Sunday, August 30, 2009

California Rolls


Yeah, I know, you need some shades to look at this image. I hope it gets the point across that I was able to make a roll, though you can't tell any detail!

In order to beat the heat, we opted for California Rolls. This post is not going to be one of my best. Actually, it's going to be on the shoddy side since I didn't do a lot of researching on how to make California Rolls and this was my first time making a roll of any kind.

I basically watched a couple of YouTube videos and quickly scanned a couple of recipes found during a Google search of "California Roll" to gather a guess at what I'd do. Bear with me. At least I have pearls of wisdom to remember for next time.

Rodney graciously collected images as I worked since my hands were all gooey. Please keep in mind that he does not tend to take food photos and white rice is hard to capture well. Hence the glaring first image above. But I'm proud that he tried for me!

RICE:
Before we left for the store, Rodney prepared some rice in our little 3-cup Sanyo rice maker, which is ideal for 2-4 or even 6 people. We didn't have any sushi-grade rice and just used the regular stuff we had, short-grain Botan or CalRose brand rice, I forget now.

When we returned home, the 3 cups of rice was ready.


I made the sushi vinegar in a glass liquid measuring cup:

1/3 c rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Combine ingredients, stir until as much sugar and salt will go into solution. Microwave the ingredients for 30-40 seconds and stir the mixture until the sugar and salt go completely into solution. Let cool.


Meanwhile, I scooped out approximately 2 cups of rice from the three prepared in the rice maker into a large mixing bowl and spread it out to expedite cooling, taking care not to break any of the rice.
 

Once cooled (not quite to room temperature), I added 2 tbsp of the vinegar solution to the rice, and with the plastic rice scooper/paddle that came with the rice maker, I "cut" the solution into the rice until all of the rice was wet. At this point, according to many YouTube videos, I should have continued cutting the rice while physically fanning it to get to down to room temperature. Being pressed for time, I skipped that. I simply made it a point to stir the rice around on occasion as I readied myself to actually make a roll.

ROLL
Materials:

  • prepared rice (as above)
  • Nori sheets
  • sesame seeds
  • imitation crab sticks, quartered
  • cucumber, peeled and cut into thin slices lengthwise
  • avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
Equipment:

  • Bamboo mat
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Sharp knife
  • Small/medium bowl of water with a small glug of vinegar added (disinfectant water used to rinse your hands
  • damp clean towel (to wipe your damp hands and clean off the knife blade)
Cut a long piece of plastic wrap from the roll -- long enough to fold over and cover both sides of the bamboo mat.

Cut a sheet of Nori in half. Place one half on the mat, (I forgot which side, dark or shiny, should be down and guessed). Grab a handful of rice and smoosh it around on the Nori to obtain an even layer. Use just enough to cover the Nori -- you want to be able to see some of the Nori under the rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
 
This rice is really too much and isn't spread out completely. Spread it all the way to the edges -- don't be afraid to let it touch the plastic. It actually helps the roll stay stuck.

Flip the Nori so the plain side is face-up-- the rice shouldn't fall off during the flip. Place crab sticks in the center of the Nori lengthwise, using 1 and 1/2 of the prepared quarters to cross the entire length. Add a couple of slices of avocado and a strip of cucumber to cross the length.


With the mat, roll the Nori over the crab, avocado and cucumber. You will want to look at a YouTube video or two here to get a better idea of how to do this.

Once the roll is tight, transfer it to a cutting board. Cut the roll into 6 or 8 pieces, depending on how thick you like your pieces and, more importantly, how sharp your knife is. If the roll is tight enough, it won't spring loose during transfer or cutting. Plate the pieces nicely and squirt a small side of wasabi from the tube onto the plate. If you're into the ginger, you should get some. We're not into it.

