by Debra on April 5, 2010

Musical pairing – Dreams Be Dreams by Jack Johnson
I grew up in Southeastern Washington State in the tiny little town of Walla Walla – population of about 25,000 when I lived there.  Some of you will have to look it up on Google maps while others will recognize Walla Walla’s name as the up-and-coming home to some terrific wines and is receiving big-time press of late.  It is also home to the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion, which, in my humble opinion, is the best sweet onion of all time!  But back in the day, my hometown was just a dot on the map where generations of family farmers planted hundreds of acres in wheat, alfalfa and corn or raised cattle and horses – it was the Wild West, baby! (just kidding about that ‘wild west’ part . . . )

I dreamed about all the far away places I would be traveling to because I was going to be a singer just like Barbra Streisand (I’m her adopted daughter, remember?) – my tours would take me to places like Cairo, Ireland, Germany and Italy . . . oh the dreams of an 8-year old!  Obviously, I’m not the adopted daughter of Barbra Streisand and I’ve never been to Cairo, Ireland or Germany but in my defense, I have made it to Italy.

Fast forward more years than I care to count and one of my new dreams was for The Professor and I to attend a cooking class which we did at ‘Charleston Cooks!‘ held in the Maverick Kitchen Store in downtown Charleston.  It was quite fun and we came home with several recipes including this one for Flank Steak Sandwiches with Gorgonzola cheese, aioli and arugula.

Great for lunch or dinner, this sandwich is big on flavors – sharp Gorgonzola, garlicky aioli and peppery arugula.  It’s easy to prepare and takes less than an hour to put together; add some sweet potato home fries and a glass of red wine or a beer and you have one terrific meal that will feed 4-6 hearty appetites for around $20 – a steal of a deal!

I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments so here’s my next question, ‘Did you grow up in a small town or a big city?’


Adapted from Charleston Cooks!

Bistecca ala Fiorentina (Gorgonzola Flank Steak)
1 flank steak – about 2 pounds
3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced

1. Season flank steak with salt and pepper on both sides
2. Blend garlic, olive oil and lemon zest together in small bowl
3. Rub steaks with garlic mixture and let rest at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.
4. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill steaks until just before desired doneness
5. Place steaks on a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Lemon Garlic Aioli
1 Cup Hellman’s or good quality Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon garlic peeled and minced
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Hot sauce to taste

Place Mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard in blender jar or bowl of food processor. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated.  Season the aioli to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Assembling the Sandwich
1 loaf crusty Ciabatta or other hearty bread, sliced
Olive oil
1 recipe lemon garlic aioli
1 recipe Bistecca ala Fiorentina, thinly sliced, against the grain of the meat
1-11/2 cups Gorgonzola blue cheese, crumbled
12 ounces baby Arugula leaves, stems trimmed
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced

1. Preheat oven to broil; drizzle bread slices with olive oil on both sides. Place on a sheet pan and broil until lightly toasted on both sides.
2. Remove from the oven and immediately spread a thin layer of lemon garlic aioli on one side of all the bread slices,
3. Divide the steak slices and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese among 1/2 of the bread slices. Place the steak and cheese slices on a sheet pan and place under the broiler until the cheese melts and is bubbly,
4. Divide the baby Arugula and the tomato slices among the other 1/2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Place the halves together to make a sandwich.