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IMG_5209I admit it’s difficult or a bit embarrassing, maybe, to put up a grill recipe.  It was -12 in St. Paul, Minnesota today.  But it’s 60 here and while winter is only a day or two away from returning, I’ve been taking advantage of our brief spring respite for the past couple of days.

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(above:  first robin in our back yard this spring)

If I drive around the grocery store parking lot, there are still piles of gritty-gray and black snow several feet high.  I know it’s nothing like up north, but winter hasn’t disappeared totally and I know it’ll be back to bite us on the butt again.

(below:  the tiny woods between our house and our neighbors’ this week– complete with young doe who still runs around with her mom)

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A friend telephoned today to see if I’d like to go see “Philomena” tomorrow with a couple of the neighborhood women, but said we’d cancel if the snow arrived.  My day has been busy enough that I didn’t know snow was on the way. Maybe.  (I’d even missed the Russian-Ukraine news until another friend texted 10 minutes ago.  Me, the news junkie.) I’ve got overnight guests on the way and the day has been all about putting together a pot of chili (enough for a housebound friend and her family, as well), complete with scratch beans, a homemade cherry pie, and the typical “people are coming to stay” drill, which –you know– is all about cleaning their bathroom, changing the sheets, and making sure there’s something good for dinner and breakfast.  Mostly we run around going, “Why didn’t we keep this clean? #*$$%#”

St. Paul friends Tom and Mark are arriving soon; they’re on their way to Winter Park and we are the convenient, happy stop-over.  Tom has helped with the upkeep and repair of our Saint Paul house and I promised him if he came I’d bake his favorite dessert. He promptly replied it could be cherry pie, cherry crisp, or bread pudding. It is cherry pie.
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T is for Tom.  You can hardly see it, but the pie vents are a “T” that filled in as it baked.  There’s also a little vanilla ice cream in the freezer.  Just in case he can’t eat cherry pie without it.  (I later found out cherry pie is Mark’s favorite, too.  Cool.)

But in the meantime, you want to know about this hefty sirloin Dave grilled last night.  I have always loved the taste and chew of sirloin, and really lust after it marinated and grilled.  When our kids were small and the bank account even smaller, a big sirloin steak was the only steak we ever cooked.  One steak for all six of us.  I cooked it in butter and garlic in a big skillet and it was a real treat.  This particular meat from Costco was thick, lusciously delicious, priced perfectly and tender.  Very much like filets in appearance, these lovely, large pieces of 2-3-inch thick steaks had better flavor than a lot of filets. I marinated them at room temperature for about an hour, grilled them over high heat until medium-rare to rare, and served them up with oven-roasted asparagus filled with cheesy potatoes.  Could you eat much of this?  Probably not.  But you could try.

If only Tom and Mark had come the night before!  I’m embarrassed to tell you we ate most of it (some for lunch the next day) and the guests got chicken chili!  If you have some spring-like weather where you are or can brave the cold on the patio or deck, try this:

IMG_5208Marinated Sirloin with Asparagus-Fenced Cheese Potatoes   Serves 6

Make the potatoes first and cover them to keep them warm and tender; you can always reheat them if need be.  Preheat both the oven and the grill at the same time, but begin cooking the asparagus a few minutes before you start the steak. By the time the steak is cooked and resting, the asparagus will be done.  Just for fun when serving, build a “corral” using the asparagus spears and mound the mashed potatoes inside the “fence.”

CHEDDAR-MASHED POTATOES:  Find my recipe here. Save a little cheese for garnish.

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MARINATED SIRLOIN STEAK:

  • 2 1/2 -3 pounds sirloin steak, 2-inches thick, cut into 6-8 serving pieces

Season meat with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper before marinating.  

Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dry dill and kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Mix all marinade ingredients together in the bottom of a 9″x13″ glass casserole dish and add the steak; turn the steak to coat evenly.  Let marinate at room temperature for an hour or in fridge overnight, turning half-way through marinating time.  You could also put the marinade and ingredients in a large, zip-lock bag inside the casserole dish.  If you’ve left it in the fridge, let sit out at least a half an hour to warm the meat a bit before grilling.

To cook the steak:

Preheat grill to high heat and lightly oil the grate with a clean cloth dipped in a little canola oil. Remove meat from dish and discard marinade.   Grill steak 6-7 minutes on each side or until cooked medium-rare — about 130 degrees F.  Let sit five minutes loosely covered before serving.

OVEN-ROASTED ASPARAGUS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place two pounds trimmed asparagus on a rimmed baking pan.  Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper (about 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon respectively.)  Sprinkle with just a pinch of crushed red pepper and, using clean hands, toss until the asparagus is well-coated and the spices are evenly distributed.  Roast about twenty minutes or until tender and just beginning to crisp on the bottom.  Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.

TO SERVE:  Build a little fence using four pieces of asparagus and mound about a half-cup of mashed potatoes inside the fence.  Garnish with a little grated cheddar.  Fan steak out above the corral and serve with a full-bodied red wine such as an Australian Malbec or a California Cabernet Sauvignon.

(Below:  One last view; she’s hiding!)

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Sing a new song,

Alyce