Notes:

  1. The roll was dry. Additional rolls I made were with minced crab meat mixed into a small amount of mayo. That made it much more palatable.
  2. The cucumber slices and crab stick quarters were WAY too thick to roll easily. I should have essentially julienned the cucumber so they were thinner. The length was fine. See Note 1 about the crab meat.
  3. My rice didn't have nearly enough vinegar solution cut in the first time around and was much too sticky. Too much of it stuck to my hands and made the damp towel gross immediately in addition to the fact that quite a portion of the rice wound up in my hand-rinsing bowl. I cut in additional vinegar solution, 1-2 tbsp, for the remaining rolls and saw a tremendous improvement!
  4. Don't make rolls when you are starving. You'll eat them as soon as they are done, which means your Rodney is feeding you pieces of roll as he eats the majority all while you prepare the next one. Which may mean your Nori will be chewy. You really should let them stand a minute or two before consumption. It does make a difference.
Cost:

  • cucumber: $0.69
  • avocado: $0.49
  • imitation crab meat sticks: $2.99
  • wasabi in a tube: $1.99
  • Nori: $1.69
Total: $7.85, or less than $2/roll or about $4 a serving. This cost estimate does not include the rice or account for the fact that we made 4 rolls and had tons of everything leftover!! I'm sure we could have made another 4 rolls with what we had, the crab meat being the limiting reagent.

We're definitely doing this again. The rolls became better and better as I made them. Trust me when I say that you'll learn from your first roll how to make the next an improved version. Next time, we're plannng on getting better crab stix.

I'm not sure what to put down for time.  It was probably 3 hours from start (including rice prep) to finish.

Food plan 083009

The heat has caused me to be extremely lazy.  I don't really have a plan for this week.  Nothing sounds good to either of us and I don't want to turn anything on that will produce heat.  However, we went and picked up stuff to make our own California rolls at home! 

While at the store, Rodney said he'd make shrimp tacos, so we got the goods for that too.  The rest of the week we'll probably have stuff you've already seen, so nothing new to report there.

Here's what I can put together now:
  1. California rolls
  2. Kalbi (carry-over from last week)
 This is what I bought:
  • potted basil: $2.99 
  • green cucumber: $0.69 ea
  • avocado: $2.45/5 @ $0.49
  • imitation crab meat sticks: $2.99
  • shrimp: $3.71 @ $3.99/lb
  • kimchi: $3.99
  • lime: $0.24 @$0.99/lb
  • Wasabi in a tube: $1.99
  • Nori (roasted seaweed sheets): $1.69 for a pack of 10 sheets
  • multi-grain bread: $3.99/2 loaves
  • flour tortillas: $3.25/24 count
  • tortilla chips: $3.09/3 lb
  • organic salsa: $5.89 a drum
  • eggs: $1.75/18 count
Total: $38.71.  The basil is in hopes I can keep it alive, the bread for lunch sandwiches, and the eggs are just good to have since they are so versatile.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nick's Pizza

I've had a craving for pizza for some time, what with all the heat, cooking, and salads at home lately.  Rodney and I both knew he'd likely suffer for it, but since he was game for some ultra-cheesy, thick-crusted, grease-laden Nick's, I snapped on the opportunity while the iron was hot.

Calling in the order at 6 p.m. on Friday night, we were delighted in finding that the wait wouldn't be any longer than the typical 20 minutes.  Once Rodney returned home with hot pie in hand, we excitedly opened the warm-to-the-touch box to find...















A pepperoni pizza?  Say WHAT?!

Initially shocked, then slightly disgruntled, we decided not to call and complain.  After all, it was 6:30 on a Friday night.  We dished up our slices and found, with some surprise, the other ingredients nestled under the cheese! 















I think I've mentioned before that Nick's doesn't serve up a standard pizza.  By that, I mean you don't get the same exact thing each and every time, even if you order the exact same thing.  While some people find that dastardly, we sort of like it.  It's like gambling in a way, except the chances of losing are nil.  It might not be perfect each and every time, but you'll definitely be satisfied.
 
This pie, though, was too wet for my tastes, with juices and grease running, requiring Bounty to come to the rescue.  It was so wet, the box right under the pie was getting damp.  But man, the salty sweetness of sauce, ham, pepperoni, olives and cheese mingled with the mushrooms and slightly biting onions, it cannot be outdone.  And I could only imagine how well this would reheat in a skillet yielding toppings smothered in warm gooey cheese with crispy crust the next few days.

