Turning 80 is no joke. You’ve managed to outlast the Soviet Union, multiple wars, Beatlemania and Bieber Fever. The least you can get for all your travails is a decent celebratory meal. Tis the reason that I turned to Bobby Flay to fittingly help mark my mom’s 8oth birthday.
Certain occasions in life call for a steak. It’s the perfect carnivore offering for joyous festivities of all kind. But which cut of meat to choose? Enter Broiled Hanger Steak from Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Restaurant.
Hanger steak is used infrequently since there is only one of these per cow. It can be a little bland tasting so thankfully this recipe cleverly enhances the steak’s flavour with a savoury spice rub, a homemade steak sauce and “bright” parsley oil.
With steak knifes grasped firmly in hand, family tore into steaks they described as juicy, crisp and tender. The spice rub helped to make the flavours big and dramatic. The homemade steak sauce was a balanced blend of the sweet and sharp notes of molasses, honey, Dijon mustard and horseradish. It delivered a jolt that was at once salty and sweet yet did not overwhelm the steak’s own flavour. Succulent and intoxicating came to mind.
Wine was had, presents were opened and the steak was talked over. Kind, strong yet gentile, it’s no wonder why Momma has had such staying power. She has left an indelible mark on all of us with many more years to go. Although Momma was the star of the evening, the steak was certainly the centerpiece. And I have one person to thank for that. Bobby Flay? Thanks for saving the day.
Bobby Flay’s recipe for Broiled Hanger Steak with Homemade Steak Sauce can by found in Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain cookbook at Amazon.ca or Amazon.com.
He has held nearly every marker of success by which today’s popular chefs are measured with umpteen restaurants, cookbooks and TV shows. His charisma and single-minded devotion to the art of southwestern cuisine have led to his enduring presence in our food obsessed culture. Yup, I’m talking about Chef Bobby Flay.
Beneath Bobby’s amiable “Every-guy” demeanor is a trained chef with talents of staggering proportions and make-your-head-spin skills. I’ve yet to have the opportunity to visit Chef Flay’s Mesa Grill but I’ve been lucky enough to cook my way though the cookbook. His recipes are accessible yet challenging. At a recent dinner I hosted, I served his Cornmeal Crusted Oysters with Mango Vinaigrette and Red Chile Horseradish. The saltiness of the oysters combined with the crunch of the cornmeal, blended with the sweetness of the mangoes and tang of the horseradish made for a dish that was dance-on-your-tongue pleasurable yet showed remarkable subtlety and depth.
To note that Bobby’s cuisine has had a profound effect on me is not mere hyperbole. I’ve been a dedicated fanboy since the beginning (Remember Hot off the Grill with Bobby Flay? I do). His well-worn cookbooks adorn my shelves and I turn to them ofttimes to WOW my guests. He’s had an unshakable influence on my cooking.
Although I have never met him, he lives in my world through his recipes. They awaken in me a mix of curiosity and willpower and push me to attempt dishes that I’ve never dreamed of doing before. His recipes make my dinner parties hugely triumphant and the kudos I receive from my guests are in large part due to his shrewd vision and creative abilities. He epitomizes the very ideals that I espouse to attain in my cooking. Delectable, artful, comforting and soul satisfying food.
I frequently invoke his spirit while preparing for a dinner and feel as if I am one of his kitchen underlings, striving to do his dishes, and in turn him, justice. It’s a little weird, I know, but there is some inexplicable and subconscious comfort in knowing that Bobby is always by my side. Even if it’s only in print!
Cornmeal Crusted Oysters with Mango Vinaigrette and Red Chile Horseradish