31 July 2010

Romesco Sauce, with Skirt Steak and Arugula

Every now and again I go on a anti-carb kick, and while this seems very 2004, truth be told, I'm not meant to be eating much in the way of gluten whatsoever. Three years ago, after a lifetime of stomach aches, I visited a gastroentrologist who tested me for Celiac disease in a procedure I'll spare the details of in a food forum. The results of the "test" were inconclusive. I'm on the cusp, the Doctor told me. He wanted to put me on a collection of medication, which seemed completely unnecessary. Instead I consulted my incredible, astute acupuncturist and Chinese medicine specialist Sharon, who pointed out the very obvious connection between digestion and stress. Nowadays, I pretty much go by the rule of no more than a bagel a week and have all but banned pasta from my cupboard. I can't give up my baked goods, and figure if If cake is going to kill me, its not a bad way to go.    

This recipe presents no wheat-based stomach troubles, and is a good way to use up many of the multitude of greens that have been arriving from our New York farmers.  
Romesco sauce is a flavorful combination of chile's, roasted red pepper, and nuts -- typically almonds and/or hazelnuts, blended together to form a thick paste that is a yummy accompaniment to meat or potatoes, or a nice dip on its own for veg or tortilla chips. 
Romesco Sauce, with Skirt Steak and Arugula

1 Skirt Steak, (2 lb)
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Several handfuls Arugula, washed and dried

2 dried ancho chiles
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup salted, roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup drained piquillo peppers
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp sherry vinegar 

Marinate steak in olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper and let sit while you prepare the sauce. Put the anchos in a heatproof bowl and cover with the boiling water. Set a small plate on top to keep the anchos submerged and let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Discard the soaking liquid, stems and seeds and chop the anchos.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped almonds and cook over moderate heat, shaking the skillet a few times, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor. Add the anchos, piquillos, garlic, tomato, parsley and vinegar and process to a coarse paste; season with salt and pepper.

Heat grill or broiler and grill meat, approximately 5 minutes on each side. Set meat on cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice on a diagonal. Serve meat and a handful of arugula with generous 2-3 tablespoons of romesco sauce, and if you wish, heated corn tortillas. 

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