About $19 OTD plus toke.  Plan on having pizza for 3 days, it's that big and dense.

....................................................................................................
082909
I was right -- it was superb reheated in a skillet today.  Lunch was killer!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mediterranean Herb-Roasted Chicken



Since I had planned on having whole legs leftover from chopping up a chicken for the spice-rubbed boobs, I needed a recipe to use those legs and selected this one. Even though it's been crazy hot, I chose to follow through with this recipe, which required the oven to be on for damn near 2 hours. You don't have to tell me, I know I'm crazy.

Mediterranean Herb-Roasted Chicken

5 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
4 whole chicken legs
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 2-inch pieces

Heat oven to 375°F. Finely chop rosemary, garlic and salt together; place in small bowl. Stir in lemon juice, oil, thyme, oregano and pepper.
 

Spray bottom of wide shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.


Scatter potatoes and onions in pan; add chicken. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the herb mixture over chicken and vegetables in pan; toss to coat.


Place chicken on top of potatoes and onion.


Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven; baste with accumulated juices. Scatter peppers and zucchini around chicken; spoon remaining herb mixture over chicken and all vegetables.


Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is browned and no longer pink in center.



Rodney said it was "fair to middlin', better than mediocre, but not tell-all-your-friends about it". And that nails it right on the head. Rodney had two whole legs and I had one, which is just as I'd expected for a decent recipe.

If it was exceptional, we'd have split the last whole leg and then groaned about how we shouldn't have afterwards. If it was on the not-too-good side, Rodney would've had one whole leg and I'd have a drum. The rest would sit in the fridge (except the potatoes, I'd pick them out as snack items) until it went bad. As it is, I have lunch for tomorrow.

This recipe was essentially painless. Time-consuming, yes, but not difficult. The biggest pain was getting the rosemary and garlic ready for chopping. The chicken was slightly overcooked even though I went with the least amount of recommended cooking time, the zucchini came out perfectly and the potatoes were still a little too firm.

Next time, I'll cut the cooking time, make the zucchini pieces slightly larger and cut the potatoes into smaller wedges.

Since there is no dairy involved whatsoever, a definite win for me as Rodney's body will not be exuding it's displeasure over the course of tonight and tomorrow.

Cost:
  • legs: eh, about $5
  • rosemary: $1.29 (with tons leftover)
  • potatoes: $0.60
  • onion: let's say $0.50
  • red pepper: $1.29
  • zucchini: $0.41
Total: $9.09 for 1 Rodney and 2 Cook servings or approximately $3.03 a serving.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mixed Greens, Artichokes and Olives with Avocado Dressing



Since it's been so freakin' hot lately, I have been trying to avoid the oven, broiler and stove-top, which doesn't work so well for me since I like meat. A lot. And meat's usually better when it's somewhat cooked. Typically in the oven. Or broiler. Or stove-top. I'm not so much of a meat-lover that I'll prepare it in the microwave. That's like... blasphemy.

So I settled on this recipe. Rodney is a freak for avocados, so what better than a salad with olives and avocados, his two favorites? Best of all, no heat required!

I followed the recipe almost exactly. As usual, I substituted mildly.

Mixed Greens, Artichokes and Olives with Avocado Dressing

Dressing:
1 avocado, halved, divided
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Salad
6.4 oz mixed salad greens and 2-3 oz romaine, chopped (8 cups packed)
1 whole peeled English cucumber, chopped
8 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
8 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

Place half of the avocado in mini food processor or blender. (Reserve remaining half for garnish.) Add mayonnaise, lime juice, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; pulse until blended. With machine running, add oil in steady stream until smooth.

Initial ingredients in.


Pureed and then combined with oil. I was surprised this worked in our not-so-mini (aka huge) blender.

Combine greens, cucumbers, artichokes, bell pepper and olives in large bowl; toss with dressing. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss.

Greens and vegetables in.


Dressing poured on.


And salad tossed.

Thinly slice reserved avocado half; garnish salad with avocado.

