Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Black Pepper

Black pepper comes from the peppercorn, a fruit (or berry) which grows on a woody plant in the tropics.  As the peppercorn grows, first it is green, then it becomes red as it ripens, and turns black as it is dried.  Black pepper is made form dried peppercorn.  White pepper, which is milder, is the inner layer of the dried peppercorn. 

Black pepper is available whole, cracked, coarsely ground, or finely ground.  Used in small amounts, it is a mild seasoning; in large amounts, it has a predominant flavor.  Whole peppers, ground in a peppermill, provide freshly ground seasoning and a more pungent flavor.

Storage - whole and ground pepper kept in a tightly closed jar and stored in a cabinet or pantry will retain their full flavor up to one year.

Peppered Flank Steak

1 beef flank steak (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns, crushed
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced.

Pound steak until even in thickness; score on both sides.  Mix peppercorns and remaining ingredients; spread over surface of steak.  Roll steak up, beginning at short end; fasten with wooden picks.  Broil steak 6" from heat source for 20 minutes, turning steak one-quarter turn every 5 minutes.  Slice to serve.  6 servings.

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