Standards

peaches

Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa Verde | Grilled Peach & Arugula Salad

If the summer heat is zapping your energy, try sticking to the standards – things that are easy to prepare without extensive prep or complicated recipes: grilled steak and salad, dressed up a little, perhaps, with some fresh salsa verde and grilled peaches. The beauty of grilling, even though it’s hot outside, is that it keeps the cooking heat outside and the indoors cool.

Love to Cook: Mario Batali’s version of steak with salsa verde uses skirt steak instead of the leaner flank. Either will work. Most of the work (and time) in his recipe is prep and marinating. For a little sweetness to balance the bite of the green sauce, try this grilled peach salad.

Weeknight Reality: If you don’t feel like firing up the grill or going outside, you can cook both the steak and the peaches under an oven broiler, and you don’t really have to marinate the steak. Let it come to room temperature, pat dry, sprinkle with seasoning (salt & pepper) and cook. Buy pre-washed arugula and bottled dressing. If you don’t like the idea of anchovies and capers in your green sauce, try a traditional chimichurri instead.

Need a Miracle: If you really don’t have time to cook anything, even a steak, try deli roast beef heated in a skillet with some olive oil, piled on toasted bread (from the bakery department) and topped with some fresh herbs (look for pre-washed in the produce section). Instead of grilled (or broiled) peaches, just cut some fresh peaches or nectarines into a salad bowl; toss with vinaigrette, crumbled cheese and red onion; toss in the arugula, or other green, at the last minute.

Want a peek at the rest of this week? Here you go:

Denver Omelettes | Mixed Fruit
Gazpacho | Wedge Salad
Fig-Glazed Pork Tenderloin | Green Salad with Mint & Blackberries | Meyer Lemon Gelato
Mediterranean Platter (stuffed grape leaves, olives, hummus, Greek salad, grilled lemon chicken)

Carnitas

limes

Carnitas with Salsa Verde | Stoneground Grits (or corn tortillas) | Cucumber & Herb Salad

If you have the time to cook the pork (it does the work; you just have to be there), true carnitas is delightful for tacos, or just on top of a big green salad. There are similar preparations that are much quicker, though, like crispy ground pork or buying smoked shoulder from a local BBQ shop.

Love to Cook: The cooking time for this carnitas recipe is 2-3 hours, but other than time it needs almost no attention until the very end. Martha Stewart’s version is a bit shorter and just as good. Use herbs of your choice for the salsa verde, and serve with thick, warm corn tortillas, or grits, or grit cakes, and a simple cucumber salad.

Weeknight Reality: Similar in taste and texture is this crispy pork, which uses ground pork and is ready in less than 20 minutes. The recipe calls for steamed rice, but corn tortillas would work here, too.

Need a Miracle: Most BBQ shops will sell plain smoked pork shoulder (pulled or chopped), without added sauce. Some groceries also carry smoked pork in the freezer section. Be wary of the ready-to-cook versions in the refrigerated aisle, though, as they are loaded with salt. Serve the meat with warm tortillas, cilantro, avocado, and lime, with or without a salad.