Grilling in April | We love our yard, and BBQ, and Spring and Steak


It’s been such a beautiful April weekend, we stoked up the grill and made some surf and turf to enjoy.  No real recipe but we skewered pineapple chunks, cherry tomato and shrimp with a side of T-Bone steak, red meat and pregnancy go hand in hand folks.  Happy Sunday!


Beautiful Day, Beautiful Food






20130430-195314.jpgLook who got Instagram!  The filters and quality of images is a lot of fun to do quick pictures of our food on the fly rather than setting up a studio every time we want to document.  Obviously those pictures are much better, but then we blog less!  There’s no real recipe here, just inspiration to get outside and grill.  We made guacamole  fresh salsa and grilled chicken tacos with fresh cilantro and green onion.  Check out this post for fresh salsa with the grill


Flank Steak Taco Dinner with Friends

How can you not love summer- grilling out, warm sunshiny days and eating outside with good friends and good food after a day at the beach?  We had picked up a really nice looking flank steak at the butcher and decided it would be perfect on the grill and in a taco, along with grilled tomato salsa and sweetened grilled plantains… and mojitos!  Grilling the tomatoes gives this salsa a warm smoky heat, so savory and full of fresh flavor- it’s incredible.  Plantains are starchy, like a potato, but we treated them as a dessert- melted butter and brown sugar scented with vanilla.  We didn’t cook ours long enough, so you will want to make sure these are tender because the flavors were certainly showing up to party!  A quick rub of spices on the flank steak really punches up the savory taco.  So for your next BBQ as these last long days whittle down, please give this combo a try:
Roasted Tomato Salsa
6 roma (plum) tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeno chile pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Start the Grill.  In a medium bowl, place roma (plum) tomatoes toss with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.   Transfer to the grill when it is hot and ready, checking often, grill 5 to 10 minutes, or until outsides of tomatoes are charred.  Remove vegetables from heat. Remove and discard tomato cores.  In a food processor, coarsely chop the remaining ingredients.  Transfer to a medium bowl and serve with extra lime juice and cilantro.

Flank Steak

2 lb flank steak
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Preheat a grill pan over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Combine the mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, cayenne and allspice in a small bowl. Rub the flank steak all over with the mix and let sit for 10 minutes.  Put the steak on the hot grill and cook 5 minutes per side. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
1/2 cup dark rum
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 very ripe plantains (should be almost black), peeled and sliced horizontally and then in half 
1 Tablespoon canola oil
Heat grill to high. Place rum, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture reduces and thickens slightly. Stir in butter until melted. Remove from the heat.
Brush plantains with oil on both sides and grill until golden brown and caramelized, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush with the glaze during the last few minutes of grilling. Remove from the grill and brush with more of the glaze before serving.
makes 8 cocktails
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
8 ounces light rum
1 cup tonic water
16 limes, juiced
2 cups fresh mint

TO MAKE THE SIMPLE SYRUP WITH MINT: In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and water and heat over medium-high heat. Let the syrup cook for a couple of minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the syrup looks clear. This will be about the time it takes for the syrup to begin to bubble. Remove from the heat and add the mint leaves. Cover and set aside for about 10 minutes, so the mint can infuse the syrup. Strain the syrup and use immediately or store in a lidded container for up to 1 week.
TO MAKE THE PITCHER OF MOJITOS: In a large pitcher, stir together the rum, lime juice, and syrup. Add half the mint leaves and using a wooden spoon muddle the leaves. Serve at once or refrigerate until needed. Do NOT add ice to the pitcher.

TO SERVE: When ready to serve, squeeze a lime wedge over the ice in a rocks glass. Drop the lime wedge into the glass along with a few fresh mint leaves. Fill the glass two-thirds full of the mojito mixture and top off with club soda.

Grilled NY strip steaks, corn on the cob and citrus-cucumber and cilantro salad

Tonight’s meal was exceptional and and highly over due. After all of the burgers, brats and hot dogs at BBQ’s this summer, we felt it was necessary to enjoy some steaks.

To start we lightly oiled our strip steaks with vegetable oil and then seasoned it generously with kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper and granulated garlic. Cooking steaks works best after the meat has set out for an hour or so. Doing this ensures that the mean will cook more evenly. Cook the steaks on the grill over indirect heat for 5-7 min per side (depending on how hot your grill is) for medium steak. After cooking, let the steaks rest for 10 minutes before serving to lock in the juices!
Next, we trimmed the wispy ends of the corn cobs and soaked each ear in water for 1/2 hour. If you dry grill the corn, it burns, soaking the ears helps to prevent this from happening. Don’t worry if the corn shucks blacken a bit, the corn is safe inside. Grill the corn for 10-12 minutes per side over direct heat. Pinch the ear for doneness- it should be soft but not mushy. To serve, pull the husks back (careful it’s HOT) and use them as your eating handle. Rub down with butter and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
The citrus-cucumber and cilantro salad was a nice hodge podge of some left over fresh veggies/ herbs from the farmer’s market and our pizza night. First, slice 2 medium cucumbers into 1/8″ slices and then cut in half to make half moons. Toss in a bowl with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt to pull out some of the water from the cucumbers (this will make your salad less watery and more delish)for at least 15 minutes. Next, rinse them with cold water really well, and drain/dry to get all excess moisture off, put them all back in the bowl. Then you can add to the bowl 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, 1 teaspoon EVOO, 1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt, a grind of pepper, and you’ve got a salad!