Molasses Pepper Beef Steaks and Why Blackstrap is Better

Seeing as June is National Steak Month and I’m a bona fide beef-grilling mama, I knew I had to share my Molasses Pepper Crusted Steak as soon as possible. I originally made this super-easy, mouth-watering hunk of meat for Beef Loving Texans, it was an act of love that involved one of my favorite cuts of beef – Flat Iron.

Molasses & Pepper Crusted Flat Iron Steak

Flat Iron steaks are super tender, second only to tenderloin – yet cost half or two-thirds the price per pound. Plus, this now-trending cut of beef has yet to fail me on the grill thanks to the uniform rectangular shape. You may have passed up a Flat Iron, as they look a little thin on the meat tray, however, due to the method of the cut, they actually puff up on the grill to become surprisingly thick and hearty.  If you don’t see this must-try steak cut in the meat case, just ask the butcher and he should be able to hook you up! Read on to get more details about this 30-minute grill recipe and to learn the nutritional benefits of blackstrap molasses. Continue reading

Globally Inspired Steak Recipes using Wet Rubs

Strip Steaks for Grill with Wet RubWe are just a couples weeks out from Memorial Day, the “official” start of grilling season in most parts of the country. One of the “grate” perks about living here in the Lone Star State is firing up the grill a month or so earlier thanks to near-guaranteed beautiful weather.  However,I’d bet my last bag of charcoal brickettes that even if backyards from Amarillo to McAllen were to be covered in blankets of freak snow, we meat-eating Texans would still be outside fixing up some steaks – make no mistake!

jennifer fisher I love beefI’ve known my way around the grill since knee high, from camping grub to just keeping the kitchen cool in the suumer.  However, if you need a refresher on this meaty matter, you can catch up on grilling basics at TxBeef.org. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about making the most from your charcoal grilling, gas grilling or smoking experience and also learn just about every other cooking method invented for beef! There is no better job than spreading the grilling love on behalf of Texas cattleman — in fact, I’m teaming up to teach another Grilling 101 class this weekend.

 

Aside from the technicalities of building a fire (or turning a knob), creating memorable flavor while maintaining the juiciness tenderness of a steak is what will ensure your success as a sizzling, tong-twirling superstar at the grill. While salt and pepper always add simple flavor to a good hunk of beef, sometimes a little more “wow” is on the wish-list of dinner guests Rubs are a quick and easy way to add an endless array of flavor profiles to steak.

Globally Inspired Wet Rub Recipes for Steak

Globally Inspired Wet Rub Recipes for Steak – an easy way to add flavor without a lot of fat when grilling or pan searing.

Today, I’m sharing three wet rub recipes that will kick up your grill game in a creative cross-cultural way. The Tex-Mex inspired Mi Casa Steak Rub, Spanish-meets-California inspired Valencia Steak Rub, and Asian-centric Shanghai Steak Rub all added a little something special to steaks at my recent weekend cookout.

Mi Casa Steak Rub

Valencia Steak Rub

Shanghai Steak Rub

These steak rub recipes aren’t the dry rubs recipes you may be familiar with, made with just herbs, spices and other non-liquid seasonings. Instead, wet rubs add just a little bit of liquid, but not enough to be a marinade – the consistency is more like a paste or thick dredge. Liquids used in wet rubs would be similar to those found in a marinade (like oils, juices, wine, wet condiments), but measured in a much smaller volume. While marinades are typically applied for several hours (up to a day) to render tougher cuts less chewy, wet rubs can be used to add loads of flavor on inherently tender cuts like strip steak, tenderloin, ribeye, T-bone, flat iron and more in 15 – 30 minutes.

Tips for Wet Rub Success:

  • For quick clean up, mix ingredients in zip-top bag, add steaks and massage around until coated.
  • Or, mix in small bowl and apply to steaks with a silicone brush or fingers.
  • It is fine to leave wet rub on for more than the 15 – 30 minutes, but make sure to place in refrigerator.
  • Discard any juices that remain in the bag.
  • Feel free to double or triple recipes if grilling for a crowd.
  • Make another batch to use as a grilling sauce for skewers of vegetables.
  • Allow yourself to make substitutions, experiment and create your own signature touch –that’s the fun in grilling!

