Monday, February 24, 2014

Steak and Zhoug


I enjoy discussing homemade condiments here and I’m delighted that this month’s Tasting Jerusalem features one of my very favorites, zhoug. I’ve shared my love of zhoug before, the fiery, green herb sauce that I discovered through Bob’s host mother many years ago during my first visit to Israel. Just a bite transports me away from the winter chill here back to those hot summer days.


This versatile condiment is popular in the Middle East and a true pantry staple. A quick whirl of fresh cilantro, parsley, olive oil, garlic and chiles in the food processor is all that is needed to create zhoug. Fragrant, spicy and vibrant, it livens up any dish it graces. Especially welcome during this time of season!


We usually dollop some in chicken soup or scoop a bit onto a plate of scrambled eggs. This past weekend, though, steak was on our menu and I started thinking about chimichurri sauce, the Argentinian green sauce traditionally made with parsley, olive oil, garlic and vinegar and served with grilled meat. Why not serve zhoug with steak in a similar manner? I grabbed my bunches of herbs, smashed some garlic cloves, chopped chiles (I had red fresno chiles on hand rather than jalapenos, which added pretty little flecks of red) and glugged olive oil and soon we had steak and zhoug on the table.


I have to say, steak and zhoug is absolutely delicious! A few years ago I learned the best way to cook a steak using a combination of stovetop and oven and have been doing it this way ever since. The spicy kick of zhoug complemented the simple taste of the beef beautifully and seriously got my taste buds tingling. As I look out at our gorgeous white wonderland and watch our cute pup bounce around in the snow, I savor the spicy flavors of the Middle East and feel warm inside.

Steak and Zhoug
Steak recipe from The Week

Steaks, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes
Kosher salt
Grapeseed oil
Zhoug to serve (recipe here)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt over each steak. Heat a cast iron pan large enough to hold all the steaks over high heat and let it get hot. Pour a very thin layer of grapeseed oil in the pan. Lay each steak in the pan and let sear for a minute or two. Flip the steaks and let sear for another minute.

Take the pan and place in the oven for five to six minutes, depending upon the thickness of each steak and your preference for how cooked you like them (if you use a thermometer, 115 degrees is the rare end of rare).

Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for five minutes to collect the juices. Spoon on dollops of zhoug and serve.

21 comments:

  1. Zhoug is one of my favourite condiments,that I I use almost on a daily basis:-) that picture with your dog in snow is really nice:-)

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    1. Thanks, Jael! We still have a lot of snow to play in, but I think a spring thaw is on its way. Zhoug is a wonderful daily condiment - so glad you love it, too.

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  2. This looks so good, Hannah. I think I have to make some! I love all of those fresh ingredients! What a cute doggie!

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    1. Thanks, Amanda! I think you'd really enjoy zhoug. Its fresh flavor really pops and it keeps well in the fridge, so it's nice to have on hand. I just picked up some more steaks so this combination will be on our table again this week.

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  3. I have never heard of zhoug Hannah but now I feel like life wont' be the same without it...every ingredient is on my favorites list! I've been sick so eating a lot of soups and cereal and now I am craving a big old steak with zhoug...maybe it means I'm finally on the mend huh?

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    1. Barb - I'm piping in on Hannah's comments but if you have just a bit of mending left to go - zhoug will get you over the hump - spicy and full of herby goodness. It's our February Tasting Jerusalem ingredient and with your creativity, you'll find so many different uses for it. Give it a try - you'll love it.

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    2. Barb, I hope you are healthy again and enjoying some steak and zhoug! I second Beth's comment - I can see you creating some really yummy dishes with zhoug. :)

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  4. Zhoug is new to me and is so appealing! The robust, straightforward flavors are something I always crave. I big fat salad with grilled flank steak is on the menu for this Friday, so I have enough time to gather ingredients and add Zhoug!

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    1. Deb, I do hope you enjoyed your steak dinner and liked the zhoug! I'm sure the salad you prepared was gorgeous. Zhoug really is a robust condiment and lovely pantry staple.

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  5. I can't believe I have never heard of or made this - although I am convinced I have eaten it and just not realized it. Such a great pairing with steak - totally making this next time we have steak Hannah!

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    1. I hope you enjoy the zhoug, Alyssa! I think you'll appreciate the fresh spicy kick it adds. :)

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  6. This is such a great idea - I think when I was writing the zhoug monthly post I came across the analogy with chimichurri - very astute of you. I am going to have to give the steak technique a try and pairing it up with zhoug. Thanks for your always creative contributions to our group Hannah!

    Love the picture of the pup :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth! I appreciate your sweet words. As always, I'm happy to be part of TJ, and this month especially glad to feature zhoug. Let me know what you think of the steak technique - we've enjoyed consistently good steaks since discovering it.

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  7. I love condiments, they add zing and bring life to an otherwise ordinary meal. I have to make this, love that it's so versatile. Your cute little pup in the snow is adorable!

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    1. Thanks so much, Suzanne! I couldn't agree more - condiments add lots of zing and life. I really think they can be the foundation of a terrific meal. I hope you enjoy the zhoug!

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  8. Mmmm, this looks so good! I've never thought to combine steak and zhoug, but what a tremendous idea! That's really inspired, and I'll bet the flavor combo is wonderful. So nice -- thanks.

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    1. My pleasure, John! The rich meat and zesty zhoug really are a great combination. It's on our menu again this week! :)

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  9. I had a flank steak with chimichurri once and loved the combination of rich meat and bright herbs. I would definitely be into zhoug! Steaks should totally be finished in the oven...our kitchen always fills with smoke whenever we've tried to pan fry them and we end up eating way later than we wanted into and in a much worse mood than we'd like. Great tip, Hannah!

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    1. I hope this steak technique works well for you, Brianne! And I hope you enjoy the zhoug - if you like a fresh spicy kick it'll become a pantry staple. :)

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  10. I've never thought to have zhoug with my steak and I love the little red bowl you presented it in. Yours looks a little darker than my version but the ingredients are pretty similar. I'll be grilling up some steaks to try this combo. Thanks for the idea.

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    1. My pleasure, Yosef! I hope you enjoy the steak and zhoug together. I like your version of zhoug, too, and will try it next. Your addition of cumin seeds sounds wonderful! We just finished off a batch of zhoug by slathering it on boneless chicken thighs and grilling them. Very tasty!

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