I just can’t wait to see and taste the fresh fruits and veggies of the summer! They’re so colorful and sweet, yet a little tart too! As I finalized my menu for one of the beginning of the summer season on Memorial Day weekend, I wanted a colorful tropical fruit and veggie salsa to dress up my grilled steak. One of my favorite cuts of steak is a flank, but I’ll be honest, the price was outrageous, and I was feeding 8 adults! So I went with a London Broil and marinated the heck out of it!
We spent most of the Memorial Day weekend in Ocean City, New Jersey. Anyone on the East coast this year who couldn’t wait to get out in the sun, spend time on the beach, by a pool, or hiking and biking wanted to cry over the wet and windy weather…three days straight! We were in our three-bedroom 2nd floor condo with 6 adults, my 1-year-old granddaughter, and our grand dog, Scout (a 90 lb. lab-pit mix). Not much to do but eat, drink, binge TV shows, play UNO, Cards Against Humanity, and work on puzzles. Except in our case, we also chased around Liliana…All – THREE – DAYS– LONG! Friday – Saturday – Sunday. And to make matter worse, we could hardly get out and walk around because you would have been soaked through to your bones with the kind of rain and wind we had. It was time to look on the bright side! What to cook and drink! Now we’re talkin’!
I bought a 3 lb. London Broil, and made a marinade that was inspired by a recipe from the June Fete cookbook my dear friend Pat gave to me about 30 years ago! Yes, 30 years ago! I can’t believe it was that long ago! I still use that cookbook for so, so many recipes! Of course in my Madeline style, I don’t follow each recipe exactly when it comes to cooking but tend to veer off the beaten path a little and jazz things up in my own way.
Well, this recipe is one where you can veer off the beaten path and you really can’t go wrong! I’d love to encourage you to be a little daring and give things a try! Just look for whatever vegetables and fruits you have in your fridge or in the counter. Apples, oranges, mango, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, peaches, red, yellow and/or green peppers, green onions, even cucumber! Dice up ½ cup each of a mix of 4 – 6 ingredients (making sure you use some sort of pepper or tomato in the mix). Put in a couple tablespoons of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey or white sugar, a squirt of lime juice, a little salt and red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley (or mint for an added twist) Mix it all up and place in the fridge for a couple hours or even overnight! The more those ingredients marinate, the better it tastes!
And when I marinate a steak of some kind, I look for a few key ingredients that work together. Just like Samin Nosrat’s (one of my cooking heroes) book, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.” Use Vegetable or Avocado Oil for the “fat”, Orange Juice, Lime or Rice Vinegar for the “acid”, Chili Sauce, Ketchup and some kosher salt for the “salt”, and a grill for the searing “heat!” Add a little honey or maple syrup for some sweetness, garlic, or scallions (green onions) for flavor, red pepper flakes and/or black pepper and some orange or lime slices! If it’s a less tender cut of meat like a London Broil, marinate it over night if you can. And when you go to grill it, grill it to a rare – medium-rare temperature (between 125 – 135°), and let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing so the juice fills back up into the meat. Slice it nice and thin…as thin as you can, and you will think it’s a flank steak! (Well, as close as you can get for half the price!)
I also bought a sockeye salmon and made a sweet and tangy paste for using brown sugar, a smidge of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, chili-lime seasoning and fresh oranges and baked it in the oven on 400° for about 15 minutes until the salmon was flakey and slightly firm to the touch (when you gently tap the top with the tip of your finger).
I roasted some red potatoes with rosemary, lemon, and my blended oil seasoning at 400° for about 45 minutes until they were nice and crispy. I cut them up in about 1-inch chunks before roasting. I also sautéed some mushrooms in a little butter and brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
Among the various types of alcoholic beverages that weekend (and there were many), we paired this meal with a Bourbon and Ginger Beer garnished with mint and lime. Then had Coppola’s Claret and Bogle’s Cabernet Sauvignon!
And voila! A surf and turf meal at my summer kick off for Memorial Day weekend! We have lots of great food and drink coming up, so stay tuned my friends and family!
Let’s Get Cookin’
Grilled Steak with Tropical Fruit Salsa
- Gas or Stove Top Grill
- 1 ½ lbs Flank Steak or London Broil
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 TBLSP chili sauce
- 2 TBLSP soy sauce
- 2 TBLSP vegetable or avocado oil
- 1 tsp honey or white sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh parsley or rosemary
Tropical Fruit Salsa
- ½ cup (each) pineapple, mango, papaya, green apple
- ½ cup green or red pepper
- ¼ cup yellow or orange pepper
- 2 TBLSP rice vinegar
- 4 tsp honey or white sugar
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 TBLSP minced parsley or mint for garnish
- Combine all ingredients but the orange slices.
- Coat the beef well with the marinade and cover with the orange slices, saving a couple slices for garnish when plating the steak. Place in a Ziploc bag or shallow dish and marinate 3 hours or overnight.
- If using a flank steak, cook steak on grill over medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes or medium rare (135°).
- Let rest 10 minutes before carving. Carve thin slices against the grain. Garnish with orange slices and fresh parsley or rosemary.
Tropical Fruit Salsa
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. makes about 3 cups.