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.)

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.

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.

Dijon and Cognac Stew

1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup Cognac
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons Pommery mustard or other whole-grain Dijon mustard
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
1/4 cup red wine

Place salt pork in a Dutch oven over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and discard. Raise heat, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.

If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pot. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pot, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and the crust comes loose. Add stock, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pot. Lower heat, partly cover, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Add carrots, and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until slices are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high, and sauté mushrooms until browned.

Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

Tip:
For a slow-cooker version, render the salt pork in a large sauté pan, then sear the flour-dusted beef cubes in the fat. While the beef is browning, add onions, shallots, carrots, mushrooms and red wine to the slow cooker, along with the browned beef. Add Cognac to the empty pan, and deglaze. Add 1 cup stock (instead of 2), Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons Pommery mustard and warm through before serving.

Smoky Paprika Cheese Skewers

2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika or ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander or cumin
Fine sea salt (optional)
8 ounces grilling cheese, such as halloumi, provolone, kefalotyri, queso panela or bread cheese, cubed

In a mixing bowl, combine shallot, oil, spices and a small pinch of salt, if you like. (Most grilling cheese is already pretty salty; taste it first.) Add cheese and gently toss to evenly coat.

Heat the grill to high. While the grill is heating, pierce marinated cheese onto metal skewers or pre-soaked wooden skewers (see Tip), about 3 to 4 per skewer. Reserve any leftover marinade at the bottom of bowl.

When the grill is hot, brush the grates lightly with oil and add the skewers. Cook, rotating them carefully every few minutes, until evenly browned and slightly charred in places, about 3 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and brush with remaining marinade. Serve immediately.

Tip:
Using flat metal skewers is best, but not necessary. If using wooden skewers, they must be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent flare-ups. Place wooden skewers flat on a rimmed sheet pan and add enough water to cover.

Denver Barbecue Sauce

2 cups apple cider or white vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
1/2 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
4 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
1 tablespoon fine sea salt or table salt
1/2 tablespoon finely ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and transfer to a lidded jar.

Use right away or refrigerate until needed. Shake well before serving.

Birria de Res

2 poblano chiles
5 guajillo chiles, seeded, stemmed and halved lengthwise
5 pounds bone-in beef shoulder, cut into large pieces, or goat or lamb stew cuts on the bone
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cloves
Fresh black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, quartered
Corn tortillas, warmed

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare the chiles: Use tongs to place the poblano chiles directly over the open flame of a gas burner set to high. Cook the poblanos until totally charred all over, turning as needed, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap so the poblanos can steam. After 10 minutes, use your fingers to pull the blackened skins away from the poblanos, then remove the stems and seeds. Roughly chop the poblanos and set aside.

While the poblano chiles steam, place a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches to cook the guajillo chiles evenly in one layer, flatten the chile halves on the hot skillet and toast them for about 15 seconds, turning once. Put the chiles in a bowl and add 2 cups hot water to help soften them. Set aside.
Prepare the meat: Season the meat all over with the salt. Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof pot over medium-high. Working in batches, sear the meat on all sides until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side, transferring the browned meat to a large bowl as you work.
L
After you’ve seared all the meat, add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Return all the meat to the pot.
Meanwhile, add the tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, ginger, oregano, sesame seeds, cumin, cloves and a few grinds of black pepper to a blender, along with the chopped poblanos, toasted guajillos and the chile soaking liquid. Purée until smooth, scraping down the edges of the blender as needed.

Pour the blended mixture into the pot with the meat. Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves, along with about 4 to 6 cups of water, enough to amply cover the meat.

Cover and cook in the oven until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
Divide among bowls and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top, and a side of warm tortillas.

Southwestern Chili

2-3 pounds ground beef (or you can substitute ground turkey or pork)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 each red, green and yellow bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
5 celery stalks diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 4 ounce cans diced jalapeño, drained (save juice)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
3 4 ounce cans diced green chilies
2 cans each black beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, refried pinto beans
4 ounces tomato juice
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans Mexican style corn
½ cup Santa Cruz Hot Chili Powder
1 cup coffee
1 cup bourbon whiskey, any brand
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar

Brown beef in a pan over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. In a separate pan sauté bell pepper, onion, celery and garlic in cooking oil. In a large pot combine all ingredients, stir well and simmer over low heat for one to one and half hours.

Serve with corn bread and a green salad to make a filling, nutritious meal.

Border Beans (Tepary Beans with Chorizo)

1 sprig epazote
4 slices bacon
1/2 pound Mexican chorizo, loose, not cased
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 poblano chile, roasted, skinned, seeded and roughly chopped (See note below)
4 cups cooked beans
2 to 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed chiltepin chiles, to taste (optional)

Cook the beans – generally you will need 2 cups dry beans to get around 4 cups, but it’s not an exact science – in lots of water at a very slow simmer. After about 90 minutes, add the epazote, if using. When the beans are reasonably soft, about 2 hours, add salt. This can all be done up to a couple days ahead of time. If you do cook them ahead of time, store them in their cooking liquid in the fridge.

