I wrote once in my column about Ellen’s little tin box. It’s magical. Chock full of recipes from so many years of collecting. She got the box at Hershey Chocolate World when she was in high school (not really that long ago), and in the ensuing years collected recipes from magazines and newspapers and various other sources, including many of her mother’s recipes, which she wrote down on 3×5 cards. It features recipes like “porcupine meatballs,” and “shake-and-bake chicken,” and “Mrs. Fuller’s soup,” and “Chowning Tavern’s Brunswick stew,” and corn pudding, and…and…and…on and on and on. As I said, it’s magic! Many of the recipes have become part of our current dinner rotation, and I fell in love with her over the meat loaf recipe (romantic, huh?). The meat loaf is so good that I have abandoned my mother’s recipe and my own recipe, and even the Epicure Market’s recipe, because the one in the tin box is perfect.
That said, I’m going to give you a simple one, a favorite around here, one that gets requested over and over again, and now that I’ve discovered the Char-Broil infrared grill, it’s a 10-minute breeze and a serious winner. I tend to want my beef done simply–salt and pepper and a little garlic and butter–but this one, a large steak grilled and sliced to serve, just wants a wonderful marinade. This one is it. Simple and elegant, tasty and memorable. If you crave a beef supper with a little zing, try this one. Serve it with a simple cold salad and some oven roasted sweet-potato fries. Fantastic!
Grilled Teriyaki Flank Steak (or London Broil)
2- to 3-pound flank steak or London Broil
1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground ginger
Combine all the ingredients in a pan large and deep enough to allow the steak to lie flat and to hold the marinade and the steak.
Deeply pierce both sides of the steak with a fork, at 1-inch intervals. Place the steak in the marinade, allow to rest for 1/2 hour, then turn. Turn the steak every hour, marinating for at least four hours, but no more than eight.
Prepare a charcoal grill, allowing the charcoal to turn white, and resting under half the cooking grate; or preheat one burner of a gas grill for 10 minutes.
Allow the steak to come to room temperature before grilling. Place the steak directly over the hot coals or the burner for five minutes, turn and repeat on the other side. Then move the steak off the direct heat and continue cooking another five to seven minutes for medium-rare steak–or minutes longer if you prefer your steak more done–until the steak reaches 140 degrees internal temperature measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove the steak from the grill, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Slice the steak across the grain and serve with small bowls of Teriyaki sauce for dipping.
Perfect Oven-roasted Sweet Potato Fries
1-2 large sweet potatoes
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cut the ends off the potatoes, then slice them into 1/2-inch slices. Turn the potatoes to stack the slices, then slice them into 1/2-inch slices again, to make half-inch by half-inch potato sticks. Place them in a mixing bowl, add the salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil and toss to coat well.
Lay the fries in a single layer on foil-lined baking sheets (use more than one baking sheet if necessary. Don’t stack the potato fries.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, turn over, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes more. They are done when they begin to brown and crisp. Serve with the steak, and a dipping sauce of your choice or ketchup or ranch dressing.