This meal idea originally began life as a grill recipe, but when you look outside and see your grill literally in flames – it needed to be completely cleaned – a fast pivot was necessary. Thank goodness for sheet pans! And a sheet pan with aluminum foil? That’s complete no-dishes-to-wash heaven! Back to the recipe…I had some leftover wasabi sauce that I wanted to use and I thought it could be perfect on the side of an Asian flavored flank steak. This marinade could not be simpler, it’s TWO ingredients, and the kids really enjoyed it. We are mostly a chicken and pork family, but when we do eat red meat, flank steak is my first choice. It’s lean, and to feed a family of 5 or 6, you can buy an entire flank steak for less than $20. So, while that certainly isn’t cheap, it is way more cost-effective than individual steaks and it’s a much leaner cut of meat, which I personally like much better. I have to confess that both Dashiell and Trafford always ask where the fat is…how they can eat that stuff I will never understand…yuck!
Flank steak is mouthwatering in the oven or on the grill. If you decide to grill, the cooking times will be very similar, see my recipe for That Steak Salad for grilling instructions. Just be sure to let it rest for 10 minutes. The cut is so lean, it's crucial that the juices re-distribute. Happy cooking!
1¾ - 2 lb Flank steak, scored (see note)
1 tbsp Wasabi, prepared
½ cup Soy sauce, low-sodium
In a small bowl whisk the wasabi with the soy sauce.
Place flank steak in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Massage the marinade into the steak and place bag in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Remove flank steak from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start cooking.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Place flank steak on the sheet pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove sheet pan from the oven and transfer the flank steak to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
A flank steak is done when the internal temperature is 130 degrees, which is medium rare. Feel free to cook for a few more minutes if you want it more to a medium doneness.
Slice the meat thinly, against the grain (which means finding the direction of the grain, the way the muscle fibers are aligned, then slice across the grain rather than parallel with it) and serve.
Scoring - Flank steak has long fibers, so try making ⅛ inch shallow cuts against the grain in one direction, then another set of cuts the other way (it will look like a cross-hatch pattern). These cuts sever some of the long fibers, so your steak becomes noticeably more tender. A bonus is the shallow cuts absorb the seasoning or marinade, making for a more flavorful piece of meat.
I have never been one for frying meatballs (too messy!), so I am constantly tinkering around with baking meatballs instead. This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s new cookbook. I have always baked my meatballs, but usually at a low temperature. I still make meatballs that way from time to time, but I really appreciate the speed with which these meatballs come together. The additional breadcrumbs and higher heat help the meatballs keep their shape and cooks them all the way through…then all you need is a quick simmer in the sauce and dinner is ready!
Have a few extra minutes? Make my delicious marinara sauce!
If your family is anything like mine, everyone has certain foods they like better than others. I thought it would be fun to show you my kid's plates - so take a look and see if your family resembles mine! By the way, this recipe makes a lot of meatballs...which freeze beautifully, so go ahead and put some meatballs in the dinner bank (i.e. freezer). Happy cooking!
4 Eggs, large, lightly beaten
1 cup Yogurt, whole milk Greek
1½ cups Red wine, dry
2 tsp Kosher salt
4 tsp Minced garlic
2 tsp Oregano, dried
2 cups Grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
4 cups Breadcrumbs, fresh or Panko
2½ - 2¾ lbs Meat mixture (a blend of sirloin, veal and pork) (see note)
2 (32 oz) jars of Marinara sauce (good quality, homemade is even better)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make sure oven racks are in the upper and lower positions. Line two sheet pans with aluminum foil.
Place eggs, yogurt and red wine in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add Kosher salt, minced garlic, oregano, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Mix throughly (the reason you want to mix completely before adding the meatloaf mixture is because you never want to overmix the meat - it will toughen the meatballs).
Add the meat mixture to the bowl and gently mix with your hands until all ingredients are combined.
Measure out enough meat mixture to form a 2 inch ball (an ice cream scoop is really helpful here) and place each ball 1 inch apart on the sheet pans.
Transfer sheet pans to the oven, starting one pan on the upper rack and one pan on the lower rack. Your total cooking time with be between 20 - 30 minutes, you will want the meatballs to be lightly browned, After 10 - 12 minutes, switch the positions of your sheet pans so that the meatballs can cook evenly.
