Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baked Cheese Grits Topped with Flank Steak

Sometimes I get truly obsessed with food. This springs infatuation is with cheese grits, polenta, sauteed baby spinach leaves and poached eggs. I do believe I could eat them all at the same time in the same big bowl. There have been a lot of pictures and recipes for these items in the culinary magazines and on The Food Network. Now I know who to blame for my compulsions.

I had purchased a couple of flank steaks from our local Sam's Club. I was going to make this Peruvian dish made with a spice called aji amarillo. There are no Peruvian grocery stores in Columbus, IN, but I was told that the spice could be obtained in Latin Markets. This is not true. No matter how many times I said [ah-HEE] [ah-mah-REE-oh] the Latinos just shook their heads. No telling what they said about me when I left. So having the steaks and no spice I had to improvise. Thinking about my newest craving for cheesy grits I figured out what I needed to do.

Baked Cheese Grits Topped with Marinated Flank Steak

Baked Cheese Grits
I found this recipe on The Food Network courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 6

Here's the finished grits
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick grits (not instant)
1 egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere
1/3 cup grated Parmesan 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup butter, water, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. When mixture comes to a simmer, add the grits, stirring until thoroughly combined. Continue to cook the grits at a simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Adding the cheeses
Meanwhile whisk together egg, cream and pepper. Stir into cooked grits along with cheese. Pour mixture into prepared casserole. Bake until set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand about 5 minutes before serving.

Marinated Flank Steak

This recipe came from
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 6 hours and 25 minutes
Serves 6


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak


In a medium bowl, mix the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and ground black pepper. Place meat in a shallow glass dish. Pour marinade over the steak, turning meat to coat thoroughly. Cover, and refrigerate for 6 hours.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Oil the grill grate. Place steaks on the grill, and discard the marinade. Grill meat for 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.
Cut steak on the diagonal
Plate the grits and add slices of flank steak cutting it on the diagonal to ensure its tenderness.
Notes:  When I added the egg to the grits and baked it I thought maybe it would set and come out more like a polenta. But it didn't. The grits were creamy and tasted delightful when infused with the Gruyere - a different take on cheese grits normally made with a cheddar. Leftover steak was used for fajitas and leftover grits got topped with a poached egg.
I want to send out a high five to my mother-in-law Betty who taught me this Spring, on a recent visit, that berries are delightful on a bed of baby greens - now if I could learn to make her fantastic pimento cheese!
Life is good - enjoy!

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