Filipino-style London Broil, Oven-roasted Potatoes, and Winter Greens with Shaved Parmesan

by Kelly on March 10, 2010

My book club’s most recent pick, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, provided the perfect inspiration for our meeting’s dinner menu. The book centers around the author’s year of eating only local foods, including produce and animals that she raised herself. After getting past the initial defensiveness of my own food choices, I came to love the book and have been truly inspired by it. It also provided a ready theme for our book club dinner — local. Luckily, by living in Wisconsin, I have easy access to farms that offer direct-to-seller meat and produce. I had a freezer full of beef from Sulzer Beef at my disposal. I also rediscovered Outpost Natural Foods, which in recent years has made a concerted effort to carry more local products.

My friend Alex brought a wonderful rhubarb strawberry crisp made with strawberries she picked from a nearby farm and rhubarb from her garden. For the salad, I used a winter salad mix from Milwaukee’s own urban, award-winning farm, Growing Power. To serve, I splashed some balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the greens (not local, I’m afraid), then used a vegetable peeler to grate long strips of Wisconsin Parmesan over the top. We rounded out the meal with an assortment of other Wisconsin cheeses (lemon chevre, cranberry cheddar, and Gorgonzola) and a fresh baguette from our local Breadsmith bakery.  A feast that doesn’t require gallons of petroleum to transport it to the table tastes even better than one that does.

Filipino-style London Broil
adapted from Indoor! Grilling by Steven Raichlen

Serves 4 to 6

2 medium lemons
1 cup (240 ml) soy sauce [Kikkoman brand is made in Walworth, Wisconsin]
1/2 cup (120 ml) distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 sirloin or top or bottom round steak (1 1/2 to 2 lb/680 to 900 g)

Rinse the lemons. Cut each in half and squeeze out the juice with a citrus press. Place the lemon juice in a large nonreactive mixing bowl. Cut the rind of 1 lemon into 1/4‑inch dice and add it to the juice. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, onion, garlic, bay leaves, coriander seed, and pepper and whisk to mix. Set aside half of the lemon juice mixture to use as a sauce.

Spread half of the remaining lemon juice mixture in the bottom of a nonreactive baking dish just large enough to hold the meat. Place the meat on top and spread the other half of the lemon juice mixture over it. Let the steak marinate for at least 6 hours, or ideally overnight. The beef can also be marinated in a resealable plastic bag.

Place a grill pan on the stove and preheat it to medium-high over a medium heat. When the grill pan is hot, a drop of water will skitter in the pan. When ready to cook, lightly oil the ridges of the grill pan. Drain the meat, scraping off most of the marinade with a rubber spatula. Place the beef in the hot grill pan. Sirloin or round steak will be cooked to medium-rare after 5 to 8 minutes per side. To test for doneness, use the poke method: when cooked to medium-rare the meat should be gently yielding.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it sit for 5 minutes. Cut the meat into broad thin slices, holding a sharp knife blade at a 45-degree angle to the top of the meat. Spoon the reserved sauce over the slices and serve at once.


Oven-roasted Potatoes

Serves 6

3 large baking potatoes, cut into 1‑inch cubes
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
handful of flat-leaf parsley, minced [I love parsley and use about a half bunch in this recipe]
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Toss the cubed potatoes with the olive oil, parsley, garlic, basil, oregano and paprika. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet (or 2 smaller baking sheets). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the potatoes halfway through cooking, until golden brown and tender. Immediately season with salt and pepper to taste.

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