Meanwhile, in large pot add the marinara sauce and simmer until heated through.
Add browned meatballs and simmer until flavors are melded, 10 - 15 minutes.
Serve on top of spaghetti or polenta or even on its own. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Meatball / meatloaf mixture comes in a package that is generally in packages of 1¼ or 1⅓ lbs. So, that’s why I called for a specific pound range, I am figuring on you buying two packages of the meat mix. If you are making meatloaf in the spring or summer, you won’t find the mix in the store. In that situation, I buy ground beef and ground pork (it’s hard to find ground veal so I just skip it). The meatloaf is still fantastic!
Delicious sauces are one of my favorite things to play around with…I just love experimenting with different flavors and seeing the finished result. I have to say this sauce is one of Jeff and my stand-outs – it is soooo good and tastes healthy and clean (which of course it is)! People don’t often think of flank steak as a leftover dinner candidate, but with a little planning you can make two amazing dinners. The key is to make sure you cook your back-up flank steak more rare, it will cook in the microwave when you are re-heating your dinner plates and you don’t want it too well done.
The soy and sesame oil give this sauce an Asian-inspired flavor, but don't let that limit your imagination. Thin this sauce with a little water to transform it into an amazing vinaigrette for lettuce wraps and salads, it would also be a great addition to fish or chicken. You can whisk this sauce up in a bowl, but I find it so much faster and easier to just toss everything in the food processor. Happy cooking!
1½ lbs. Flank steak, scored (see note)
½ Red onion, small, minced (about ¼ cup)
½ cup Cilantro, minced (this doesn't need to be an exact amount)
¼ cup Brown sugar, light
6 tsp Garlic, minced, divided
2 tsp Coriander, ground
1 tbsp Sesame oil
½ cup Soy sauce, low-sodium, divided in half
¾ cup Canola oil, divided
Suggested accompaniments - lettuce for wraps, tortillas, cut up vegetables, slaw
In a small bowl combine ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup canola oil and 4 tsp garlic, mix well. Place flank steak in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over the steak. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate up to overnight.
If refrigerating overnight, let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding.
Spray grill or grill plan with canola spray and heat to medium.
Place red onion in the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Next add the cilantro and pulse to minced as well.
Add brown sugar, garlic, coriander, sesame oil and soy sauce and pulse until well-blended.
Finally add the canola oil and pulse until emusified. Set aside.
Grill steak until cooked to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to work surface. Let rest 10 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain. Top with the cilantro sauce.
To score your flank steak, place the flank steak on a cutting board, then use the tip of a sharp knife to make several shallow cuts into the surface of both sides of the steak in a diamond pattern. Try to make each cut about 1⁄4 inch (0.6 cm) deep. If you can, cut against the grain of the meat.
The dressing can be used right away or stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Asian food is a personal favorite of mine, and in particular the region of Southeast Asia. I love exploring new flavor profiles, and the taste of red curry paste, with notes of nutmeg and clove, along with the hint of coconut milk…this sauce has such a fresh yet complex taste. Making Asian meals for my family is always a success because it’s a make-your-own-meal adventure. I set out bowls with the protein, rice, sauce and lots of vegetables – that way my children have a healthy meal and get to choose exactly what’s on their plate.
This sauce is so good, you could also make this recipe with ground pork, chicken or turkey - and make this meal even healthier! Happy cooking!
1 - 11/4 lbs Ground beef, lean (I use 90%)
3 tbsp Red curry paste
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp Nutmeg, ground
¼ tsp Cloves, ground
1 (13.5 - 14 oz) can Lite Coconut milk
1 Cinnamon stick
Accompaniments: rice, lettuce wraps, shredded carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers, minced cilantro, thinly sliced Napa cabbage - all of these ideas, or even one or two, would really enhance this meal
n a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Once fully cooked, drain and set the beef aside.
Return the skillet to the stove top.
Add curry paste to the skillet, if there is no fat clinging to the pan after cooking the ground beef, then add ½ tsp of canola oil. I found when using 90% ground beef that I did not need to add any additional oil, that there was a tiny bit of oil left in the bottom of the skillet that was enough for cooking the curry paste and spices.
Over medium heat, stir curry paste a few seconds, until fragrant. Add Kosher salt, ground nutmeg and ground cloves. Mix to combine and allow the spices to “bloom” - that is cooking the spices in hot oil to release the flavors.
