Glad you’re cookin’ with me today!
As we are heading into the end of summer (can’t believe we are), grilling is always top of mind, and for whatever reason for me, Bourbon! Who’d a thought….well my family and friends would as they know I enjoy a good party and refreshing adult beverages when we get together! And there are sooooo many alcohol products that can really enhance the flavor of so many dishes! I call it “cooking, baking and entertaining with a buzz”! Thank you Erin Morrissey of @ErinLivesWhole for your Flank Steak inspiration this month! Thanks for the reminder that brought back great memories of our family get togethers and giving you a memory of the Flank Steak I loved to grill for everyone!
Flank steak is a such a great cut of steak because you really don’t have to do much at all to it before grilling or tossing on a cast iron pan or indoor griddle. But that doesn’t mean you don’t marinate it if you want! And since I’ve been on this Bourbon kick recently, I thought I had to use it for a marinade for the Flank Steak! Bourbon and steak just seem to go together, don’t they?
And it was perfect for a meat entrée as my Sunday Summertime Buffet for some of my dear out-of-town family that came over on Sunday! Adding ingredients like Orange Fused Olive Oil and Bourbon Balsamic Vinegar from Capella’s Oil & Vinegar store in Ocean City, NJ makes this marinade sing! The bourbon itself doesn’t hurt, either! Add some fresh ginger, Dijon mustard, squeeze some juice from a blood orange, and a few other ingredients from my recipe below, and you and your guests will LOVE the result!
This brings me to my 5 Rules of Summertime Buffet Entertaining! Or anytime of year for that matter!
Rule #1: THINK IN “THREES”! Pick a protein, starch and vegetable as your main course. I do like to have a couple proteins for variety, which in my family are usually meats of some kind. For example, beef and chicken, pork and salmon, shrimp and turkey burgers, etc. And on the bookends, a simple appetizer (cheese and crackers or chips and dips) on one end, and dessert on the other (make your own sundaes, pound cake, strawberries and whipped cream) finish it all off beautifully!
Rule #2: LESS IS MORE! Keep it simple! Boil a pound of pasta, or roast potatoes in the oven using with my blended oil seasoning and some herbs you may have in your garden or dried herbs in your spice cabinet. And for veggies, you can grill some asparagus, boil some carrots and put butter and brown sugar on them, or toss a salad together with EVOO and a balsamic or red wine vinegar! And as for drinks, a simple red, white and rose wine, a light and regular beer in a cooler, and one or two liquors with tonic or club soda and lemon and limes are perfect for the bar! I grab green tea or water with cucumbers or strawberries for quenching your thirst!
Rule #3: MAKE IT COLORFUL! Think about greens, reds, and yellows that make your plate appealing and exciting to eat! It’s not just the taste of food but grabbing the eye so that you experience the meal fully! If your plate looks a little monotone, jazz it up with slices of an orange or red pepper, sprig of fresh herbs, or an edible flower! Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Rule #4: GET THE HOUSE READY FIRST! You can always be chopping up veggies or arranging an appetizer while your guests hang with you in the kitchen, but it would look pretty awkward if you were sweeping the floor or cleaning a bathroom when they arrive! (Believe it or not, this has happened to me!)
Rule #5: ENJOY YOURSELF! Make sure you are “in the moment” and spend time with your guests! If it means having them help you in the kitchen, so be it! Everyone loves to help! It makes them feel more at home, too! And if you are pressed for time, ask everyone to bring something! Potlucks are the best! Or order some take out!
My menu on Sunday consisted of the following and I’ll be sharing the recipes for them in the upcoming weeks:
- Bourbon Inspired Flank Steak and Boneless Chicken Thighs
- Roasted Baby Potatoes with Fresh Garlic and my Blended Oil Seasoning
- Roasted Vegetables with Pineapple and my Blended Oil Seasoning
- Caesar Salad with Big Croutons
- “Garlicky” Garlic Bread
The bottom line is not to forgo a gathering because you’re worried about the preparation! It’s such a joy to be with family and friends as often as you can, and enjoy good food, drink and company!
Oh and I just remembered! Rule #6: Have a refreshing drink with you! Like a glass of wine, beer, adult beverage or a refreshing sparkling soda with lemon or lime! You can party with your guests and cook at the same time!
Until next time……
Let’s Get Cookin’
Bourbon Inspired Flank Steak
- Outdoor or Indoor Grill
- Medium Mixing Bowl
Bourbon Blood Orange Marinade and Grilled Flank Steak
- 2 lbs flank steak
- 6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 cup blood orange fused olive oil You can substitute olive, grapeseed or avocado oil
- ½ cup bourbon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 oz bourbon honey You can substitute plain honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup bourbon
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed blood orange
- ½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
- Pour marinade over flank steak and place in a 9' x 13' aluminum or glass pan and cover with foil or saran wrap. You can also put the flank steak and marinade in a Ziploc bag.
- Place the flank steak in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 - 4 hours.
- Prepare outdoor grill on medium high temperature.
- Place the flank steak on the grill and cook for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Check temperature for medium rare, about 135°.
- Remove flank steak from grill and let rest on a plate, covered, for about 10 minutes before slicing.
- Slice thinly against the grain. Plate and garnish with fresh rosemary and sliced blood orange.