Cowtown French

Chef Jason Craine
Chef Jason Craine

Flank steak meets French breakfast radishes

It’s April in the Paris of the Plains. At downtown Kansas City’s Charisse, known for its mix of traditional French and contemporary American, the classic bistro steak goes on spring break with the French breakfast radish.

“Depending on the year, temperature and other variables, these radishes can range from sweet and mild in flavor to downright spicy,” says chef-owner Jason Craine. He grew up in Missouri but did restaurant stints in California, so he balances classic cuisine with what’s best and freshest locally. Radishes are a cool-weather crop; Craine gets his in spring and fall from Kate Johnson’s Roots, Fruits & Greens Farm in Easton, Kansas.

“If we get some that are a little hot, I usually pickle them,” says Craine. “They have a lovely crunch and look absolutely beautiful! Every other ingredient in this recipe complements these attributes, from the smoky, juicy steak to the soft and mild avocado.”

Grilled Flank Steak with French Breakfast Radishes

CraineJason_31_ALServes 2

1    12-ounce flank steak

½    cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4  cup soy sauce (gluten-free if preferred)

1    tsp. dried red pepper flakes

6    spring onions

1    Hass avocado

3-5  French breakfast radishes, sliced lengthwise as thinly as possible

Pickled red onions, optional

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the steak in a sealable plastic bag with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Seal and shake the bag and let marinate for 45 to 60 minutes.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill. Use paper towels to pat off excess marinade from the steak. Place the steak on the grill grates. For medium-rare, grill each side for approximately 3-1/2 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 130 degrees. Let the steak rest for 2 to 5 minutes. (When resting, the steak will continue to cook another 5 degrees.)

During the final 2 minutes of grilling the steak, throw the spring onions on the grill, turning often, just until they have grill marks. Toss the grilled onions in a small bowl with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper; reserve.

Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, then cut each half into thin wedges with the avocado still in the skin. Scoop out with a large spoon onto each plate.

Slice steak thinly, against the grain and on the bias, at about a 45-degree angle.

Divide the steak slices between the plates. Garnish with grilled spring onions, radishes and some of the pickled red onions. Drizzle the reserved olive oil over all.

Pickled Red Onions, optional

½    cup red wine vinegar

½    cup granulated sugar, minus 1 Tbsp.

1    Tbsp. crushed pink peppercorns

1    tsp. kosher salt

1    small red onion, peeled, cut in half, then sliced super thin

Heat the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar and help speed the pickling process. When the liquid is hot, add the onion and remove from heat. Let cool, then cover and chill.