Some favorite summer recipes of mine, for you to try & (hopefully) enjoy. Let me know about your successes, or your own faves!
Butterflied Pork Tenderloins
Original recipe from the Williams-Sonoma book Grilling (2002). Find more of their excellent recipes here.
This is a low-effort, high-impact recipe to have in your back pocket. I grill it in the summer, broil it in the winter, and have made it probably 100 times.
Why I love it:
- It is fast, simple, & forgiving
- The spice mix sounds weird, but it works
- Super versatile: pair the meat with potatoes & salad (or, in the winter, frozen peas); you can go big with the fruit salsa, rice, & corn on the cob; or eat it on a bun with a simple slaw... it works with anything
- The butterfly technique & slicing looks impressive and stretches the meat portions
For the spice rub:
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt (or a scant measure of table salt)
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 1.5lb (750g) each
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
For the salsa:
- 2 ripe mangoes or peaches, diced
- 1/4 — 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 large, ripe tomato, diced
- the juice of 1 lime
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded & minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
Mix all of the rub ingredients together. You will likely have plenty left over; this amount might cover 3 tenderloins.
Begin by trimming the fat and silvery skin from the tenderloins. Lay one on a cutting board and butterfly by slicing lengthwise about ½ - ¾ the way through. Open it up like a book and flatten it out to a more-or-less consistent thickness, using the side of your knife, a mallet, your fist. Repeat for all of the tenderloins.
Coat the pork with oil on both sides and sprinkle generously with the spice rub. Every part of the meat should have a little bit of spice on it.
At this point, if you are short on time, you could cook it right away. Ideally, you can let it rest & marinate for the day or afternoon in the fridge. I often buy these, prepare them with the spice rub, and freeze them.
If you want to make the accompanying salsa, give yourself at least 20 minutes to chop all of the ingredients. The salsa can be made a bit ahead, but will get more wet as time goes on (rice makes a great side to sop up the juices and let these flavors shine).
Prep a hot BBQ and grill the tenderloins directly over medium-high-to-hot heat, turning once. If the tenderloin is ~1 inch thick, I recommend 4 minutes on the first side, 3.5-4 minutes on the second side. Remove from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes.
Try not to overcook them. Before removing, you can check for doneness by slicing in — the inside should be faintly pink. The meat will cook a few more degrees while it rests, but faint pink is totally ok. (After making this one time, you should get a good idea of timing, and you can adjust, and then rely on the clock pretty consistently.)
To serve, use a large, sharp knife to slice against the grain into thin slices. This will take a few minutes to slice it all up; use foil to keep it warm as much as you can.
Flank Steak, 2 Ways
Simple Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri: Original Recipe Here
Korean-style Flank Steak marinade originally from my friend's sister 🙌
Flank steak is a thin, tough, lean cut of beef — distinctive by its long, strands of fibrous muscle and very little fat. The preparation is similar to the pork above: marinate (essential), quick grill, and sliced thinly against the grain.
Why I love it:
- These are two ways to enjoy grilled beef outside of the traditional BBQ flavors
- Very easy to grill, for someone like me who mostly ruins steak
- Super versatile (again): see options below for serving
Basic Directions for Flank Steak:
At least one day ahead (in the very least, the morning of cooking, up to a few days), prepare the steak with a marinade (options below).
Pat down the flank steak with paper towels & score the meat in a diamond pattern. This allows for the flavors to penetrate & for the acid to tenderize the meat a bit.
If you are able, remove the steak from the fridge for ~30 minutes to warm it up to room temp. Heat your grill to hot.
Shake off the marinade so that it isn't drippy. Grill the steak, without moving it, for 4 minutes on direct heat (you may need to pat down or shake off the excess marinade first). Flip, and grill for another 3-4 minutes.
- 1 flank steak, about 3lb.
- Olive oil to coat
- Splashes of some kind of acid, like white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper
Marinate with these ingredients in a covered dish or large zip-bag. Grill using the method above, then serve on a salad, or with rice & chimichurri (below).
- 1 flank steak, about 3lb.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Marinate with these ingredients in a covered dish or large zip-bag at least one day or up to 2-3. Grill using the method above, then serve on a salad, or with rice (the remaining marinade can be boiled down 10+ mins for an accompanying sauce), or make banh mi sandwiches with spicy mayo & quick-pickled veggies.
A *delicious* Argentinian condiment. So good with a simple flank steak, or corn on the cob. Then I use the leftovers with... anything else in my fridge ;)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1.5 cups firmly packed fresh flat leaf parsley (leaves & tender stems)
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Use a mini chopper, or finely mince, the garlic, then the parsley & oregano. Add the oil & salt/peppers. Wait until just before serving to add the white wine vinegar.
I make this lazy, speedy recipe a LOT. Its acidity is a perfect complement to meat, like the pork above; it works well on tacos; or, as a salad side to virtually anything. The original Mark Bittman recipe included scallions and minced fresh chile, but I personally keep it very simple, as below.
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, or to taste
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or fresh lemon juice or sherry vinegar)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper
- purple cabbage, shredded or chopped thinly (ideally on a mandoline)
Mix the vinaigrette vigorously. Add it, to taste, to the amount of shredded purple cabbage you have.
Grilled corn on the cob
We're split in our family as to whether corn on the cob is best grilled like this vs. simply boiled. (I'm Team Grilled all the way).
You can also grill them with the husks still on, but I kind of feel like: what's the point?
- Shuck the corn
- Rub all over the cob with vegetable or olive oil, the sprinkle with salt & pepper
- Grill on medium heat, turning often to avoid too much burning, about 5-6 mins total
- Serve as-is, or with a mixture of: 1Tbsp chile powder + 1/2 lemon juice + 1/2 cup butter