Easy dinner recipes: Cooking tips and three ideas for steak lovers

Easy dinner recipes: Cooking tips and three ideas for steak lovers
Let your steak come to near room temperature before cooking. (Los Angeles Times)

The next time you're going to throw some steaks on the grill, take them out of the refrigerator to give them time to shake off the chill before cooking. "Tempering" the meat allows it to cook more evenly, so the inside can actually cook as the outside works up a nice char. Place your steaks or other meats in a cool, safe spot indoors to take off the chill, 20 or so minutes for thin cuts and longer if you're cooking something big.

Bistecca fiorentina: You'd be hard-pressed to find a steak more massive than this porterhouse. Famous Italian butcher Dario Cecchini calls for leaving his Bistecca fiorentina, or, Tuscan steak (a whopping 2 1/2 pounds and 2 inches thick) out five to six hours before grilling. Sure, you do have to remember to remove it from the fridge ahead of time, but properly tempered, this beauty -- a magnificent sight to behold on the grill -- cooks up in roughly 30 minutes.


Cote de boeuf: A thick, 2-pound, bone-in rib steak, some coarse sea salt and pepper. It doesn't take much more to make a perfect main course. The steak grills up in minutes, but remember to take it out of the fridge early enough (a couple of hours for a steak this size) to take off the chill before cooking. You can find the recipe below.

Grilled flank steaks with chimichurri sauce: For something a little less, well, large, consider flank steaks with fresh chimichurri sauce. The sauce -- a little garlic, red wine vinegar, oil, fresh herbs and a touch of lemon juice -- comes together in almost no time, and those steaks will grill up in minutes. You can find the recipe below.


Total time: 25 minutes / Servings: 6

Note: Set the steak out about an hour before grilling to allow it to come to room temperature.


2 cloves garlic

1 cup coarsely chopped parsley, firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup olive oil

5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

With the food processor running, drop the garlic through the food tube to chop. Add the parsley, oregano and fresh mint and pulse several times to mince. Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pulse a few times to achieve a coarse puree. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt as needed. (The recipe can be prepared to this point 2 hours in advance and held at room temperature.)


1 (1 1/2 - to 2-pound) flank steak


Freshly ground black pepper

Chimichurri sauce

1. Pat the flank steak dry on both sides with paper towel. Season each side with a generous one-fourth teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.

2. Just before cooking, brush each side with about 1 tablespoon chimichurri sauce. Grill over a hot fire, cooking about 1 minute on each side, then turning the steak 90 degrees and cooking the same side an additional minute before flipping the steak over to give each side nice grill marks. Repeat with the other side, cooking the steak a total of 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat.


3. Rest the steak 5 minutes before slicing. Cut across the grain and on a deep bias, in wide, thin slices. Serve, passing remaining chimichurri sauce on the side.

Each serving: 353 calories; 28 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 26 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 56 mg. cholesterol; 636 mg. sodium.

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