Sunday, May 28, 2006

Warm Weather–Time to Grill!

Lately it seems that everything I’ve cooked is either something I’ve already posted about or it’s something for which there’s no recipe. We’ve had a lot of grilled foods recently since the weather’s been so nice. Yesterday I decided to try a grilled flank steak with a spicy rub on it. I saw a recipe for a rub in a Southern Living magazine at my sister’s house in North Carolina in March, and put it in my little notebook I carry in my purse. I changed a few things to adapt it to what I have in my kitchen, and came up with this:

Spicy Grilled Flank Steak

1 1-pound flank steak
1 T canola or vegetable oil
2 t ground cumin
2 t chili powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t cinnamon
1 t ground coriander

Rub both sides of flank steak with oil. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl, and rub over both sides of meat. Grill over medium heat till done (we like ours medium–still slightly pink in the middle), and slice across the grain.

Today we went up to Angleus Oaks, a small town up the highway about 8 miles, to visit our friends Shannon and Rob. Shannon’s a great cook, but had never made biscuits and gravy. I offered to come up and make some, and then Rob and DH could go fishing while I hung out with Shan and her two girls. Her olderst daughter (age 10) wanted to help, so I had her do the cooking. She’s been interested in learning how to cook, and recently made Johnny Cakes on her own for some extra credit at school. She did the research all by herself on the history of Johnny Cakes, how they used to be called “journey cakes,” and described to me how to make them. She dug right into the process of making the sausage gravy, and since everyone liked it, will probably be making it for her family again.

Tonight’s dinner is one of my favorite ways to eat grilled chicken. It’s marinated for a short time in a balsamic vinegar mixture, and served on a crusty sandwich roll with grilled onions and bell peppers. I served it with a pasta salad that I created out of a chicken pasta salad recipe. It was easy to mix up and chill while the chicken marinated and then was grilled.

Grilled Chicken with Onions and Peppers

1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t dried rosemary, crumbled
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halvescut in 1”-thick strips
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper,
2-4 crusty sandwich rolls
romaine lettuce leaves

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, oil, garlic and rosemary. Marinate chicken in this mixture at least 30 minutes. Prepare grill by covering part of it with aluminum foil. Pierce foil in numerous places and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Grill vegetables on the foil, and chicken on uncovered part of grill over medium heat until cooked through. Serve chicken and vegetables on a crusty sandwich roll along with mayonnaise and lettuce. Makes 2 or 4.

Asian Pasta Salad

8 oz. cooked thin spaghetti (I used Barilla Plus)
1 c frozen baby peas, thawed
1/3 c sliced peeled carrot
1/4 c chopped red bell pepper (other colors will do, too)
1 can water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
3 green onions, sliced

1/3 c light soy sauce
2 T canola oil
2 T rice vinegar
2 t sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T brown sugar
1 t grated fresh ginger
1/4 t red pepper flakes

Put salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over salad. Toss to combine. Chill. Serves 4-6

A question for those of you more technologically adept than I am: Do rechargeable batteries "wear out?" I have not used my digital camera much at all all lately, but the batteries have lost their charge. It's happened more and more often lately, so I'm thinking they start losing their ability to keep a charge. Is that the case?
(That's why there are no photographs with this post!)


Anonymous said...

Can't wait for our weather to improve again so that we can crack out the b-b-q

Denzylle said...

Do you mean after you have recharged them on previous occasion(s)? Like do they have a limited lifespan of x recharges before you can't recharge them any more?

Kalyn Denny said...

Cyndi, don't know if it's true, but I've also heard that about the batteries. How do you like the Barilla plus? I bought some but haven't tried it yet. I've been pretty loyal to Dreamfields, but Barilla has some types they don't have. Sorry to hear you don't get to have a garden. I remember those days of traveling all summer. I thought about going to the RA (a friend invited me to share her room) but Orlando is not my favorite. Next summer I'm going to try to go to Philadelphia so maybe we can actually meet each other. That would be fun!

Cyndi said...

denzylle - yup, that's what I mean. Is there a limit to the number of times you can recharge them?

Kalyn-I don't go to the RA. It interferes with my "summer go fishing and camping and get sane" time. We squeeze in all the camping we can between June 15-ish and July 18-ish, when I have to go to the CTA Presidents' Conference in Monterey for 4 days, and then we go again until the 2nd week of August. I decided years ago that I wouldn't go to the RA. But maybe we can get together next time we go though SLC on our way to Yellowstone.

Denzylle said...

Yes, I find that, too, that they don't last forever, but deteriorate gradually. Some brands seem to have more rechargeable lives than others.

I enjoy your blog, btw. I'm in London.

Ruth Daniels said...

All that grilling sounds delicious.

I always love to try a new way to do flank steak. Thanks for sharing.