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For different take on chicken cordon bleu, roll with beef

If you can do it to a chicken, why not a cow?

That was the philosophy behind this attempt to create a beef version of chicken cordon bleu. It turned out to be easier, faster and far tastier than expected.

The result was a thin-cut London broil wrapped around blue cheese, pine nuts, roasted garlic and spinach. Seared quickly on the stove and finished in the oven, these steaks can be on your table in about 35 minutes.

When selecting your steaks, aim for nothing thicker than a third of an inch. Sirloin bottom was nice, but you may need to have the butcher cut them. Thin-cut London broil steaks are widely available at most grocer’s meat counter.

While other greens and nuts can be substituted for the spinach and pine nuts in the filling, it’s best to stick with blue cheese. You want a cheese that won’t ooze much as it heats.

If you want to add even more flavor, consider marinating the steaks before stuffing and rolling them. Ten minutes in a marinade of three parts red wine and one part soy sauce should work nicely.

Blue Cheese-Stuffed London Broil

10-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/4 cup pine nuts

4 ounces blue cheese

2 tablespoons minced roasted garlic

1 1/2 pounds thin-sliced London broil (4 thin steaks)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the thawed spinach in the center of a kitchen towel. Holding the towel over the sink, twist it to squeeze excess water out of the spinach. Open the towel and place the spinach in a food processor.

Add the pine nuts, blue cheese and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until the ingredients form a thick paste about 10 seconds.

Arrange the steaks on a work surface. Use your fingers or a silicone spatula to spread a quarter of the cheese and spinach mixture in an even layer over each steak.

One at a time, roll the steaks into a cylinder. Use kitchen twine to tie each end of the rolls.

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the steak rolls and sear on one side for about 1 1/2 minutes. Use tongs to rotate the rolls slightly, searing for another 1 1/2 minutes. Continue until all sides are seared.

Transfer the rolls to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the rolls reads 140 degrees for medium.

Yield: 4 servings

Approximate nutrition information per serving: 498 calories, 31 grams fat (10 grams saturated, 56 percent fat calories), 7 grams carbohydrate, 79 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 556 milligrams sodium.



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