Turn heat to low and add the coconut milk. Whisk to combine and then add the cinnamon stick. Mix the ground beef back into the skillet and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick.
Transfer beef mixture and sauce to a serving bowl.
Nothing could make me happier than to share my new favorite brisket recipe! I love brisket and really prefer to smoke it, but I got started too late, and knew I was going to have to go with a braise. I even had to skip the season, wrap and chill it in the fridge for 1 – 2 days step. I was originally just cooking pulled pork and then when I realized how many hungry kids were going to be here, I added the brisket to double the amount of slider sandwiches. I served this as part of a big football spread for all Jeff’s boys and their friends home from college – over at our house to watch the Alabama bowl game.
Brisket is one of the ultimate do-ahead foods…so go ahead and make it a day or two early. After reheating it in a low oven it will be even more delicious then if you had served it the same day! Happy cooking!
8 - 10 lb. Brisket, flat-cut, untrimmed
2 Onions, medium, thinly sliced
½ cup Light brown sugar
2 tbsp Garlic powder
2 tbsp Onion powder
2 tbsp Ground cumin
2 tbsp Paprika
2 tbsp Kosher salt
6 tbsp Dijon mustard, divided
1 12-oz Lager
Let brisket sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Distribute the thinly sliced onions evenly on the bottom of a large roasting pan or casserole dish.
Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl until throughly combined.
Smear ½ of the Dijon mustard on the non-fat side of the brisket. Sprinkle with ½ of the dry rub mixture and press to adhere to the brisket. Place brisket in the pan on top of the onions and repeat steps on the fat side of the brisket.
Pour lager all over the brisket.
Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Braise until very tender, about 6 hours.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Shred or slice and mix the brisket back in with the cooking liquid and the onions. Serve immediately.
If refrigerating: Let brisket cool completely. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for 1 - 2 days. To serve, reheat, covered, in a 325 oven for 1½ - 2 hours.
When Jeff saw me writing down my hamburger recipe, he asked why I would write a recipe for this because, “They’re just hamburgers”. I completely disagree, because simple recipes of classic dishes you’ll make over and over, those recipes are the most important to nail down and perfect. So, this isn’t a jazzy restaurant burger with all types of fillings and ingredients, this is simply a classic hamburger that everyone in our house loves. We like to add cheddar cheese to the burgers that are being eaten that night, and then add the slice of cheddar when we microwave the leftover burgers, one at a time. Offered at our house with ketchup, mayo, lettuce, a ripe tomato or avocado if we have it and family favorite pimento cheese. This dinner is my summer Sunday go-to when the kids are arriving back at our house, I love welcoming them home with their favorite foods.
I know 10 hamburgers is a lot, so certainly consider halving this recipe. Or, just make these hamburgers for your next cookout and set out a fixings bar alongside...easy entertaining! Happy cooking!
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp Garlic powder
4.5 lbs Ground beef, 80/20 mix
10 slices of cheese if desired - we like cheddar
In a large bowl add worcestershire sauce, Kosher salt and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
Add ground beef and gently mix with your hands until the beef is saturated with the sauce.
Form into 10 patties of equal size. If you are making these ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until 30 minutes before grilling.
Spray grill with canola spray and turn burners to low. Preheat the grill for 5-10 minutes.
Add burgers and grill with top down, touching them as little as possible (see note) for 8-10 minutes per side. They will flame up a little bit because the 80/20 ground beef has some fat, but over low heat the flame ups are not too bad and can, in general, be left unattended.
When you burgers are looking almost done, add cheese slices if desired. Close grill and cook 2 additional minutes.
How can you tell if your burger is done? We cook our burgers to medium so we are looking for an internal temp of 160 degrees.
Remove burgers from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Do not ever press down on your burgers! Each time you touch them, or worse still, press your spatula down on them, your burger loses juice. And we want a juicy burger, so try and touch them as little has possible.
When I was simply a mom of 3, I never would have considered making meatloaf in warm weather. In my mind, I very clearly delineate food into seasons, and it’s not for a noble reason like what produce is fresh for that time of year. It’s simply that when it’s warm outside I want salads, I want to grill…then I became the cook for our blended family of 10. Well, my perspective changed and while I still love grilling, sometimes I don’t feel like dealing with 10 chicken breasts on the grill, I just want to make something and throw it in the oven. Enter meatloaf. The inspiration for this meatloaf comes from Cook’s Illustrated The Best Recipe (another of my top 10 can’t live without cookbooks) and I have been making my version for years. This recipe is Trafford’s favorite meal and the very first dinner I made when we all moved into our new house together…2 1/2 months ago. This meatloaf was a huge hit!
