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cal-asian flank steak

grilled pinwheels

Nancy, Zada, and I have been having a fun couple of days catching up, swimming (Zada), watching Disney videos (Zada and us mom’s too, sometimes), and just hanging out.  Nancy and her husband, Ethan, have lived on a sailboat in Southern California for the past 15 years! They began a grand sailing adventure with Zada in December 2008.  The boat and Ethan are currently in San Carlos, Mexico, and the girls will be joining him on Thursday to continue their trip. They’ve been state-side for the past couple of months waiting out the hurricane season. The next ports of call are the South Pacific and New Zealand!  You too can follow their grand adventures on their blog which is on my blogroll at the right under “Super Non-Cooking Stuff” – “Sailing with Smith & Jones”.  That’s my name for their site because it’s Ethan Smith and Nancy Jones, and I just adored the old TV show, Alias Smith and Jones... remember that?  In their honor for dinner tonight – as in “Smith and Jones” we have … East and West…

East Meets West Flank Steak Pinwheels

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 pound flank steak, fat trimmed off

2/3 cup well-drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/4 cup herbed cheese spread, such as Boursin
1 cup baby spinach or arugula
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, gingerroot, and brown sugar in a gallon-size zip-lock bag; seal the bag and massage the mixture to combine. Open the bag and add flank steak, seal bag and turn to coat, leave at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours to marinate.

Preheat grill to high.

Remove steak from zip-lock, discard marinade, and place steak between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each side of the steak thoroughly with the smooth side of the meat-pounder until the steak is an even 1/4-inch thickness.

pounded out and layered with garlic, cheese spread, tomatoes and spinach

pounded out and layered with garlic, cheese spread, tomatoes, and spinach

Rub garlic all over one side of the steak. Spread cheese lengthwise in a 3-inch-wide strip down the middle of the steak. Top with the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Starting at one edge of a long side, roll the steak up tightly, tucking in the filling as you go.

Carefully rub salt and pepper all over the outside of the steak roll. Turn the roll so the overlapping edge is on top. Push 8 skewers, evenly spaced, through the roll, close to the overlapping edge to hold the roll together. Slice the roll into 8 equal portions, roughly 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, with a skewer in the middle of each. Lay the slices on their sides and push the skewer through so it sticks out about 1 inch.


Place a large sheet of foil on the grill rack. Grill the pinwheels on the foil for 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Use a spatula when turning them to prevent too much filling from falling out. If the pinwheels are staying together well when you turn them, oil the grill rack and transfer the pinwheels directly to the rack and grill for 1 minute on just one side to mark them.  If you fear they will lose too much filling, just add another minute to the total time and leave them on the foil.


Remove the skewers from the grill to a platter; let the pinwheels rest for 5 minutes, remove skewers and serve.

Serves 4

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