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Seared Strip Steak with Lemony Couscous Tabbouleh

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Serves 4

  • by Fine Cooking staff from Fine Cooking
    Issue 56

Put a Middle Eastern spin on tonight’s steak dinner. With fresh lemon and plenty of herbs like mint and parsley, the tabbouleh is a wonderful complement to the meat.
 

  • 6 Tbs. couscous
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 New York strip steaks (or loin steaks), each 1-inch thick (about 1-1/2-lb. total)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin 
  • 1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint  
  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups loosely packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from about 2 large bunches)
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more if needed
  • Warmed pita bread, cut into wedges

Heat the oven to 400°F.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the couscous, 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir well, cover the pan, and let sit for 5 min. Fluff the couscous with a fork and spread on a large plate to cool.

Meanwhile, season the steaks on all sides with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and a few generous twists of pepper. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, thyme, and 1 Tbs. of the mint and rub all over the steaks.

In a large bowl, season the tomatoes with 1 tsp. salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Add the couscous, parsley, scallions, and 1 Tbs. of the mint and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add to the couscous mixture and toss well. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed.

Heat a large cast-iron pan or a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot (water spattered over the pan will immediately evaporate), add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and the steaks; sear, moving them only to flip, for 2 min. on each side. Put the skillet in the oven and cook for about 5 min. for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a carving board and let them rest for 5 min. before slicing them into thin strips. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. mint and serve with the tabbouleh and pieces of warmed pita bread.

Serving Suggestions

This dish calls for warmed pita bread. If you’ve got a couple of hours before dinner and you’re feeling inspired, make Homemade Pita Bread and grill in batches.
 

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : without pita; Calories (kcal): 610; Fat (g): 35; Fat Calories (kcal): 320; Saturated Fat (g): 8; Protein (g): 53; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 20; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 380; Cholesterol (mg): 130; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was delicious! I only needed about half the dressing for the cous cous though. YUM!

This goes well with any steak. The tabbouleh is terrific and is a great side or appetizer.

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