Friday, June 20, 2014


Summer is here - officially. And it is hot. Hot. Hot. Needless to say, I don't want to turn on the oven and heat up the kitchen. I turned to grilling and then I realized that something has been holding me back. I have always had a (rather prehistoric) idea that the man should do the grilling in the household. My dad has always been the grill master - granted, my mom was inside the house making a slew of side dishes, salads, and desserts so there would not be time for her to run out and flip the chicken and then dash back inside to sauté the bell peppers. My parents have a good division of labor when it comes to summer meals. Vance and I have followed in this same fashion. But last week, I realized, I can't let myself believe that I don't hold the key to being a grill master. So I sized up our Webber, called my mom for moral support, called Vance to learn how to turn it on, hit the gas, lit a match and prayed. And it lit! And it was glorious.
marinated flank steak with chimichurri & vidalia-tomato relish crostini
for the steak
1 (2 to 3-pound) flank steak
1.5 cups red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
Season the steak well with S&P. Whisk together all other ingredients, pour over beef in a shallow dish. Marinate for 24 hours, turning about 3-4 times.
for the chimichurri sauce (this dish is inspired by Bobby Flay)
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pulse the herbs and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse to make a soupy vinaigrette — it will look a bit creamy until it settles. Add more oil and/or vinegar if too thick. Set aside.
for the relish
3 Vidalia or other sweet onions, skin on, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 head of garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 green onions, sliced
1 serrano chile, minced with the seeds
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (split into 2 portions)
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, place the onions (skin on) and the garlic head - with the end cut off to expose the inner garlic heads. Drizzle onion and garlic with about 1-2 tablespoons EVOO. Roast for about 30 minutes until soft. Allow to cool slightly and then peel/chop the onion and squeeze the garlic out into a large mixing bowl. Mix onion, garlic, tomatoes, green onions, chile, vinegar, remaining EVOO and S&P.
Preheat the grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with a bit more salt and more pepper. Grill, covered, until nicely charred and medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. To serve, plate a few pieces of toasted baguette. Top with thinly sliced beef, chimichurri sauce and top with relish.
I actually made a double-batch of the chimichurri sauce as it freezes well (similar to pesto - need to ensure no air gets to it). This is a fresh and delicious summer meal. Don't fear the grill - embrace and it will hold you right back.

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