Steak Florentine (Bistecca Alla Fiorentino)
3-4 Lb. Flank Steak (Rib Eye works well too)
2 large lemons
1 large head of garlic
1/2c extra virgin olive oil
2T sea salt
1/2c chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1t black pepper
Coat steak with black pepper evenly. Grill flank steak on grill or grill pan to preferred temperature.
Add olive oil to small sauté pan with flame on low (never allow the oil to get to sizzle) It should be very warm not hot. Add 10-15 peeled garlic cloves that have been quartered to the olive oil. Let the garlic cook on very low until soft for about 20 minutes: never allow the garlic to brown, it should just sit in the oil and melt to a soft and sweet roasted garlic.
Slice 1/2 of a lemon into thin slices (set aside for garnish). Cut remaining lemon in 1/2.
Slice the steak on the bias into thin slices. Squeeze ½ of a lemon over the sliced steak.
Squeeze the other ½ lemon into the olive oil mixture, add the parsley.
Spoon the garlic, olive oil, parsley, lemon mixture generously over the steak. Garnish platter with lemon slices and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Risotto with Mushrooms (Risotto Milanese)
1c Arborio Rice
6T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small Vidalia onion, diced
2c sliced mushrooms (button, shiitake, etc)
1c white wine
3c chicken stock
1c parmesan cheese (Parmegiano Reggiano is the best for this)
2T butter, softened
In a large pot over medium heat add 2T of the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent; put aside in a bowl.
In same pot add 2T olive oil and sauté mushrooms until tender and brown—salt the mushrooms to extract the juices with about 1t of salt. Put aside in the bowl with onion and garlic
In same pot add 2T olive oil over medium heat and add Arborio rice- toast for one minute, stirring constantly.
Add onions, garlic and mushrooms to the rice, and stir for one minute.
Add the white wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Begin adding the chicken stock by the half cup, stir constantly until stock is absorbed and repeat until all stock is used and rice reaches al dente (soft but a little bite to the rice). If your rice is not cooked at the point where stock is all absorbed add water by the half cup until your rice reaches al dente.
Turn off heat and add parmesan and butter. Stir and combine.
Serve hot and immediately. Serves 4.
Variations to add to the risotto include sautéed shrimp, butternut squash, Italian sausage or prosciutto