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Lynne Ireland

“It was 20 years ago today ...” And no, we’re not talking about when Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play. Instead we’re commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ongoing conversation about food and life we’ve been having with you, dear readers.

Time does, in fact, fly when you’re doing what you love, and when co-columnist Dominique German and I wrote our “columnist manifesto” our No. 1 point was “we live to (and love) to eat.” We also confessed to guilty pleasures, kitchen disasters and having a whole lot to learn.

And learned we have, first as a duo, now as a solo correspondent. You readers have generously shared stories and dishes that have become standards in our recipe repertoires. How gratifying and how encouraging that some of those very early offerings are in fact dishes that are as delicious now as they were 20 years ago.

Way back then, chipotle peppers were the hot and tasty trend du jour. So we shared Chris Schlesigner and John Willoughby’s Grilled Lime-Marinated Flank Steak with Chipotle-Honey Sauce from their aptly named “Thrill of the Grill.”

Thrilling, indeed. Great for a crowd, this thin-sliced steak, when wrapped in a warm tortilla with black beans and guacamole, is just about as good as it gets. We’ve been making it and sharing the recipe for 20 years. Perfect for final fall barbecues or tailgates, we promise you once you try this, you’ll be making it for the next 20 years. No matter the season.

Grilled Lime-Marinated Flank Steak with Chipotle-Honey Sauce

1 2 ½ pound flank steak

For the marinade:

1 canned chipotle, chopped (we use 4-5)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

10 tablespoons lime juice (about 5 limes)

Place steak in a large dish or baking pan. Mix marinade ingredients together. (You can whirl together briefly in a food processor if it’s easier) Cover the steak and marinate in the refrigerator 4-6 hours, turning occasionally. (It also works fine with just 2 hours marinating, but don’t go longer than 6 hours or lime juice will “cook” the steak, leaving you with gray meat.)

For the sauce:

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¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons peanut oil

3-5 canned chipotles (depending on how hot a sauce you want)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons brown mustard

8 tablespoons lime juice (about 4 limes)

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon salt (we think it’s not needed)

freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Combine first eight ingredients and puree in blender or food processor. Stir in chopped cilantro (or leave out if your eaters don’t tolerate it) and salt and pepper to taste.

Salt and pepper steak to taste, grill over high heat 5-7 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from grill and let rest for 3-5 minutes so juices are drawn to center. Use a very sharp knife to slice the steak as thin as possible on a very sharp angle.

Serve with sauce to drizzle over in tortillas with beans and guacamole, on top of a mixed greens, or devour simply by the slice.

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Lynne Ireland lives to eat and welcomes comments and questions from others who do (or don’t). Contact her at citydesk@journalstar.com.

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