Steakhouse Sirloin Tips

1/3 cup soy sauce (I used reduced-sodium)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon paprika (I reduced to about 2/3)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I reduced to 1/8)
1 (2 1/2-pound) beef flap meat*

*Flap meat is sold as whole steaks, strips, and pieces. For even pieces, buy a whole steak of uniform size and cut it up yourself.

Whisk soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, pepper, and cayenne together in bowl until sugar dissolves; transfer to zipper-lock bag. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Prick beef all over with fork and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces. Add meat to bag with soy mixture and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

For a charcoal grill: Open bottom grill vents completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vents completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.

Clean and oil cooking grate. Cook beef (covered if using gas) until charred and registers 130 to 135°F (for medium), 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to platter, tent loosely with foil, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Note: Author flipped the steaks at 4 minutes, and they were temperature ready at 8 minutes.

Sirloin Tips

2 pounds sirloin steak tips
1 tablespoon Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons Catalina dressing
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder

Cut the beef into large pieces if they are not already cut into tips.

Mix all other ingredients in a bowl but only use half the oil, salt and pepper. Reserve the remainder for just before grilling.
In a zip lock bag, place tips and marinade and marinate overnight or at least six hours.

Prior to grilling, drain well and discard marinade. Dry the tips with paper towels.

Pre-heat grill to medium high.

Coat tips in remaining oil (2 tablespoons), salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon) and grill about two minutes on each side for medium rare. (Note: Cooking time may vary depending on the heat output of your grill and/or if you cook these in a grillpan on the stove.)

Garlic Butter Sirloin Tips

4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 pounds thick-cut New York strip steaks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Mince 4 garlic cloves. Transfer to a bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Chop until you have 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, then transfer to a small bowl.

Cut 2 pounds New York strip steak into 1-inch cubes, then season them with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium high-heat.

Add the steak cubes and sear until browned, flipping them halfway through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Add the garlic and pepper and cook for 1 minute more.

Remove from the heat and garnish with the parsley.

Sirloin Tips with Peppers and Onions

3 lb sirloin steak cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup Teriyaki or Soy sauce
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp olive oil plus additional for cooking
2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley or cilantro
3 clove garlic minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp steak seasoning divided [i.e., Mesquite/Montreal/Chicago/ Kansas City your preference]
1 red bell pepper seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper seeded and sliced
1 large sweet onion cut into thin wedges
Black pepper to taste

Rinse, pat dry and cut the sirloin steaks into 1-inch pieces.
Whisk together the sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, chopped parsley, 3 clove minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Place into a plastic storage bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To prepare, remove the sirloin tips from the marinade. Discard the marinade.

Heat a few drizzles of olive oil in a large cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sirloin tips. Cook for 5-7 minutes until browned and to your preferred doneness. Season with 1 tsp of steak seasoning. Remove from the pan to a platter to rest.

Add the sliced bell peppers and onion wedges to the pan. Season with 1 tsp steak seasoning and black pepper to your taste. Add additional olive oil if needed. Cook for 5 minutes scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until browned and crisp tender.

Add the sirloin beef tips back to the pan. Stir until heated through then serve.

Variations:

Use a fajita seasoning place of the steak seasoning for fajitas.

Use an Asian-style marinade:

3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced shallot or red onion
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Goulash

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika and caraway seeds and cook 1 minute more. In a bowl, toss the beef with the flour to coat well. Add the beef to the onion mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot. Gradually stir in the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over wide egg noodles.

Simple Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
2 (28-ounce) cans whole or diced plum tomatoes
2 sprigs basil or 1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add garlic and cook until just lightly golden. Add chile flakes if desired and cook 30 seconds.

Stir in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf, and salt and pepper.

Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer. If using whole plum tomatoes, mash them up with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help them break down. Remove sauce from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.

Pork and Ricotta Meatballs (and a Meatball Ratio)

INGREDIENTS
½ cup/4 ounces whole-milk ricotta
½ cup/2 ounces grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
½ cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 pound ground pork

PREPARATION
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and use your hands to gently mix.
Shape the meat into 12 equally sized balls (about 2 1/4 inches in diameter). Arrange on a greased rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Tip
Leftover meatballs freeze well; simply reheat in the oven at 375 degrees until warmed through (about 20 minutes).

