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plant sex season (lots o’ pics)

Recipe: grilled marinated flank steak

A yellow dusting of pine pollen appeared on *everything* just two days ago. Pine tree sex has begun in earnest. Before long, nothing that remains outside will be safe from a plastering of yellow pollen – NOTHING! I don’t mind the pollen powder getting all over the place as long as I don’t think of it as a major orgy going on in my yard… But it does wreak havoc on my allergies. It didn’t seem to bother Kaweah much while she sprawled out on the deck this afternoon.

what, is there something on my face?

We were all chilling out on the deck this afternoon because our second visitor P.C. (post chemo) arrived at noon. My dear friend was in the state for a wedding and dropped by our mountain abode for lunch and a short stroll before flying home. Neither of us considers ourself to be an emotional creature, but we could not help a few tears when we greeted and embraced.

a lovely friend on a lovely day

I prepared a simple, yet incredibly satisfying and happy-making menu for this, the second day of summer. It was almost as delightful as the company!

orange and toasted almond salad with citrus dressing
grilled asparagus
yukon gold potato galette
grilled marinated flank steak
lychee panna cotta


yukon gold potato galette with gruyère, parmesan, and shallots

slicing the flank steak

After lunch we went for a quick walk on a local trail to drink in the burst of blooming wildflowers and the lush forest and understory. The bloom is in full swing at our house elevation and we loved it! We also happened upon the mystery flower from the last post (I know it’s been driving poor Diane crazy). I think I’ve identified it now.

anemone multifida: ranunculaceae (buttercup family)

drummond’s rockcress

gorgeous green gentian

the tiniest orchid, a spotted coral root

i love aspen stands throughout the year

not a fan of the color orange, but i love orange wildflowers

Clouds had moved in and made for very pleasant walking conditions, adding a light and cool breeze. That is my kind of weather, and E was happy to have a break from the heat since she lives in So Cal. I missed an opportunity to shoot a red-winged blackbird (with my camera) because Kaweah was acting up…

finishing off the dandelion

e and the blinker

Once back at the house, we had enough time left to indulge in little shots of lychee panna cotta (recipe to come later). I won’t go on and on about what a phenomenal, brilliant, adventurous, creative, kind, deep, and utterly hilarious woman E is, because it will just make you sad that she’s not a part of your life ;) We had such a wonderful 4-hour visit with her. She is one special chica.

The recipe for the marinated flank steak is super duper easy and mucho mas mejor rico (delicious)! Another keeper I got from my ILs… along with my guy. If you have 24 hours to let it marinate in the refrigerator, you have the makings of a Great Meal.

i recommend fresh lemon juice and parsley

flank steak is a great cut for grilling

I like to drop the flank steak and all of the marinade ingredients in a gallon ziploc bag. It is a more efficient way to marinate and it takes up less space in my refrigerator where real estate is at a premium in the summer!

piling everything into the ziploc

After 24 hours of sitting happily with the likes of soy sauce, mustard, lemon juice, parsley, and other friends – the flank steak is ready for the grill. While it grills, I like to pour the marinade into a pot and bring it to a boil. I stir up some cornstarch and water to add and thicken it into a lovely sauce. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d make a small amount of roux for thickening… but I get lazy at times.

let the flank steak rest a few minutes before slicing

slice and serve to the adoring applause of your guests

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
[print recipe]

1-2 lb. flank steak
2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsps soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsps yellow mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar (I use red wine vinegar)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 1/2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag and marinate for 8-24 hours in refrigerator. Grill the steak on high heat to desired doneness (we find 3-4 minutes a side gives us a nice medium rare to rare color). Pour the marinade into a pot and bring to boil. Thicken the marinade by adding 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a tbsp of water. Once sauce is bubbling, remove from heat. Let the flank steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve the flank steak with the sauce.

25 nibbles at “plant sex season (lots o’ pics)”

  1. Mrs Ergul says:

    Wow Jen! Another fab grilled meal! I’m sure this is a keeper!

  2. Rosa says:

    A wonderful day! What gorgeous food and beautiful pictures!



  3. barbara says:

    Gorgeous wild flowers Jen.

  4. manggy says:

    I wasn’t able to check the weather for Rainbow (the first link I got was Fox News, which I didn’t want to give the traffic to by visiting), but it looks like a lovely day– certainly lovely enough to wear shorts in! I’m beginning to think it’s mind over matter for you guys, hahaha! :) There’s only a handful of places that grow pine trees in this country, and it’s never that crazy here pollen-wise: ew, all that gymnosperm sperm up in yer nose. Sometimes an N95 face mask is just handy to have around. My favorite shot is the green gentian– that is freaky/ beautiful.

