When selecting the type of beef to make your kebabs, you have unlimited choices but ultimately you want your beef on the skewer to be tasty, tender and not bust your wallet. For those looking for great flavor on a budget, sirloin tips work well if they are marinated ahead to make them more flavorful.
Sirloin steaks are usually cut about an inch thick to begin with, have little fat, and have a beefy flavor a little more delicate than other cuts. This allows you to get the full flavor of the marinade with a nice underlying beefiness that isn’t over powering. Top sirloin is the perfect steak for these kebabs.
Therefore, we recommend sticking with top sirlion or New York Strip since it’s more lean than some other steaks leaving you with nice uniform cubes and not a lot of excess fat. It has great flavor and comes out tender when marinated and properly cooked.
Because the meat and the veggies need different amounts of time to cook, we thread them onto to separate skewers. If at all possible, use metal skewers because they contribute to cooking the meat from the center as they pick up heat from the exposed parts and conduct it throughout.
It is a good idea not to crowd your metal skewers with pieces of food to expose more surface area for the food to caramelize. Doing this on a wooden skewer runs the risk of burning the skewers and losing food into the grill.
1 1⁄2 lbs. top sirloin steak, cut into 1 1⁄2″ cubes
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, stems removed
10 cocktail tomatoes
1 each red and yellow pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1 1⁄2 pieces
1 large red onion, root intact, sliced into 12 wedges
Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, and rosemary into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add steak to ziploc bag, pour in half of the marinade, mix to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
In another ziploc bag, add all of the vegetables and the remaining half of the marinade. Transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
If using bamboo skewers, soak 16 in water for at least an hour.
To assemble vegetable skewers: Start with a piece of red bell pepper, onion wedge, yellow pepper, mushroom, and so on until the vegetables are used up.
On the meat skewers: Thread 7 pieces of beef onto 4 metal skewers (more if needed).
Preheat the grill on high for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and clean and then oil grates. Add vegetable skewers and cook for 4 minutes and then flip skewers.
Add the meat skewers, cook for another 4 minutes, then turn.
Baste all skewers a few times with the leftover marinade as you cook.
Continue cooking for additional 2-3 minutes until an instant thermometer registers 130° on the meat.
Transfer to serving plate. Garnish with fresh rosemary if desired.
With the end of summer holiday on the horizon, a grilled steak is always a fan favorite. While there are some steaks that need nothing more than a little salt and pepper to bring out their beefy goodness, flank steak is not one of them.
This bold marinade is just the sort of seasoning the brawny cut begs for: lime juice and zest add brightness, brown sugar sweetness, and jalapeño and sriracha a complex heat. Just whiz it all together in a food processor and slather it on the meat.
Marinate overnight preferably, or a minimum of 2 hours, before tossing it on the grill. Lastly, always make more flank steak that you think you want. Leftovers are the best part—we used ours as part of a steak salad. For an extra boost of flavor, try adding 1/4 cup of bourbon and a little Worcestershire.
In a food processor, pulse together scallions, ginger, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, lime zest and juice, and sriracha. With the motor running, pour in oil until smooth
Season steak with salt. Place in a large bowl and pour marinade over meat. Turn to coat well with the mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook the steak, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Transfer the meat to the grill and cook, covered, until it reaches the desired doneness (about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare). Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.
With the last gasps of the unofficial summer calendar closing in on us, let the season’s bounty shine on the plate. And to that end, this lively salad of corn, scallions, jalapeño and avocado tossed with a tangy buttermilk-feta dressing is like summer on a plate. The sweetness of peak-summer corn and the richness of creamy avocado balance out the tartness of the dressing.
While this recipe from NYTimes Cooking could be a side dish or a vegetarian main, we opted to add a protein to give it more heft as an entrée. In that vein, we grilled some chicken breasts with a Japanese 7-spice rub, but grilled shrimp or salmon would work wonderfully also. And to save time on dinner day, we grilled the chicken the day before while barbecuing other items.
The directions below are for the full recipe which allows for 4 to 6 portions. But with just the two of us, we cut most of the recipe in half, while altering quantities of other ingredients as we saw fit. After eating two healthy servings, we still had some leftover for lunch the following day.
Grilled Corn, Avocado and Chicken Salad With Feta Dressing
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, rubbed with spices of your choice (optional)
6 ears corn (about 3 lbs.), shucked and silk removed
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
1 jalapeño, stemmed and halved lengthwise
3 Tbsp.olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, grated
¼ cup sliced fresh chives
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 medium head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
2 avocados, sliced
If a protein is desired, grill chicken (or shrimp, salmon) until done. This can be done a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. Brush corn, scallions and jalapeño with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until corn kernels are browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes, and the scallions and jalapeño are charred all over and tender, 9 to 10 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, using a whisk (I used a pestle), mash the feta into a coarse paste. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon zest and juice and garlic, then stir in chives and parsley.
