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updated 10/16/2005 8:52:38 PM ET 2005-10-17T00:52:38

Recipe: GRILLED GIANT PORTERHOUSE (OR T-BONE) WITH GRILLED EXOTIC MUSHROOMS

Ingredients
  • 2 giant 2-to 2 1/2 -inch thick porterhouse (or T-bone) steaks, about 2 pounds each
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds exotic mushrooms (portobellos, shiitake, creminis, chanterelles, oyster, or other kinds), the larger the better, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
Preparation

IF YOU WERE to poll professional chefs about the steak they themselves prefer to eat, the porterhouse would come in #1. It combines a portion of the ultra-tender tenderloin with a larger portion of the very flavorful top loin.

So here is our recipe for the classic steak-eating experience. For steaks of this size you will probably have to go to the butcher shop, but when you walk away from the counter the butcher is going to have a smile on his face and probably give you a little wink, because he’s going to be feeling just a bit jealous. The steaks are so large that each one will feed two or even three people.

With a cut like this, you want to exercise restraint. Just sprinkle the meat generously with salt and pepper. (This is the time to bring out your designer salt and to crack the pepper right before you use it, leaving some nice, large chunks so you get a little heat when you bite into them.) Grilled exotic mushrooms that have been tossed in a little butter, parsley, and sherry provide the right topping.

Serve with Grilled Potato Steaks with Bacon, Sour Cream, and Chives and simple grilled onions.

Build a multi-level fire in your grill: Leaving one-quarter of the bottom free of coals, bank the coals in the remaining three-quarters of the grill so that they are three times as high on one side as on the other. When all the coals are ignited and the temperature is hot (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grid, over the area where the coals are deepest, for 2 seconds or less), you’re ready to cook.

Pat the steaks dry with paper towels, then rub them all over with » cup of the olive oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Place the steaks over the hottest part of the fire and cook until well seared on one side, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn and sear well on the second side, again about 6 to 8 minutes. Now move them to the medium-hot part of the grill and cook, turning once, until they are done the way you like them, 10 to 15 minutes more for rare. To check for doneness, poke the meat with your finger to check its firmness level; if you’re unsure, nick, peek, and cheat: Make a cut into the center and peek to be sure it is just slightly less done that you like it.

While the steaks are cooking, combine the mushrooms, the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, and the teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl. Toss gently until the mushrooms are well coated and the oil is absorbed.

When the steaks are done, transfer them to a serving platter, cover them loosely with foil, and let them rest while you grill the mushrooms. Put the mushrooms on the medium-hot part of the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and moist all the way through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Slice the cooked mushrooms and put them back in the bowl along with the butter, parsley, sherry, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss gently to coat.

Serving

Cut the meat away from the bone, then cut it into thick slices. Divide them among 4 serving plates, spoon the mushrooms over the top, and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe: PARSLEY AND GARLIC-RUBBED SKIRT STEAK WITH SWEET-AND-SOUR MARINATED RED ONIONS

Ingredients
  • For the onions:
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly cracked coriander seeds
  • More ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 pieces of skirt steak, 8 to 10 ounces each
Preparation

We have a South American pampas-style situation here, featuring one of our very favorite steaks, the skirt. This thin, flat, heavily grained piece of meat — which became well known in this country because it was the meat originally used in fajitas — has terrific beef flavor. Cooked quickly over high heat and sliced thin against the grain, it is also very tender. In other words, get it on, get it seared, and get it off.

Here we coat the steak with parsley and garlic before it goes on the grill, then serve it with some simple marinated onions to complete the mix of South American flavors. This is a great dish if you’re having friends or a crowd over, because the onions are made in advance and the steak cooks very quickly. And people unfamiliar with skirt steak will be amazed by its flavor.

In a large bowl, combine the onions, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste, mix well, and let stand 3 to 4 hours at room temperature. Drain the onions, discarding the marinade. Add the white vinegar, oil, and coriander seeds to the onions and stir well. Cover and set aside.

Build a multi-level fire in your grill: Leaving one-quarter of the bottom free of coals, bank the coals in the remaining three-quarters of the grill so that they are three times as high on one side as on the other. When all the coals are ignited and the fire is hot (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grid, over the area where the coals are deepest, for 2 seconds or less), you’re ready to put the meat on.

Meanwhile, combine the garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Rub this mixture onto both sides of each piece of steak. When the fire is ready, put the steaks over the hottest coals and cook until done to your liking, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. To check for doneness, poke each steak with your finger to check its firmness level; if you’re unsure, nick, peek, and cheat: Make a cut into the center and peek to be sure it is just slightly less done that you like it.

