My husband says that there are things I don’t do simply because I refuse to — not because I can’t but because I won’t. Grilling used to fall high on that list. For a long while, I hid behind not knowing how to (read: not wanting to know how to) light the thing up.
Not so anymore. Several years ago (um, by several I probably mean closer to 6 years), I sucked it up and started grilling because, well, I write a food blog. It seemed stupid to continue refusing to grill when it’s an important part of the American cooking experience.
These days I grill a lot and love to.
Recently, I was contacted by Kitchen PLAY who asked if I would be involved in a Progressive Party with the theme “Make This Recipe…Safer,” sponsored by the Ad Council. Of course, I agreed.
This campaign, headed by the USDA, is all about food safety — a topic that’s important for anyone spending time in or out of the kitchen. There’s even a Food Safety website dedicated to these crucial cooking reminders
Basically, the four tenets of safe cooking are clean, separate, cook and chill. What do these things mean?
Clean: Keep your cooking surfaces, utensils and hands clean while cooking by washing them with soap and water. Personally, I am obsessed with keeping my cooking area clean, as well as my hands. I keep soap next to the sink just for this.
Separate: Keep raw meats away from other foods, including using separate cutting boards. I always use different boards for meat, veggies and bread.
Cook: Always be certain to cook meats and seafood to the proper temperature before serving. You can use a food thermometer to ensure that the inner temperature of the food meets minimum safe temperatures.
Chill: Finally, foods should be chilled — both raw, perishable items and cooked foods. Leftovers should be wrapped up and stuck in the fridge shortly after eating to ensure that they remain safe.
- 1 flank steak (you'll want the whole portion, which is usually 1½ lbs)
- ⅔ cup red wine
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- several dashes crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the flank steak into a gallon-size resealable bag.
- Whisk together the red wine, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pour over the flank steak. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible.
- Refrigerate the flank steak, turning once, for at least 1 hour or up to 10 hours.
- Once the flank steak is marinated to your preferences, heat the grill on its medium setting until good and hot, about five minutes but up to 10.
- Remove the steak from the marinade with tongs and place on the grill. Reseal the bag and discard any remaining marinade. Wash the tongs and your hands.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes per side, to desired doneness (remember, you can ensure its cooked right by checking the internal temperature with a thermometer). Allow the flank steak to rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
- Serve. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
If desired, serve with Basil Chimichurri Sauce over rice (as shown).
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time creating and publicizing this post, but all opinions expressed are my own.