Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Flank Steak with Coffee-Peppercorn Marinade & Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Last Saturday night we finally got together with our friends Julia and Chris. We haven't seen them since our trip to the Bahamas in December! They've been busy buying a home so we traveled North to visit their new, beautiful place! Here's the cute couple in front of their new, huge home with a fantastic backyard (that you can't see) for all of our puppies to run around in!

To celebrate Matt and I brought part of dinner, a marinated flank steak to cook on their grill and dessert. The entree was Flank Steak with Coffee-Peppercorn Marinade, one of my saved recipes from the FoodNetwork. For dessert I tried to make Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from Epicurious.

With Julia's additions to my steak we ended up with a fantastic, well balanced dinner. Grilled marinated zucchini and summer squash with a delicious spinach and strawberry salad. We have very nice friends. They insisted that the steak was good. However, I finally got the truth out of Matt on the ride home. He agreed with my opinion of the recipe. Aside from flank steak not being the greatest cut of beef, the marinade sort of fell flat. There wasn't as much flavor as I would have liked. The two of us decided that it didn't earn a spot in our recipe box.

On to dessert.... unfortunately, I tried to bake the cookies " until center is slightly firm and top is cracked" per the recipe instructions. This resulted in the first batch of cookies to be cooked for another 6 minutes which is when I saw cracking. Then by the time they cooled they were burnt chocolate hockey pucks. I only had four cookies left to bake. This time I baked them for only the suggested time, 12 minutes, and they were still a little too crispy for my liking. I forgot to take a picture of the final product because I was in scramble mode trying to figure out how to fix my disaster. But here is a picture of the dough balls before they were pressed and baked.

Thanks goodness for Matt being my logical, calm side of my brain because he reminded me that we had half of the delicious sorbet still available from the night before. He saved the day! We all ended up having one crispy chocolate cookie and a scoop of sorbet for dessert. Matt and I decided that the chocolate cookie recipe wasn't a keeper but dessert reaffirmed our decision to keep the sorbet recipe!

Even though my two planned recipes weren't very good we all still had a wonderful time at dinner! It was so nice to catch up and see the big project that they've been working on since we saw them in December. We also got to see the Celtics win game 3 in the NBA playoffs against the Orlando Magic over dinner and drinks.! It was a great night!

Flank Steak with Coffee-Peppercorn Marinade


3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat

Whisk coffee, vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, peppercorns and salt in a glass dish large enough for meat to lie flat. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Heat grill to high.

Remove steak from marinade (discard marinade). Lightly oil grill rack (see Tip). Place steak on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve.

To oil a grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons steel-cut oats
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter large rimmed baking sheet. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture and beat until moist clumps form. Mix in oats with spatula until evenly distributed (dough will be very firm). Add chocolate chips and knead gently to blend.

Using moistened palms, shape 1 generous tablespoon dough into ball. Place on prepared sheet; flatten to 2-inch round. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing rounds about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until center is slightly firm and top is cracked, about 14 minutes. Cool on sheet.

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