    I clicked on the yukon gold cake link– and started visiting your older entries forward from then on (with the next entry having what appears to be my first comment on this blog– on Jeremy’s birthday cake. I only commented with a sentence or two back then– what a difference, mwahahaha!).

    I read in Cook’s Illustrated that a favorite thing to do with flank steak by Americans is to marinate it in Italian Dressing out of the bottle, leading to a grey steak. This looks soooo much yummier than what they described– certainly worth trying out (I’ve never had flank steak before, though I spot it in the grocery). My family (and most older Filipinos, for that matter) isn’t comfortable with steak that’s less than medium, though. Do you think it will suffer too much if I let it go on for a tad longer?

  5. peabody says:

    Just tell those pine trees to get a room! ;P
    I want to come over man…you throw out a good spread.

  6. Angelica says:

    Oh, gimme that piece of meat!

  7. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    Sounds like a fab day. What a great menu to feed people with! That steak looks delicious, (i like to marinade in ziploc bags too) and that potato gallette…oh my gosh.

  8. Mia says:

    Jen, that menu sounds fantastic…can’t wait for the panna cotta recipe! I’m so jealous that you get to spend your time surrounded by all of those beautiful flowers. The city has its perks, but I haven’t seen a non-boxed flower in quite a while!

  9. Tim says:

    That reminds me, I need to eat more flank steak :) Down here it’s one of the cuts that you still have to ask for specially from most butchers — a well kept secret.

  10. Finally moved; want cookbooks. « adventures of a foodie from the boonies. says:

    […] I now look at FoodGawker more than once a day for my food porn fix. I was greeted this morning with marinated flank steak, mac n’ cheese, Hillary Clinton’s chocolate chip cookies and pho. The last entry, from […]

  11. Patricia Scarpin says:

    My husband is a meat lover and would go crazy over this steak, Jen. He loves beef and can’t live without it. :)
    As for the pollen, a dear friend of mine who lives in Japan suffers from this problem every year. Poor you, girls!

  12. Bri says:

    As I was flying over the Rockies on my way home from the Midwest last week I thought of you and your lovely photos. I think it’s time to visit Colorado again. Or at least go see the wildflowers and vistas that my home state has to offer! You are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place and we’re lucky you have the talent to capture some of the beauty and share it with us. All the best, Bri

  13. Mollie says:

    Seriously, my stash of flank steaks is forever in your hands. You are keeping my local warehouse club in business – I buy at least two every time I go since we have to have your stir fried version on an embarrassingly regular basis. Now, I have to make this one. And it only makes me sad because flank steak is on the menu for tonight and I don’t have enough time to marinate and it’s my last one in the current stash. The warehouse club beckons, because we must have this soon. I may turn into a flank steak soon, and it will be all your fault. So thanks. :) The potatoes are going on the list too.

    I love the Kaweah pictures. Pollen season has just passed here and while it was on I could raise clouds of the stuff every time I gave our pup a pat on the rump. Glad you’re enjoying the flowers and the friends!

  14. Debbie Green says:

    Can you post the recipe for the potatoes? They look absolutely delicious! Beautiful pictures!

  15. Becky says:

    yummy!! perfectly pink on the inside, just the way i like it! the salad looked really good too!

  16. Christine says:

    Jen – I know this sounds silly, but I am totally diggin’ the fact you both like your steak med-rare :) Flank is one of our favorite cuts for beef – so much better flavor than filet mignon.

    I have never seen the spotted coral root orchid – it’s so beautiful.

  17. Tartelette says:

    Mark is such a talker….the kid grew up fast….Makes me look normal, ahahaha!!!
    Ok, if I were crazystalkerchick I would totally make this exact same menu for tonight….I am no very very very hungry. You are the only one I know to make steak look so flipping juicy. Love it!
    On another note, the flower shots are spectacular!

  18. White On Rice Couple says:

    UGH! I never would have guessed that it was an Anemone from the leaves. The Anemone leaves of CA wildflowers that I’ve seen look different, not incised like the CO miltifida. But with the flower open like it, it certainly does look like an Anemone. Like my professors always said, the plant kingdom is tricky. The only reliable source is by looking at the sex parts! Maybe that goes the same for humans? “Drop your pants and prove yourself to me!” :)

    Kaweah looks so cute with all that yellow “love dust” on her. Is she of age for this stuff, mama?

    The green gentian monument plant is just absolutely spectacular! Is it as big and towering and they say? How tall was this one? My books tell me Fraseria Specioa’s can get taller than 5 ft, sometimes up to 6 ft!

