What’s been for dinner lately:
Sheet pan pizza with prosciutto, Parmesan, and white sauce. The crust is from America’s Test Kitchen’s “Pizza al Taglio with Arugula and Mozzarella,” but I baked it with a Parmesan/garlic white sauce, fresh mozzarella, baby spinach, and prosciutto. [There’s a paywall on this site.]
Beef stir fry. This is just a version of the one I make on the grill in the summer, with more veggies. I used some steamed frozen broccoli to avoid the longer cooking that fresh broccoli requires.
Rigatoni and butternut squash casserole with pancetta and Parmesan. Just like the one I’ve made before with bacon, but I find the pancetta to be milder and less overpowering than the bacon.
Boston Cream Pie—made this for my husband’s birthday. Specifically the Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie from America’s Test Kitchen. One word of caution: The written recipe omits the most important line from the video. When making the pastry cream, you don’t stop when bubbles break the surface; you continue whisking until the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the pan, sort of like when making jam. Otherwise the pastry cream will be runny. It’s a delightful cake. [There’s a paywall on this site.]
Here’s a quick and versatile way to grill a pork tenderloin. I’m marinating mine in teriyaki sauce—not the sticky stuff in a bottle—and then serving it with brown rice noodles, but you could marinate it or baste it with any flavors you have in mind. The 1″ thick slices are skewered on two long metal skewers (to keep the slices from spinning) and quickly grilled over direct heat. The meat chunks could be further cut after grilling—sliced or pulled—or served in the large chunks, depending on how you want to eat them. I sliced the large chunks in half, just to make them easier to eat. I had some roasted bell peppers in the freezer that I heated and sliced, and I grilled a few onions to complete the dish.
I made the traditional teriyaki sauce without any extra sugar. There is plenty of sugar in the mirin, a sweetened rice wine. I’ve always disliked what has passed for teriyaki sauce, even before I got diabetes, because it was just too sweet for my taste, kind of like those bottled barbecue sauces that hide the flavor of grilled meats. Traditional teriyaki has just the right sweetness to complement whatever meat you use it with. I did add garlic and ginger to the sauce, which some purists might object to, but we like those flavors very much, and the three basics in the sauce—soy sauce, mirin, and sake—held their own just fine.
Remember not to throw out the marinade, but to boil it for a few minutes to serve as the final sauce.
Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Allow several hours for marinating the pork tenderloin chunks, plus time to set up the grill.
- 2 oz (1/4 cup) soy sauce
- 2 oz (1/4 cup) mirin
- 2 oz (1/4 cup) sake
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 pork tenderloin, sliced in 1″ thick slices
- Mix the teriyaki ingredients and place in a large zip top bag with the pork tenderloin slices. Marinate for about 2-4 hours.
- Lift out meat slices and pour remaining marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes. You could cook it longer to reduce it for a glaze, but I wanted to use it as a sauce for the meat, vegetables, and noodles.
- Skewer the meat slices on two metal skewers to keep the slices from spinning as you turn it on the grill. It will kind of look like you have reconstructed the tenderloin on the skewers. You don’t need to have space between the slices, but you could if you want them browned on all sides, in which case you might want to use more skewers.
- Set up the grill for medium-high direct heat, about 400°.
- Oil the cooking grate and grill the skewered pork on all sides until nicely browned. We eat our tenderloins a little pink, but you can cook them as long as you desire. Remove the cooked meat to a platter and rest, covered, for a few minutes before serving.
I’m just about done with last season’s pheasant supply in the freezer. Last year, I made just about every type of pheasant meatball I could think of, so I’ve tried to find some other things to do with it this year, our favorite dish of late being a pheasant version of butter chicken. Today I’m grilling skewered strips of pheasant breast, which is pretty much going to be like flash cooking, as it will only take a minute or so on each side to be done. I’m starting with a coconut milk marinade and serving it with a peanut sauce made with some of the reserved marinade. Meat on a stick seems like a good weekend meal.
Coconut Pheasant Satay
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons red curry powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste or grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste or grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (for marinade)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste ( for dipping sauce)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- Optional additions: soy sauce and sesame oil
- Mix the first four ingredients—coconut milk, curry powder, ginger, garlic—until well combined. Pour half the mixture into a second bowl.