Notes:

Serve these plain, with a marinara sauce for dipping, or simmer the meatballs in tomato sauce for serving over spaghetti.

Ground chicken or turkey is a great alternative and will yield cheesier tasting meatballs.

Reader comments:

The ratio here is 10 parts mince to 2 parts ricotta and 1 part parmesan, plus one egg and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (fresh) per 500g (about one pound) of mixture.

Some people found these a little salty and cut the salt in half.

Added garlic, basil, oregano, majorum to give a bit more flavor.

Added grated garlic and grated onion. After forming into balls, I refrigerated for 45 minutes, baked 20 minutes at 400 degrees then simmered gently in sauce 10 minutes. Served over faro, great tender and light meatballs,

Cook meatballs on a rack over foil.

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into inch cubes
5 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
3 1/2 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt

Combine the flour and pepper in a bowl, add the beef and toss to coat well. Heat 3 teaspoons of the oil in a large pot. Add the beef a few pieces at a time; do not overcrowd. Cook, turning the pieces until beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch; add more oil as needed between batches.

Remove the beef from the pot and add the vinegar and wine. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the beef, beef broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer.

Cover and cook, skimming broth from time to time, until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the onions and carrots and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Add broth or water if the stew is dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle among 4 bowls and serve.

Fast and Easy Marinara Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shallots or 1 cup onions, diced
4–6 garlic cloves
pinch chili flakes (or up to 1/4 teaspoon for a nice kick)
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (or 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
1/2 teaspoon salt,more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
8–10 basil leaves, torn

optional: 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey

Prep the tomatoes: If using fresh tomatoes, quarter them and blend in a blender. Alternatively, slice them in half and grate the flesh, leaving the skins behind.

Saute: In a saute pan, saute shallot or onion over medium heat, for just a few minutes until just tender and fragrant, add the garlic, saute 1-2 minutes. Add the chili flakes and stir for one minute. Add the oregano, and give a stir. Add the tomatoes and all their juices. (If using canned tomatoes, break them apart with a metal spatula as best you can and add all the juice from the can-then add one cup of water rinsing out the can. ) Stir in the salt and pepper.

Simmer: Bring to a simmer, uncovered, and simmer gently 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Reduce by one cup ( so you’ll end up with 3 cups). If you used the canned whole tomatoes, feel free to blend with an immersion blender.

Taste, adjust salt, pepper and chili flakes, adding more if you like. If your sauce lacks sweetness, stir in some tomato paste and/or maple syrup. If your sauce seems watery, just continue to cook it gently uncovered for a few more minutes. If it gets too thick add a splash of water, or if too sweet, balance it with a few drops of vinegar.

Use on pasta or spaghetti or on meatballs. To use as a pizza sauce, cook it down just a few more minutes, to thicken a little more if you like.

Notes

The sauce will keep 4 days in the fridge- or can be frozen. If freezing the sauce in a mason jar, leave 1-inch headroom for expansion.

More-Vegetable-Than-Egg Frittata

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced (optional)
Salt and black pepper
4 to 6 cups of any chopped or sliced raw or barely cooked vegetables
1/4 cup fresh basil or parsley leaves, or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or mint leaves, or any other herb
2 or 3 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Put olive oil in a skillet (preferably nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron) and turn heat to medium. When fat is hot, add onion, if using, and cook, sprinkling with salt and pepper, until it is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add vegetables, raise heat and cook, stirring occasionally until they soften, from a couple of minutes for greens to 15 minutes for sliced potatoes. Adjust heat so vegetables brown a little without scorching. (With precooked vegetables, just add them to onions and stir before proceeding.)

When vegetables are nearly done, turn heat to low and add herb. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, beat eggs with some salt and pepper, along with cheese if you are using it. Pour over vegetables, distributing them evenly. Cook, undisturbed, until eggs are barely set, 10 minutes or so; run pan under broiler for a minute or 2 if top does not set.