I know this makes a lot of food, but consider just making it as is. Before my family was so large, I would still make this meatloaf exactly this way and this big. Because in my opinion, if you are going to the trouble of this many ingredients to make something perfect - why not make enough so you don't have to make dinner another night this week - you have dinner to heat up! No dishes = happy mom! Happy cooking!
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 large Yellow onion, finely chopped (or blitz it in the food processor like I do)
3 tbsp Minced garlic
3 Eggs, large
2 tbsp Dried thyme
1 tsp Kosher salt
2½ cups Panko or fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Plain yogurt or whole milk
2½ lbs Meatloaf mix (see note)
1-2 cups Ketchup
Preheat oven to 350, cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes longer. Remove pan from the heat and transfer onions and garlic to a small bowl (they will cool so much faster).
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, then add thyme, Kosher salt, breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and yogurt. Mix throughly to combine.
Add the meatloaf mix (do not add sooner, because you want to mix as little as possible). Gently mix with your hands to combine.
Scoop meatloaf mixture out of the bowl, directly onto the foil lined baking sheet. Pat mixture into a loaf shape (you could also make 2 smaller loaves - easier for leftovers).
Cover with ketchup and place on the middle rack in the oven.
Bake for 1 hour, meatloaf is hard to check for doneness, so if you have a digital thermometer this is a great place to use it. You want an internal temperature of 160 degrees (it will continue to cook, adding the last 5 degrees while it rests).
Let meatloaf rest for 15-20 minutes, slice and serve.
Meatloaf mix - if you are making meatloaf in the spring or summer you will not find the mix out at the grocery store. If that's the case, then swap 1 package 90/10 ground beef and 1 package ground pork. I created this recipe based on 2½ lbs of meat because most meat is sold in 1¼ lb ish increments, so this would mean you are buying 2 packs of meat. Don't worry if your total meat amount is slightly smaller or larger, the meatloaf will still turn out great.
One of my new favorite dinners with a completely delicious marinade! A recent cookbook discovery, Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert inspired me to re-think all the work involved with making fajitas on a grill pan – how could I simplify things for a weeknight dinner? Cook the fajitas and veggies on a sheet pan! If you are looking for new dinner inspiration definitely check out this cookbook – if you kids are like mine, they don’t like foods mixed together – so roasting on trays is big in our house already. A huge bonus was making dinner on ONE foil-lined sheet pan…the fewer dishes to clean up equals a happy mom!
This marinade is sooo good. Think about making a double batch of marinade, throwing in some skinless, boneless chicken breasts and freezing the marinade and chicken in a ziploc bag - then you would have another great dinner in your future...with no extra work! Happy cooking!
Marinade and Steak
3 Chipotle chilis, in adobo sauce, minced
⅓ bunch Cilantro, minced (leaves and some stems)
½ cup Canola oil
1 cup Orange juice (whatever you have in your fridge is fine)
1 Lime, zested and juiced
3 tbsp Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Kosher salt
1½ - 2 lb. Flank steak (see note)
The Rest of the Meal
2-4 Peppers, thinly sliced (Pick ones your family likes most - red and green peppers are the traditional choice)
1-2 Onions, thinly sliced (I prefer to make this recipe with red, but you can also use yellow)
Pack of flour tortillas (I like the soft taco size - usually 10 to a pack)
Optional accompaniments - refried and/or black beans, rice
I make the marinade in a food processor - if you are as well, you don't need to chop the chilis or cilantro, put them in first and pulse until they are minced and have a paste-like consistency. You can also easily make this marinade with one bowl and a whisk.
Add canola oil, orange juice, lime, garlic, cumin and Kosher salt to the processor and pulse to combine.
Set processor aside and turn your attention to the flank steak. Score the flank steak (see note) and slice the steak into three pieces against the grain (if the meat is laying in a rectangle in front of you, against the grain would be top to bottom).