- To the first bowl, whisk in the tablespoon of salt, and add the pheasant strips to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Remove at least 30 minutes before grilling to skewer and to come to room temperature.
- To the second bowl, whisk in the tahini, peanut butter, and the teaspoon of salt. Refrigerate until 1 hour before serving. The sauce should be served at room temperature.
- Remove marinating pheasant from refrigerator and skewer strips onto soaked bamboo skewers. Allow to come to room temperature while preparing the grill.
- Set up grill for direct heat at 400° using 40-50 briquettes. Unless you are grilling something else, like a vegetable first, you will be done grilling long before the coals burn down to ash, so don’t waste them by using too many. Still you need to reach a hot temperature.
- When the grill is hot, brush the cooking grate with oil and grill each skewer for 1-2 minutes per side. Don’t overcook.
- Serve with dipping sauce.
Even though soaked, some of your skewers will probably burn up on the grill, like mine, and you could be left with stubs. It did not affect our eating them all. I think the professional cooking sites, just brown the meat with a blow torch 😉
I christened the Weber® Wok I got at the end of last season’s grilling period with beef and broccoli. Good choice. It was really quick and really good. In hindsight, I would make one significant change to how I cooked the beef, because the grill cooks so much hotter than the indoor stovetop. I’ll add a note in the recipe on how to do that better.
Toss all with marinade
Whether you’re cooking such a dish indoors or on the grill, having all the ingredients ready and at hand is important, so that nothing is overcooked while you’re fumbling for the next ingredient. I used marinated flank steak strips for the beef, but you could also use skirt steak or sirloin. I forgot to weigh or measure the mushrooms and broccoli, but have a pretty good idea of how much I used.
I chose to cook the vegetables first, so they wouldn’t cause the meat to be overdone as the broccoli cooked. When the meat was done (in a virtual minute) the vegetables were just tossed back in to reheat with the remaining sauce.
Beef and Broccoli on the Grill
- 1/2-3/4 lb flank steak cut across grain in thin strips
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unsweetened)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (see note about marinade)
- 1/2 cup water
- 4-8 tablespoons vegetable oil, depending on the vegetables you use
- 3-4 cups broccoli florets (if you use stems, plan for longer cooking)
- 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
- salt & pepper
- cooked rice for serving (I used brown basmati)
- Marinate the beef strips for 2-4 hours in the next 6 ingredients—soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger. *Note about marinade: Usually, I like to have the cornstarch in the marinade, which thickens quickly on cooking, but the grill was too blazing hot for that and I think some of the cornstarch burned off right away. I’m suggesting instead that the cornstarch be added to the 1/2 cup water and added after the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tossed back in.
- Prepare grill for direct heat at about 400° using about 60 briquettes in a chimney starter. Spread the ash-covered coals in the center of the grill under the cooking grate no more than two coals high, so they don’t actually touch the bottom of the wok.
- Place the wok in the grill, close the cover, and heat the grill and wok to about 400°. The bottom of the Weber® Wok, a cast iron wok, sits below the grill grate; if you are using a wok of a different material and/or that sits on top of the grate, your cooking times may differ.
- Mushrooms: pour 2 tablespoons oil in the wok, then add the sliced mushrooms and toss for a few minutes. Mushrooms will soak up oil, as you probably know, so you’ll need more for the broccoli.
- Broccoli: pour in up to 2 more tablespoons oil into the wok and add broccoli florets. Toss for a few minutes, then close the grill cover for a 2-3 minutes to cook through. Alternatively, you could place a large lid on the wok itself.
- Scoop out the vegetables and set aside. Wipe out the wok with paper towels, if needed.
- Beef: Add another two tablespoons oil to the wok and allow the grill to reheat. Add the meat and marinade and spread out the meat to cook for 2-3 minutes. Alternately, you could strain the meat and marinade, adding only the meat first and the marinade after it is done.
- Toss in the vegetables and the 1/2 cup water and cornstarch (and the strained marinade if you did that). Toss until the sauce is thickened, which is almost instantaneous.
- Remove to serving bowl and serve over rice.
Don’t leave your wok on the hot grill to burn; remove it to a heatproof space to cool to make cleaning a little easier. I cleaned mine with warm water and kosher salt.