Cut frittata into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Egg Drop Soup

4 cups chicken stock (about 1 liter, organic or homemade preferred!)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (Or 5 drops yellow food coloring. Optional, but if you want “the look…”)
3 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 1/3 cup water)
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 scallion (chopped)

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium soup pot. Stir in the sesame oil, salt, sugar, and white pepper. Add in the turmeric or 5 drops of yellow food coloring, if using. This will give the soup that rich restaurant-style yellow color, but it is optional. Taste the soup, and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Next add the cornstarch and water mixture. Make sure the cornstarch and water is mixed well, as the cornstarch settles very quickly. Stir the soup continuously as you drizzle in the slurry, or you’ll get clumps of cooked starch in your soup. Use more or less starch if you like a thicker or thinner soup. You can also add the starch in a couple small batches, let the soup simmer for a couple of minutes, then check to see if the consistency is to your liking.

Now we’re ready for the most exciting part: the egg. This recipe calls for the egg to be lightly beaten, which results in both white and yellow egg swirls. The speed at which you stir the soup when adding the egg also determines whether you get large “egg flowers” or small egg flowers (i.e. swirly bits of egg). Use a ladle to stir the soup in a circular motion, and slowly drizzle in the egg until you have added it all.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with scallions, and serve!

15-Minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

2 tablespoons oil
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
8 oz. boneless chicken breast or thighs (225g, sliced)
4 cups chicken broth (950 ml)
1 cup water (235 ml)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2/3 cup coconut milk (160 ml)
6 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles (170g)
lime wedges, sliced red onion, red chilis, cilantro, scallions (to garnish)

In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil, garlic, ginger, and Thai red curry paste. Fry for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook for a couple minutes, just until the chicken turns opaque.

Add the chicken broth, water, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. At this point, taste the broth for salt and adjust seasoning accordingly (add salt if needed, or if it’s too salty, add a bit of water). Pour the boiling soup over the dried vermicelli noodles in your serving bowls, add a squeeze of lime juice and your garnishes, and serve. The noodles will be ready to eat in a couple minutes.

(Alternatively, you can add the noodles to the boiling broth to cook them, and then divide among serving bowls).

Pantry Noodles

Any dried pasta
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
White pepper (optional)
Chili oil (optional)
scallions (chopped, optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Toss with soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. If using, mix in white pepper, chili oil, and scallions to taste.

Make sure to add condiments in small quantities as you’re mixing the noodles together, especially the soy sauce––it can get salty very quickly. Add the soy sauce a teaspoon at a time.

Hanger Steak, Green Salad and Oven Fries

Hanger steak
Garlic
Potatoes
Rosemary (optional)
Olive oil
Butter
Salad greens
Lemon juice
Mustard and mayo (optional)
Herbs of choice

Make the potatoes first. Cube a few, toss them in oil, anoint them with salt and pepper, maybe some rosemary, and get them into a hot oven on a sheet pan.

Then cook the steak. Salt the meat aggressively and sear both sides hard in a screaming-hot cast iron pan, until it is just beginning its ascent into the realm of medium-rare. Then turn off the heat, tilt the pan and add to it a few squares of cold butter and a couple of garlic cloves; baste the steak with the browning butter for a minute or so, before tonging it onto a cutting board to rest.

Make the salad, the greens tossed in a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice, a dash of mayonnaise or mustard, and seasoning as you like.

The potatoes are done now, crisp and golden, so slide them onto a platter. Slice the steak against the grain and on the bias, and arrange the slices on top of the potatoes, drizzling with any juices remaining on the board. Serve with the salad.

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce

5 pounds tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, halved
1 basil sprig
1 bay leaf

Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds and discard, if you wish. Press the cut side of tomato against the large holes of a box grater and grate tomato flesh into a bowl. Discard skins. You should have about 4 cups.

Put tomato pulp in a low wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer.

Reduce the sauce by almost half, stirring occasionally, to produce about 2 1/2 cups medium-thick sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or may be frozen.

Foolproof Bernaise Sauce

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 sprigs tarragon, leaves finely minced, stems reserved separately
3 sprigs chervil, leaves finely minced, stems reserved separately (optional; if not using add an extra sprig of tarragon)
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 egg yolks
Kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Combine wine, vinegar, herb stems, shallots, and black peppercorns in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until reduced to about 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid, about 15 minutes. Carefully strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

Combine wine reduction, egg yolk, and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a cup that barely fits the head of an immersion blender. Melt butter in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling constantly, until foaming subsides. Transfer butter to a 1-cup liquid measuring cup.