How do you prep your steaks? What is your favorite cut of steak? Which of these three rubs sounds the best? What are your weekend plans — please share in the comments below – XOXO Jennifer 

Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate VinaigretteLooking for an easy yet elegant salad — a gorgeous plate of early fall flavors that will have co-workers peeking over the cubicle or neighbors knowing at the door? My Steak Salad with Fig, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette will have you running to the grill for some last minute steak-making before Jack Frost rears his ugly head. Honestly, in Austin, the fall is the BEST time of year for grilling!

Jennifer Fisher Vim & Vigr AmbassadorAnd, time to break out the compression socks, finally!

Check out my favorite brand, Vim & Vigr — I’m an ambassador for this fun, quirky and super stylish sock company!  Their Instagram profile also equally energizing!

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This salad features top sirloin steak, a lean cut of beef that packs a great nutritional punch for athletes and active individuals with only about 150 calories and 6.5 grams fat for a 3 ounce serving plus 26 grams protein and lots of iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. The beauty of sirloin is it’s versatility, convenience and (duh) taste – it’s a weekday AND weekend go-to for me. Because sirloin is already a fairly tender cut, there is no need to marinade except to add flavor — my simple pomegranate marinade adds a slightly sweet, super delish dose of that!  But, if you are rushed and need to skip marinating, the recipe will still be yummy.

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Figs have been so great lately, you may want to make a few more fig recipes before the season is over. Check out the 5 Ways with Fresh Figs from the Simmer and Boil blog at CookingLight.com figs with prosciutto

What is your take on fresh figs, love ’em or hate ’em?  What are you doing this weekend, anyone have a race? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Enjoy the ripe, rich fruits of fall on a delicious steak salad that is kicked up with the aged tang of blue cheese and salty Spanish Almonds.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Fig & Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Steak, Fig and Blue Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Enjoy the ripe, rich fruits of fall on a delicious steak salad that is kicked up with the aged tang of blue cheese and salty Spanish Almonds.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 25 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
For Marinade and Steak:
For Dressing
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add pomegranate juice, oil, molasses, vinegar, pepper, salt, and thyme to non-reactive boil and whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. Pour into heavy-duty zip-top bag and add sirloin steak(s). Seal top and gently toss a few times to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 6 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette by simmering the pomegranate juice in non-reactive saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup, approximately 9 or 10 minutes. Remove from heat. While still warm, stir in the honey, salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; set aside to cool.
  3. When ready to prepare steaks, heat grill to 400 F degrees. Drain and discard marinade from steaks. Grill steaks for approximately 5 minutes per side, flipping once. Remove from grill when instant read thermometer reaches 135 F degrees when inserted at thickest part of meat. Let rest for at least 5 minutes while prepping salads. To prepare salad, divide spring mix evenly among four plates. Top with halved figs, pomegranate arils, almonds and blue cheese crumbles. Slice steak thinly across grain and top each salad with 3 to 4 ounces of beef. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
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Food for Fathers | Lemon Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons

Lemon Grlled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons will brighten up your summer supper and taste buds!

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to the dads! I’m cooking dinner over here for my own special dad and will be hooking him up with this healthy salad. Grilling up a hunk of meat and serving it atop a bed of leafy greens is definitely my specialty – you could say I’m an expert and an addict! As far as obsessions go, at least it’s a healthy one and I’m super excited to share it with my father and the other dads in my life.

Message fpr Dad's Birthday "You are a Prime Cut aged to perfection."

Message fpr Dad’s Birthday “You are a Prime Cut aged to perfection.”

If I had my way, I’d be grilling a juicy, tender USDA Prime tenderloin for my salad every night – ahh, but I have children going to college. I know my dad understands  — if he doesn’t I hope he remember how I hooked him up with some of the best ribeyes for his birthday.

However, using a marinade is a simple solution that transforms a tough (and thusly less expensive) cut of beef into delicious, succulent slices of heaven for your salad – or any type meal.   The acidic liquids used in marinade help to break down tough muscle fibers found in beef cuts like chuck, round, flank, skirt and others. These toothsome cuts can be marinated for a minimum of 4 hours to 24 hours to improve tenderness and add flavor – don’t marinate any longer though because the texture will turn mushy. Inherently tender cuts of beef (like tenderloin, ribeyes and such) can be marinated too, but just to add flavor  –the optimal time is about 30 mintutes of soak time, don’t go any longer than 2 hours because of the mush factor. Oh, and when marinating for any purpose, always keep meat soaking in the fridge (not on the counter) and discard any marinade that has come into contact with raw meat.

This basic beef marinade uses 1/4 acidic juice, 1/3 oil and 1/3 fermented sauce to create a base recipe that can be customized with herbs, spices and other flavorful ingredients.