Serving

Thinly slice the steak, cutting on the bias across the grain. Arrange the slices on a serving platter, heap the onions beside the meat and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: SMOKE-ROASTED TRI TIP “LONDON BROIL STYLE” WITH TABASCO ONIONS AND TEXAS TOAST

Ingredients
  • For the Spice Rub:
  • 1/4 cup freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly cracked coriander seeds (or substitute 2 tablespoons ground coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • More ingredients
  • 1 beef tri-tip, 2 to 3 pounds
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 thick slices bread
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced into rounds about 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Preparation

Here’s a spice-rubbed and smoke-roasted dish with a ton of rich, dark flavor, the kind of meal you want to serve up with a few bottles of big, bold red wine and the proverbial loaf of crusty bread. We call it “London broil style” because we slice the beef very thinly against the grain before serving it, which is really all that London broil means. To soak up the juices, we provide big slices of garlicky grilled bread.

There are a couple of good options for the cut of beef to use in this dish. In this recipe we recommend the tri-tip, a triangular roast taken from the bottom end of the bottom sirloin. This tender little roast has gained a lot of favor recently, particularly on the West Coast.

In a medium bowl, combine all the spice rub ingredients, and mix well. Rub the roast all over with this mixture, pressing down gently to be sure it adheres.

Start a fire well over to one side of a large kettle grill, using about enough coals to fill a shoebox. When the fire dies down and the coals are well lit, place the roast on the side of the grill away from the coals, being careful that none of the meat is directly over the coals. Put the lid on the grill with the vents one-quarter of the way open and cook until the meat is done the way you like it, about 30 to 40 minutes for medium-rare. To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the center of the roast and let it sit for 5 seconds, then read the temperature: 120 F is rare, 126 F is medium-rare, 134 F is medium, 150 F is medium-well, and 160 F is well-done. (We like to pull the roast at 147 F.) When the roast is done to your liking, remove it from the grill, cover it loosely with foil, and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

While the meat is cooking, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the parsley, lime juice, and Tabasco sauce in a large bowl, mix well, and set aside. In a small bowl, mash together the butter and garlic. Spread some of this mixture on one side of each bread slice.

While the meat is resting, rub the onions with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper, then place them on the grill over the coals and cook until they are golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes per side. Add them to the lime-Tabasco dressing and toss until well coated. Grill the bread next to the onions, buttered side up, until well toasted, about 5 minutes.

Serving

Cut the roast into thin slices, fan several out on each plate, put a pile of onions on one side of the meat and a piece of grilled bread on the other, and serve. Yeah, boy.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: TERIYAKI-STYLE THIN-SLICED BEEF WITH MANGO AND LIME

Ingredients
  • For the marinade:
  • 1/2 cup freshly cracked coriander seeds, toasted (or substitute 1/4 cup ground coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dry powdered mustard
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons Asian Chile-garlic paste (available in Asian stores)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • More ingredients
  • 3 pounds chuck top blade steaks
  • 4 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 ripe but firm mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced small
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Preparation

We love teriyaki, a classic Japanese technique in which you marinate meat (or fowl, fish — even vegetables) in a sweet-and-sour soy-based sauce and then grill it. In this recipe we ring a little change on tradition by using half the soy mixture first as a light marinade, then adding some ginger and chopped scallions to brighten up the flavor and using the resulting mixture as a finishing sauce. It’s a very nice, fresh, light treatment for beef.

Our choice for the beef cut in this recipe is the chuck top blade steak, the ultimate secret weapon of cooks who like tender beef but don’t like to pay a lot for it. Unlike other cuts from the chuck, this steak is exquisitely tender; in fact, it’s the second most tender cut of beef you can buy, surpassed only by the tenderloin — and it’s about half the price of other, less tender steaks. There is a catch, of course. Running smack down the center of each top blade steak is a line of inedible cartilage. But since you’re going to thin-slice the steak anyway, this is not much of a problem. After you grill the steaks, you simply cut out the line of gristle before you slice the meat. But if you can’t find top blade steaks or if that gristle really bothers you, you can always substitute more expensive top loin strip steaks.

Build a multi-level fire in your grill: Leaving one-quarter of the bottom free of coals, bank the coals in the remaining three-quarters of the grill so that they are three times as high on one side as on the other. When all the coals are ignited and the temperature is hot (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grid, over the area where the coals are deepest, for 2 seconds or less), you’re ready to cook.

