Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Where there's smoke, there's dinner...

It's going to be a very hot, humid summer if the the first few days of May are any indication! We had a passing thunderstorm, and it passed through pretty quickly, good thing, I had flank steaks marinating for the grill. Not for the grill pan, which causes so much smoke, that the smoke alarms upstairs start to go off as well! Haven't had to call the Fire Dept for excessive smoke yet, but we did call once years ago for the carbon monoxide alarm going off. Who knew lb meant low battery? I do now. Battery? The thing plugged into the wall. Electrical, I never gave battery backup a second thought. I couldn't find the manual in the ensuing panic. The firemen got a good laugh at that one! I swear it looked like a one and a six. I was prepared when the next one went off. I had saved the manual. The little chirps and the code meant the unit was older than seven years and needed replacing! That's my public service message for today, get a carbon monoxide alarm, use it, and save the manual in a place you'll remember!

The thunderstorm passed, so the Griller was able to grill! I love less work for me! The cabbage salad is tweaked a bit to try and copy one I regularly get at the Chinese restaurant we go to sometimes. Theirs has a red chile sauce on top and will clear your sinus passages for quite a while. This one from epicurious comes close, without the red chile sauce. So I added more than a few drops of Sriracha sauce to mine. and some Hot Chili Oil. I didn't remember a big ginger flavor so I reduced that a little. and added some sweet red peppers and a few slices of fresh jalapeno. Ah, this will definitely clear the sinuses. Serve with a box of tissues on the side! Very crunchy and refreshing! Grandma is already on her second box of tissues! No sinus issues for her tonight!

The flank steak is great, really flavorful, next time I won't be lazy and I'll grind the coriander! This one is a keeper! Had a little trouble with the Soba Noodle dish. It's delicious and not a difficult recipe when you pay attention. That's the tricky part for me :) This time I was concentrating so much on not overcooking the Soba, three minutes is perfect, not the six minutes it says on the package. But reducing the soy sauce suffered a bit...

Boy, does that smoke when you're beyond reducing it, way past a solid, sticky glob, it turned to ash! Talk about no visibility! Smokey! Had to start that again, and that's when I realized...

Those noodles? They'll never cook if you don't turn the stove on! Took me about ten minutes to figure that the water for the noodles weren't boiling!

Finally got myself in sync and in the end, when the smoke cleared, dinner was really very good! The new flank steak marinade was excellent! The cabbage salad was sweet-hot super good and the soba noodles were delicious! Much, much better than take-out!

Coriander Teriyaki Flank Steak
Source: Gourmet, December 2001
Printable Recipe

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground in an electric coffee/spice grinder (I used ground because I was lazy!)
1 lb flank steak
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 - 3 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional, to garnish)

Rub coriander onto both sides of steak and put the steak on a large plate, or place the steak in a large Ziploc freezer bag to marinate. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and oil and pour over steak, turning steak to coat. Marinate, turning occasionally, 10 minutes or more. I marinated it for about two hours! and grilled to medium. You can also broil or use a grill pan.

Hot-and-Sour Cabbage Salad
Source: Gourmet, December 2001
Printable Recipe

1 pound Napa cabbage (about 1/2 head), chopped in small pieces, but not too small
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (to taste) - I used hot chili oil, very little, a few drops!
some thin slices of sweet red bell pepper
some thin slices of fresh jalapeno
Sriracha sauce (to taste!)

Put cabbage, peppers and scallion in a large bowl.

Bring vinegar, ginger, sugar, and red pepper flakes (or chili oil) to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let dressing cool, and then pour dressing over cabbage, tossing to combine.

Spicy Cold Soba Noodles
for the recipe click here!


  1. Hi, STeak looks great, even after all the trouble.

  2. Great looking meal - felt like I almost was there watching you make it with your descriptive text. I had to laugh at grandma needing a second box of tissues.

  3. Whoo Hoo! Every time you open your mouth (or your typing fingers) you make me laugh. Wonderful meal - poor Grandma!

  4. You are so funny! Well, it turned out, looking good!

  5. Hahaha! You made me laugh too, for the box of tissues!

    My friend purposely adds hot sauce on her food to get rid of her sinuses!

    That steak looks so delicious! Medium hot for me.

  6. Don't feel too badly, I've forgotten to turn the oven or stove on myself!

    That new marinate sounds wonderful - I may give it a try on Mother's Day!

  7. The coriander flank steak looks amazing! I love coriander. :)

  8. Looks delicious! I have never had soba..I'll try, If I don't like them, I'll mail them to you! :) I could not eat all that hot stuff though..Mike loves it..that and his bottle of Whoop Ass hot sauce! ( a friend from KY sent it to me, a glass bottle, in an envelope..OY!)
    I finally broke down and bought cardamon pods. Now I have to get a little pepper mill to do them.

  9. No question, you were a tad distracted! Very funny post. Our fire dept. would not think it was funny...they would roll their eyes and probably we'd end up getting fined for a false alarm.

    Anyway..you dinner turned out beautifully in the end and that's what counts. Glad Grandma got to clear her sinuses!

  10. Ours are all volunteer and didn't mind a bit when I apologized, they said they'd rather come out and make sure everything was fine, can't take chances with carbon monoxide.

    Thanks for the nice comments, always appreciated :)

  11. The sweet and sour cabbage salad goes super with the steak. And I am sure the steak would taste wonderful even without coriander since you have teriyaki!

  12. Steak looks so good! I've never had soba noodles.

    Glad your dinner was great after all of the excitement!

  13. Carol, I love reading your posts. I can definitely relate to the carbon monoxide part. We have 6 units throughout the house which were all installed about the same time. A couple of months ago, the "chirping" started and before it all ended we needed to replace all of them. We had two problems ... determining which one was chirping and finding replacements that were like our current ones so we could use the same base plate. Initially when the chirping started we would replace the batteries. When the chirping re-started, we finally read the manual and realized that they had lived out their life span, and it was time to replace the unit.

    I also can relate to noodles and pasta not cooking if the burner isn't turned on. However, as usual, it looks like you turned out a tasty and interesting meal. ( I, too, go heavy on the sriracha.)

  14. The steak and noodles look great! I've forgotten to turn on the stove or oven many times. Really, if that's the worst that I do during a meal, we're doing okay!

  15. LOL .. It's always an adventure in your kitchen! You wouldn't know what to do if things went smoothly. ;)

  16. Another yummy meal! Love this salad too, definitely going to give it a try :-)


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