grilled skirt steak with a smoked and spiced tomato sauce

September 30th, 2007 · 822 Comments


after the 6 day ny flingfollowed byno less than 5 bowls of oatmeal in 3 days, it was time to cook something. honestly, i could have gone longer but it’sthis csa issue that i deal with. iam beyond covered up with the last of the summer tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, zucchini’s and now winter squash up the wazoo… i had to cook or deal with severe vegetable guilt. again.

please note that this pic doesn’t include last week’s csa share that’s not been touched yet…


at my weekly farmers market we are serenaded by a bluegrass ensemble… it’s a tennessee perk. thought i’d share. it’s actually pretty cool.


ok, now about dinner.

after catching up on mylist of favorite food bloggers, looking for whereinspiration might meet doability, i gotan idea fromablog i’ve come to really like, ‘well fed‘. she did a tomato coulis and what struck me was the smokey aspect of her sauce. it was just what i neededto get rollingso i followed her lead until i found a jumping off point.




i fire roasted the tomatoes until the skin charred and then diced shallots, garlic and some wonderful hot peppers from my csa.

in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil i sauteed the shallots, garlic and peppers careful not to brown anything. i had soaked about 10 sun dried tomatoes in some water for about 30 minutes and i took these along with their soaking liquid and the roasted tomatoes and i threw them into my blender. i added the tomato pureeto the pan and simmered on a low heat adding salt.

then i had to think. i knew i was off to a good beginning here. but i wanted to get that smokey thing going on and i wasn’t sure how to achieve it. and then it dawned on me…

enter: wow and wow


first, pimenton. i had heard about pimenton from any number of blogs and had bought some and shelved it. hooray for having some semblance of a functioning memory! this was exactly what i needed. i added about a solid tablespoon and i swear if it wasn’t instant fabulousness.


so i simmered the sauce, adding a bit more salt – and then i thought some more. a few months ago i had bought some bottarga from zingerman’s. it’s a sicilian dried fish roe that is grated into sauces or over pasta. i had read about the stuff and decided to give it a go, using it once for a simple’home alone’ dinner over some pasta. so i threw some in. and then added more. and i can’t quite describe what happened. it is very subtle. but very much there. it is the quintessential cooking example of je ne sais quoi. i am dying to try the fresh version from’market hall foods‘and if anyone out there in nashvilleland wants to go in on some – gimme a shout…


i simmered untilthe saucewas quite thick and then quartered some zucchini and threw it on the grill along with some beautiful skirt steaks – a cut i’m quite fond of. and i must tell you that this was very good. thebrightness of the tomato puree was the perfect backdrop for the heat of the peppers along with the smokey pimenton.i was really proud of myself as i felt that this fell into the category of somewhat real and original cooking.

but, my favorite part of the whole experience was cary plating his own dinner. being the architect that he is, he went structual on purpose and religious by accident.


good god…

Tags: beef · tomatoes

822 responses so far ↓

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