Rodney and I both agreed this was just ok. It was certainly edible, but after a while, the avocado-iness started to get to me. Rodney liked the avocado and olives, but he wasn't too keen on my mixed green selection. I essentially used 6 oz of mixed baby greens which consisted of a lot of bitter greens and supplemented the remaining couple ounces with chopped romaine.

The recipe was pretty easy. If you have a mini-chopper/blender you use regularly, this may be a winner for you. We have a giant blender that is used almost strictly for Rodney's coffee-bean grinding. And that means it rarely gets washed. So everything the blender does get washed for, has a distinct coffee aroma. Imagine that with this dressing. Not what I'd call wonderful. Really, it's almost what I'd call gross.

Cost:

  • red bell pepper: $1.29/0.52 lb
  • romaine lettuce: $0.89/head
  • baby greens: $1.99/6.4 oz
  • avocado: $1.99 (OUCH!)
  • red wine vinegar: $2.63/16 oz
  • mayo: $6.99/64 fl. oz
  • English cucumber: $1.49/ea
Um, how do I calculate this? Ok, I'll tally all the items I have prices for and assume they off-set the ones I don't have prices for.

Total: $17.27! Jinkies! That's a LOT for a stupid salad that only yielded 3 main course servings! I'm thinkin' that maybe, just maybe, my gross estimate threw off my numbers. After all, we didn't use a whole vat of mayo or bottle of vinegar.

I'll leave it to you to determine if it's worth your while (and pocketbook) to make this one. We will only do it again if we have no meat, are suffering extreme heat, coupled with greens-a-plenty (primarily of the romaine variety) and extra avocado combo happening.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spice-Rubbed Chicken Boobs with Honey Glaze


Spice-Rubbed Chicken Boob, steamed green beans and bread.

Originally I intended to prepare some Tapenade-Stuffed Chicken Breasts. But man, it was so hot tonight. Hot enough that I put off beginning dinner prep until about 9. At that point, I cut up the two chickens I'd purchased, carving out the boobs (skin on and bones intact) and bagging the wings, drums, thighs and remainders in labeled bags thrown into the freezer for later use. I have not forgotten that I was planning on making some chicken stock.

Once completed, I goofed off a while, waiting for the ambient temperature to go down. When Rodney started getting a bit anxious, I decided it was time to start cooking. That's when Rodney pointed out one important thing my keen recipe eye had neglected to note: a 60-minute marinade for the tapenade stuffing. Ouch.

Rodney volunteered that we have this recipe from Week of Menus with the boobs instead, which I thought was a fantastic idea!

I prepared everything just like before except I cut the honey/vinegar mix in half. And used only the breasts. Since the breasts were whole halves, I thought broiling steps and time had to be modified, but it worked out ok.

Spice Rubbed Chicken with Honey Glaze

4 chicken half-breasts
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c honey
1.5 tbsp rice vinegar

Preheat broiler. Line broiler pan with foil.

Dump spices and oil in the gallon Ziploc with the chicken breasts, mix thoroughly to coat chicken evenly.


Place chicken breasts on foil-lined broiler pan and broil approximately 28-30 minutes, checking every ten minutes, brushing with honey-rice vinegar mixture and turning as necessary every 9-10 minutes.

Remove chicken from broiler, give the boobs a final brushing and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.



Yup, this chicken was just as good as it was the last time.  This is definitely one that will be a regular for us. 


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Food Plan 082309

Well, I think I did pretty well following the food plan last week.  There were a couple days of unexpected occurrences, but overall a winner week.

