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Video: Martha Stewart help you plan end-of-summer bash

  1. Closed captioning of: Martha Stewart help you plan end-of-summer bash

    >> we're back now with martha on "today." sad as it may be to say, labor day is almost here. no better way to sign off summer than a last hurrah party. martha stewart is here. ideas and recipes from her martha stewart weddings magazine. martha, end of summer.

    >> end of summer. time to take out that grill maybe for the last time.

    >> oh, my gosh.

    >> the go-to, i understand it's your go-to.

    >> plank steak. all the way.

    >> it should be marinated to enhance the flavor of that thin meat.

    >> what is it about plank steak that you love.

    >> i like the striations. a grainy meat but tender. you can use apple juice . you can use a little bit of whiskey. bou bourbon.

    >> i like that.

    >> cognac. you can do a little tiny bit of vinegar. salt and pepper . not too much. oops. a little humid out here. thanks for the umbrella.

    >> part of the job .

    >> pepper. you can add green mustard which is very delicious on meat. don't forget a little hot sauce like tabasco. that's good.

    >> sure. do you soak it in here essentially?

    >> a little garlic. y just keep it in here for -- well, i like two, three hour. you can also do it overnight. here's a beautiful plank steak right from the butcher's counter.

    >> you get a lot out of a plank steak.

    >> you do. because the way it's sliced. you can put that one on -- that's been marinating. we can take that other one off. and slicing the plank steak.

    >> this is key.

    >> very important. against the grain. crosswise to the grain. here's the grain.

    >> why do you go against the grain?

    >> you'll see. look.

    >> oh, yeah.

    >> see how pretty it is? and slice it on an angle like that. and three, four, how many slices do you like? i bet that's enough for you.

    >> i was going to say, cut it in half.

    >> see how pretty?

    >> you let it set a little bit.

    >> let it set. i had taken it off the hot part of the grill. i just let it set. now, another great thing for this weekend, because tomatoes, peppers, onions, everything is -- cucumbers. there's so much of it in the market now. and on the farm stands. so a little bit of orange juice . this is a ga argaspacho. these recipes are so simple. they're on our website, too. in the magazine. cucumber.

    >> all in the blender together?

    >> yep. in the blender. peppers. a little habanero. lots of cherry tomatoes. you're going to strain this after you blend it.

    >> okay.

    >> okay. oops. it'll go.

    >> churns up for you there.

    >> yep. after it's all done, this is what it looks like. and you pour that into your glass. you can do it with red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, orange tomatoes. pretty, right?

    >> a nice cool refreshment. so good. what about dessert?

    >> dessert is shortcake. it's the last part of summer. you have to have shortcake. this is a great big sugar encrusted biscuit. make it big like that. then you can cut it into wedges. the whipped cream is infused with basil leaves. basil leaves have been cooking in the cream. you cool the cream and whip it like this. and your strawberries with sugar . these to garnish -- nobody thinks of using basil in a de dessert, but actually it makes a very, very delicious flavoring for strawberries. here you just snip like this.

TODAY recipes
updated 8/28/2013 5:29:30 PM ET 2013-08-28T21:29:30

Recipe: Tequila marinated flank steak


  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 quart apple juice
  • 1/4 cup tequila or whiskey (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grates
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 2 flank steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds each), pricked all over with a fork

1. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, whisk together garlic, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, apple juice, whiskey (if using), mustard, oil, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add steaks, and turn to coat; marinate at room temperature (turning occasionally) for one hour, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to one day.

2. Lift steaks from marinade onto a platter; set aside. Make sauce: Place reserved marinade in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, heat grill to high; lightly oil grates. Place steaks on grill. Cook, turning once, until well browned and cooked to desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium-rare (130 to 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Transfer steaks to a cutting board, and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain. Serve with sauce.

Serving Size

Makes 8 servings

Recipe: Grilled eggplant with tomatoes, basil and feta


  • 1 large eggplant ( about 1 1/2 lb.) trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1 inch slices
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (about 10 ouces), halved
  • 1/4 pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn if large

1. Generously season eggplant slices with salt. Place vertically in colander, overlapping them. Let stand for 30 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high. Liberally brush cut sides of eggplant with oil. Grill, turning once, until tender, about 4 minutes a side.

3. Mix tomatoes, pine nuts, feta, red pepper flakes, and oil; season with salt. Spoon over eggplant; top with basil.

Recipe: Quinoa salad with zucchini, mint, and pistachios


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios, chopped
  • Zest and juice (about 3 tablespoons) of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish

1. Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan and season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 16 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant (do not let brown), about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper and add to quinoa.

3. Stir in scallions, pistachios, lemon zest and juice, and mint. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Gazpacho shooters


  • For yellow gazpacho:
  • 5 cups yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 habanero pepper, seeded
  • 1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • 1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 yellow cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  • For orange gazpacho:
  • 4 cups orange tomatoes
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 habañero pepper, seeded
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 orange cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  • For green gazpacho:
  • 2 cups green zebra tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomatillos, washed and diced
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, unpeeled and diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, with seeds
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 12 green cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  • For red gazpacho:
  • 5 cups red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 red chile pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 red cherry tomatoes, for garnish

To make yellow, red, orange and green gazpacho:

1. Puree all of the ingredients except cherry tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Spoon soup into shot glasses and garnish each with a skewered cherry tomato.

Serving Size

Makes 12 (2-ounce) servings

Recipe: Strawberry shortcake with basil


  • 2 1/4 cups cold heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons, for brushing
  • 20 large basil leaves, plus 1/3 cup small or torn basil leaves
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • Salt
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pound, 4 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners

1. Bring 1 1/2 cups cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bruise large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife, and stir into cream. Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steep for 25 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers. (The largest pieces should be the size of small peas.)

3. Whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, the eggs, and vanilla. Stir into flour using a fork until ingredients are moistened but not fully incorporated. (Do not overmix.)

4. Turn dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat into a 9 1/2-inch circle. Brush dough with remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

5. Bake until light golden brown and just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.

6. Meanwhile, macerate strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on sweetness, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.

7. Toss berries with small basil leaves. Whisk basil cream with confectioners' sugar in the chilled bowl of a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Mound basil cream on shortcake. Spoon berries with juice over top.


Shortcake is best served within 4 hours of baking but can be stored, untopped, at room temperature for up to 8 hours. Basil cream can be refrigerated for up to 1 day; whip just before using. Berries can macerate for up to 3 hours.

Recipe: Stealth margaritas


  • 1 lime wedge, plus 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces 100-percent agave blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • 1 ounce cucumber puree
  • Green Tabasco sauce
  • Cucumber, sliced lengthwise, for garnish

1. Run a lime wedge around the edge of an old-fashioned glass; dip glass rim into a shallow dish of coarse salt to coat. Add tequila, St. Germain, lime juice, agave nectar, cucumber puree, and 5 dashes of green Tabasco to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

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