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade until they are well combined and the sugar has dissolved. Place the meat in a single layer in a shallow dish, pour half of the marinade over it, and turn several times to coat on both sides. Add the scallions and fresh ginger to the marinade remaining in the bowl, mix well, and set aside.

Put the steaks on the hottest part of the grill and cook until just seared, about 5 minutes per side. To check for doneness, poke the meat with your finger to check its firmness level; if you’re unsure, nick, peek, and cheat: Make a cut into the thickest part of the meat and peek at the center to be sure it is just slightly less done that you like it to allow for carryover cooking. Remove the meat from the grill, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Serving

Slice the meat very thinly against the grain and add the slices to the bowl of ginger and scallion sauce, tossing to coat. Mix together the diced mangoes and the lime juice. Divide the meat among serving plates, garnish with the mangoes and the cilantro, and serve immediately.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: GRILLED POTATO STEAKS WITH BACON, SOUR CREAM, AND CHIVES

Ingredients
  • 4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed well, unpeeled
  • 8 slices bacon, diced small
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch chives, minced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (optional)
Preparation

This dish is one of our favorites. It’s kind of a grilled play on the classic baked potato, so naturally it goes perfectly with a big, juicy steak.

This butter is optional here, but we recommend it. After all, this is a pretty decadent dish, so why not go all the way? We don’t have it often, but when we do we definitely want the real deal.

Build a multi-level fire in your grill: Leaving one-quarter of the bottom free of coals, bank the coals in the remaining three-quarters of the grill so that they are three times as high on one side as on the other. When all the coals are ignited and the fire has died down to medium (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grid, over the area where the coals are deepest, for 4 to 5 seconds), you’re ready to cook.

Cut thin slices lengthwise off 2 parallel sides of each potato so you can lay it flat. Now cut each potato in half lengthwise to make 2 planks; you want each plank to be about 1 ½ inches thick. (No need to peel the potatoes; trimming the sides will take off some of the skin, and it’s fine to leave the rest on.)

In a large sauté pan or skillet, gently cook the potatoes in simmering salted water about 8 to 9 minutes, until they are just done but still very firm. Test them by poking a toothpick into one; it should go in quite easily, but meet with a fair amount of resistance. Carefully transfer the potatoes to a colander to drain.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a small sauté pan or skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes, then transfer to paper towels or newspaper to drain.

Rub the potato planks all over with the olive oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until they are really crispy and brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Serving

Arrange the potatoes on a serving platter and top with the bacon, sour cream, chives, and butter is desired.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: CHUTNEY-HORSERADISH SAUCE

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup jarred horseradish
  • 1/3 cup jarred chutney such as Major Grey’s
Preparation

This recipe is something I (Chris) learned back in my short stint at a catering outfit in Milford, Michigan, quite a few years ago. I know it sounds a little odd, and it may seem even odder to you that we’re giving you a recipe that involves little more than mixing together some packaged ingredients, but give it a try and you’ll be happy. Sweet, hot, and pungent, it makes an excellent all-purpose dipping sauce for chicken wings, lamb skewers, or tenderloin tips.

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree. This will keep, covered and refrigerated, for several weeks.

Serving Size

Makes 1 Cup

Recipe: FIRE-ROASTED BANANA GOOP SUNDAES WITH RUM, RAISINS, AND BUTTER

Ingredients
  • 6 super-ripe bananas
  • Your favorite ice cream — you know how much
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
Preparation

You know those bananas that are so dark and overripe that all you can think of to do with them is make banana bread? Well, think again. Instead, throw them on the grill over a medium fire and just let them cook. What you’ll end up with is a super-sweet banana puree. Squeeze that over some ice cream, add a little flavored butter, and you’ve got a truly delicious dessert.

But why should you have all the fun? To let your guests make their own Banana Goop Sundaes, put out a butter dish, a bowl of raisins, and a small pitcher of rum. Pile the hot bananas on a plate where everyone can reach them, and give each guest a bowl of ice cream, a knife, and a spoon.

Place the bananas, still in their skins, over a medium-hot to dying-down fire and cook until they are practically liquefied inside-about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the heat and the ripeness of the bananas.

Scoop the ice cream into 6 dessert dishes. When the bananas have turned to mush inside (you can tell by poking them gently), remove them from the grill. Cut the tip off one of the bananas and squeeze the hot goop over the ice cream. Top with 1 tablespoon butter, a few raisins, and a drizzle of rum. Repeat with the remaining bananas and ice cream.

Serving Size

Serves 6

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