When you mix an athlete, a nerd, beer, and good ingredients this is what you get.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chopped@Home 3: Flank Steak, Crescent Rolls, Maple Syrup, Vanilla Chobani

Lately we've been cramming a lot into our weekends. Last weekend looked a little like this: Friday night out with my coworkers. Saturday: grocery shopped (hungover) for over 2 hours, had our friend Danny over for lunch, met up with our friends Kyle & Colby for afternoon drinks, went to Owen & Jack's for dinner, and met up with another group of friends for late night drinks and dancing downtown. Sunday: had the Livadas over for brunch, and cleaned up just in time for my mom and grandma to stop by to see the new place...... WHEW. So, by 5pm on Sunday we were in no mood to head out to the grocery store and shop for Chopped ingredients. But I was still up for my second Chopped@Home challenge, so I agreed to let Anthony pick 4 ingredients from our fridge and pantry. He chose flank steak (which was frozen, yay!), crescent rolls, maple syrup and vanilla Chobani yogurt.

Since I didn't have a whole grocery store at my disposal, I was pretty limited in what I could do. I have never cooked a crescent roll in my life--I'm actually not sure I've ever used any kind of prepared dough like this, so I'm pretty lost. I know I can cook steak, but I have to defrost it first, and then (cross my fingers) have enough time to get some flavor into it and cook it enough to eat! It's sort of a no-brainer that the maple syrup will have to go into a marinade. But what the hell do I do with the yogurt?? Anthony let me have 15 minutes of "brainstorming" time since I didn't get the regular grocery store time. I also got an extra 15 minutes of cook time because the steak was frozen. Whew. After much deliberation, I ended up making what I'm now in hindsight calling steak and cheese poptarts with a yogurt dipping sauce. Yum, right? Ha, we'll see...

I started with the yogurt because I knew I would need some time to nail down the flavors. I added some half and half to the yogurt to get a creme fraiche kind of consistency. Luckily, the vanilla is pretty subtle, so by the time I added garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and some fresh cilantro and whisked the hell out of it, it tasted a lot less like yogurt and a lot more like a fresh cilantro ranch dipping sauce. It was actually delicious.

By the time I finished the sauce, the steak was thawed. I rubbed it with cayenne, kosher salt, paprika and black pepper and threw it in a plastic bag with a marinade of maple syrup, worcestershire sauce and olive oil and let it chill for 20 minutes. With 30 minutes left, I threw it on a skillet for about 5 minutes on each side. Definitely set off the smoke detector and almost ruined my skillet with all the sugar in the marinade, but it was worth it. It came off the stove a little charred on the outside, a hint of maple and a little bite. 

While the steak cooked, I laid out the crescent rolls flat and sauteed some onions. I sliced up the steak nice and thin and piled it on the raw dough with cheddar cheese and the onions. I laid another package of crescent rolls on top to make what looked like hot pockets/poptarts and pressed down the edges. 

They cooked at 375 for 12 minutes, but it wasn't enough. The dough on the first two we ate was still raw in the middle, so we popped the other two back in the oven for another 6 minutes or so and they came out golden brown and a little crispy. They weren't too bad after all, and with the yummy dipping sauce they made a pretty good meal (once they were cooked through!). If I did it again, I'd paint the tarts with an egg wash to glaze them a little and I'd make the sauce a little thicker. I'm not gonna lie, I might have been cut from the show with this one, even though Anthony cleaned his plate...

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