Artichoke, Spinach, and Feta Stuffed Flank Steak

About the music: This is really one of my favorite playlists we have up on Sandwich funk. It consists entirely of relaxed soulful and jazzed out indie dance tracks that i have come across while looking for songs to go into my DJ mixes. We made this meal on a nice relaxing evening so we put together this playlist to capture that mood and take you to a feeling of pleasant contentness as you chef up this delectable dish…as the second to last song says, you’ll be “Ridin’ High.”

Serves 4
Prep time w/ roasted garlic: 1 hour
Prep time w/o: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

2 lbs flank steak
1 bag (about 4 cups) baby spinach
2-3 oz. crumbled feta (I used more cause feta is delicious)
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
2 tbsp capers
4-5 cloves (roasted) garlic
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
mint leaves for garnish

No recipe is ever set in stone, and all are susceptible to changes and set backs. Say you accidentally buy artichoke crowns instead of hearts at the grocery store. It is these kinds of incidents that truly make your dish unique, or bland, or perfectly acceptable but not remarkable. But hey, that’s how it goes and you usually learn from it anyway. With that said, this was delicious but it could have been better with some tweaks.

First, if you’re into that kind of thing, you’re going to want to roast your garlic. The easiest way is to take your cloves and cut off the tops, stick them on a baking dish (muffin pans work well for this), pour a little olive oil over them and roast them at 400 for about 45 minutes. We basically forgot to do this so we only roasted them for about 20, don’t worry, it still tasted like garlic.

Next, you’re going to want to chop your spinach and add it to a big bowl with the minced garlic, crumbled feta, capers and artichoke hearts. Add a little salt and pepper in there too. Wait, preheat the oven to 325 before you forget like we did. In our case, we sautéed our artichokes in olive oil for a hot second to soften them up a little since they aren’t as tender or quite as delicious as the hearts, but win some lose some.

With all your ingredients in the bowl, take your steak and butterfly it out by slicing with a super sharp knife lengthwise (making it as thin as possible). It may seem like a daunting task to cut a steak in half thats already super thin, but I was surprisingly successful. With your steaks butterflied, take a pounder, mallet, bottom of a shoe with some plastic wrap on it, whatever you want, and pound the meat to tenderize it and flatten it out a little, yea pound that meat!

Lay ‘em flat, stick your mound ‘o ingredients on top and spread them over the surface of the steak and roll it up like your best doobie. Secure either with kitchen twine or a couple of toothpicks like we did. Arrange the steaks on a baking pan and and pop in the oven for about 25-30 minutes depending on how red ya like it. Quite frankly, I wished I had cooked ours for 3-4 minutes less.

Take out of the oven, cut in half-because things always look better when they’re cut in half, top with some mint leaves and enjoy. If you’re not down with just taking down a heady steak by itself, you may want to consider a side dish. Something light, perhaps considering the meat log in front of you.

Bacon & Spinach Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

So it’s rainy in Boulder, which happens basically six times a year so when it does you really have to embrace the whole rainy day feel of things. I was even tempted to light a fire until someone reminded me it was still about 70 degrees outside. But regardless of temperature, we here at Sandwich Funk have assembled a delightfully somber playlist perfect for this rainy day. The mellow acoustics of Pete Wingfield and Railroad Earth eventually give way to the soulful and deep drum hits of Azari III and Joris Voorn’s edit of Lana Del Rey. By the end of the mix you’ll be swaying to the beat, cheesing your mac, and contemplatively watching the rain fall outside your warm and cozy home.

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 45 minutes

3 tbsp melted butter
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2 large onion finely chopped
1 big bundle of baby spinach
4 cups whole milk (cause who’s trying to lose weight with mac ‘n cheese right?)
1/3 all purpose flour
2/3 cup sharp chedder cheese
2/3 cup goat cheese
2/3 cup gruyere
bacon (we used two strips per person cut up into little pieces)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
3/4 pound of elbow pasta

First, hit play on that playlist and get movin a little, your gonna need to be nice and loose to stir this mac. Now that Petey is having sex with your eardrums, put the bacon in a skillet and cook till crispy, cut up into pieces.

While that is happening, melt the butter in a large pot (big enough to eventually hold the entirety of your cheesy concoction). Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic about 3 minutes after you add the onion to avoid burnage. Whisk in flour (don’t worry it will look gross and clumpy). Then quickly add the whole milk while simultaneously stirring. Seriously though, keep stirring during this whole process.

