Steak Marinade

This recipe was in Martha Stewart Living and I think it is a good basic marinade. She uses it in a recipe for Steak and Arugula Picnic sandwiches but I just marinated my steak and served it on arugula with some potatoes on the side. The important tip is to slice your meat across the grain, not along it. It makes a big difference!!

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 T. brown sugar

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 T. chopped rosemary

coarse salt and pepper

1 # skirt steak (I could only find flap)

Poke the steak all over with a fork. Combine marinade ingredients in an airtight container (i used a ziploc) and add to marinade for at least 30 minutes or you can marinate it overnight.

You can broil(or 500 degrees) this on a foil lined baking sheet or grill it. Broil the steak 3 minutes on each side for medium. Cook an extra minute or so on each side for more well done.

Let the meat cool 5 minutes before slicing. Slice against the grain of the meat.


Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This recipe comes from Martha Rose Shulman who writes a weekly column in the NY Times Health section under Fitness. Her recipes are amazing! This is a wonderful easy recipe using quinoa, which I really love.

1 cup quinoa

3 cups water

Salt to taste

2 cups diced cucumber

1 small red onion, finely minced (optional)

2 cups finely diced tomatoes

1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers (to taste), seeded if desired and finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

1. Place the quinoa in a bowl, and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes. Drain through a strainer, and rinse until the water runs clear. Bring the 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt (1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) and the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and translucent; each grain should have a little thread. Drain off the water in the pan through a strainer, and return the quinoa to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean dishtowel, replace the lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes. If making for the freezer, uncover and allow to cool, then place in plastic bags. Flatten the bags and seal.

2. Meanwhile, place the finely diced cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the cucumber with cold water, and drain on paper towels. If using the onion, place in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes, then drain, rinse with cold water and drain on paper towels.

3. Combine the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cucumber and onion, season to taste with salt, and add the quinoa and cilantro. Toss together, and taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with sliced avocado and cilantro sprigs.

Yield: Serves six.

Community Night with Ingrid Bengis-Palei

Ingrid sells the best seafood to twenty five restaurants in the US and we are so lucky to get her seafood at my favorite restaurant, The Kitchen. I have read about Ingrid for years, she takes such care with her fish! Last night I went to a community night at the Kitchen with Ingrid. The menu and food were amazing and I am still swooning!!

Smoked Bouchot Mussels-fresno chili, lemon and olive oil

Long Cove Oysters

Baguduce River Oysters

Fried Burrata with grilled ramp salsa verde

~wine pairing Domaine Pepiere Muscadet Sur Lie FR’10

Lobster Agnolotti-thistle whistle farm bordeaux spinach, tarragon and fava bean

Cure Farm Spicy Greens-sherry wine vinaigrette and parmesan

~wine pairing Lioco Chardonnay Sonoma Cty, CA ’10

Scallops (from diver Eric Hall)Pan seared -with Colorado asparagus puree, la Quercia pancetta and shaved crispy celery root-that was outrageous

~wine pairing Vercesi del Castellazzo Pinot Nero IT ’11

Pound cake with poached Colorado rhubarb and house made strawberry sorbet

~wine pairing Viietti Moscato d’Asti IT ’11

French Onion Salisbury Steak

I consider this recipe retro, in that I remember salisbury steak from TV dinners of my childhood. We never ate TV dinners unless we happened to be home in the summer with my dad, who has no idea how to cook (although his mother was a fabulous cook) as he ate TV dinners all summer long, while the rest of his family were up at the cottage. I received a magazine called Cuisine at Home and this recipe appears in the magazine. It sounded like comfort food to me! Serves 4.

1 1/4 # ground chuck

1/4 cup minced parsley

2 T. minced scallions

1 t. kosher salt

1/2 t. black pepper

2 T. flour for dredging


1 T. olive oil

2 cups sliced onions

1 t. sugar

1 T. minced garlic

1 T. tomato paste

2 cups low sodium beef broth

1/4 cup red wine

3/4 t. kosher salt

1/2 dried thyme

Cheese toasts

4 slices baguette, cut diagonally

2 T. unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 t. minced garlic

1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine chuck, parsley, scallions, salt and pepper. Divide evenly into four portions and shape each into 3/4″-1″ oval patties. Place 2 T. flour in a shallow dish, dredge each patty in flour. Reserve 1 t. flour.

Heat oil in saute pan on medium high heat. Add patties and sauté 3 minutes each side. Remove from pan. Add onions and sugar to pan and saute 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste, sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle remaining 1 t. flour, cook one minute. Stir in broth, wine, salt and thyme. Return meat to the pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.

Cheese toasts-preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread on a baking sheet. Combine butter and garlic and spread on one side of each bread. Combine cheeses and sprinkle over the butter. Bake 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve the steaks on the cheese toasts with the onion sauce ladled over. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is a wonderful sauce for meat from Argentina. It is so fresh and flavorful and a wonderful addition to pork tenderloin or any meat! This recipe comes from Tyler Florence.

6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 jalapeños, seeded and minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh oregano or marjoram, chopped

3 limes, juiced

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon each kosher salt and crushed black pepper

2 pork tenderloins (about 1# each)

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

evoo (extra virgin olive oil)

lime juice for drizzling

Combine the garlic, jalapeño, and vinegar in a bowl. Stir in parsley and oregano (or marjoram, my favorite) and lime juice. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside at room temp to allow the flavors to marry.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the chimichurri sauce and marinate the pork in the rest. Put the pork and marinade in an sealable plastic bag and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat charcoal or gas grill.

Remove the pork from the marinade and wipe any excess off. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill on the hottest part of the bbq for 4 minutes per side. Allow the tenderloin to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Spoon some chimichurri sauce over meat, drizzle with lime juice and serve remaining sauce at the table.

Rhubarb and strawberries

My grandmother was an unbelievable cook, gardener and nurturer. I still smell her barn when I am gardening and her herbal potions in my bathroom. She loved rhubarb and made stewed rhubarb, which she served on ice cream. I lived on Sugarloaf Mountain outside of Boulder and there happened to be a huge field of wild rhubarb across the street from our cabin. One year we made strawberry rhubarb pies for a spring festival-we sold out in seconds!! I have been patiently waiting for the rhubarb to appear in the store and here it is!!

Ina’s Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

4 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1″ dice (about 5 stalks)

4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large

1  1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

1 1/2 t. grated orange zest

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1 T. cornstarch


1 cup flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 t. kosher salt

1 cup oats

6 oz. cold unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Toss the diced rhubarb and strawberries with the orange zest and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Mix the orange juice with the cornstarch and pour over berry mixture. Pour into a 8″ by 11″ baking dish.

For the topping in a food processor or bowl of an electric mixer with paddle, combine flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, salt and oatmeal. Mix well. Add diced cold butter and mix until dry ingredients are moist and butter is pea sized. Sprinkle topping over fruit and bake one hour.

Spring benefits

I planted radish, buttercrunch lettuce, spinach, arugula and swiss chard on St. Patrick’s Day. We are moving into hot weather in Denver so I decided to start harvesting to get ready to plant warm season veggies like tomatoes and basil soon!

I absolutely LOVE radishes and these french             breakfast radishes are the best! I eat most of them  before I even wash them off but hope one day they will make it long enough for me to serve them with buttered baguette and good salt!