I love to grill as I’m sure most everyone is. I love that its just hot grates over a scorching flame that you throw food on, stand around with a drink and make sure nothing catches fire. Of course there are nuances that distinguish good grillers from bad grillers but its nothing that a little practice can’t fix. A few things you’ll learn from some time in front of the flame is that all grills aren’t created equal and that getting to know your grill, its hot spots and how well it cooks food can really improve the outcome of what your grilling significantly. You also don’t want to fuss with whatever your grilling, you want a nice char so just leave it alone and let it happen. For the most part, grilling is all about prep, getting everything ready to just go outside and slap it on the grill. In this recipe, I’m using an electric grill…it’s what I had at the time. It’s a solid meal that I love to eat.
This probably serves about 4 people but I’ll make it for two, get some heroes and make a ridiculous Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich to have for lunch the next day…but I’ll shoot that recipe another time.
About a 1 1/2 Lb Flank Steak, Preferably No Antibiotics or Growth Hormones and Grass-fed
2 Scallions, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Grated
A knob of Ginger, Grated
2-3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
A Heaping Pinch of Red Pepper Flake
Salt & Pepper
Oil for the Grates
To make your marinade, combine the lime juice, the grated ginger and garlic, the scallions, the soy sauce, the red pepper flake and salt and pepper. If you want to add a little sweetness, like I did after the picture above was taken, you can add a little honey or agave nectar if you’ve got it on hand. Either put the steak on a large freezer zip-lock bag or a tupperware container and season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Add the marinade and make sure the whole steak is gets some marination love. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Chimichurri is a tangy green sauce from Argentina. Its basically just some herbs, garlic, vinegar and oil. Its real good!
A Big Handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley
A Small Handful of Cilantro
2-3 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
3 Garlic Cloves
Pinch of Red Pepper Flake
About a 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
Chop the the herbs and the garlic. If you have a good blender, you wont need to chop it but since mine is a little wimp, I chop to give it a little head start…
Toss into the blender with red pepper flake, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and zap it up nice! Throw it in the fridge until your ready to plate.
Grilled Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus:
2 ingredient…that all. If you don’t like asparagus, you probably had it the wrong way. You don’t need salt or pepper or oil or lemon in this recipe. The fat and the saltiness from the pancetta is all the flavor you need and the grill kinda caramelizes the asparagus, its amazing, just do it!
1 Bunch of Fresh Asparagus. Avoid the limp asparagus when shopping, limp is not good
1/4 Lb of Paper Thin Pancetta
Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus. Some people say to shave the outside of the asparagus but what a pain in the ass that is, plus I don’t see the need. Wrap the asparagus with the pancetta and throw it in the fridge until your grill heats up and you’ve started on the rice.
Perfect Garlic Basmati Rice:
When I say perfect, I’m not trying to brag, there’s merely an easy system to make sure your rice comes out perfect every time. I picked up this little trick for perfect rice but I still cannot believe anyone actually figured this thing out. I was watching Everday Exotic on the Cooking Channel and the host, Roger Mooking or something, made perfect rice without having to measure it out. I included measurements just in case this scares you but I promise, it works.
1 cup of Basmati Rice
2 Cups of Vegetable Stock
4-5 Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced (You don’t have to use that much if you don’t like too much but I love garlic, big time)
A Knob of Butter
A Few Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Halve lengthwise then slice the garlic. Heat a small pot over medium-high heat and add the butter (flavor) and olive oil (to make sure the butter doesn’t burn). When its hot, add the garlic and cook until it just begins to brown, probably about 3-5 minutes, but make sure not to burn the garlic…use your judgment. Add the rice, a pinch of salt and a little bit more olive oil if the pot looks a little dry. Stir the rice to cover in oil and toast for about 1-2 minutes again making sure not to burn anything (I’ve done before, its a waste).
When the rice starts to smell nutty, its time to add the stock. Here is where the trick comes in. Add the stock but stick your middle finger into the stock and touch the top of the rice (not the bottom of the pan)…you’ll know you have enough stock when it just reaches the first joint at the top of your middle finger. Bring it to the boil, drop the heat to low and put a lid on. Cook for 15 minutes and your rice is fragrant and perfect, every time.
(get the dirty thoughts out of your head)
By now your grill should already be preheated on high so its nice and hot…my faux indoor grill heats up fast so I can wait to turn it on and avoid increasing the temperature in the apartment any more than it has to (I mean its only the hottest summer EVER!).
Take the meat out of the marinade and dab it with a paper towel to dry it off…let it sit for 15-30 minutes (whenever you cook meat, you always want it come to room temperature before you cook it and ALWAYS let it rest after you cook it before cutting into it. This lets the juices redistribute and it also continues to cook a little bit more). Put the steak on the grill on an diagonal and cook for 2 1/2 minutes…then turn it 90 degrees and cook for another 2 1/2 minutes. After about 5-6 minutes cooking on that side, flip it over and repeat the same steps on the other side. After the last turn of the steak, you can start throwing on the asparagus. After 10-12 minutes, your steak should be a little under medium rare but when you take it off to rest, the residual heat will cook the steak to medium rare. Finish grilling the asparagus, basically, they are done when the look done…again, use your judgment.
When the steak is done resting, slice it on the bias (or really thin slices on an angel against the gain…this will make it extra tender and tender is good).
To plate, just make a pile of the rice and lay the asparagus next to it. Lay a few slices of the meat out and then spoon the chimichurri sauce over the steak and digg in.
What do you think?