Did you know that this past Monday, September 29, was National Coffee Day?
I do now but didn’t know then. I would have certainly treated myself to an extra large don’t hold anything back, fill it to the brim with whipped cream cup of coffee! In honor of COFFEE, my close friend, my coworker.
My old college friend who helped me study all night, and made sure I got to classes on time. My friend who envelopes me in warmth on the cold mornings. My friend who is always there waiting for me each day. My friend who accompanied me on my first date with my husband! A celebration is certainly due for my friend.
I raise my mug to you!
One of my favorite marinades for skirt or flank steak (skirt steak is usually leaner and has less fat and calories!) is a COFFEE MARINADE*. So, as hard as it was to do this morning, I saved a cup of coffee-even harder was to let it sit undisturbed until it reached room temperature!
To the cup of coffee (use your favorite), I add about:
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- fresh cracked peppercorns (as much as you like!)
- 1 minced garlic clove (if you don’t have a garlic press-BUY ONE!)
- 2 tablespoons Maple (or Molasses) syrup (I’m talking the real deal here, don’t skimp, it’s not your pancake house syrup!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or as hot as you like it)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I know what your thinking, but it’s great with coffee, add some to your coffee before brewing for a treat!)
I like to put everything in a Ziploc bag (starting with the steak) and give it a good shake and a good massage through the bag! Put it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (longer is good, too, but I wouldn’t exceed 24 hours!) The bag should be flat with all the flavors surrounding your steak, if not, flip halfway during marinating time.
* As a guide, a marinade has to have three things:
- An acid-helps to break down the meat or tenderize it
- An oil-works as a protective coating to help preserve food
- Herbs and spices-choose your favorites and take chances!
Plan to take your marinated creation out the fridge and let stand for about 30 minutes to an hour. This way when it is put on the hot grill, the muscles in the steak will be all relaxed and will not tense- doesn’t that sound nice!
For the cooking, if it is a nice night, take to your grill and enjoy the weather with family and friends! If you live in a heat index of 100 degrees state, take to your indoor grill! This could be a flat grill, grill pan (another great investment for your kitchen), griddle, or cast iron skillet. If indoors, turn on your hood vent, you’re going to need it, but so worth it.
Turn it up and let it sear, depending on your likeness (although flank and skirt steak does best at medium rare or medium) approximately 5 minutes per side-NEVER use a fork for flipping even those tiny holes will let the flavor escape-USE TONGS!
Oh, and did I mention, GUARD YOUR GRILL, so no one comes and flips your steak before time!! Yes, I know perfect grill marks aren’t necessary for flank or skirt steaks flavor, but I like to look at them…oh well, maybe next time, got to thank the hubby for his assistance!
When done, remove steak and let sit and relax again for a few minutes-10 is even good if your starving! This lets all the nice juicy flavors mingle throughout, think of it as a fun mix and mingle for your steak!
The most important thing to remember when slicing is CUT ACROSS THE GRAIN! If you never take your electric knife out except for holidays, now is the time to make sure it is in cutting good shape!
CUT ACROSS THE GRAIN, usually it is the opposite of how you would THINK to cut it! For example, the above steak was cut long ways (vertical)
THINK of the grains and cut as a letter T, if the grains are running up the base of the T, Cut across the top of the T-if the grains are running along the top of the T, cut up into it!
These are two of our favorites to pair grilled flank or skirt steak with:
-Braised cabbage (sound fancy, but just buy a bag of cole slaw mix and quickly braise it in a pan with what you have handy (or leftover-beer, chicken stock, wine, etc) until wilted
-Spaghetti Squash Primavera (don’t be scared, go ahead and buy that big yellow squash) Once you do, simply slice it open, set it seed and all in a dish of water and microwave for about 20 minutes until tender (you could boil it gently on the stove, but did I mention I HATE DOING THE DISHES-a microwave dish gets to go into the dishwasher!)
Once your Spaghetti Squash is tender, remove seeds, and use a fork and loosen the strands like spaghetti! Now you know how it got its name! You can use this in your favorite pasta dish, too! But for tonight, I add a little Parmesan cheese and a little skim milk (you could use cream and reduce it but a dab of milk works just as good on the hot squash, less fat and no need to dirty another dish) and add some steamed vegetables for a quick Primavera!
That’s it another quick meal for you!
Clark Gable said “I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee” not bad wisdom for the day!
A cup of coffee can be comfort, too, do you know someone today who could benefit by a simple invitation of “Would you like to have a cup of coffee?” It may be just what that person needs-sometimes a small gesture of kindness can be a big blessing.
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: There are 400 Billion cups of coffee consumed each year world wide-how will you use yours?
FOOD FUN: The world’s most expensive coffee, up to $600. per pound is called Kopi Luwak. It is made from coffee beans eaten and then excreted by a Sumatran wild cat….not for me no matter how tasty, but something to remember when creating your own coffee creation! Be Bold