This week I plan on preparing the stuff I didn't get to last week plus a couple new ones:

  1. Mixed Green with Artichokes and Olives with Avocado Dressing
    1. Last week, the avocado never ripened even though I put it in a bag with an ethylene-exuding apple
  2. Tapenade-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  3. Kalbi
    1. to be served with steamed rice, kimchi, lettuce or sesame leaves and hot pepper paste
  4. Mediterranian Herb Roasted Chicken
So I went to the store and purchased:

  • rosemary: $1.29 for a couple bunches
  • medium red potatoes: $0.60/1.23 lb
  • zucchini: $0.41/0.59 lb
  • red bell pepper: $1.29/0.52 lb
  • green onion: $0.49
  • green beans: $1.15/0.77 lb
  • romaine lettuce: $0.89/head
  • baby greens: $1.99/6.4 oz
  • olive oil: $9.99/1L
  • whole chicken: $5.29 at $0.99/lb
  • whole chicken: $5.36 at $0.99/lb
Groceries this week, not including unexpected purchases throughout the week: $28.75.  To be fair, I had the beef frozen for kalbi in the freezer. That was $2.55 for 2.58 lbs.  So technically groceries this week is $31.30.  Not bad for two people.  Again, we'll see if there are unexpected purchases through-out the week.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grilled Margherita-ish Sandwiches


Cheesy, basily grilled sandwiches!

Because we had some bread, cheese, and basil I made some sandwiches. My laziness certainly contributed more than a fair share to us having this for dinner.

Grilled Margherita Sandwiches

4 (1/2-inch) slices crusty sourdough bread
4 thin slices Swiss cheese (about 3 oz.)
1 large plum tomato, thinly sliced
2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 tsp garlic-pepper seasoning
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Place 2 slices of bread on work surface; spray each "out" side with oil. Top each "in" side with a slice of the cheese and half of the tomato and basil. Sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon of the seasoning; top with remaining cheese and bread slices.


Sprinkle top of sandwich with some of the seasoning. Crank up heat to medium under a skillet and let it get warm. Place sandwich in skillet; cover and cook 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese on bottom of sandwich begins to melt.


Reduce heat to medium-low. Turn sandwich and sprinkle with seasoning; cover and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.



I was impressed with how the sandwich turned out. Crusty crisp browned (not blackened!) bread exterior and warm interior. Fantastic meal in minutes! And sort of panini-ish, which works for me.

Wild guess put the cost of each sandwich at oh, say, $2.

There is no doubt we'll have this again. Maybe with chips next time.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bow-Tie Pasta with Fresh Vegetable Sauce



I chose the recipe as it is somewhat different from our usual pasta dishes. I liked that it called for zucchini and squash, which are favorites of mine. Unfortunately, Rodney doesn't care for either of them. This one I prepared at risk of being shut-down by Rodney.

When I made it, I followed the original recipe exactly except I eased up on the cheese a little since we only had about half the amount called for.  Oh, and Rodney's lactose-intolerant. 

Bow-Tie Pasta with Fresh Vegetable Sauce

8 oz. farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 medium yellow squash, chopped
3 1/2 c chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 c fresh corn kernels or frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 c (4 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Cook farfalle in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook onion in oil in large saucepan over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook 30 to 60 seconds or until fragrant.


Add zucchini and squash; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until soft.


Add tomatoes, corn, basil, salt and pepper; cook 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.


In large bowl, toss farfalle with sauce and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Serve sprinkled with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
 

When making this, I was worried the zucchini and squash would get really mushy. I made it a point to chop the vegetables fairly coursely and cooked each step for the minimum amount of time. What I didn't take into consideration was that the canned diced tomatoes I had used would be wind up as huge chunks of hot tomato, which Rodney and I don't particularly care for.

As I'd suspected, Rodney didn't care for this recipe AT ALL. He ate the pasta out of his bowl, but the vegetables remained. At least there wasn't any meat so the worms could eat what Rodney didn't want.

There was plenty for both of us (even if Rodney had liked it). So I have some left for lunch! For two, maybe three, days.

Total cost:

  • pasta: $0.50 (a guess)
  • sweet onion: $0.50 (a guess)
  • diced tomatoes: $2
  • zucchini: $0.68
  • squash: $1.08
  • frozen corn: $0.50 (a guess)
  • fresh basil: $0.25 (a guess)
  • cheese: $2 (another guess)
$7.51. Or about $1.50 a serving. How cheap can a fairly quick and healthy meal be? It is too bad Rodney didn't like this one. I wouldn't mind having it again, that's for sure.


