Marinated Flank Steak Crostini w/balsamic caramelized onions and red bell pepper, and blue cheese. Marinated Thyme Crimini Mushrooms for vegetarian alternative. Topped with fresh Lemon Thyme.
This antipasti (appetizer) was served at a 40th birthday dinner party for 12 people, Livermore, February 2013. See the full menu, below. FYI — each item is cooked separately as they require different cooking times.
The day before:
1) Make the crostini.
2) Marinate the steak and mushrooms.
3) Optional: slice the onions and bell peppers.
The day off:
1) Remove steak and mushrooms from the fridge, allow one hour to bring to room temperature before cooking.
2) Cook the onions (for an hour), meanwhile, prepare the thyme and blue cheese (see below).
3) When onions are 10 minutes to being done: Cook the steak and mushrooms (see below) in separate pans (they cook at different speeds).
4) Assemble: spread a 1/4-inch layer of blue cheese on each crostini, add the beef, press down a bit, add a bit of onions, mushrooms and top with fresh thyme.
Sourdough baguette, thinly sliced, lightly toasted.
The steak and mushrooms:
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced and small bite-sized pieces
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 10 medium-size mushrooms)
1 red bell pepper, small diced
1 Tbls olive oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Tbls honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbls scallion, minced
2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1) Mix the bell pepper and marinade ingredients well, split in half, add half to the steak and the other half to the mushrooms. Marinate overnight, in ziptop baggies in the fridge.
2) To cook the steak: bring pan to medium-high heat, cook in batches so that the meat is a single layer in your fry pan. Cook each side just a few minutes, just long enough for the beef to cook through and the marinade to caramelize. Set aside, and do another batch. Remove from heat, set aside.
3) To cook the mushrooms: bring pan to medium heat, cook all the mushrooms, stir occasionally — just long enough for each side of the mushrooms to brown and the marinade to caramelize. Remove from heat, set aside.
1 large onion, 1-inch julienne pieces
1 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls Balsamic vinegar
1) Caramelize the onions in the oil and butter, cook on medium-low heat for 1 hour (trust me, the low heat and longer time the better), stir occasionally.
2) When onions are sufficiently caramelized, turn up the heat to medium, add the Balsamic Vinegar (or other sweet/sour liquid) and cook until all liquid is reduced/absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.
The blue cheese:
Bring to room temperature so that it’s spreadable, and still able to crumble.