Friday, June 18, 2010

Flank Steak Pinwheels

So I know I've been talking a lot about grilling this summer and how exciting it is, but I haven't posted anything grilled yet. I know, I know. But, the thing is, there's really not all that much to post when I bought some chicken and some marinade at the store and put them in a bag for the day and then grilled them for dinner. It's just not blog-worthy. However, I had one recipe that I was particularly excited to make and I finally did and now I finally have the motivation to post it. Woohoo!

So, these flank steak pinwheels showed up in my inbox a while ago. Well, the recipe for them did, and it wasn't quite what I wanted to make but it gave me ideas. OKAY completely off topic, I'm trying to write this post while watching an NCIS marathon on USA (I'm not entirely sure USA plays anything else) and it's distracting because I'm addicted--as Abby says in the commercials (and, presumably, one of the episodes), "It's more addictive than pistachios. Well, have you ever just eaten one pistachio?" And since I love pistachios I understand her point AND she's right. Completely addictive.

Anyway, it's time for a recipe. Hooray!

RECIPE: Flank Steak Pinwheels
Adapted from Delish

-One 1-lb (or a little more) flank steak
-3 cloves garlic
-3 tbsp herbed cheese (Boursin)
-1 cup baby spinach
-1 red onion (you'll only use a few thin slices)
-2-3 roasted red peppers
-Salt and pepper

Other stuff you'll need:
-8 bamboo skewers
-Meat tenderizer with a pointy side

1. Place the flank steak between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it with the pointy side of a meat tenderizer until it's evenly 1/4 inch thick. (We kinda failed at this, the kitchen was rattling loudly and it was taking forever so we got to about a 1/2 inch thickness but really should have kept going.) If the pointy mallet rips holes in the plastic wrap, add more layers of plastic wrap around it.
2. Once the meat is evenly 1/4 inch thick, mince the garlic and spread it over one side of the meat.
3. Down the middle of the steak, spread a wide layer of the cheese (about 3 inches thick). On top of the cheese, cover the steak with roasted pepper. Sprinkle a few slices of red onion over the red pepper, and cover with spinach.
4. Roll the steak tightly, pushing in the filling that tries to fall out. Once it's rolled, push the skewers through it at even intervals, holding it together.
5. Slice between the skewers so you have 8 pinwheels. (We only managed to get seven because I didn't measure perfectly, but it's okay because we weren't feeding a lot of people.)
6. Okay, so when I rolled it and then put the skewers through there was too much filling and not enough steak (because it wasn't thin enough) so it ended up just forming a shell around the fillings instead of a pinwheel, and I had to take each skewered not-pinwheel, pull the skewer out, roll it again, and re-skewer it. This worked fine, but I wouldn't want to do it again, hence the "yes actually try to get it to a quarter inch" because then I wouldn't have had to. BUT if you don't manage to get it rolled up right, you can re-roll them individually.
7. Grill on high heat 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow to cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Step 2: Okay, so I used a lot of garlic. This is not out of the ordinary for me. It was DELICIOUS.

Step 3: The rich herby flavor of the cheese perfectly complemented the steak and added a richness to the pinwheels, and spreading the leftover cheese on crackers was AMAZING. I think that's what it's meant for. So good.

Also step 3: I didn't take a picture after adding the spinach because it looked like a pile of spinach. But this is what it looked like before the spinach, and I think it had a perfect amount of everything. SO good.

Rolled up on the grill. It was quite difficult to keep all the fillings inside. The skewers will blacken a bit--one of mine even started to burn at the end like a stick on incense. That's okay; they'll still hold your pinwheels together!

A pile of pinwheels! Two pieces per person, perhaps with a side of black bean salad, and you've got an excellent meal!

So, these are the perfect grilled food to prepare for a summer dinner party, except that they take a lot of work and the ingredients are rather expensive--but it'd be wonderful for a party of four. Have another couple over, or a few friends, and show off your magic grilling skills! Even if you screw it up a little, you'll end up with an excellent meal. Serve something light for dessert--these rich, savory pinwheels will leave you quite full.

Well, I'm back to my ridiculous NCIS addiction. Tomorrow I'm making three pies for my little cousin's high school graduation party--I guess she's not so little anymore, huh? What are your plans for the weekend? Doing something fun with Dad? (Oooh, these would be a great Father's Day treat!)

Have a great weekend!

*I'm tagging this as gluten free but I don't know if Boursin is gluten free. But I'm sure that if it's not there's some other spreadable cheese you could use. I mean, you could probably use brie! So you might have to play with the recipe.


  1. Hello you sweet thing...

    I just finished and posted my Taste and create recipe featuring your maple bacon cupcakes. Sadly, no maple extract here, so i substituted honey and they came out amazing!

    Thanks, pleasure to get to know you, and I will be back...

    BTW, love the idea of meat on a stick!

  2. Cheese Recipes of this site is amazing. I like all Cheese recipes. Its very delicious.

  3. Dave--Glad you liked the cupcakes! And I actually pulled the stick out before eating them, not *quite* like lollipops.

    Akshay--I'm glad you like them! And that reminded me that I forgot to tag this post with 'cheese' and it uses cheese, so thank you very much and I will fix that. :)

  4. Remind me to hire you as the caterer for my next party!

  5. Such a fun idea...Thanks have always such a perfect ideas:) My weekend is lovely...I am relaxing and sleeping in...I really need it:)
    Kisses and see you soon:)