At this point you should basically be at full swagger listening to either Australia’s finest funky dub/reggae group or Japan’s savant acid jazz artist Hiromi lay down a sizzling rendition of Claire de Lune. Either way, it should aid the continuous stirring you must maintain until this mixture comes to a boil. AND then… keep stirring. HA. Leave at a boil for about a minute and then lower the heat, but do not stop stirring.

While all of this is happening, you should have put a pot on the burner with some water and cooked the pasta to al dente, then strained it and washed it under running water. It should currently be waiting patiently for you to submerge it in a sea of cheese like some sort of crazy sexual fetish.

When the sauce thickens a little bit, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add the spinach and whisk around a few times until it’s wilted. Then add the bacon. Mmmm bacon. Then add the cheese(s). Finally add the pasta and stir until everything is coated in a nice thick layer of cheese and bacon… and spinach too I guess.

Pour the mac into a large, deep baking pan. Then, combine your breadcrumbs with melted butter. We used panko, but it would be cooler if you took your favorite bread and put it into a food processor with some butter and whirled it around until combined. Spread the breadcrumbs evenly over the mac ‘n cheese, turn on the broiler and pop it in the oven. WATCH carefully because your mac can go from innocent and unburned to a category 3 burn victim in about 30 seconds. So when you see the crumbs starting to brown, thats your que for an exit strategy.

Take out of oven, think to yourself how much cooler this Joris Voorn edit is than Lana’s original and serve. We served our’s with some green-beans and halved heirloom tomatoes roasted with parsley, mint, basil, olive oil, and citrus vinegar. Heady.

Cinnamon Chocolate Browned Butter Bread Pudding

About the music: This desert is incredible, so we needed a playlist that was going to stand up to the overwhelmingly rich dish it’s paired with. We compiled a list of tracks that are in a word, fun. If your anything like us, you’re going to be pretty stoked on the treat your going to be making, so we thought it fitting to make a playlist to facilitate that feeling. Enjoy.

Our good friend Callie from Cali works with Claire Thomas over at The Kitchy Kitchen, which is great B T dubs.  So when I got an advanced text message a couple months ago with a picture of what looked to be a chocolate bomb in a ramekin, I decided I would steal it! HA! But seriously this thing is like decadence wrapped in porcelain, topped with chocolate and butter, so everyone should probably get to experience it at some point. With that being said, I would just like to point out that aside from adding a little extra cinnamon and taking the lazy man route of using chocolate chips instead of shaved semi-sweet chocolate, this recipe is really the brainchild of Claire Thomas and you can find the original in all its glory here.

Serves 4-5 hungry people or 3 morbidly obese people with a chocolate addiction
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45-60 minutes

1 baguette (we used french) preferably a little stale
3 cups half ‘n half
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate grated (we used chocolate chips cause we’re lazy)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream

Go ahead and start by preheating the oven to 325.

Next, just to get the lame pat out of the way, rub your ramekins down with some butter in preparation for the butter your about to be pouring into them. We used french onion soup bowls, because we can.

Next, cut your bread into inch 1X1 inch cubes and stuff them into your eagerly awaiting containers.

Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder together. Then add the half and half and stir it up right! Next, add the vanilla and salt to the beaten eggs. To brown up your butter nice, put it in a skillet until it starts to foam and turn nice, you guessed it, golden brown color. Add the butter to the eggs, mix it up, and add the whole thing to the milk and cocoa.

Next, stir in the grated chocolate into the mixture, or if your like us, add the chocolate chips and sullenly watch them sink to the bottom of your bowl of buttery goodness and start anticipating ways you are going to fish them out.

Arrange your ramekins in a deep baking dish and fill it with water about half way up. Pour the mixture over the bread and revel in your awesomeness. Then let it sit and absorb for at least 20 minutes. Pop it in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until it is set.

Claire tops this dish with some creme fraaaaaiiche, but we used vanilla ice cream and a little mint, whatever extra sugar you decide to add should be a nice addition to this high caloric extravagance of a dish.

  • Karin Wyman Morgan

    This looks suspiciously like my kitchen! What! And you didn’t leave any for me? Are you kidding? Chocolate, butter, brown sugar and cream. You are speaking my language here.