Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Corsican Style Beef served with Winter Tomato, Broccoli and Parmesan, Topped with Fresh Mint

Food can take you anywhere you want to go! 

Even if you don't have a lot of money, you can still take a journey to places you've always wanted to see.  I've always wanted to go to Corsica and Sardinia. 

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia.  Corsica is part of France, but the people are very independent and the language that is spoken often sounds more like Italian rather than French.  This is because the island has a rich and colorful history.

The French often call the food of Corsica "unsophisticated."  Well, so am I!  Honestly, other than being married to a man whose family is French-Canadian,  I can't honestly say that I have first hand knowledge.  And I took Spanish in high school.  My travels have all been domestic (I've been all over the US-- extensively) and to the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Bahamas and Canada.  I am hoping to change that very soon. 

Oh, but Dan was in France in the Navy.  He said it was beautiful for what he remembers...  After all, he was able to acquire a bottle of Dom Pérignon for $25 bucks! 

Viva la France, and Viva the 1980's!

Clementines (one of Dan's favorite citrus fruits) grow abundantly in Corsica.  So do tomatoes.  Corsica is also known for high quality locally-raised beef and pork, and of course, lentils are eaten at many of the meals.  Such was my inspiration for tonight's dinner (journey).

Tonight I made a London Broil with a marinade that reminded me of the flavors of Corsica, and the journey began.  Now, contrary to popular belief, London Broil is NOT a cut of meat; it's a method of cooking.  In your local grocery store, you're likely to see a variety of cuts labeled "London Broil."  For me, this means Top Round.  This cut is not too fatty, and it tends to be rather tough unless marinated. 

Corsican Style Beef
5 oz Top Round Steak (about one inch thick)
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 teaspoons dried Rosemary, crushed
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon Seasoned Salt, plus extra for sprinkling 
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
½ cup plus two tablespoons of good quality Olive Oil
5 Clementines, 4 sliced, reserve one whole (You can substitute Tangerine)
1/4 teaspoon Browning Sauce (Optional)
Fresh chopped Mint, for garnish (Optional)

Cut X shaped slits in the top and the bottom of the top round (for this size steak, I usually opt for about nine slits).  This will help the marinade to penetrate the meat.

Whisk together all ingredients - except for two tablespoons of Olive Oil and Clementines and browning sauce -  in a bowl.  Add steak to a plastic storage bag.  Add marinade.  Add two of the sliced Clementines, squeezing juice as you add the whole slices to the bag with the meat and the marinade. 

Note:  Reserve remaining Olive Oil and browning sauce. Refrigerate extra sliced Clementine and set the remaining whole (unsliced) Clementine aside.

Seal the bag and rotate to make sure that the marinade covers all of the meat.  Refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the marinade.   (The longer the better!). 

Corsican Style Steak in Marinade
 Preheat broiler. 

Remove steak from marinade and pat both sides dry. 

Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of your broiler pan. 

Place steak on top of pan. 

Add more seasoned salt and pepper, if desired. 

In a small bowl, mix juice of reserved (whole) Clemintine, two tablespoons of Olive Oil and browning Sauce.  This is your basting, browing sauce to use while broiling.  You can brush meat as often as you like.  This gives it a wonderful "brown" color as you won't be getting any grill marks using the broiler.

Broil 4 – 6 minutes each side for rare/medium rare, or 6 – 8 minutes each side for medium rare/medium. 

Note:  The ends will likely be cooked more than the middle-- That's why Dan and I can both agree on this one!. 

Adjust cooking time as needed.  

Get out the meat thermometer for this one.  Internal temp for a medium rare steak (which is recommended with this recipe) is 130 - 135° F.  

Let steak rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with remaining Clementine slices and mint.

Corsican Style Beef
Tomatoes aren't always great in the winter.  I still love to pick up these big, beefy tomaotes at our local Farmers Market on a Sunday afternoon for roasting. 

These are broiled along with broccoli.  But's it's the cheese and the olive oil that make them pop.  So simple and so fabulous!

Winter Tomato, Broccoli and Parmesan, Topped with Fresh Mint
1 large Beefsteak Tomato, quartered and then halved
4 - 6 nice size (semi- uniform) Broccoli Spears
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Tablespoon of grated Parmesan Cheese
Teaspoon fresh chopped Mint

Preheat Broiler.

Note:  This works great with the meat dish, because when you remove the meat to rest, you can put the veggies under the broiler!

Add tomato and broccoli to a roasting pan.  Drizzle with oil.  

Broil for five minutes.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and broil for another three minutes.

Remove from oven.  Top with fresh mint.

I love the way the cheese just crisps up!  Yum!  I could just eat a bit bowl of this for dinner!

I like to serve this with a simple Lentil Salad.  Dan loves this salad!  Anytime I can get him to eat his veggies, it's a good day!

This Lentil Salad recipe isn't mine.  I ALWAYS give credit where credit is due! 

It's from Suzanne Somers "Get Skinny on Fabulous Food,"  1999.  Crown Publishers.  New York, NY.   p. 227. 

Not to take away from Suzanne.  I love her and I think she's done a lot for women over the years.  This is a pretty standard recipe and you can probably find different variations to your liking.  We like this one!   It's so simple, yet I could eat bowls and bowls of this!  So, so healthy!

Tomorrow night, I'm making --

Shrimp Scampi in a Sun Dried Tomato - Light Vermouth Cream Sauce! 

Stay tuned!
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