Place all three pieces of steak in a ziploc bag and add marinade, reserving 1 cup for the vegetables, after sealing the bag, make sure the flank steak is completely covered. Marinade at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Refrigerate the marinade for the veggies separately (you could marinate the veggies for an hour for additional flavor, but that's completely optional).
Thirty minutes before you are ready to cook - Preheat oven to 450 and move top rack to the uppermost level in the oven. Take the steak out of the fridge so it can start to come to room temperature. Toss vegetables in the reserved marinade. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place vegetables on the baking sheet and spread evenly, so that each piece is touching the baking tray and not touching each other (this helps them to caramelize and prevents steaming).
Roast for 15 minutes.
Remove tray from the oven, evenly divide the peppers and onions and move them to the two end of the tray (they will be in heaps at this point and that's what you want), clearing a space for the flank steak. Increase oven temperature to broil.
Broil for 5 minutes.
Remove tray from the oven and place vegetables in a bowl and cover with foil. Flip flank steak pieces and return to the oven.
Broil for 5 minutes.
Remove tray from the oven and place flank steak pieces on a cutting board fitted inside a rimmed baking sheet (makes for easier cleanup). Let steak rest for 10 minutes uncovered.
Thinly slice against the grain and enjoy.
Skirt steak would also work well in this recipe and it's less expensive. To score your flank steak, place the flank steak on a cutting board, then use the tip of a sharp knife to make several shallow cuts into the surface of both sides of the steak in a diamond pattern. Try to make each cut about 1⁄4 inch deep. If you can, cut against the grain of the meat. Scoring your meat has two purposes, first, it makes your meat much more tender and second, it helps the marinade penetrate the meat.
This salad was my first foray into Thai cooking, and it remains close to my heart. Inspired by a recipe from the ultimate grilling book, Webers Big Book of Grilling, this super-easy marinade creates a mouthwatering flank steak. But the star of the show is vinaigrette – lots of fresh cilantro and mint with notes of rice vinegar, fresh lime, ginger and garlic.
I love this meal, it might be my favorite warm weather dinner salad. It's filling but tastes so clean and healthy! It also has lots of make-ahead steps. Happy cooking!
1 – about 1 ½ pounds Flank steak
¼ cup Peanut oil
¼ cup Ketchup
¼ cup Soy sauce
½ cup Peanut oil
½ cup Rice vinegar
½ cup Cilantro (see note)
¼ cup Mint leaves
3 tablespoons Lime juice
1 teaspoon Fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Ginger (see note)
½ teaspoon Serrano or Jalapeno chile, seeds removed
1 teaspoon Garlic, minced (see note)
¼ teaspoon Sea salt
4 cups Lettuce
1 Yellow Pepper, thinly slices
4 Plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into thin wedges
Marinate the steak: In a large Pyrex dish or Tupperware container combine peanut oil, ketchup and soy sauce. Gently whisk until smooth. Remove flank steak from package. With a sharp knife gently score the steak. You want to do this across the grain, and with only a tiny bit of depth, almost like a scratch of the surface. See note below on more information on scoring. Allow steak to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
Make the dressing: In a food processor add all of the ingredients for the dressing. Do not worry about slicing the chile ahead of time – the food processor will do the work. Pulse to combine. You can make the dressing right when you are ready to eat, or you can make it up to 6 hours ahead and refrigerate.
Assemble the salad: In a large bowl assemble all of the salad ingredients. Can be made at serving time, or made up to 2 hours ahead, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until mealtime.
Prep the grill: Spray grill with cooking spray and preheat over high heat for 10 minutes.
Ready to cook: Remove steak from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. Sear over direct medium heat for 5 minutes and then over direct low heat for 8 minutes. Remove from the grill to a large plate and tent with foil for 10 minutes. These are cooking times for a steak that is medium to medium rare. If you want to cook it longer or less, make adjustments accordingly.
Bring it together: Slice the steak thinly, across the grain, into ½ inch slices. Toss the dressing with the salad and assemble on plates. Add steak to the salad and serve.
I am all about saving bowls – if possible I try to mix marinades directly in the container I am using to marinade the protein. Scoring – it is a quick but important step. It allows the marinade to penetrate further into the meat and also tenderizes the meat – and lean protein needs all the help it can get! Think about doubling this recipe and grilling two flank steaks. You can have another great meal. Just make sure to grill medium rare if you are planning to re-heat. That way when you are heating the flank for the second time it does not become over-cooked.