Okay, I'll say it right up front - I CHEAT!!!!!!! Oh, not on my husband, in my work, on my taxes - or in anything that really matters - but my conscience will not let me continue blogging any longer without making a confession!
If you've been following my blog you will, most likely, have realized that I enjoy experimenting with international cuisines. I love the fresh, unique flavors that each culture has to offer: the spices, herbs and exciting taste sensations they boast, often without adding extra fat or calories.
You may have also noticed that I have a special affinity to Asian-inspired recipes. The very first recipe I shared on The Café was Orange-Ginger Salmon with Smokey Mashed Potatoes. There have been many to follow like Peanut-Ginger Vinaigrette, Korean Beef Short Ribs, Chinese Pork and Ginger Dumplings and the recipe I am sharing today for Asian Grilled Hanger Steak. One of the common denominators in all of these wonderful recipes is a fabulous, flavorful ingredient partnership: fresh ginger and garlic. Although they are everyday ingredients, these two friends, when married with differing combinations of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame, brown sugar and cilantro yield an incredible Far Eastern taste sensation!
So here's the confession - several years ago I discovered an awesome little shortcut for many of these delicious Asian-inspired recipes that call for garlic and ginger - Ginger Garlic Paste! So while you've been slaving away, dirtying knives, garlic presses, zesters and cutting boards, I've been scooping into my undercover little jar and humming a merry tune!
While I don't care at all for minced garlic in a jar, I love this stuff! If I have all the time in the world (which is almost never), I will use fresh ginger and garlic, but often I turn to this little "secret in a jar" for marinades, sauces, salad dressings, etc. If you taste tested, side by side, one of these recipes using fresh garlic/ginger vs Garlic Ginger Paste, I honestly don't think you could tell the difference.
So now you know! My daughter calls timesavers like this "making wise use of time", "multi-tasking" or "making hay while the sun shines". Can you tell she's very kind? I call it, "a streak of laziness!" - Whatever YOU call it, Garlic Ginger Paste can be lifesaver when you're trying to prepare a quick, but delicious meal!
This Asian Grilled Hanger Steak is simply out of this world! I served it over the weekend with a delicious Corn Sauté with Ginger and Cilantro (yesterday's post) and some fabulous No-Knead Yeast Rolls with Garlic and Herbs (tomorrow's post). It was a five-star meal, easy enough for a weeknight, but special enough for a fancy dinner party! I will be making it again soon!
A few notes-
If you're not familiar with Hanger Steak you will want to get to know this tasty, tender and relatively inexpensive cut of meat. The flat iron steak is classified by USDA as the cut from the top of the shoulder blade and is the second-most tender piece of meat; only the tenderloin is more tender. You can read more about it here.
Garlic Ginger Paste can be found at any Indian grocery (quite cheap) or online here. It lasts for several months in the refrigerator and can divided up and frozen for much longer. In recipes calling for garlic and ginger, I will usually start with a teaspoon of the paste and add more if needed, to taste.
Asian Grilled Flat Iron Steak
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 medium stalk lemongrass, finely chopped or 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (available at many larger grocers)
2 pound flat iron steak
1. Place steak in a zip lock bag. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour mixture over the steak. Refrigerate and marinate at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove meat from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for at least one hour prior to grilling.
2. Preheat grill to medium high. Clean grill grates and spray with grill spray.
3. Remove meat from the marinade and discard marinade. Sprinkle lightly with lemon pepper. Place steak on heated grill, cover and cook 7-9 minutes, depending on thickness. Turn steak over and move to a slightly cooler part of the grill. Continue grilling 7-9 more minutes. Be careful not to overcook, this steak is best served medium rate to medium. Let meat rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing across the grain.