Add some sizzle to your summer
'Tis the season for citronella candles, tiki torches and enjoying summer evenings with family and friends. June is National Beef Steak month so whether you are enjoying the season in your own backyard or around the campfire, the BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com website is a great resource to help create a terrific summer meal. The site includes a wide variety of recipes and helpful information -- including an interactive meat case, cooking tips, guides, and menu planning ideas.
Grilling is an easy and healthy cooking method for many reasons and steak is a quick no-fuss choice. Here are a few basic suggestions for choosing and preparing a delicious grilled steak.
1. Choose your cut. Did you know some of the most popular cuts are also lean? For example, flank, strip loin and sirloin steaks are all lean cuts.
2. Prepare your grill and steak. Prepare the grill (gas or charcoal) according to manufacturer's directions for medium heat. Next, remove your steaks from the refrigerator and season with herbs and seasoning as desired. If you use a marinade, remove any excess liquid by dabbing with a paper towel. This helps prevent flare-ups.
3. Cook your beef. Place steaks on the cooking grid. Cover and grill approximately 7-14 minutes, depending on thickness of the cut. (See BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com for grilling guides). Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure desired doneness. Recommended doneness for steaks is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which is medium-rare.
Independence Day is just around the corner, and I recommend this Caribbean Flank Steak with Coconut Rice because of its wonderful summer flavor combinations. Pair it with your favorite fruit and vegetable for a delicious meal.
Caribbean flank steak with coconut rice
1 beef flank steak (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked brown rice
3 tablespoons shredded coconut, toasted
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice for Marinade; discard excess juice. Reserve crushed pineapple for Coconut Rice.
2. Combine marinade ingredients and reserved pineapple juice in small bowl. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.
3. Prepare Coconut Rice. Combine water and rice in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 35 to 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved pineapple, coconut, almonds and cilantro. Season with salt, as desired.
4. Meanwhile, remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 16 to 21 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees Fahrenheit) to medium (160 degrees Fahrenheit) doneness, turning occasionally. Season with salt, as desired.
5. Carve steak across the grain into thin slices. Serve with rice.
Total Recipe Time: 45 to 60 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Test kitchen tips
To broil, place steak on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 18 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees Fahrenheit) to medium (160 degrees Fahrenheit) doneness, turning once.
*Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program
-- Holly Swee is the director of nutrition and consumer information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.