Grilled Beef Skewers with Green Chile Sauce

Lean into the heat with these spicy grilled steak skewers:

When the weather is hot and shouty, then why not shout back with skewers of fiery meat? These steak skewers are not only cooked over a flame, they are bathed in a heady lime and garlic marinade that tenderizes and infuses the meat with bold flavor and kicking spice. And don’t stop there: Raise the flavor and heat bar further by serving the skewers with a feisty sauce inspired by Zhoug, a green herb condiment hailing from the Middle East. It’s a heat-spiked herbaceous blend that’s a cross between chimichurri and harissa – arguably a match made in heaven. You can keep the steaks in large pieces, or, better yet, cut into strips and thread on skewers for fun party food. Serve the sauce on the side, so the meat can be dabbed or generously swiped – leave it up to your heat threshold to dictate the amount. 

Skirt steak, flank steak, or hanger steak are great cuts that love a marinade, which helps to tenderize their natural toughness. When cutting the meat into strips, be sure to slice across the grain (the way that the muscle fibers are aligned). By doing this, you will cut up the muscle fibers which would otherwise increase chewiness. Grill the meat quickly over direct high heat for best results.

Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers with Green Chile Sauce

Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes plus 4 to 6 hours marinating time
Serves 4 to 6 as a main course

Marinade:
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds skirt steak, cut against the grain in 1 inch strips

Sauce:
1 large poblano pepper, stemmed, coarsely chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, stemmed, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 cup (packed) cilantro sprigs
1 cup (packed) Italian parsley sprigs
1/2 cup (packed) mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare:
1. Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place the steak strips in a resealable plastic bag or glass container with a lid. Pour the marinade over and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

2. Make the sauce: Place the peppers and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the cilantro, parsley, mint, lime juice, cumin, and salt and process to blend. With the machine running, add the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is thick but pourable. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if desired.

3. Remove steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Thread the strips on pre-soaked bamboo skewers and discard the marinade.

4. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. Grill the skewers over direct heat until charred and cooked to your desired doneness, 5 to 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat. Serve with
 the spicy green chile sauce.

Steak and Farro with Golden Beets, Garbanzos and Tarragon

~ Beef Ribeye, Farro, Golden Beets, Spring Onion, Garbanzos, Tarragon ~

There are a few reasons why this recipe is just right for tonight. The first reason is that it’s early summer in San Francisco and it’s freezing. Not literally, but enough to feel obliged to apologize profusely to visitors from out of town. Enough to don fleece outerwear to venture out to the grill, where hands are briskly warmed between flipping the burgers. Or enough to appear like it’s raining when technically it is not, but the mist from the fog is so heavy it soaks the garden furniture and leave puddles on the steps.

Another reason why this meal is just right is this is the first day following a whirlwind celebratory week of graduations, house guests and parties. When lists were made to remember lists. When we had great fun, but didn’t have a moment to reflect on that fun. When we indulged and consumed and quite likely forgot to eat our vegetables. Today we now have the time and space to remember and to reflect – and to also eat a balanced meal.

This recipe corrals the seasons’ best farmers market produce, hearty farro, and a few lone pieces of steak left over in the fridge, in one big warming yet fresh meal brimming with health and good flavor. You can grill the steak or pan fry it, depending on the weather.

steak farro tastefood

Warm Steak and Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Garbanzos and Tarragon

Shelled English peas or edamame may be substituted for the garbanzos.
Serves 4.

3 medium golden beets, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch batons or wedges
1 large sweet yellow onion, halved lengthwise, each half thickly sliced in wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups farro
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 or 3 rib eye or New York steaks, about 1-inch thick
1/2 cup shelled fresh garbanzos (chick peas)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
Sriracha (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Toss the beets and onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven until beets are tender and onions are beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the farro: Combine the stock, farro and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the farro is tender but still chewy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Partially cover to keep warm.
Prepare the steaks: Season the steaks all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add steaks, without overcrowding, and cook until brown on both sides, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare. (or grill over direct high heat, turning once or twice, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut steaks crosswise in 1/2 inch thick slices.
While the steaks are resting, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the garbanzos and blanch until bright green but still crisp, about 1 minute.
To serve, spoon the farro into the center of a serving platter or divide among serving plates. Arrange steak in the center of the farro and drizzle with any accumulated juices. Place the vegetables around the steak and drizzle with any accumulated baking juices. Scatter the garbanzos over. Garnish with fresh tarragon. Drizzle with more olive oil. Serve warm with Sriracha sauce on the side.