I took some of this to work with me for lunch 08/21/09 and it was even better the second day. The pasta absorbed the juices, making it fantastic. The remaining leftovers will have to have a splash or two of Tabasco and they'll be screamin' good! Normally, I cook my pasta so that there is still quite a bite, which worked out well. As the pasta absorbs the juices, it gets a bit softer. Keep an eye on how long the pasta cooks initially or it could end up too soft later.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Steak and Potato Salad

Rodney found the bag of marinating steak in the freezer and alerted me to the fact that the marinade wasn't frozen.  Terrific.  I wasn't gung-ho about having steak twice in a row, but if the stuff isn't freezing, what do ya do?

Instead of having steak and potatoes again, I figured I'd mix it up a bit - in salad!


















I broiled the steaks just like I did last night, let them rest for 10 minutes, the whole nine yards. 

Meanwhile, I chopped up some of the iceburg and romaine lettuces and added some baby spinach; diced a tomato, heated the leftover 2 cups of potatoes by pan-frying them in oil and for kicks threw in some semi-thawed frozen corn.
In two bowls, I layered the greens, tomato, potatoes and corn.  Then I carefully sliced the beef and threw it on the salad.  Rodney had his with Catalina dressing and I opted for some Italian.

The sweetness of the steak marinade actually worked out well in this salad.  I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  And there was enough left for me to take to work for lunch, which is always a treat.

Dinner was done in about 30 minutes and the leftovers were utilized to make a new "fresh" meal.  I love it!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Herbed New Potatoes


What would go better with Honey-Soy Marinated London Broil than a side of potatoes?

I didn't change anything, but you can check out the recipe at epicurious.com by clicking the link below.

Herbed New Potatoes

2 lbs 1 1/2-inch-diameter new potatoes, scrubbed, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp mixed chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, dill, and chives)

Steam potatoes until tender, about 9 minutes. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)


Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds.
 

Add potatoes and herbs; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

We only had dill.

Sauté until potatoes are heated through and golden, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.



Easy! And they tasted good. Nothing extraordinary, but pretty good. I think it would've been better if I had a combo of spices instead of just dill, which is pretty mild. And more butter.

Total cost was about $5.


Honey-Soy Marinated London Broil


Honey-Soy Marinated London Broil and Herbed New Potatoes.

Rodney was saying that he was burned out on ground beef (from eating a lot of it last week when the old refrigerator was going out) and wanted whole beef this week, so I opted to try this recipe since I've never cooked top round (aka London Broil). Though I'm not a giant fan of marinades on steak, I'd read this is a tougher cut and decided I'd give it a try anyway.  Plus the steak was on sale.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that I opted to cut the steak into sections before marinating so that I could freeze half; each bag of steak would have our portions cut before cooking.

Honey-Soy Marinated London Broil

1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 c vegetabe oil
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
2.5 lb top round steak (1 inch thick)

Combine all ingredients except steak in resealable plastic bag. Add steak; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

A huge 2.5 lb slab of beef.


I cut the portions into serving sizes (Rodney's are the big ones on the ends).


Then bagged the servings into two 1-quart Ziplocs. One went right into the freezer and the other in the 'fridge overnight.

Heat broiler.

Remove steak from marinade, shaking off excess; discard marinade. Broil 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
 
Straight from the broiler, I put them on a plate and covered it with foil.


And this is how they looked after resting 10 minutes.

Rodney liked how it tasted, but I thought the marinade was too sweet and vinegary. And it is no joke that this cut of beef is tough! You really need to pay close attention to slicing it thinly and really be conscious of cutting it across the grain or else you'd be gnawing at it for hours. If you do it just right, it's not too bad.  If I decide to take a stab at having London Broil or top round again, I think I'll try a different recipe just to see what else can be done with this beef.

I was impressed with how well it cooked in the broiler -- my first time broiling a steak. I was worried it would get burned, but it turned out medium-rare and wasn't charcoal on the exterior.

Cost was about $5 to make this and there's more in the freezer.

Time, excluding marinating, to make this was about 30 minutes total.