- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 11, 2003

FORT WORTH, Texas - A quick and simple recipe for grilled steaks with balsamic vinaigrette created by Lori Welander, a home cook from Richmond, won top honors in the recent 25th National Beef Cook-Off.

The 2003 competition focused on ways busy families get dinner on the table. Miss Welander competed against 20 finalists selected from 3,000 entrants from throughout the country. Her recipe uses just four ingredients and takes about 30 minutes to prepare, plus marinating time.

The judges, a panel of food professionals, liked the recipe’s combination of balsamic vinaigrette and fig preserves, which made a tasty marinade for steaks, grilled and served with melted herb-and-garlic cheese.

Miss Welander took home $50,000 for the grand prize.

She called her recipe a family pleaser.

“I make recipes that are quick, simple and delicious so I can spend more time with what matters most — my family,” she said.

Grilled steaks balsamico

The marinating time is 2 hours, and the preparation and cooking time is 30 minutes.

⅔ cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette

cup fig preserves or chopped dried figs

4 beef shoulder top-blade steaks (6 to 8 ounces each) or boneless beef chuck-eye steaks, cut 1 inch thick

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

5.2-ounce package herb-and-garlic soft spreadable cheese

Place vinaigrette and figs in blender or food processor; process until blended to make marinade. Place steaks and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bag securely, and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade.

Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill steaks, covered, 10 to 14 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Meanwhile, to make sauce, heat cheese in small saucepan over medium-low heat 2 to 4 minutes or until melted, stirring frequently.

Serve steaks with cheese sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving, using top blade: 471 calories, 36 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 31 g fat, 564 mg sodium, 111 mg cholesterol.

Nutrition information per serving, using chuck eye: 416 calories, 36 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 567 mg sodium, 115 mg cholesterol.

A copy of the 25th National Beef Cook-Off’s winning recipes is available by calling Sherry Hill (303/850-3441) or Alison Lanham (312/228-6832).


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