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The Best Steak Marinade

25 Sep

One of the keys to cooking at home is to have an arsenal of easy, go-to recipes that you can pull off dependably and quickly with ingredients that are almost always on hand. I’ve recently came up with a steak marinade that fits the bill. It’s simple and delicious–great with the the flavorful “bargain cuts” that I usually grill, such as hanger steak and tri-tip (I can’t even tell you the last time I bought a ribeye or strip steak–meat has gotten so insanely expensive, no?).

This marinade is best made with a mortar and pestle, but you could also just chop everything up very finely if you don’t have one.

Garlic-Thyme Marinade
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
5 whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Place garlic, thyme leaves, salt, and peppercorns in the bowl of a mortar; mash to a paste. Stir in vinegar and olive oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper and place in nonreactive dish or sealable plastic bag. Add marinade and coat well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours, turning meat occasionally. Let meat sit at room temperature for an hour before grilling.

I made hanger steak this way for dinner the other night, along with some chocolate pudding for dessert. When I asked my 3 y/o son if he was ready for his pudding he said, “Yes, but can I have some more steak first?” It’s a keeper!

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Grilling Topping: Sauteed Peppers

10 Aug

When garnishing grilled hot dogs and sausage ketchup and mustard might do the trick. But the markets are positively bursting with peppers right now–why not try a few varieties in this simple sauteed dish? Continue reading

Feta-Stuffed Lamb Burgers with Spicy Cucumber Relish

30 Jul

Here’s another recipe from a recent project I did. These juicy lamb burgers are filled with feta cheese and flavored with red onion and herbs. If you make them, don’t skip the spicy cucumber relish. It adds a cooling crunch to the burgers, along with a pleasant dose of heat. If you’re not a lamb fan, these would be just as delicious made with beef.

Recipe: Feta-Stuffed Lamb Burgers with Spicy Cucumber Relish

Image courtesy of iVillage

5 Ways with Zucchini

3 Aug

I recently did this zucchini piece for iVillage. Find the recipes on their site.

That’s One Inspiring Sandwich

21 Jun

Did you see the recent sandwich feature in NY Mag? (Drool!) 101 of NYC’s finest handheld meals. One in particular, the Scuttlebut from Saltie in Brooklyn caught my eye. It’s a vegetarian sandwich (which, let’s face it, are often uninspired) described in print as “an absurdly unwieldy Technicolor medley of vegetables, feta, and eggs.” Looks yummy, but hard to eat.

Clearly the work of geniuses, it inspired me to make my own old-fashioned layered salad version for a barbecue over the weekend. It was a hit and will become a staple this summer.

To make it:
Hard-cook 3 or 4 eggs. Roast a bunch of beets (sealed in a foil packet) at 400 degrees until tender; cool, peel, and slice into small wedges. Cook a pound of trimmed green beans until tender; cool in an ice bath and cut into 2-inch lengths. Make a vinaigrette by combining a spoonful of Dijon mustard, a few pinches of sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk in some quality olive oil and stir in a sprig’s worth of chopped tarragon and some chives. Pour half the vinaigrette over the beets and the other half over the beans; let marinate for at least 10 minutes. Mound the beans in a serving bowl. Top with the beets, hard-cooked eggs (sliced), a smattering of crumbled feta, and some chopped parsley and chives. Drizzle with more olive oil and season with some freshly ground pepper and flaky salt.