Tag Archives: baguette

Valentine’s Day Steak Sandwich

Steak Sandwich with Cheese and Onions

Steak Sandwich with Cheese and Onions


Tomorrow’s V-day will be a family affair here on Shelter Island.  It’s a winter wonderland today, so we are all hunkered down in coziness preparing to stay inside for awhile.  This morning, though, J and I played in the snow and rain (unfortunately the snow turned to rain pretty quickly) until we were soaking wet.

Soggy Jamie

Soggy Jamie

He had an early Valentine’s day and exchanged gifts with his friend before we came out.  It was very sweet because it was the first time he ever did this before.  His card to her expressly said, “This is not a Valentine’s gift”  — very romantic, no?  Luckily she knows him well and was not offended in the slightest.

I did this piece, inspired by them (however not shown to them!) as a sample of older kids for my rep, Chris Tugeau– I have a gaping hole in my portfolio in this area, as all of my books are for the very young.  I think I would do it differently now– I’m not sure I like the crisp lines…  But it was fun, and it illustrates perfectly their relationship:

Ipad and Nexus tablet users

Ipad and Nexus tablet users          Copyright Melissa Iwai 2014

The Steak Sandwich recipe is based on this NY Time’s recipe for Italian Peppery Steak.  I don’t use as much pepper, because J doesn’t like it, and no rosemary, because D doesn’t like it.  It is all done in the oven and is so easy, because the most time consuming part is just waiting for the meat to marinate and preheating the oven!  I cut our meat thin and layered it with havarti and sauteed onions and used a baguette to make delicious steak sandwiches.

My hand lettering assignment that I did for Mary Kate McDevitt’s Skill Share Lettering class was the inspiration. 🙂  (By the way, they are having a Presidents’ Day sale there for 25% off — use code PRESIDENT — also if you want to sign up for a class, email me, and I will refer you for $10 off — no I do not work for them, I just love their classes!)

This is a Cervantes quote which I hand lettered and illustrated

This is a Cervantes quote which I hand lettered and illustrated

Another art related venture is that the bunny card and wrapping paper design from the last post is now in a Valentine’s Day Challenge Contest.

Remember these guys:
cardwrapping paperex

Please do me a favor and vote for my design here!  (I’m choice E)  Thanks, people! 🙂

Here is the recipe for the sandwich:

front of steak sandwich

Steak Sandwich

For Steak:

About 2 pounds flank steak (or other steak — I’ve used London Broil before)

Kosher Salt

Ground Pepper

Couple cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For Sandwich:

Cooked steak

Sliced onions


Baguette, cut in half vertically and then horizontally into sandwich sizes

  1. Lay flank steak on a baking sheet or plate and season on both sides with salt and pepper. You may have to cut the steak in half so it will fit.  Sprinkle meat evenly with garlic slices. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, then massage meat with your hands, and press garlic into its surface. Leave at room temperature for an hour (or refrigerate for several hours and bring to room temperature before proceeding).
  2.  30 minutes after prepping meat, turn on oven to 450 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the steak (or a heavy roasting pan) on the upper rack. Let skillet heat for at least 30 minutes.  You may have to cook steak in two batches if your skillet is not large enough.
  3. While skillet is heating in oven, saute onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil on the stove until softened.  Set aside.
  4. Place flank steak in the oven heated cast iron pan and return to oven. After 5 minutes, flip the steak (it should be well browned on the bottom) and cook just until juices appear on surface of steak, 3 to 4 minutes more for medium-rare meat. Remove steak and let rest on a carving board for 10 minutes.  Continue to do the same with the other piece of meat if you had to cut it into two pieces.
  5. Cut meat on a diagonal, against grain, into thin slices. Arrange sliced meat on the bottom slice of a baguette.  Top with sauteed onions and havarti and top slice of baguette.  Return to hot oven and warm until cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes.
4 to 6 servings


Filed under Art Related, Beef

French Onion Soup

Awhile back (when it was still cold!) my mom came to visit us.  It’s always nice having her here and the time passes so quickly.  To give you an idea of how low maintenance she is while here in terms of us entertaining her, during this visit she insisted on having me re-caulk our shower with her help her first day here.  This involved multiple trips to the hardware store, thoroughly cleaning our shower, scraping out the old nasty caulk, withstanding fumes and applying new caulk in its place – not one’s average vacation activity.  But that’s my mom — always a very productive house guest!

a rare moment of rest for two Energizer Bunnies

She prefers to eat in rather than out, and when I asked her what she’d like me to cook, she said:  “All those dishes from your blog.”  So I found myself in the curious position of role reversal with me morphing into a “‘mom” cooking and baking for my mom.  I fed her a bunch of old favorites I’ve already written about, such as popovers, German Chocolate cake, chicken enchiladas, almond dessert cups with ice cream, miso green beans, shrimp toast, mini pizzas, avocado dip… and a number of dishes I haven’t had time to post yet.  This French Onion Soup is one of them.  It is crazy because I have a lot of photos and recipes but haven’t yet written about them due to a sudden increase of work.  I’m not complaining, but I do feel the need to apologize for the infrequent and out of season postings!

It is already humid here on the east coast, but if you are in a cooler climate, this is a hearty soup to warm you up.  Actually, it is pretty good in an air conditioned apartment too. 🙂  It is a combination of several recipes — I took the parts that I liked from Ina Garten’s (the cognac and wine and beef and chicken broth combos) and from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking version (braising cooking method and using less butter–I thought a whole stick was overkill!)

French Onion Soup

1 ½ pounds onions, sliced thin

2 tablespoons butter (1 ¼ oz.)

kosher salt

1 bay leaf

½ cup sherry

¼ cup cognac

1 ½ cups white wine

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups beef broth

18 slices of day old baguette

3 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese (or more depending on your taste)

  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions, bay leaf, and salt to taste and sauté until softened.  Add sherry and cognac and braise, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add white wine and simmer for about 15 more minutes.
  3. Add broths and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  4. Ladle soup into oven proof bowls.  Lay 3 slices of baguette on top of soup.  Cover with shredded cheese.
  5. Broil in oven for about 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.
  6. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings


Filed under Dinner, Soup, Vegetables