Saturday, July 28, 2018

Grilled Vietnamese Flank Steak

Flank steak. It's cheap. Has a huge beef flavor. Grills up in just a few minutes. About the only way to improve upon it is to marinate it. In this case, we are going to borrow the flavors of Vietnam. I have two suggestions before you jump into the recipe. First, marinate the steak for only 1 hour.. The lime juice is quite acidic and it will make the meat tough if you marinate for any longer. Second, I would strongly urge you to pair this with a cucumber salad. The crisp vinegar flavors are perfect with this flavorful, grilled steak.
 See here:

1/2 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/3 cup lime juice (juice of 3 limes)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 flank steak, about 1-1/2 pounds


    1. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and jalapeño. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the flank steak and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. 
    2. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
    3. Pat steak dry with paper towels. Then, cook steak on a covered grill for 4 minutes on each side (medium rare).
    4. Transfer steak to cutting board and tent with foil. Let steak rest 5 to 10 minutes.
    5. Thinly slice the steak across the grain and serve with the remaining marinade as a sauce.

    Wine pairing: A big, fruity Zinfandel

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, July 21, 2018

    Stuffed Bacon and Jalapeño Popper Burgers

    There is nothing earth shattering here. It's simply taking two of the greatest tasting things on earth...bacon and jalapeño popper dip...and stuffing them into another one of the greatest tasting things on earth...the hamburger. 1+1+1=10.

    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar
    1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
    2 jalapeños, minced
    Kosher salt
    Fresh ground black pepper
    6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1-1/2 pounds ground beef (at least 20% fat)
    4 burger buns


    1.  Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella and jalapeños. Season with salt and pepper and then fold in bacon.
    2. Form ground beef into 8 thin patties. Spoon 1/4 cup of filling mixture on to one patty, then place a second patty on top. Pinch edges to seal burger. Repeat with remaining patties.
    3. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Season burgers on both sides with chili powder, salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook for 5 minutes per side.
    4. Remove burgers from grill, place in buns and serve.

    Pairing: It's July and it's grilled burgers. A really cold beer, please.

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Black Pepper Shrimp with Cucumber & Tomato Salad

    July is proving to be cruel month. It is so miserably hot and humid outside that I find myself in the same predicament as I do in January...I don't want to go outside to grill. The last three night's dinners have all been prepared on my stove top. But I don't mind. The food is good. I stay cool. And thanks to chef Floyd Cordoza, this is what I will be making tonight.

    Actually, his recipe works if you are using a cast iron pan or a grill. In lieu of suffering 70º dew points, I'll be using cast iron on the stove top. This recipe is from his restaurant, The Bombay Bread Bar in SoHo and it serves four. The cucumber and tomato salad is the perfect complement to the main dish and he includes a lime-yogurt sauce for dipping your shrimp. He recommends cooking the shrimp in their shells for the most moist and tender results.

    2 tablespoons fresh ground black peppercorns
    2 tablespoons ground coriander seed
    7 tablespoons olive oil
    24 shrimp, preferably with tails and shells intact
    2 cups thinly sliced cucumber
    2 cups halved cherry tomatoes or diced heirloom tomatoes
    ¼ cup sliced sweet onion
    ½ cup torn mint leaves
    Zest and juice of 1-½ limes
    Pinch of sugar
    Kosher salt
    ½ cup whole-milk yogurt


    1. In a large bowl, stir together pepper and coriander with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pat shrimp dry. Add shrimp to bowl and toss with seasonings until well coated. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. (Shrimp can marinate up to 24 hours.)
    2. In a large bowl, toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and mint. Season salad with ⅓ of the lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil, sugar and salt to taste.
    3. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with lime juice, lime zest and salt to taste.
    4. Heat a grill to medium-high or set a large cast-iron pan on stove over medium-high heat. Brush pan or grill with remaining oil. Season shrimp with a pinch of salt. When cooking surface is hot but not smoking, cook shrimp until opaque and curled into a “C,” 2-3 minutes per side. Remove shrimp from heat and season with lime juice. Serve with tomato salad and yogurt sauce on the side.

    Wine pairing: For this meal, you want a big, oaky Chardonnay. Try a Talley, Rombauer or Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve.

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, July 7, 2018

    Sriracha Glazed Short Rib Kebabs

    If you want a big, beefy taste for not much money, head to Costco and snarf up their boneless short ribs. Day in and day out, they've got them in the meat section for almost always less than $5.00 per pound.

    Short ribs are an anomaly in the beef world. It is the only cut of beef that I can think of that can be cooked low and slow for melt-in-your-mouth tenderness....or cooked quickly over a hot bed of coals and ready to chow down on in just minutes.

    When I grill short ribs, I like to cut them into 1-inch cubes as it greatly increases the surface area for a really good, all-over char. The sriracha glaze adds a perfect amount of heat and the short time over the fire insures that the meat stays nice and moist. I always cook the kebabs with meat only....adding things like vegetables just means that something will not cook to the correct temperature. This recipe serves four.

    1-1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    3 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    Vegetable oil spray
    1/4 cup minced cilantro


    1. Toss beef and salt together in large bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, Sriracha and cornstarch together in bowl. Set aside 1-1/2 tablespoons Sriracha mixture.
    2. Add remaining Sriracha mixture to beef and toss to coat. Thread beef onto four 12-inch metal skewers, leaving 1/4-inch between pieces. Spray both sides of meat generously with oil spray.
    3. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
    4. When coals are hot, place skewers directly over coals. Cover grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until beef is well charred.
    5. Flip skewers, brush with reserved Sriracha mixture. Cover grill and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. 
    6. Transfer to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

    Pairing: If you insist on drinking wine with this dish, I would choose a very fruity Zinfandel. But given the heat of that great Thai hot sauce, Sriracha...I would always reach for an ice cold beer. And why not Thailand's most popular beer...Singha!

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956