- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2006

There’s nothing like warm weather and the promise of a day off to inspire people to prepare a leisurely outdoor meal.

If you cook for two, you may not have grilling on your agenda, thinking it’s best left to larger households. But don’t let that stop you. You’ll find small charcoal grills in any hardware store. Heat up a few coals and you’re set to go.

Instead of large portions of beef that will serve a crowd, opt for skirt steak, a tasty cut that satisfies a twosome. Round out the menu with grill-toasted garlic bread, a salad and ice cream topped with a good-quality fudge sauce.

When making skirt steak with ginger plums, prepare the fruit first so the meat doesn’t get cold while you’re making the accompaniment. If you’re so tempted, put a fan next to the grill so you can alert the neighbors that you, too, are enjoying cooking out in culinary style.

Skirt steak with ginger plums

Ginger plums (follows)

1 garlic clove, smashed

1 10-ounce skirt steak

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare ginger plums. Set aside, but keep warm, while preparing skirt steak.

Rub garlic over both sides of the steak. Season with salt and pepper.

To grill: place steak on grid over medium ash-covered coals. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until meat is well browned on the outside but medium-rare at the center.

Remove steak from heat. Let sit 1 minute. Thinly slice skirt steak on the diagonal. Divide meat between 2 plates and serve ginger plums on the side. Makes 2 servings.

Note: If the weather doesn’t permit grilling, or if you don’t have a convenient place to set up the grill, you can still prepare this recipe by broiling the steak.

To broil: Place steak on greased broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat allowing 5 minutes for first side. Turn over and allow 3 to 4 minutes on second side or until meat is well-browned on the outside but medium-rare at the center.

GINGER PLUMS

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 large red plums, pitted and thinly sliced, not peeled

teaspoon minced fresh ginger root

teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons sugar or more to taste

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Heat oil in medium skillet. Add plums, ginger root and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until plums are soft, stirring frequently. Sprinkle on sugar and cook for 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves.

Stir in vinegar and soy sauce. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until sauce turns syrupy. Taste sauce; add a pinch of sugar to balance the sweet-sour flavor if necessary.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES


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