Yesterday was the first day of spring, in my books at least. I woke up, threw on a pair on Levi's Communters, a v-neck and blazer. Walked to Starbucks and met up with friends for a coffee before church. And then proceeded to go home and open every window in my apartment. And listened to Gemini Club, The Knocks and ODEZSA all afternoon. Definition of the perfect day. Oh, I did finish off the night with martini. Sue me.
Grilling is never a seasonal sport. Ever. Those of your who complain about the weather being "too cold" for grilling are wimps. Sorry to call it out like it is. I'm Scandinavian, cold temperature run through my veins. My idea of a good time in winter is rolling around in the snow with just a swim suit on, try that a few times and you'll learn to stop complaining about the cold. That being said, there is nothing quite like standing outside on your deck, beer in hand, temperature in the 60s-90s (yes, I realize that is a rather large temperature span), grilling a nice slab of meat for dinner. So yes, there are more ideal seasons for grilling, despite my affinity for grilling year round.
I recently reintroduce my mother (who is a diabetic) to Chef Sam Talbot (who is also a diabetic), a celebrity chef who was on Season 2 of Top Chef and has gone on to be executive chef at The Surf Lodge and Imperial No. Nine in New York. Sam's more recent projects include The Elk in NYC and Pig + Poet in Camden, Maine. I've been a fan of Sam's for quite some time and his recipes are both incredible delicious and healthy, which is a hard combination to come by.
This is the quintessential grilling recipe. A nice slab of steak. The perfect amount of seasoning. A little dash of flavor, a touch of exoticness, and seriously, we've got one sexy summer (or spring) meal. Thanks for a great recipe, Sam!
Grilled Strip Loin with Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette
Courtesy of Sam Talbot's The Sweet Life
1 cup roasted garlic oil
3 carrots, finely chopped
3 tablespoons grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons sambal oelek chili paste
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons roasted garlic oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 strip loin steaks (12 to 14 ounces each), preferably aged
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic and cook until the carrots are fork-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the onion, vinegar, agave nectar, sambal, soy sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture until smooth, gradually adding the remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons garlic oil in a slow stream. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and fold in the carrot-ginger mixture. If the vinaigrette is too thick for your liking, stir in 1 teaspoon of cold water. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic oil, rosemary, chopped garlic, shallot, and vinegar. Add the steaks, turning to coat well with the marinade, then set the bowl aside to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Preheat an outdoor grill or a stovetop grill pan to a medium-high heat. Grill the steaks without turning for 2 minutes. Rotate the, 45 degrees and cook another 2 minutes. Flip them over and repeat. The steaks cook a total of 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
- Transfer the cooked steaks to a cutting board and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the steaks rest for 3 to 4 minutes before thinly slicing them against the grain.
- Serve the sliced steak topped with a couple tablespoons of the vinaigrette.