In the spring, a (not so) young cook’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of grilling.
According to Alfred Lord Tennyson, “In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Well, with apologies to his Lordship, in the spring, a (not so) young cook’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of grilling. As a result of this well-documented phenomenon, recent Tuesday evening found me in front of the fire flipping flank steaks and asparagus. Some couscous and early strawberries rounded out the menu nicely.
Soy-Ginger Flank Steak
½ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsps. minced garlic
1 inch-long piece ginger, grated
Sriracha to taste, if spice is desired
½ cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 lbs. flank steak, about
1 inch thick
Mix first six ingredients in a large Ziploc bag or shallow dish. Add steak and coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before grilling.
Heat a grill to high — around 500˚. Place steak on grill, cover and sear for 3 minutes. Flip steak, cover and cook 3 minutes more.
Turn off heat on one side of grill, flip steaks again and move to the “no heat” side. Cook 3 minutes more. Flip again, and cook another 3 minutes. (Two notes: First, if you use charcoal, slide the steak to the edge of the grill, away from the fire where the heat is less intense.
Secondly, if you are using thinner steaks, reduce each segment of cooking time to 2 minutes each.)
Remove steak from heat, cover with foil and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
Slice thinly across the grain of the meat on a diagonal.
1 bunch of asparagus
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
Rinse asparagus and break off tough ends. Place in shallow dish or Ziploc bag with all remaining ingredients.
Heat grill to high and place asparagus on grill. Allow them to char lightly, and roll them around on the grill for a few minutes until just cooked.
Remove and serve immediately, or set aside and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Couscous with Veggies and Chickpeas
3 cups couscous
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1-2 tsps. curry powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
a selection of any other vegetables you want to include: green beans, peas, spinach, zucchini, etc.
1 cup cooked (or canned and drained) chickpeas
chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
Make couscous according to package directions. Set aside, covered, until needed.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium flame and add carrots, onions, garlic, celery and spices. Sauté until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add any remaining vegetables and the chickpeas, and cook until all vegetables are softened and flavors are melded. Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork and add it to the mixture. Stir well.
Top with fresh parsley or cilantro and serve.
Serves 6 to 8
1 16-oz. bottle balsamic vinegar
1 quart strawberries, washed, hulled,
and sliced if large
your favorite sorbet
chopped fresh mint leaves
In medium saucepan, heat balsamic to boil and continue cooking until it is reduced to syrup, about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Place sorbet in bowl, top with strawberries and drizzle with balsamic syrup.
Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Note: You can use 18-year aged balsamic for this dish and avoid the boiling step — it is deliciously sweet with lots of flavor and depth, but it is quite pricey. Reducing it yourself is a
reasonable workaround and quite economical.