Place head of immersion blender into the bottom of the cup with the wine reduction and turn it on. With the blender constantly running, slowly pour hot butter into cup. It should emulsify with the egg yolk and wine reduction. Continue pouring until all butter is added. Sauce should be thick and creamy (see note). Season to taste with salt. Whisk in chopped tarragon and chervil, if using. Serve immediately, or transfer to a small lidded pot and keep in a warm place for up to 1 hour before serving. Béarnaise cannot be cooled and reheated.

Foolproof Hollandaise

1-2 egg yolks (about 35 grams)
1 teaspoon water (about 5 grams)
1 teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon (about 5 grams)
Kosher salt
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, about 112 grams)
Pinch cayenne pepper or hot sauce

Combine egg yolk, water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a cup that barely fits the head of an immersion blender. Melt butter in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling constantly, until foaming subsides. Transfer butter to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup.

Place head of immersion blender into the bottom of the cup and turn it on. With the blender constantly running, slowly pour hot butter into cup. It should emulsify with the egg yolk and lemon juice. Continue pouring until all butter is added. Sauce should be thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce (if desired). Serve immediately, or transfer to a small lidded pot and keep in a warm place for up to 1 hour before serving. Hollandaise cannot be cooled and reheated.

Foolproof Mayo

1 large egg at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 cup (240ml) vegetable or canola oil
Kosher salt

Place egg, lemon juice, and mustard in the bottom of cup or jar that just fits the head of your immersion blender. The egg/lemon juice mixture must reach the blades for this to work (see note). If the mixture does not reach the blades, double the recipe before attempting.

Add garlic, if using. Pour oil on top and allow to settle for 15 seconds. Place head of immersion blender at bottom of cup and turn it on high speed. Do not pulse or move the head. As mayonnaise forms, slowly tilt and lift the head of the immersion blender until all oil is emulsified. Season mayonnaise to taste with salt. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Basic Kachumber Salad

1 small onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped small
1 large cucumber chopped small
4-5 red radishes chopped small (optional)
1 green chili finely chopped
1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp or more salt
1/4 tsp or more freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp or more cayenne pure red chili powder
1 tsp or more freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

Chop the onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, wash and drain well.

Add the veggies and the rest of the ingredients to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt and heat. Serve.

Notes:

To reduce the strong sharp onion flavor, soak the chopped onion in water for 15 minutes. Drain and then use.

To reduce spiciness, seed peppers

Variations:

Add 2 tbsp of chopped mint.

Add a generous pinch of kala namak (Indian Sulfur black salt) or 1/4 tsp or more chaat masala to taste.

Add vinegar to taste instead of lemon juice.

Add 1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin or coriander powder.

Add 1/2 cup or more yogurt and 1/2 tsp ground cumin and mix in to make raita kind of yogurt dip.

Cilantro Mint Chutney (with Peanut, Coconut, and Yogurt Variations)

2 cups cilantro (packed) leaves & stems, rinsed, pat dried and rough chopped
1 cup mint leaves discard stems
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut frozen or dry
4 garlic cloves peeled
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 to 8 small green chiles or 1 to 2 jalapeños
1 lemon juiced
1 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt add as per taste
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar add as per taste
1/2 cup water

Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until you get a smooth consistency. Add extra 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if needed. Taste and add more salt if needed. Makes about 2 cups of green chutney.

The chutney stays good in the refrigerator for up to a week. But I recommend freezing any leftovers after a day in smaller portions in silicone ice cube trays.

Notes:
Use cilantro stems as well as leaves.

For bright green color, add only the mint leaves and discard the stems.

If your blender is not powerful it may take longer for the chutney to process. This can cause the mint to over-process and turn the chutney bitter or also discolor. To avoid this, you can first grind the chutney without the mint leaves. Then add in the mint leaves and blend again until they are just incorporated through.

Variations:
Coconut adds creaminess as well as texture. To make cilantro mint chutney without coconut, simply skip the coconut and reduce the water by half.

You can substitute coconut with roasted peanuts to make cilantro peanut chutney.

Adding yogurt instead of coconut also gives a smooth creamy texture to the green chutney.

Skip sugar or stir in sweetener of your choice.

Don’t have cumin seeds? Substitute with ground cumin.