Friday, February 8, 2013

Steak Pockets



                                                

The stars, moon and planets must have been aligned perfectly last night. I say this because one of my kitchen experiments turned out to be one of the best ones yet. I had run out of ideas of what to cook and there were mouths to feed. I had a pack of round, thinly cut steak and a pack of frozen spinach to work with. In my case it was "so little time, very few choices". I made it work though. With a little imagination, I turned these ingredients into a flavorful, aromatic, succulent stuffed steak that was quite the hit. Here's how I did it:

SERVING SIZE: Makes 7 steak pockets

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
-9x13 Oven-safe baking dish or baking tray covered in aluminium foil.
-Aluminium foil.
-Strainer (sifter).
-Bamboo toothpicks.
-Medium mixing bowl with a lid.
-Meat tenderizer (the kitchen gadget, not the spice).
-Cutting board.
-Small mixing bowl.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE STEAK:
-.78 lb eye of round steak (I imagine this would also work with chicken cutlets. In which case it would be a chicken pocket).
-3 tablespoons light olive oil.
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional).
-1 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher).
-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour.
-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder.
-1 teaspoon garlic powder.
-1 teaspoon onion powder.
-1 teaspoon dry cilantro leaves.
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder.
-1 teaspoon ground cumin.
-1 teaspoon dry basil leaves.





                                                  

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MARINATING STEAK:
-Place your steak on a cutting board. Using the meat tenderizer,pound both sides of each steak. You do this so that the steak can absorb the marinade. If you don't have a meat tenderizer, use a sharp knife to make little lacerations on both sides of the steak (DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE STEAK!)

                                                     
-In the mixing bowl, combine the salt, olive oil, flour, Worcestershire sauce and all the spices to form a thick marinade. Use a fork and mix well.

                                                     
-Place the tenderized steaks in the bowl with the marinade and apply the marinade on both sides of each steak, Make sure that the steaks are well coated. Cover the bowl and allow to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

                                                      

INGREDIENTS FOR THE STUFFING:
-1/2 cup thawed frozen spinach.
-14 cup golden raisins.
-3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter.
-1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher salt).


                                                    

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING STUFFING:
-Place the thawed frozen spinach and place it in a strainer and press out any excess water with the back of a spoon. Place the strained spinach in the small mixing bowl.


                                                    
-Add the raisins to the spinach and mix using a spoon.

                                                    
-Add the salt and peanut butter to the spinach/raisins and mix using a spoon until the stuffing is nice and creamy. Set aside.

                                                       

***PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 350 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT ***

ASSEMBLING THE STEAK POCKETS:
-After the steak has had time to marinate, place a round of marinated steak and place it flat on a cutting board. 
-Spoon an even tablespoon of the stuffing into the center of the steak, leaving room around the perimeter of the steak as shown in the picture below.

                                                 
-Gather the steak over top of the stuffing by pinching the sides of the steak together (as shown below) and insert a toothpick in that section. Do this as if you were sewing the steak together.

                                                    
                                                       
-Now use two more toothpicks to close up the other ends of the steak pocket. Repeat this until all the steak rounds are stuffed and pursed together.
-Place your stuffed steak pockets in your baking dish. Cover the dish in aluminium foil and set in the center rack of the oven. Allow it to cook for 25-30 minutes.


                                                     
**In the last 8 minutes of cooking, remove foil and allow the steak pockets to cook uncovered for the remainder of the cooking time.**
-Remove from the oven, cover it with the foil and let it rest for 8-10 minutes. Now your meal is complete.

***DO NOT FORGET TO PULL OUT THE TOOTHPICKS BEFORE YOU SERVE THESE!! **

I served mine up with some cumin rice and vegetable curry as seen below. I have already received a request to cook these again sometime soon :-)