Food with Phelan

I graduated culinary school in 2014, with an Associate degree in Culinary Arts. Ten days later a flight landed in sunny San Diego, California with an ambitious 22 year old me, ready to make my mark. I was enrolled in the Culinary Management Program at the Art Institute of California – San Diego. I arrived to my student-housing apartment, not a soul in sight. I was in that empty, Wi-Fi-less apartment, carless, and disconnected from the world for 24 hours. I found myself lying on the bare mattress, alone thinking I had made a huge mistake. I went for a walk to clear my head. Thinking the situation all the way through I realized this was the exact challenge I was looking for. I learned, in those tough 24 hours, to be patient and resilient. As things go Trent, my new roommate, and his parents showed up to save the day. They took me out to the best dinner of my life, treating me like their own. We went to Puesto Mexican Street Food, a Mexican tacos spot in La Jolla. This meal inspired the recipe for today. Those tacos and the way Trent’s parents treated me changed my life forever. Heidi and Alonso if you’re reading this, I will never forget the kindness you showed me that day. You changed my life forever.

So the recipe for this week is inspired by new friendships and sunny SoCal:

Citrus Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Latin Spiced Potatoes

For Marinade:

  • Flank Steak - 1-1½ lb.
  • Lemon Juice - 2 oz.
  • Lime Juice - 1 oz.
  • Rosemary - 2 sprigs
  • Olive Oil - 2 oz.
  • Salt - Pinch
  • Pepper - Pinch

You can do this in a plastic bag that can fit it the meat. Just put all of the ingredients in the bag and let this sit at room temp for 50 minutes. The marinade will penetrate the meat better if you get as much air out of the bag as possible.

For Chimichurri:

  • Olive Oil - 4 oz.
  • Lemon Juice - 2 oz.
  • Lime Juice - 2 oz.
  • Onion - 2 oz.
  • Garlic - 1 clove
  • Fresh Parsley - 1 oz.
  • Fresh Oregano - 1 oz.
  • Fresh Cilantro - ½ oz.
  • Red Pepper Flakes - Pinch
  • Salt - Pinch
  • Pepper - Pinch

Put all of this in a blender and liquefy the hell out of it. If you don’t have a blender you will have to make the rustic version. You will need to chop the Onion, Garlic, Parsley, Oregano, and Cilantro and fine as you can. Then put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix it with a whisk or a fork a fork. Mix until all of the ingredients mixed well. This sauce will be the best if you let it sit for 45 minutes.

For Potatoes:

  • Russet Potatoes - 4 large Potatoes
  • Garlic Powder - 1 Tbsp.
  • Onion Powder - 1 Tbsp.
  • Fresh Oregano - 1 Tbsp.
  • Cumin Powder - ½ tsp.
  • Cayenne Powder - Pinch
  • Salt - ½ tsp.
  • Pepper - 1 tsp.
  • Olive Oil - 4 oz.

The garlic, onion, cumin, and cayenne powder are optional because combined they are adobo; instead you can just buy adobo seasoning. If you really want to chef it up and make your own adobo then mix the garlic, onion, cumin, cayenne powder, and fresh oregano. Get out a big bowl and put everything in the bowl and fully coat the potatoes in the adobo and oil. On an aluminum foil lined baking sheet roast the potatoes in the oven at 400°F for 25 minutes. After ten minutes start the meat!

Cook the Meat:

Take the meat of the marinade and pat it dry. In a pan large enough to hold the meat add 2 oz. of Olive Oil. Turn the heat on medium high heat. When the oil starts to smoke set the meat down gently into the pan and cook it for two minutes on each side. You can also grill the meat. Grilling the meat will give it more of a smoky flavor. The thickness of your meat will determine the degree of doneness at this point.

The meat needs to rest for 10 minutes. NOT 4, NOT, 6, 7, 8, OR 9. Ten minutes. If you slice the meat too soon it will lose all of its juices and be dry and tough.

Just let it rest. You won’t be sorry.  When it has rested slice it in ¼ inch slices.

Plate Time!!

When plating this dish you can slice it ahead of time or not. Since people tend to cut their steak anyways so it doesn’t matter.


All of these (mouth watering) photos in this post were taken by Sydney Schmitz. Other great images from Sydney can be found on her website!

Sydney Loren Photography