When you are ready, cook the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat until crispy. Remove and chop. Set it aside.

Add the chorizo, onions and garlic to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until the chorizo is nicely browned. Add the chopped poblanos, the cooked beans and a little of the cooking water. Mix well and let this cook gently. for 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t let the beans stick to the bottom of the pot. Keep adding cooking liquid, stock or water as needed. You want it a little wet, but not soupy.

Mix in the chopped tomatoes and let this cook a couple minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the cheese and serve. I like to crush a bunch of dried chiltepin chiles over everything, too.

Tepary Beans With Chile-Agave Glaze

1 cup dried white tepary beans (see Note)
1 cup dried brown tepary beans (see Note)
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons light agave nectar
1 tablespoon New Mexico Hatch chile powder or chipotle powder, plus more for garnish
Sea salt
2 teaspoons whole fresh oregano leaves

Place the white and brown tepary beans in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 4 inches and let soak overnight at room temperature.

Drain the soaked beans, discarding the liquid, and transfer the beans to a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add enough cool water to cover the beans by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Reserve 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid, then drain the beans.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked beans and the reserved bean cooking liquid, the agave and the chile powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Divide among bowls, sprinkle with additional chile powder and top with oregano.

Campfire Curry Ramen

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup onion (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup beef jerky (roughly chopped, optional)
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 1/2 cups water
1 packet beef-flavored instant ramen

In a medium pot over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil, onion, and beef jerky (if using). Sauté until the onion is slightly softened, and add the curry powder. Cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the seasoning packet from the instant ramen package and then add the noodles. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the noodles are cooked but still al dente. Serve immediately!

Campfire Pho Ramen

1 tablespoon oil
1/4 red onion (thinly sliced and divided into two portions––one large and one small)
1/4 cup sliced beef jerky
Enough water to cook the noodles per package instructions
1 packet beef-flavored instant ramen
1 handful of any kind of leafy green vegetables
Juice of half a lime (feel free to add more or less to taste)

Put your pot over the flame, and add the oil.

When the oil in the pot is hot (you can add a test piece of onion to check it out), add the large portion of your sliced onions. Stir for a minute, letting them caramelize. Add the beef jerky and cook for 2-4 minutes.

Add enough water to the pot to meet your soup preferences, and bring to a boil. Add in the ramen seasoning packet, ramen noodles, and vegetables and cook per package instructions. When the noodles are cooked through, sprinkle the raw onion over the

Roasted Poblano Mashed Potatoes

2 poblano chiles
3 pounds (about 4) Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
black pepper
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup buttermilk

First, roast the poblanos under the broiler until blackened on both sides, about 10-12 minutes, turning once. Once blackened, place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight, and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes. After the chiles have steamed, remove from the bag, and rub off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and finely dice.

Meanwhile, to make the mashed potatoes, place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with 1 inch of water, add about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and bring to a boil on medium heat. After the water comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (be sure not to overcook), about 10-12 minutes. Drain and rinse, then lightly salt and pepper the potatoes.

Wipe out the pot, then add the butter and melt it over low heat. Add the garlic, and while stirring, cook until fragrant and softened about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat. Return the potatoes to the pot, and with a masher, mash the potatoes until smooth.

Pour in the half and half and buttermilk, and stir until well blended and creamy. (I leave off the heat to prevent the potatoes from burning on the bottom, but if you find they’re not hot enough, use low heat but keep stirring to prevent them from sticking.) Stir in the chiles, then taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.

Beef Stew with Red Onions and Ale

2 pounds boneless beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 medium red onions
1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups beef or chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup ale or beer (nonalcoholic is fine)
1 rosemary sprig
3 carrots, sliced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
Chopped chives, for garnish
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the onions.
Peel the onions. Cut 2 of them in half root to stem, then thinly slice them crosswise into half-moons. Cut the third onion, root to stem, into 1/2-inch wedges.

Dust the beef cubes lightly with flour. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven or other pot over medium-high. Add beef, in batches taking care not to crowd the pan, and sear until it’s good and dark all over, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer beef cubes to a bowl as they brown. Add more oil and adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning.

Stir in sliced onions and raise heat to medium-high if you lowered it. Cook until pale golden brown and soft, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant and lightly golden at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Make a well in the center of the onions, then stir in tomato paste, coriander and allspice; cook, stirring until paste is darkened, 1 minute. Stir in stock, ale, 1 cup water and rosemary sprig. Return beef and any juices to the pot and bring to a simmer. Partly cover the pot and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Give the beef a stir, then add onion wedges. Simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in carrots and continue to simmer until the meat, onions and carrots are tender, 30 to 45 minutes longer.

If the sauce seems thin, use a slotted spoon to transfer meat and vegetables to a platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Discard the rosemary. Return pot with liquid to stove and simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if you like. Spoon sauce over meat and garnish with chives, flaky sea salt and more black pepper.

