Dinner courtesy of the New York Times

September 4, 2011

Because that’s where two of the recipes, and maybe three, came from.

A side note. I don’t care if I’ve been gone from the kitchen for a month. I ain’t lost my chops. N’yah,.

Month off or not, I can still cut it in the kitchen!

Tonight, we had garlic/honey/chipotle flank steak; zucchini stuffed with barley; fried corn, and potato skins. The steak and the zucchini recipes are from the NYR this week, and I think the corn recipe came from there some years ago. Dinner was had, wine was consumed, bellies are full, and the dawg is snoring.

The toll: steak was good, if I could get past the chewiness of flank steak. Do this to a rib-eye or a filet, and I’m there. I don’t want to have to work that damn hard for a piece of meat I paid that much for. Zucchini: barley stuffing has potential. If I had had raisins ‘sted of subsituting apples, it might have been really good.  Corn was excellent; ditto potato skins, but both of those are tried-and-trues.

OK. This steak marinade. This goes in the keeper list. If it were any more simple it would hurt you.

Take a flank steak, 2 pounds or so. Sprinkle it down with meat tenderizer. Forget about it for a while.

 Mince you up two chipotle chiles from a chipotle-chiles-in-adobo can. Add a tablespoon or so of the adobo. Mince you up four to six cloves of garlic; add it in. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of honey and whisk it up. Note: Next time I do this, at this point I will go to the handy-food-chopper or the stick blender and blend this stuff up.

Go back to the steak. Sprinkle it on both sides with kosher salt. Pat it sweetly, tell it you love it, and let that soak in. Then smear the honey-garlic-chipotle stuff all over it. Get in there with your hands. It’s the only way to do it right. Stick it on a plate or in a baking dish, cover with plastic,, and slap it in the fridge.

I marinated mine in the fridge for about two hours, and on the counter for another one. It would be better if it were overnight.

Grill it on a hot grill until it’s as done as you want it. Again, I ain’t all that and a bag of chips over flank steak, but this would be kick-ass on a rib-eye.

The zucchini and barley stuffing….well, that’s still open for discussion. I will readily grant that I may have irreparably harmed the taste by substituting a chopped Granny Smith apple for the raisins, since I had no raisins. Gimme a break. It was fruit. I think it would be a really good stuffing recipe with sausage and cheese vice the raisins, but that’s just me. In any event, said recpie, courtesy  the NYT.

Barley Stuffed Vegetables

  • 6 medium red or yellow bell peppers, or 2 to 2 1/2 pounds summer squash (large ones are best; alternately, use a mixture)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons currants or golden raisins, soaked for 5 minutes in hot water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked barley (1 cup uncooked)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill or mint

For the cooking liquid:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Lemon wedges for serving

1. Cut away the tops of the peppers, then gently remove the seeds and membranes. If using squash, cut into 2-inch lengths. With a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the middle to within about 1/2 inch of the edges, leaving about 1/2 inch on the bottom.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, wide saucepan or lidded skillet. Add the onion and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender and beginning to color, about eight minutes. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the currants or yellow raisins, cinnamon, allspice and sugar. Stir together, then add 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about five minutes. Add the barley, salt to taste and some pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in the herbs. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

3. Stuff the peppers and/or squash with the barley mixture. Stand the vegetables in a wide, lidded pan. Mix together the water, olive oil and lemon juice, and pour over and around the vegetables. Bring to a simmer, and cover the pan. Simmer for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are very tender and there is just a small amount of liquid and oil in the pan. Remove the lid, and allow to cool in the pan. Arrange on a platter, drizzle any liquid from the pan over the filling, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: This is an excellent keeper, and as it should be served at room temperature, it’s fine to make it a day ahead of the meal and refrigerate overnight. Bring back to room temperature before serving. You can make the filling a day before stuffing the peppers.

Now, as you may or may not recall, I don’t be doing bell peppers. And the only zucchini I could find — well, I’ve smoked cigars bigger around than those zucchini. Not necessarily stuffing material, but I damn-sho stuffed ’em. And subbed apples for the raisins, walnuts for the pine nuts.

Meh. Maybe they’d be better with raisins. Otherwise…meh.

Corn was cut off the cob, whole kernel style, sauteed in bacon drippings with some onion and garlic and sweet paprika. Potato skins were, well, potato skins, and ain’t nothin’ wrong with them.

You tell y’mama ‘n ’em cooking is like riding a bicycle. I ain’t forgot how.

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2 Responses to “Dinner courtesy of the New York Times”

  1. Pamela Coulter Says:

    Hey Kay,
    Trish & I want to know what do you do at your job. Is it the same thing you did when you where here?

  2. kayatthekeyboard Says:

    Yeah, and windows, too. 🙂


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