Tag Archives: marinade

Cobb Style Steak Salad

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I was hoping Mother Nature might take pity on us by wielding her mighty weather wand because October has arrived and with it, the promise of Fall.  All things apples and pumpkins, steaming bowls of comforting soup to stave off a late afternoon chill in the air.  New wooly socks and freshly knitted scarves in blended hues of purple and rust.  Leaves that change color seemingly overnight, then fall to the ground before one realizes it.  Standing on the porch in the evening to inhale the fresh air and scent of burning wood from a fireplace nearby.  Cuddling and snuggling…

Wait.  Not necessarily.

It’s a sweltering 94 degrees today, and for those who live inland in San Diego county, the temperatures are well past 100 degrees.  There’s a breeze wafting through our house, but it’s a warm one and so the fan cycling the air beneath my desk sends welcome relief.  As much as it is not all that unusual for our weather to be warm well into Fall, this is a bit much, and it’s had me thinking about the idea of looking forward to something often elusive — for me, at least — instead of embracing that which is today, and now.

The hubster and I often chide ourselves for being the weather nerds we are, but so be it.  And just to confirm it, I have a weather widget on all my devices tagged with my favorite cities — or cities where my favorite people live — and I frequently check to see how their weather differs from ours. Yes, really.

Guess what?  It seems to be pretty warm most everywhere today.  Allow me to illustrate:

Virginia (my sister lives there) is not quite as warm as it is here, but 75 degrees today is quite nice for October 2nd even if there are thunder storms.

Toronto (where I had the great pleasure of visiting recently) enjoyed a balmy 68 degrees today.

Western New York state (my childhood BFF lives there) had rain, but it was 66 degrees.  That’s warm by my standards and rain would be most welcomed.

San Francisco (teh ManBoy goes to school there) was most likely baking in the high 80s temps today and I heard from his roomie, so check.

Rota, Spain (my favorite childhood home) enjoyed 80 degree temps. Beach, anyone?

Even London, England (favorite vacation destination) managed 61 degrees today. Not enough for more than two light layers.  Maybe.

Fall?  What Fall?  Seriously?

I’ll blatantly ignore the calendar (and far more delicately with apologies, of course, the lovely New England folks nudging the rest of us along their pipe dream), to wallow instead in the moment of nowTodayLife where I live.   Life where fresh produce grows all year long and Farmers’ Markets don’t close for the season.  Really!  Life where the sun shines and shines.  I need to embrace the warm days and nights craved in June when the calendar said I should, instead of knowing they’d show up as they always do in September and October.  Brace myself for the piercing sunlight so normal here for this time of year. Welcome the nights of cool relief from the day’s heat. People who deal with excessive humidity just don’t understand the wonder of it.  It’s not the same as their summer.  Their heavy heat and humidity.  Not even close.

Relax and enjoy that life is good, I say. Regardless.

Perhaps we’ll have a salad for dinner since I can’t bear to think of turning on the oven for the Macaroni & Cheese I promised the hubster.    No, this recipe for Cobb Style Steak Salad will be something  that  the barbie can be fired up for if you’d like, or more easily, a panini pan used if one is handy. Either way, it’s all about enjoying the fresh flavors of a great dinner salad — warm weather or not.


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Grilled Steak: Marinade is Hot & Tangy

November 10th is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  No, I’m not a Marine, but my uncle was during the Vietnam war.  So how have I gotten onto this subject?  Let’s see if I can actually connect the dots…

Most importantly, we are celebrating Veteran’s Day this weekend, and it’s important to note that much of what we enjoy from one day to the next has been fought for and protected by the men and women of the Armed Forces.  My brother-in-law was a Navy Commander, and my nephew is currently serving in the Air Force.  I don’t take their service for granted and do think about the sacrifice they and their families have made — one that isn’t easy to put into words.  One I struggle with each time I open the paper and read about their efforts in places I wouldn’t want to be.

