favorite potatoes.

2 lbs. flat iron steak
2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives (optional)
1/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other red wine
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry mustard powder

Place the rinsed steak in a large resealable bag. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, wine, garlic, parsley, rosemary, chives, Cabernet, salt, pepper and mustard powder. Pour over the steak in the bag. Press out as much air as you can and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Discard the marinade.
Fry the steak in the hot skillet for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or to your desired degree of doneness. Obviously thicker steaks will take a bit longer. These steaks taste best at medium rare. Allow them to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain and serving.