Amateur Holiday Cook-Off

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  Rare Skirt Steak With Roasted Leeks, Wasabi-Lemon Sauce, Served With Miso-Glazed Kabu, Asparagus, and Okra

The Chef
Michele Bambling

Serves 6

Roasted Leeks
3–4 large leeks, white part only
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt (preferably Maldon) and cracked pepper

Skirt Steak And Wasabi-Lemon Sauce
Sea salt (preferably Maldon) and cracked pepper
6 skirt steaks, approximately 4 inches long
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons freshly ground wasabi, plus extra for garnish
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Garnish: Watercress leaves

Miso-Glazed Kabu, Asparagus, And Okra, Tossed With Sesame Seeds
1/3 cup yellow miso paste
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
6 kabu (a turniplike Japanese vegetable; daikon or carrots can be substituted)
1 pound asparagus
2 cups okra (about 20 pieces)

Cooking Instructions
Roasted Leeks
Preheat oven to 380 degrees.

Cut leeks into thin 2-to-3-inch lengths, cut these in half lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise into strips about 1/4-inch thick. Soak strips in a bowl of water for 20 minutes. Drain, pat dry, place them in a bowl, and lightly coat with olive oil. Lay out leek strips in neat rows on two sheets of aluminum foil, and season with salt and pepper. Fold foil into rectangular packets, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake approximately 25 minutes, until leeks are tender. Unwrap just prior to serving.

Skirt Steak And Wasabi-Lemon Sauce
Press large pieces of salt and pepper into raw steak. Lightly coat a heavy skillet with grapeseed oil (do not use nonstick), set over high heat, and sear steak on one side, approximately 3 minutes. Flip steak, and sear other side 2 to 3 minutes. Remove steak to a cutting board; allow to rest a few minutes. Slice thinly against the grain, and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together wasabi and lemon juice.

Place roasted leek strips in orderly rows across the surface of 6 small plates. Arrange steak slices over the leeks, and spoon wasabi-lemon sauce over the steak. Dot steak with additional wasabi, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with watercress.

Miso-Glazed Kabu, Asparagus, And Okra, Tossed With Sesame Seeds
Whisk together miso paste, mayonnaise, and soy sauce until combined. (Skimp on miso if using kabu substitutes.) Set aside.

Toast sesame seeds on a dry pan over medium heat until they begin to turn golden brown and pop. Peel kabu, and cut the stalks, leaving 1/2-inch of stalk for color. Cut each kabu into 6 uniform wedges, and soak in water 20 minutes. Snap off hard bottoms of the asparagus, then cut each stalk on a bias into 4 equal pieces. Cut okra on a bias into pieces the same size.

In a steamer, cook kabu wedges about 10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce then (do not overcook, as they will become mushy), and place in a large mixing bowl. Steam asparagus and okra together about 5 minutes, or until fork-tender and the vegetables are still a vivid green. Add okra and asparagus to kabu. Add the miso mixture to the hot vegetables, and mix thoroughly so that the sap from the okra binds with the miso.

Distribute vegetables into 6 bowls, and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. This dish may be served at room temperature.