When Robbie and I got married, some of my favorite gifts were recipes that were collected at bridal showers and given as gifts during the wedding festivities. This recipe was one of those and came from a dear family friend (Hi, Ms. Wicklin!) who is both a talented artist and a fantastic art teacher. She is one of those family friends who you get to know through your parents and as you get older, you continue to refer to them as Mr. or Ms. and they continue to insist that you call them by their first name but you just can't do it because you refuse to admit you are a contemporary of other adults. Maybe that's just me.
This recipe was ideal for our apartment living since we don't have a grill but we do have a fantastic grill pan. We also do not have a good circulation system in our apartment as the moment I threw this flank steak onto the pan, those spices created some impressive fumes that led to a major coughing fit. I realized my mistake was using chili chipotle powder instead of ancho chili powder and did not thoroughly mix the spices and marinade. First time marinating meat. Rookie mistake. This led to a steak that did not have equal disbursement of the flavors and created bites that were much more fire-y than others. The cocoa actually helped meld the spice out which was an unexpected outcome.
Chocolate Flank Steak with Pineapple Salsa
From the Kitchen of Ms. Wicklin
4 tbs. white wine vinegar
2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. ground cumin
2 tsp. ancho chili powder (or chipotle chili powder if you want a spicier, smokier flavor)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
2 lbs. flank steak
Mix the vinegar, cocoa powder, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. When thoroughly mixed, pour the mixture into a plastic, resealable bag. Add the flank steak. Refrigerate for one to two hours or overnight. When ready to cook, remove steak from marinade and discard left over marinade. Using a grill pan, cook over medium high heat – about 4-6 minutes on each side. If you are using a smaller flank steak, the time should be adjusted to 2-5 minutes. Make a small cut into the middle of the flank steak to get a sense of how done it is. Leave on longer if you prefer a more well-done steak.
1 whole pineapple, peeled and diced
1 avocado, halved, pitted and flesh diced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 tbs. lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving with the flank steak.