Warm Steak and Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Onions and Chickpeas

Warm Steak and Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Onions and Chickpeas

~ Beef Ribeye, Farro, Golden Beets, Spring Onion, Chickpeas, Tarragon ~

It’s safe to say that everything I bought today at the market ended up in this dish. Sweet onions, golden beets and fresh chickpeas vied for my attention this morning at the farmers’ market, so I did what any sensible person would do. I bought all of them. Moving on to the local ranch’s stall displaying their glistening meat, I  continued my spree and snagged 2 seriously soft and richly marbled rib eye steaks, each weighing in at nearly 1 pound each. I wasn’t sure exactly how I would put our dinner together, but I knew it would be magnificent with these fresh and earthy ingredients.

Warm Steak and Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Onions and Chickpeas
Serves 4

3 medium golden beets, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch batons or wedges
1 large sweet yellow onion, halved lengthwise, each half thickly sliced in wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups farro
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 or 3 rib eye steaks, about 1 inch thick
1/2 cup shelled fresh chick peas
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
Sriracha (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C. Toss the beets and onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven until beets are tender and onions are beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the farro: Combine the stock, farro and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the farro is tender but still chewy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil,  garlic, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Partially cover to keep warm.
Prepare the steaks: Season the steaks all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add steaks, without overcrowding, and cook until brown on both sides, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut steaks crosswise in 1/2 inch thick slices.
While the steaks are resting, add the fresh chickpeas to the skillet and briefly saute over medium heat until their color brightens, 1 to 2 minutes.
To serve, spoon the farro into the center of a serving platter or divide among serving plates. Arrange steak in the center of the farro and drizzle with any accumulated juices. Place the vegetables around the steak and drizzle with any accumulated baking juices. Scatter the chickpeas over. Garnish with fresh tarragon. If desired drizzle with more olive oil. Serve warm with Sriracha sauce on the side.

Grilled Steak with Rosemary, Shiitake Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes

Steak Shitake

This morning, in honor of Mother’s Day, we went to the farmers market with the satisfying intention of purchasing ingredients for our dinner. Beautiful New York strip steaks were on display and immediately went into our basket. Asparagus, shitake mushrooms, strawberries, peas and fava beans quickly followed. Our final purchase was a bunch of garlic scapes, impossible to pass by, as they feistily vied for attention, announcing their assertiveness – if not in taste, than in their spiky shape.

Garlic scapes resemble an oversized chive with a bulbous flower at the end. The stalks are firm with a peppery bite and mild garlic flavor. They are wonderful in a stir-fry, because they retain their crispness, and impart a mellow, garlicky flavor. The flowers are edible and, when cooked, have a somewhat astringent and earthy flavor.

Garlic scapes

When we arrived home, I made a paste of garlic, rosemary, sea salt and olive oil and smeared it all over the steaks to marinate in during the afternoon. While they stewed in garlic and rosemary, I prepared a stir-fry of Shitake Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes to serve over the steaks as a fresh garnish, along with grilled asparagus, new potatoes and fresh strawberries and cream for dessert. I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day celebration.

New York Strip Steak with Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes
Serves 4

Steaks:
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, such as Maldon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 New York or ribeye steaks

Stir-fry:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 to 6 elephant garlic scapes, bulbs removed and saved for another use, stalks thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary
6 ounces (180 g) shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean with a paper towel, ends trimmed, sliced
1/3 cup (80 ml) beef or chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

  1. Combine garlic, rosemary, and salt in a mortar with a pestle. Smash the garlic and bruise the rosemary. Mix in the olive oil and black pepper.
  2. Rub the oil all over the steaks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator one hour before grilling.
  3. Prepare the vegetables: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic scapes and sauté 1 minute. Add the rosemary sprig and shitake mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms begin to release their juices and turn golden brown. Stir in the stock and deglaze the pan and then add the soy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. Grill the steaks over direct heat until cooked to your desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning as needed.
  5. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Arrange the steaks on serving plates or platter. Spoon the shitake and garlic scape stir-fry over the meat. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Bistro-Style Skirt Steak with Sautéed Shallots – Bavette aux Echalotes

Skirt Steak

I became familiar with bistros while living in Paris and Geneva for 10 years. Found in every neighborhood, the bistro was the go-to restaurant for consistently delicious food.  Welcoming, bustling, and casually elegant, the bistro was home away from home: soothing in its predictability, its comforting ambience, and its dedicated timelessness. Now, years later, there isn’t a bistro in our neighborhood, but it’s the cuisine I seek out in restaurants and enjoy making at home.

Skirt steak with shallots or Bavette aux Echalotes is a classic item featured on bistro menus. The less expensive and very tasty cut of meat is pan-fried on the stove and then served heaped with sautéed, caramelized shallots. It’s quick to prepare, delicious to eat, and economical on the wallet. Perfect bistro fare.