Finely chop the charred jalapeño and stir it into the feta dressing; season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss lettuce with half the feta dressing and arrange on a platter. Cut corn kernels off the cob and slice scallions into bite-size pieces. Arrange avocado slices, corn and scallions on top of the lettuce.
This cold-weather salad from chef Carla Hall hits all the notes: sweet, savory, spicy, and salty—with a bit of crunch from the squash seeds. Here, Hall uses her Country Ham Potlikker as an umami-rich base for a spicy vinaigrette that gets its silky texture from blended cannellini beans.
But the thing is, most people are not going to have this potlikker broth on hand. We had some leftover from our Smothered Pork Chops dinner in which you had to pre-make the Country Ham Potlikker. Our suggestion is to use a mix of oil and vinegar instead, you won’t have that smoky ham flavor, but you will be keeping the meal vegetarian.
*We decided to roast our fennel slices since I didn’t shave them thin enough. Basically, place the fennel on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle olive oil all over, sprinkle with salt and pepper, rub it all together with your hands, then roast for about 30-35 minutes in a 400° oven. This can be done ahead of time, simply cover the roasted fennel with foil until ready to mix in with the other ingredients.
Bean and Vegetable Salad with Potlikker Vinaigrette
2 tsp. Diamond Crystal, or 1 1/4 tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium delicata squash, halved, seeds removed and reserved, sliced crosswise 1/2″ thick
3 extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 large sweet-tart apple, (such as Honeycrisp), cored, quartered, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 large fennel bulb, quartered, shaved in very thin slices (*See note above for roasting option)
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Blend vinegar, potlikker (or substitute), mustard, and ¼ cup cannellini beans in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, stream in vegetable oil; blend until emulsified. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400°. Divide sliced squash between 2 rimmed baking sheets; drizzle 2 Tbsp. olive oil over. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt; season with pepper. Roast 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse squash seeds and pat dry. Toss seeds with cayenne and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl; season with salt.
Sprinkle seeds over squash. Continue to roast until squash is golden brown and tender, 13–15 minutes more.
Combine squash and seeds, apple, fennel, kidney beans, and remaining cannellini beans in a large bowl. Toss with ½ cup vinaigrette. Taste and add more vinaigrette if needed. Add parsley, season with salt, and toss again.
Transfer salad to a platter; serve any remaining vinaigrette alongside.
A few years back, Fine Cooking published an article showcasing a variety of meatloaf recipes. It also instructed how to build your own loaf based on items from specific categories. From those, I made this rustic version, which is a blend of the two. It was surprisingly light and not dense as some meatloaves can be.
We also wanted a gravy, so, in lieu of a loaf pan, we cooked the meatloaf in a large, heated cast-iron skillet to facilitate browning on the bottom as well as the top and sides. When finished cooking, this provided some tasty drippings for the base of the gravy.
Of course, since this serves up to eight meals, we sliced one half for two separate dinners, freezing the other half for another time.
1/2 small fennel bulb, core removed and chopped small (save some fronds for garnish, if desired)
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 oz. medium-coarse white bread, such as Italian or French, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 cup whole milk
2/3 lb. bulk sweet sausage
2/3 lb. ground beef
2/3 lb. ground veal
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Pan drippings from meatloaf
4 Tbsp. butter
3 cups beef broth, heated
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp. thyme, minced
6 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, fennel and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
Add the white wine, and simmer briskly, until almost dry, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until warm.
In a shallow dish that holds it in a single layer, soak the bread in the milk, flipping once, until soggy but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the coarseness and freshness of the bread. Lightly squeeze a handful of bread at a time to remove some of the milk (it should be wet but not drenched). Finely chop and add to the bowl with the onion mixture.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
Add the beef, veal, and sausage and eggs to the onion mixture. Scatter the Parmigiano, and parsley over the meat, and then sprinkle with the Worcestershire, 2-1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use your hands to gently mix all the ingredients until just combined; try not to compact the mixture as you do this.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Form a rectangular block from the meatloaf mixture that will fit into your skillet. Carefully transfer the meatloaf into the hot skillet and put the skillet into the preheated oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the center of the meatloaf, 40 to 55 minutes. (Ours was done at 45 minutes.) Remove the meatloaf to a platter and cover with foil while you make the gravy.
Add enough butter to the pan drippings to equal 6 tablespoons. (We had 2 tablespoons in the pan so we added 4 tablespoons of butter.) Sauté the minced shallot in the fat and drippings until it softens.
Add garlic and thyme and sauté another 30 seconds.
Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in hot broth and Worcestershire sauce. Scrape up any browned bits and smooth out lumps.
Simmer gravy 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Arrange 1-inch slabs of meatloaf on the platter, top with gravy. Serve extra gravy at the dinner table.
Who doesn’t love a fabulous grilled rib-eye? These spice-rubbed steaks get a nice kick from a poblano pepper. Poblanos vary a lot in spiciness, so taste yours before you add it to the pan and hold back a bit if it’s too hot. If you want more heat, add a minced jalapeño along with the poblano.
