Tag Archives: steak

Mango Chimichurri Salsa (for grilled meats and seafood)

7 Jun

When it comes to camping food, go bold or go home is my motto. This is no time for subtlety.

Our delicious dinner

Our delicious dinner

So, when Pedro (my dad) showed up at the campsite with some steaks last week. I was all in. He simply sprinkled salt and pepper on the steaks and got to grilling. His hint for you today is that starting with defrosted steaks still a bit cold in the center helps to keep the rare in medium rare when things start moving quickly on the charcoal grill. A fair bit of marbling on a steak is desirable, because you want that fat to melt and season the steak as opposed to drying out a leaner cut.

I decide to surprise everyone with a different sort of dressing for the steak: a mango chimichurri salsa, a riff on the parsley-based Argentinean salsa for steeak. Continue reading

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Grilled Rib Steak with “Bordeaux” Mushroom Sauce

22 Jan

Marianne and I cooked together again, this time doubling and adapting a recipe she found (I can’t remember where, so I can’t credit it, but will add it in should she remember later) to use up the mushrooms I had bought on sale. That this involved buying more mushrooms not on sale is not something I consider particularly relevant right now.

When buying mushrooms, look for the area under the cap to be closed. That says freshness.

When buying mushrooms, look for the area under the cap to be closed. That says freshness.

Another view of a tightly closed cap

Another view of a tightly closed cap

Our plan was to divide it up. I would use it to help dress up some simple steak I had in my fridge and she would use it to top some Salisbury steak she had in her weekday menu plans. Continue reading

Asian-Inflected Steak and Asparagus Bites

6 Feb

I was looking for organic steak at Fairway Market in Plainview – one of my favorite places to shop for higher-end yet still reasonably-priced staples like Spanish chorizo, olive oils, tomato in cans, organic eggs — but instead found an irresistible deal:  U.S.D.A. prime hanger steak for $6.99 a pound. The prime designation means a higher quality of steak with loads of marbling (yes, fat) and virtuous me didn’t stand a chance against cheapskate bloodthirsty carnivorous me, so I bought 1.5 lbs and started to plan.

My friend Ashley was coming over, so I knew I’d have some support staff for child care AND prep, so I chose to do something I’ve been hankering after for weeks: Asian-flavored steak with asparagus. It is just slightly labor-intensive, but a show-stopper and I really should have given it to you earlier as a Super Bowl option, but better late than never.

We did half the meat that night, after the little guy was down (with a belly full of pizza and a promise of steak the next day). Must confess, once the pretty pictures were taken, we heaped all of the bites haphazardly on a plate, each grabbed a fork, and fell in like starving raptors from the Cretaceous Period.

The rest – two small steaks — I cooked whole the following evening on the broiler at our friend, Pam’s, without the asparagus (Yes, Leandro got his!). They were just as tasty, but almost 24 hours in the marinade did leave them almost too tender. The following recipe can be jiggled; use the greater amount of asparagus if you want to do all of the steak in wraps.

Anyhooo, I will be doing these the next time I entertain. I hope you will too!

Asian steak and asparagus bites

(factor in minimum marinating time of 30 minutes)

3 cloves garlic, minced fine

2 inch of ginger, peeled indifferently, and grated (about 1.5 packed Tbs; add more to taste)

2 tsp sesame oil

2 Tbs rice vinegar

4 Tbs soy sauce

1 – 1.5 lbs hanger steak (or other fairly thin, tender boneless cut)

1 – 2 lbs asparagus spears, washed, woody stems snapped off, and chopped into 2-inch pieces

Mix all ingredients except meat in a plastic freezer bag or a bowl. Add steak, coat thoroughly and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Reserving marinade, slice marinated steak ACROSS THE GRAIN* into thin slices and then cut the slices into strips suitable for wrapping artfully or not so artfully around asparagus spears. Lay steak and asparagus bites onto an oven rack with a catch dish underneath. Pour remaining marinade over and salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes on each side (7-8 for well done) and serve.

*Cutting steaks across the grain cuts through the fibers that hold the muscles together and shortens them so the meat can barely hold together, thus, tenderness. This is especially necessary with my favorite muscle-y cuts: skirt steak (churrasco), flank steak and hanger steak. When raw, you will see natural lines across the meat. Slice against them (at a 90° angle, if I have understood Kenji at Food Lab (Serious Eats) correctly).

¿Que qué? ¡Quesadillas! (Camp stove friendly)

9 Jun

Finger food supreme

One day I will be an eater of sandwiches.

But for now aside from the odd grilled cheese, I am not a sandwich girl. Just don’t like all the bread, the sliced deli meats, cold salads inside…I just don’t get it. Unless of course it is a pressed Cuban sandwich, con todos los poderes, de Elegguá pa’bajo…you know, like real bread, toasted, mad quantities of stuff, greased up…I can do that. In Miami. Or San Juan de Puerto Rico (ah, Kasalta). Occasionally.

But not being a sandwich person in this American life is to miss out on a lot of convenience and portability. So, I have discovered the quesadilla. Take whatever you’ve got in the fridge, spread it over half of a tortilla toasting in a skillet, sprinkle melty cheese, fold it, flip it, and allí está…a sandwich worth eating. Slice it like a pizza and you can dip it into hot sauce too.

It worked very well on our camping trip. Leftover black beans, some Monterrey Jack and sriracha and go, baby, go. Other things I have stuffed into quesadillas include pollo guisado; cheddar cheese and tomato slices; leftover sliced steak; roasted vegetables; sundried tomato and smoked mozzarella…all awesome and all done in no time, sealed with a kiss of cheese. You can slip avocado in the middle where it won’t get hot to give a lovely creaminess (plus health benefits, I am sure, but who cares?)

Quesadillas (with your choice of stuffing)

1 package of large soft tortillas (flour or corn)

a spritz of cooking oil on a good iron skillet or nonstick

1-2 cups filling (LEFTOVERS! cooked beans, cooked veg, stewed meat, sliced cooked meat)

couple of fistfuls shredded meltable cheese

1-2 Tbs herbs/hot red pepper flakes/salsa – it’s up to you to make the matches

Heat the skillet and the oil to medium. Lay a tortilla on it. Cover half with filling (Not too thick! Maybe 1/4 inch – you don’t want a mess). Sprinkle cheese (especially around the edge to make a seal). Fold the empty tortilla half over. Allow to cook a minute, then flip with fingers if you are daring, or a spatula. Turn a few times until a bit crispy and transfer to a plate. Start again with another tortilla. You can slice into wedges and serve with whatever condiments go with your filling.

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