Archive for the ‘grill’ Category

Hanger Steak

Hanger steak is my new favorite cut of meat, especially now that it’s summer. A hanger steak is a cut, not unlike skirt steak and flank steak, that has a long fiber. These cuts have a really great flavor and are best served rare to medium rare so they don’t get tough. I think that the hanger steak is more tender and less sinewy than a flank steak. The skirt steak is great too but has more fat and is thinner and thus easier to overcook. Traditionally the hanger steak is one of those cuts that the butcher used to keep for himself, but has become popular because of the flavor and lower cost. The hanger steak comes from an area near the diaphragm of the steer.

I used my go-to marinade for the steak: A few cloves of garlic chopped fine, a bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley, salt, pepper, and grape seed or olive oil. You can put all of the ingredients into a food processor, but I prefer to chop it on the cutting board. I don’t like turning it to mush. Slather the meat in the chopped parsley and garlic mixture and allow it to macerate for about an hour. If you like it medium rare, leave it out at room temperature. If you like it really rare, you can throw it in the fridge and put it on the grill a bit cold to slow the speed at which the internal temperature rises relative to the outside, which I prefer well- caramelized.

I have a searing burner on my grill. I sear it until it doesn’t feel too floppy, take it off, and let it rest for a few minutes.

Cut it into slices against the grain. Enjoy the summer weather and a glass of red wine.


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i’m tired, and i’m phoning this one in, so to speak. i had some girlfriends for dinner the other night and we cooked shrimp, swordfish, and ono on the grill. i served it with a black rice salad, also pretty good.


i marinated some large shrimp in some lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, a wee bit of celery seed, lemon zest, oregano, salt, and pepper. after they had marinated for about an hour, i put them on skewers. easy.

along with the shrimp we added some swordfish steaks and ono, seasoned with just salt and pepper… threw ’em all on the hot grill…


i made a black rice salad to go with the fish… after i cooked the black rice and cooked it a bit, i added sliced red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, lots of chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and a bit of cumin. really simple.

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i received a himalayan salt block for christmas from my ex- husband, i had been really curious about cooking on one. i decided to start off slow, with grilled apricots and butternut squash. the salt block did impart a bit of a salty flavor, but it was very complimentary and not overwhelming in the slightest.

i macerated the apricots in some locally hand- crafted aqua vit, a splash of triple sec, and some sugar. i just rubbed the squash with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

while the apricots were stewing in the aqua vit, i heated the salt block. i started it on a low flame, then slowly increased the flame every 15 minutes for almost an hour [it’s about 45 minutes for a smaller block to get it to cooking temperature]. i never let the flame get past medium. i took a small sliver of squash with nothing on it and stuck it in the corner as a temperature control.

when the block was adequately heated, i drained the apricots, put a little butter on the slab, then arranged my apricots stone side down. i was amazed that they sizzled immediately, and after a few minutes the butter was browning beautifully.

i flipped the apricots over and allowed them to cook on the other side. at this point i turned off the flame, but let it sit on the hot burner grate. i sprinkled the tops with a little sugar and flipped them once more on their stone- side to see if the sugar would caramelize nicely. it did.

i squeezed a blood orange into a pan with the liquid from the apricot maceration and added some honey, about 1 t of butter, and a bit more sugar. i let it come to a boil until the sugar was dissolved and it was a little syrupy.

when i removed the apricots from the block, i started the squash. they browned and cooked through quickly. i ate the apricots for lunch with the syrup dripped over and some whipped cream.

i was very pleased with the results. i was glad that i tried something manageable and not meat or fish. but that’s next!


so, if you have read by blog before, and you are still unconvinced of my excitement for food [and this blog], i offer some evidence. i ate the apricots at my desk while i downloaded, saved, uploaded, and wrote this post. and not only did i leave the kitchen a complete disaster, but i left the butternut squash on the salt block. the squash became shrunken and salty to the point of being inedible, and circles where the slices had cooked become canals; the slices had sweat and dissolved the salt block. live and learn.

i left the block on the stove burner to allow it to cool slowly. i cleaned the salt block with a sponge that has one of those textured sides [but not abrasive], then just wiped the moisture off with a paper towel. a brush is also recommended, and a patina will develop over time. the block needs to dry thoroughly before next use, overnight. evidently a salt block has a life expectancy of about 24 uses, so plan accordingly. now i have to go clean the kitchen…

[that’s a pot full of stock i made after roasting a turkey yesterday, sitting on the back burner of the stove. looks like soup again soon…]

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these tomatoes came from my friend gina’s garden, perfectly ripe, juicy; the peak of summer growing. this is how my mother always prepared tomatoes in the summer, and it’s still my favorite way to eat them. they are good room-temp, but i like them a little chilled; especially when it’s 100 degrees! mom always had them with corn and something on the grill. 

tonight we had them with cod filets, rubed liberally with olive oil and smoked salt. i put them on a very hot grill and let the oil produce a flame that imparts a smoky, charred flavor i really love.

peel tomatoes [we used 2 large]. the skins peeled right off of these, but if it’s difficult, scrape the tomato firmly with the back of a knife blade; they will peel right off. slice tomatoes into a flat dish with sides. slice one clove of garlic very, very thinly, and sprinkle over tomato slices. drizzle some balsamic vinegar, and good olive oil, then add salt and a chiffonade of basil. chill for about 15 minutes or serve room temperature.



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i love, but get so burned out on, regular barbeque sauce. this recipe [thrown together, not sure you could call it a ‘recipe’] combines some indian flavors with thai flavors and is really good and totally easy.

trim as much membrane and fat off of two or three racks of ribs. put in a roasting pan with sliced ginger and lemons and about an inch of water and bake them at 350 for about 45 minutes. meanwhile, make the sauce…

in a blender or food processor combine:

i jar of masala sauce [i get mine at trader joes, although you could make your own]
1/2 can of coconut milk
1T tamarind paste
about 2 inches of ginger root peeled and diced
lemon juice
1T worcheshire  sauce
salt and pepper to taste
puree until smooth 

when the ribs are done, smother them with the sauce and let them marinate for a while, refrigerated. grill slowly on low heat, basting with the sauce until they are all brown and gooey. garnish with a chiffonade of basil. great with grilled white corn, marinated green bean salad and sliced cucumber. make a dip for meat and cukes out of plain yogurt, chopped garlic, chopped parsley, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.


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