June 3, 2016

Flank Steak with Tomato Caper Relish

Despite being back in university housing (this time in Omaha for an internship), I still think summer is the time for grilling. Living in a studio apartment with arbitrary rules won't stop me and my co-interns from throwing Memorial Day barbecues and grilling burgers after work. Since I'm in Omaha, I thought it was only appropriate to post a recipe for steak, and I was inspired by the local farmers' market to throw some gorgeous fresh tomatoes on top in the form of a bright and colorful relish.

I chose a flank steak for this recipe because it's cheap, thin, and tender. The cheap part is good because I just got my first paycheck but a good chunk went straight to Uncle Sam and it made me a little sad. The thin part is good because it marinates faster and cooks faster so it goes from in my fridge to in my mouth much faster. The tender part is good because if I spent all this time making a fancy steak dinner it better not be chewy.

If flank steaks aren't your thing, you can use this marinade/rub and relish on any cut (or even any meat). Skirt steak is a similar cut in case you just can't find it, but if you feel like splurging my personal favorites are filet mignon, New York strip, and ribeye. However, this could also work on grilled chicken or pork. It's the exact same process regardless of the meat you use but the marinating and cooking times will likely need to be extended.

I'll be honest here: the best part of this dish is the relish. I do love a good steak, so I suppose I should have phrased it the most special part of the dish is the relish. The tart tomatoes are countered with some briny capers and spicy jalapeno, and together they cut the rich, savory flavors of the steak. Any kind of tomato will do, but I found a big container of rainbow cherry tomatoes at Costco that looked absolutely gorgeous in this recipe (they should pay me for saying that). The red, orange, gold, green, and purple hues popped against the other ingredients for a truly show-stopping entree.

The key to making the relish so flavorful is letting it marinate for a while. Yes, you have to marinate two things for this but I promise it will be worth it. The garlic and the jalapeno mellow out, and the tomatoes soak up all the flavors so each bite pops. My dad had me make a triple batch of just the relish so he could eat it on toast all week, so don't limit yourself to steaks. The tomato relish would be fantastic on sandwiches, burgers, grits, and rice. If you think of any other creative applications please comment below! I'm sure everyone would love to hear your ideas.

1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
3 T Capers
1/2 Jalapeño, Minced
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/4 Cup + 3 T Olive Oil
2 T Lime Juice
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 1/4 tsp Cumin
3/4 tsp Cayenne
2 T Brown Sugar
1 1/2 lbs Flank Steak

Combine the tomatoes, capers, jalapeño, and garlic. Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, and some salt and pepper together. Toss the tomato mixture in the dressing and let sit for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and brown sugar together. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate the steak in the spiced oil for at least 2 hours.

Heat a grill or grill pan. Cook the steak until it reaches the desired temperature, approximately 2 minutes per side. Top with the tomato caper relish.

Serves 4
Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit

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