I’ve been putting together a post for BeefLovingTexans.com on Marinating Beef 101 – it’s yet to be published, I’ll let you know when it is! In the meantime, check out the Basic Beef Marinade Recipe I put together for them (and also the one I use in the recipe below).  What I love about this super simple marinade recipe is that it is fantastic “as-is,” but can be spiced up with your choosing of any herb, seasoning, alternate juice or fermented sauce. The possibilities are endless, just stick to the “one-third, one-third, one-third” format.

Lemon Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons

Lemon Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons
Food for Fathers | Lemon Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons
Print Recipe
This nutritious beef salad made with grilled flank steak is topped with charred lemons and persimmons and makes a lovely entree for summer outdoor entertaining.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 6.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 6.5 hours
Lemon Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons
Food for Fathers | Lemon Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Persimmons
Print Recipe
This nutritious beef salad made with grilled flank steak is topped with charred lemons and persimmons and makes a lovely entree for summer outdoor entertaining.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 6.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 6.5 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. 1 1.5 lb flank steak ¼ cup fresh lemon juice ¼ cup soy sauce ¼ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon crushed garlic 4 lemons, halved 1 large red onion, sliced crosswise into 4 thick disks 1 bunch green onions with tops 2 persimmons (or can substitute peaches or another fruit of choice) 4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese
  2. Add trimmed flank steak, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic to zip top bag. Seal closed and turn several times to coat meat. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 6 hours to over night. Remove and discard all marinade, pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring grill to approximately 400 F degrees and grill flank steak for approximately 10 - 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Steak will be done at medium rare when instant-read meat thermometer pulls at 135 F degrees in thickest part of steak. Set on cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Ten minutes into grilling, add lemons,red onion and persimmons cut side down on grates. Grill alongside beef and remove when softening and have grate marks. Toss on green onions during last 2 minutes of grilling, they will cook fast.
  5. Remove veggies from grill, let cool a bit and then slice up into desired size. Add to platter of spring mix lettuce.
  6. Slice flank steak thinly across the grain. Add to top of salad, sprinkle with feta cheese and serve with dressing of choice.
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Last Minute Ideas for Grill – Burgers, Bananas & More Recipes!

LaI’m not a plan-aheader. I used to make lists, follow detailed workout schedules and fret about the future. I’d also worry what we were going to eat days in advance — not that meal planning is a bad thing, actually it’s awesome. It’s just right now, where I am in life coupled with how busy my family is, there is just no telling who will be home for dinner when.  So typically, I just wing it knowing that if I keep lean meats in the freezer and fresh produce in the fridge, I can always whip up a quick and reasonably healthy meal out on the grill. Lucky to be in Austin where I can pretty much grill year-round.

Showing folks how to grill (indoors) at Whole Foods with Sarah from Mix 94.7 !

Showing folks how to grill (indoors) at Whole Foods with Sarah from Mix 94.7 !

Grilling is one of my cooking methods; I’ve taught classes on it and you could say I flip for it! Not only does it make beef, chicken, fish and all the veggies (and fruits) taste fantastic, it’s a healthy way to prepare food because you are not adding any additional fats.  However, research has shown that meats cooked over high heat can cause carcinogens to form — but there are easy ways to keep grilling safe. Namely, marinate if possible to create an “invisible” barrier, clean the grill grates, par cook thicker cuts in microwave, prevent and flare ups of fire by cooking over medium heat – these will all help carcinogens heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from forming. However, if you do get crispy bits, don’t freak – just cut that part off.

Here are some great grilling recipes for a last-minute BBQ bash! Enjoy!

Sirloin Cobb Kebab - Your favorite entree salad on a stick!

Sirloin Cobb Kebabs with Ranch Viniagrette

jennifer fisher - grilled bananas - main photo option1

Grilled Chocolate Raspberry Banana Boats

Mojo Chicken Breast and Grilled Citrus -- perfect for spring and summer entertaining.

Mojo Chicken Breasts with Grilled Citrus

Seared Steak and Mango Thai Noodle Salad

Seared Thai Steak Salad

Grill apricots to magnify their flavor and toss on an easy dale salad!Grilled Apricot Kale Salad (add grilled shrimp to make this one an entree)

Beef Burger Bonanza

Enjoy ALL the burgers with this round up of unique hamburgers – and, BTW, I have no guilt about eating one now and then.

What are you grilling today?  Please share in the comments!