With company for dinner, we needed four steaks and just happened to have two boneless, and two bone-in which were thinner than the boneless cuts, so the cooking times varied slightly for each thickness. Choose your weapon, but try to keep all rib-eyes a minimum of 1-inch thick. And yes, we did double the corn ragoût also.
Twenty-four hours before dinner prep, we dry-brined the steaks with the spice rub, placed them on a rack in a rimmed baking sheet, and left them uncovered overnight in the refrigerator. A hour before grilling, let them sit a room temperature.
For a timer-saver on dinner night, make the corn ragoût the day prior, up to the point of reducing the cream. Once it is cooled, store the corn mixture in the fridge until ready to use, microwave until hot, then stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and lime juice.
NOTE: If you don’t have a grill you can also pan-sear these steaks: Before making the corn ragoût, heat the 2 tsp. of oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the steaks, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook until they are well browned and done to your liking, about 3 min. per side for medium rare. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm while you make the ragoût in the same pan. You could also use New York strip or skirt steaks, though cooking time will vary.
Chili-Rubbed Rib-Eye Steak with Corn & Green Chile Ragoût
In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, coriander, and salt. Rub the mixture on the steaks.
Place steaks on a rack in a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate uncovered overnight for up to 24 hours.
Remove steaks from refrigerator one hour before placing on a hot grill.
Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Drizzle the steaks with oil and grill, turning once, until medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side (perhaps longer depending on thickness of steaks). Transfer to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chile, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the corn and continue to cook until it’s slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the cream and boil until it has reduced and the mixture is thick, 1 to 2 minutes. (This step can be done a day ahead. After cooled, cover and refrigerate, rewarming in microwave when ready for the next step.)
Remove from the heat, stir in the sun-dried tomato, lime juice, and the accumulated juices from the steak. Taste and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Serve the rib-eyes whole or slice them and arrange on plates. Serve immediately, with the corn ragoût on top or alongside.
As corn season ends, we ramp our efforts to utilize those tasty kernels in as many ways as possible. Chowder is a fabulous fallback especially as the summer temps start to wane and crisp, cool nights creep in. This riff from Fine Cooking incorporates a poblano chili, with ours yielding a full cup, once chopped down.
When it comes to the broth, we used homemade chicken stock, which adds oodles of flavor by itself. If you don’t have any homemade on hand, jarred Better Than Bouillon is a decent brand for either chicken or vegetable broth.
While you could make this spicy take on corn chowder with frozen corn, it’s best with fresh. And since we prefer a kick, I added a healthy pinch of cayenne along with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon at the end.
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 poblano, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium rib celery, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups lower-salt vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 medium red potato (about 8 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 cobs)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Cayenne, to taste
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or similar pot over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, carrot, celery, coriander, cumin, thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato paste, and then add the broth and milk. Add the potatoes and corn, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes.
Using a potato masher, slightly mash the vegetables in the pot to thicken the chowder to your desired consistency.
Add the lemon juice, and season to taste with cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Simple, easy, delicious, there is no more reliable guest at a cookout than sausage, roasted over the open fire. But before you grill the meat, get some peppers, onions and potato slices soft and dark and fragrant in the heat, and use these as a bed on which to serve the links.
Well, the best laid plans… right? Our grilling hopes were dashed by a torrential day-long tropical storm soaking. I can’t really complain because we were in dire need of some precip for the gardens and lawn. That’s why it’s important to formulate a Plan B, in this case, “grilling” indoors.
To bulk up the meal, we included sliced Yukon gold potatoes. They were a perfect compliment to the roasted onions and peppers, and were crispy on the outside while remaining creamy on the inside.
Grilled Italian Sausages, Onion, Peppers and Potatoes
2 sweet peppers (green, red or yellow) seeded and cut into eighths
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into large coins
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced about 3/8″ thick (we only used 2 potatoes)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
4 links (about 1 lb.) sweet/mild Italian sausages
For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, lower cover and heat for 15 minutes, then turn burners to medium.
Meanwhile, toss peppers, onions and potatoes with oil and dried oregano, and sprinkle with salt. Lightly prick sausages all over so that they do not burst.
Put peppers, onions and potato wedges in a grill basket on the grill, turning occasionally until they are softened and dark at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Move them to the cooler side of the grill.
Place the sausages on the hot side of the grill, cover and cook, turning occasionally until they are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to a platter and top with the sausages. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
ORPLAN B: if you have to cook indoors, rub a rimmed baking sheet lightly with oil, put the pan in the oven and preheat to 450°.
Once the oven comes to temperature, spread the oiled veggies in a single layer on the hot baking sheet and return to the oven. Cook for 15 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, flip each morsel over, rotate the pan 180° and continue cooking another 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add a teaspoon or two of olive oil and place the links in the hot skillet. Cook for 10-12 minutes total, turning a few times to brown all over. You may have to put a lid on the pan for a few minutes to make sure the links reach 155°.
Place roasted veggies on a platter and top with sausage links.