But I have Mike at Port 16 to thank for the "Disco’s Hot and Tangy" steak recipe and information regarding "Command of the Grill" week which raises money to support wounded Marines and their families with the sale of a cookbook sponsored by Weber.  Mike has all the information here.  In fact, he’s detailed a few recipes because he’s tried them himself. You know you cannot resist another cookbook, so don’t lie.  So think about that Christmas gift list and those steak lovers in your life. 

Okay, onto the food.

A couple of months ago, a good friend stopped by with a gift certificate to a favorite nursery that happened to be perched in this plant.  You do know what it is, don’t you?  The plant?  A habanero.  I love spicy food.  Very spicy food.  But I’ve never tried a habanero before.  Somehow, what I’ve read about them just makes me steer clear, worrying about what that heat might do to me.  Plus, although my huzbink will eat spicy food, he doesn’t like it quite that spicy.  And my son?  He gives me that flat-eyed look and says, "Mom. You. Know. I. Don’t. Like. Spicy. Food."  I smile and tell him that I know, but that he only has to try it.  So he does.

So when I was doing my due diligence to NaBloPoMo a few days ago I came across Mike and his droolworthy photo of Disco’s Hot and Tangy New York Strip Steaks recipe. (I think I found Mike in Scott’s blogroll…or maybe he found me there.  You know how that works, right?) It had me thinking that I had just the habaneros to put in that recipe. 

Now before you get worked up over not liking spicy food yourself, remember: you don’t have to use habaneros. Or char them over a flame and remove the seeds, then chop them.  You might consider substituting a different type of chili or spice or leaving the heat out all together.  But live a little.  What’s the worse that can happen? 

Your eyes will swell shut, your nose will run, and your tongue will spontaneously combust?  Just kidding.

Check it out.  And remember…it’s for an excellent cause.  Besides.  It’s a three day weekend, and you could spice things up a bit with a good piece o’ meat.  Right?  Ahem.  And don’t even think of using the excuse that you’ve put your barbie away.  I got my huzbink to use a grilling skillet on top of the range. It was dark and cold out by the barbeque and there was no way I was going to be able to coerce him to go out there to grill anything.

I’ve included quick recipes for the rice and vegetable we enjoyed this steak with at the end of this post.

Disco’s Hot and Tangy New York Strip Steak

Marinade Ingredients

1 can (12 oz.) Coke

1/2 c. soy sauce

1/2 c. garlic teriyaki sauce (Kikkoman makes it and it has a purple label)

1 habanero chile pepper, finely chopped with seeds

1 T grated orange zest

1 T freshly ground ginger

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. ground black pepper

3/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

and 4 New York strip steaks, about 8 oz. each and 3/4" thick


In a medium bowl mix the marinade ingredients.  Place the steaks in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade.  Press out the air, seal the bag, and turn several times to coat the meat.  Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Let the steaks stand at room temp for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.  Remove the steaks from the bag and reserve the marinade.  Pour the marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and boil for about 10 seconds.  Set aside about half of the marinade for basting the steaks.  For the remaining marinade in the saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until it has reduced to the consistency of a dipping sauce, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.

Pat the steaks dry with paper towels.  Lightly coat the steaks with oil.

With the lid closed, grill the steaks over direct high heat (500 to 550 degrees F) until cooked to desired doneness, 5 to 7 minutes for med-rare, turning once and basting with a little of the boiled marinade.  If flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect high heat.  Remove from the grill and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve warm with the dipping sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

Notes:  We have been working to cut back on the size of portions we eat, and I happened to have top sirloin in the freezer, so I thawed out three 4 to 6 oz. portions and let those marinate about 2 to 3 hours. On the stove top, we used my panini pan (which still has the burnt on marinade…) to grill the steaks, using the  baste a couple of times.  I reduced the remainder of the marinade to about half.  The verdict?  The steaks have very good flavor.  The heat from the habanero is different that what I’m used to, with the burn being a slow one that happens toward the back of the mouth.  It’s warm, and not sharp.  The dipping sauce was a bit salty for us, but I know that’s because there’s quite a bit of sodium in soy sauce, so I’ll experiment with it a bit to tailor it to our palates.  I think this marinate would be excellent on chicken or shrimp — especially shrimp and can’t wait to try it.