Bistro-Style Skirt Steak with Sautéed Shallots – Bavette aux Echalotes

Serves 4

1 skirt steak, about 2 pounds (1 kg.) cut crosswise into 4 pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
1/3 cup (80 ml.) red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the steak:
Use two skillets (or cook in two batches): Heat one tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in each skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and bubbling, add 2 steaks to each skillet, making sure they fit in one layer without overcrowding. Cook, turning once, until seared and cooked through to your desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent with foil to rest.

Prepare the shallots:
Add one tablespoon olive oil to each skillet. Divide the shallots between the two skillets and sauté over medium heat until wilted and tinged golden brown, about 8 minutes. Combine the shallots in one skillet. Add the red wine vinegar and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the thyme, and any accumulated juices from the meat. Stir to blend and melt the butter, then remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the steaks on individual plates or serving platter. Spoon the shallots over and garnish with fresh thyme.

Bistro-Style Skirt Steak with Sautéed Shallots – Bavette aux Echalotes

Bavette aux Echalotes

I became familiar with bistros while living in Paris and Geneva for 10 years. Found in every neighborhood, the bistro was the go-to restaurant for consistently delicious food.  Welcoming, bustling, and casually elegant, the bistro was home away from home: soothing in its predictability, its comforting ambience, and its dedicated timelessness. Now, years later, there isn’t a bistro in our neighborhood, but it’s the cuisine I seek out in restaurants and enjoy making at home.

Skirt steak with shallots or Bavette aux Echalotes is a classic item featured on bistro menus. The less expensive and very tasty cut of meat is pan-fried on the stove and then served heaped with sautéed, caramelized shallots. It’s quick to prepare, delicious to eat, and economical on the wallet. Perfect bistro fare.

Bistro-Style Skirt Steak with Sautéed Shallots – Bavette aux Echalotes

Serves 4

1 skirt steak, about 2 pounds (1 kg.) cut crosswise into 4 pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
1/3 cup (80 ml.) red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the steak:
Use two skillets (or cook in two batches): Heat one tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in each skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and bubbling, add 2 steaks to each skillet, making sure they fit in one layer without overcrowding. Cook, turning once, until seared and cooked through to your desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent with foil to rest.

Prepare the shallots:
Add one tablespoon olive oil to each skillet. Divide the shallots between the two skillets and sauté over medium heat until wilted and tinged golden brown, about 8 minutes. Combine the shallots in one skillet. Add the red wine vinegar and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the thyme, and any accumulated juices from the meat. Stir to blend and melt the butter, then remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the steaks on individual plates or serving platter. Spoon the shallots over and garnish with fresh thyme.

Grilled Steak with Rosemary, Shitake Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes

Steak Shitake

In honor of Mother’s Day I purchased some beautiful New York strip steaks at the market. At home, I made a paste of garlic, sea salt and olive oil and smeared the steaks all over with the paste. While they marinated, I prepared a stir-fry of shiitake mushrooms and garlic scapes which was a perfect accompaniment to the grilled steaks.

Elephant garlic scapes resemble an oversized chive with a bulbous flower at the end.  The stalks are firm with a peppery bite and mild garlic flavor.  They are wonderful in a stir-fry, because they retain their crispness, and impart a mellow, garlicky flavor.  The flowers are edible and, when cooked, have a somewhat astringent and earthy taste.  With the shitakes I used the scape stalks and saved the flowers for another use – perhaps in a decorative context.

Elephant Garlic Scapes

New York Strip Steak with Sautéed Shitake Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes

Serves 4

For the Steaks:
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt, such as Maldon
1 sprig rosemary
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

4 New York or Ribeye steaks, about 2 lbs. (1 kg.)

Combine garlic, salt and rosemary in a mortar with a pestle and smash together. Mix in the olive oil and black pepper. Rub the oil all over the steaks.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours (can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.)  Remove from refrigerator one hour before grilling.

Grill the steaks over a hot fire, 5 minutes per side for medium-rare or to desired doneness.
Remove from grill and place on cutting board.  Cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving.

For the Shitake and Garlic Scape stir-fry:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
6 elephant garlic scapes, bulbs removed, stalks cut in 1/4″ pieces
1 sprig rosemary
4 oz. (125 g.) shitake mushrooms, wiped clean with paper towel, ends trimmed, sliced
1/3 cup (80 ml.) beef or chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add garlic clove and sauté one minute.  Add garlic scapes and sauté 1 minute.  Add rosemary sprig and shitake mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms release juices and turn golden brown.  Add stock and deglaze pan.  Add soy sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove and discard rosemary sprig. Serve alongside or on top of grilled steaks.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Steak Shitake Garlic