    I would loved to have been that lovely guest, looking out at your marvelous views and eating that amazing menu! The salad is especially temping because it’s been so HOT down here, a refreshing salad like that is perfect for the summer heat!

  19. Nate says:

    Just beautiful pics. That flank steak looks yummy, though just a tad bit overdone for me. Still, my mouth is watering.

  20. jenyu says:

    Mrs. Ergul – yeah, I like this one a lot and it’s very reliable!

    Rosa – thank you :)

    Barbara – thanks!

    Mark – Rainbow?? It has been getting warm here of late – up to the high 70s and even 80s in the mountains… Waugh! It’s mainly pine forests around here. Oh, but I do love the smell of the pine forests :) The green gentian is a truly cool plant! My, how times have changed. I am glad we found each other’s blogs though – I consider you a friend! I never quite understood the desire to marinate in salad dressing… Flank steak deserves better than that! I know for a fact that if you grill it to medium, the steak will still be awesome (we’ve overcooked it on accident before and still love it).

    Peabody – I know!! :) Hey, if you came to my house, I would cook a storm for you, lady!

    Angelica – ha ha ha!

    Laura – good steak and good potatoes are a hard combo to beat :)

    Mia – I will be sure to post the panna cotta recipe in the coming week. Just too much on my plate these days! You city kids need to get out into the fresh air of the country – it’s good for the soul!!

    Tim – I used to live in places where flank steak was hard to come by without special request. It’s worth it though :)

    Patricia – the guys tend to like this steak, but the women do too! Allergies blow, but not as much as chemo, so I can suck this up – hee hee.

    Bri – aw, that’s so sweet of you :) Thanks! Colorado is calling you. Home is calling to you.

    Mollie- ha ha ha! I think you’re hilarious with your stash of flank steak :) Now you have TWO recipes for it! I wonder if I have others? I’ll have to check around. Flank is good stuff. Don’t be sad – it just means more flank steak for later :) Yeah, my parents went through their pollen phase back in March. We are late in getting summer and very early in getting winter – but I don’t mind :)

    Debbie – hiya! I linked to the potatoes in the menu list – just click on the potato galette and it will take you to the post.

    Becky – thanks!

    Christine – Oh, actually I love my beef to be RARE, as in practically mooing, but we cooked it med-rare because E likes it that way. Flank rocks, although there are times when a good filet can make me a happy girl. I guess I like the ribeye or new york strip better for “steak” flavor than the filet mignon :)

    Tartelette – Mark is a funny one, but he’s our funny one so we love him for it :) ha ha – you can be my stalker any time because you would be fun and not creepy!

    WoRC – yeah, it’s an odd one and a bit of a puzzler. Once it was open though, I found it on an online resource for CO flowers. I wish I knew more about wildflowers, but I’m just a noodler and not a pro like you!! :) Kaweah is a solid 9.5 years old! She’s practically old enough to be Dante’s and Sierra’s grandma! These green gentians were only about 3 feet tall – but really gorgeous. If you guys travel to Wyoming, they are all over the Tetons NP Death Canyon area. I hope someday you and T *will* be our guests. Let me know when you plan to pass through our neck of the woods!

    Nate – yeah, a tad overdone for us too! We prefer our beef to moo, but our guest likes med-rare :)

  21. Martin says:

    Gorgeous flowers, but even more gorgeous pictures of meat. That flank steak looks just about perfect! And the salad looks very nice, I am a sucker for citrus in salads.. As always, your blog gets me hungry and a bit jealous. Keep up the great work!

  22. Kevin says:

    Look at all of that tasty food. Nice shots of the flowers.

  23. White On Rice Couple says:

    OMG Jen, I would hardly call my self a pro. A geeky amateur botanist yes. I’ve must say that I do have a couple good graduate botany classes under my belt, as well as many, many field classes, days of plant searching , nights of watching all the grad students drink beer by the campfire and a good midnight Jack Daniels story with the school van! Other than that, I have nothing hanging on my wall saying that I can actually make a living as a botanist. But maybe that’s a good thing for the botany world, because having someone like me on a collegiate teaching staff just might be harmful to the educational institution!

  24. jenyu says:

    Martin – thank you!

    Kevin – thanks :)

    WoRC – ha ha, you’re a pro in my book, hon!

  25. Hi, I have a balsamic addiction. « a foodie from the boonies. says:

    […] coarse at times, and she is the human of a black Lab, Kaweah. What’s not to like? She posted a grilled flank steak marinade a little while back and I decided to try it out on the lovely little flank I had sitting in the […]

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