PEMBERVILLE - Who better to ask for a great steak recipe than someone whose family is in the meat business?
Enter Elaine Frobose, mom of four and matriarch of Pemberville's Frobose Meat Locker clan.
She's got plenty of possibilities, but decided her recipe for flat iron steak with vegetables and peanut sauce would be perfect for the Cook's Corner.
"It's a fairly new recipe. I read it someplace and I kept it in my mind" when the subject of being featured first came up.
What intrigued her was the fact that "it called for peanut sauce!
"I looked, and got it at Krogers in the ethnic aisle."
Peanut sauce, a staple in Thai cooking, is something Frobose had never used before so "it caught my eye."
The other reason she chose this recipe is that it calls for flat iron steaks.
"This is something we sell at the locker, and they go like hotcakes!" Frobose said. "It is the third most tender piece of meat in the beef, and they're just nice portion size. I think most people are watching for portion these days."
Frobose used three or four six-ounce steaks "in that whole recipe and it was plenty for (husband) Bob and a teenage son, and Abby and I."
She's no slave to a written recipe, however, and quickly found three or four different ways to improve upon this one.
"The recipe calls for 16 ounces of Asian vegetables, frozen. But our whole family tries to cook with fresh as much as possible. I usually go to Kaiser's Farm Market in Pemberville."
The choice of fresh vegetables could easily vary. "I didn't use zucchini or summer squash, and both of those could have gone in there" along with the vegetables she did choose, which are listed in the recipe on this page.
Even the cooking method is optional.
"It can be cooked on a skillet on the stove, or you could grill 'em. I did it on the stove."
The Frobose family likes its steaks "a little pink."
In the same skillet you cooked your steak earlier, you also cook your vegetables and Frobose takes care to leave the vegetables "a little crisp" for best results.
The recipe as originally printed calls for Chinese noodles, but Frobose uses linguine noodles instead, a choice her family enthusiastically endorses.
"The original recipe calls for three-quarters of a cup of peanut sauce. That was too much for us, so I used one-third cup. It does have a kick!
"Then you just top it with some chopped peanuts and you're good to go. A little bit of fresh fruit with it and you've got a great meal."
Flat iron steak with vegetables is not only versatile in terms of preparation and ingredients, it is appropriate for an array of meals.
"Bob and I were saying this would be great for company," particularly now during the summer months. (Flat iron steaks) are just great on the grill."
The Froboses bought the meat locker 10 years ago this month.
Every member of the family is directly involved.
"Bob's always been in the meat business. Ben and Jake, our two older sons, are there. Our daughter Abby works there," and Zach, who is headed to ATI Wooster to study food commerce, has a summer job working at the locker.
"I'm the bookkeeper and do the running. I have many hats."
Frobose wears still other hats outside the business, including that of basket weaver. "I used to teach classes through the library."
And when she puts on her cooking hat she loves to try new things - just like the flat iron steak recipe. "I don't like the same old thing."
Flat iron steaks with vegetables & peanut sauce
3 - 4 (6 oz.) flat iron steaks
fresh ground pepper- season to taste
6 - 8 cups fresh vegetables
* I used fresh green beans, broccoli, celery, carrots, onions, red peppers, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms.
or 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen Asian vegetables
3-4 cups cooked Chinese noodles
* I used linguine noodles
¾ cup peanut sauce
* I used 1/3 cup peanut sauce
1/4 cup roasted peanuts chopped
Press fresh pepper onto flat iron steaks. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add steaks; cooks 13 to 15 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning twice. Remove.
Combine vegetables and ¼ cup water in skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered 5 to 7 minutes or until tender crisp. Add noodles and peanut sauce; toss to coat. Heat through.
Slice steaks; Serve over noodle mixture. Top with peanuts. Enjoy!