Grillin’ and Chillin’ Time

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We love it when the weather finally breaks and you can start grilling outside on a regular basis. And the weekend we decided to try this recipe was picture perfect — a few fluffy clouds, sunny but not hot, with low humidity — bring it on!

Found in our online Fine Cooking site, this flank steak recipe, ‘Mo J’ Marinated & Grilled Flank Steak, by Norman Van Aken, immediately caught our attention mainly due to the “Mojo” sauce which contains some of our favorite ingredients. And at the suggestion of the author, we also grilled bermuda onions and made a salad of sliced tomatoes, seedless cucumbers and a smattering of snipped fresh chives drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette. While we made it just for the two of us, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser if cooking for more.

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And for those who don’t eat red meat, you can use this versatile mojo on chicken (which we plan to do in the near future.)

For the mojo:

12 cloves garlic (or 4 Tbs. minced garlic)
2 habaneros or other spicy chiles, cored, seeded, and minced (wear rubber gloves)
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. whole cumin seeds, toasted
1 cup olive oil
2/3 cup sour orange juice (or 1/3 cup fresh lime juice plus 1/3 cup fresh orange juice)
1-1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
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For the steak:

1-1/2 lb. flank steak
1 or 2 large Bermuda onions, thickly sliced and brushed with olive oil (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make the mojo:

Mash the raw garlic, chiles, salt, and cumin together in a mortar and pestle until fairly smooth. (Alternatively, use a food processor, pulsing until the ingredients are finely chopped but not puréed.) Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil until fairly hot but not smoking, and pour it over the garlic-chile mixture (the oil should sizzle when it hits the cool ingredients — and it truly did when we made it!), stir, and let stand 10 minutes. This will cook the garlic slightly. Whisk in the sour orange juice and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool completely. (We put the sauce in the refrigerator to expedite the cooling process.)

Put the steak in a zip-top bag or a shallow bowl and pour in 1 cup of the cooled mojo. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Refrigerate the remaining 1 cup of mojo.

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To cook and serve:

Light a charcoal or gas grill. When the grill is very hot, remove the steak from the marinade (discard the marinade), pat dry, and season with salt and pepper; cook 5 to 7 minutes on one side and 3 to 4 minutes on the other for medium rare. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes (If you like, grill the Bermuda onions as well—you can put them on at the same time as the flank steak; grill 6 to 7 minutes per side.) Meanwhile, warm the reserved mojo over low heat. Slice the flank steak very thinly on the bias and serve with the reserved mojo and the grilled onions.

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Couldn’t have been a better meal to end a beautiful weekend!

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