Basic Roasted Vegetables

2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved into half-moons
2 parsnips, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved
1/2 – 1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks, or wedges
1 sweet potato cut into ¾ inch cubes
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
generous, 5 finger pinch of salt and pepper
optional additions: other veggies of course, fresh herbs -thyme, rosemary, sage

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Cut veggies and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If your sheet pans are small, use 2 pans.
Cut veggies and place them in rows.

drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and using tongs give a light toss.
Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotate, toss again, and continue cooking until fork tender, another 10-15 minutes.

Place in a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Tips:

Choose veggies that take roughly the same amount of time to roast. Root veggies (vegetables that grow underground) like carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, are relatively dense compared to other veggies and take the longest to roast, 30-50 minutes, depending on what size you cut them. Winter squash are medium-dense so take less time, when peeled and diced.

If someone were to ask me which veggies are best to roast? I would say, hands-down, root vegetables! Their natural sweetness and earthiness both get enhanced and elevated through roasting.
Cut veggies so they are the same thickness. This ensures they roast quickly and uniformly. I try to keep root veggies at ½ inch thick.

Roast vegetables on a parchment-lined sheet pan – and use an extra-large one! Or use two! They like space.

Group different veggies separately on the sheet pan (instead of mixing them all together) just in case you need to remove some and not others.

Keep it simple, with a light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkling of salt and pepper. This allows the flavors of the veggies to really shine.

Use a hot, 425 F oven, middle rack.

Check at 15 minutes, rotate pan and give a quick toss, continue cooking 5-15 minutes or until fork tender.

I always like to include an onion and bell pepper for flavor. (Just a personal preference)
Of course you can add a herb – thyme, rosemary, sage- all work well.

Chimichurri

1/4 cup red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh chilis, diced (jalapeno, red chilies, or feel free to omit for a milder version)
1 cup Cilantro, tiny stems OK
1 cup Parsley, thin stems OK
1 tablespoon fresh oregano ( or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1–2 limes) or use red wine vinegar (or use half lime and half vinegar)
3/4 cup olive oil, add more to the desired consistency
1 tsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika– (optional –only if you like smokey flavor)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, more or to taste

Finely mince everything and place it in a medium bowl along with remaining ingredients. (Or, alternatively, use a food processor: Place onion, garlic, and fresh chili if using, and pulse several times until very finely chopped. Add cilantro ( tender stems are fine) Italian parsley, and oregano, pulse again until chopped. Add olive oil, lime juice, smoked paprika (optional), salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times, until well combined (but not too smooth). If the mixture seems thick add a little more oil to loosen it up.)

Taste, adjust salt, lime and heat ( add more chilies or chili flakes) to your liking. If it tastes bitter, check your olive oil.

Sprinkle with chili flakes and few cilantro leaves.

This will keep up to 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

notes

For a spicier version add fresh jalapeño!

Grilled Vegetables with Agrodolce and Burrata

FOR THE AGRODOLCE SAUCE:
1/4 cup chopped raisins, preferably golden, or dried apricots
2/3 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar (or a combination)
2 tablespoons honey, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce or colatura (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Pinch of fine sea salt

FOR THE VEGETABLES (USE ANY OR ALL):
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 bell peppers, quartered, stems and seeds removed
1 to 2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
2 to 4 ears yellow corn, shucked
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and halved or quartered
1 bunch thick asparagus, ends snapped
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, preferably still on the vine

FOR SERVING:
2 small burrata or fresh mozzarella balls, or 2 cups fresh ricotta
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basil or mint leaves, for serving
Crusty bread slices

Make the sauce: Put raisins or apricots in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, fish sauce or colatura (if using), red-pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the mixture reduces slightly, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour over the raisins and let cool. Taste and stir in a little more honey if the sauce is too harsh. (Sauce can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)

Prepare the vegetables: Oil the grill grate and light the grill. Have a serving platter at the ready.

Grill the peppers, zucchini, eggplant and corn directly on the grate, in batches if necessary, and turning them as needed. Move them around the grate so they cook evenly. Cook until they are lightly charred, watching them carefully, 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the vegetable.

To grill the mushrooms and asparagus, place them in a grilling basket if you have one, or put directly on the grill. (Arrange the asparagus perpendicular to the grates so they don’t fall through.) Grill, turning as needed, until charred all over, 6 to 10 minutes. Grill the cherry tomatoes, using the vine as a handle if possible, for 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to burst and char slightly. Transfer all the vegetables as they cook directly to the serving platter.

Add the cheese to the platter next to the vegetables. Immediately drizzle everything with some of the sauce, stirring it up to get the raisins, and with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper and scatter the herbs generously on top. Serve the extra sauce and the bread alongside for making crostini with some of the vegetables and more of the tangy sauce.

Tip:
To make this using a broiler, spread the vegetables on a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle with oil and broil until browned on top, then flip and broil until browned on the other side. The timing will depend on the vegetable, so stick with one kind per baking pan. You’ll need to do this in batches. You can also use a grill pan.