Thanks, Mike, for the information and the head’s up to a great recipe!

I served the steak with shaved brussels sprouts (now just wait for it, because I guarantee this will change your mind about the much maligned vegetable) and a quick rice recipe.

For the Brussels sprouts
, using the slicing disk attachment of a food processor, and with the machine running, drop the sprouts one or two at a time.  If you want the sprouts to be sliced,load the Brussels sprouts into the tube, and push them gently down through the tube with the machine running.  They’ll go pretty quickly. I used about 8-10 oz. of sprouts. Chop a couple cloves of garlic and a shallot.  Saute the garlic and shallots in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft, then add the sprouts and saute until softened and beginning to brown.  Season and enjoy.  These are excellent if you use chopped proscuitto or bacon instead of the olive oil in the beginning,  but we’re watching our calories…

For the rice
, cook three cups of jasmine rice according to package directions.  Set aside.  In a frying pan, heat 2 T olive oil and saute 1/4 c. chopped onions and 2 minced cloves garlic.  Add 1/4 c. sliced fresh  mushrooms and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add the rice and stir-fry a couple of minutes before adding 1-2 T soy sauce.  Add 2 thinly sliced green onions (all parts), stir, correct seasoning, and serve.

What really tastes excellent, and is a great meal in itself is mixing the Brussels sprouts with the rice.  The flavor is amazing, and if you are someone who doesn’t eat meat, you will enjoy the nutty tasting flavor.  I had it for lunch the next day.

Brown Derby Style Cobb Salad

This past week has been a whirlwind of activity for us.   Mild in comparison to past years, but after so many months of having the house entirely to myself each day, having the Resident Teen out of school, wondering about summer school, and no summer camp scheduled for the first time in ten years — well — my blogging time is all helter-skelter.  To boot, my husband is sorely in need of a vacation so decided we’d all get away for a bit last weekend.  Needless to say, my poor blog has been left unattended.  Stressfully so.  It feels somewhat like leaving a child that needs attention.

Our little trip this past weekend was to Universal Studios in LA, or Hollywood, as they describe it even though Hollywood is a bit of a trek down the 101.  Still, the theme park is nestled up against quite a hill, and is home of the real McCoy.  You know — the place where Universal’s famous back lot and sound stages are.  The place where they filmed so many wonderful movies — especially the old ones.  Those black and white gems with stars like Jimmy Stewart and Rock Hudson.  Why the inspiration and connection to food?  The Brown Derby restaurant, of course.  No,we didn’t eat there because it no longer exists like so many other of the old places.  But the original Bob’s Big Boy does, so we did eat breakfast there sitting in a vinyl booth, enjoying all the old photos of Hollywood, old Los Angeles, and movie stars.  It was completely great — as was the breakfast which must have had a million calories in it.  Deep fried french toast, anyone?

The Brown Derby restaurant was the birthplace of the Cobb Salad.  I’ve made many over the years, experimenting with the placement of the ingredients on the plate more than actually considering what the traditional ingredients of a Cobb Salad might be, so this was a good experience learning something new.

The idea to add steak was inspired by the July 2007 issue of Sauveur magazine which features a serious hunk o’ beef on its cover and is aptly named, “The Steak Issue,” a great issue if you’re a beef lover.  Although I didn’t have flank steak on hand as the recipe calls for, I did have three thick hunks of top round steak.  Technically the thickness is what dictates whether it’s a steak or a roast, and my pieces of top round were just shy of two inches.  So steak.  The marinade in this recipe is one of the best we’ve had.  The original recipe can’t differ much from mine, but I didn’t have the exact ingredients, so my recipe follows.

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