I’m a big fan of the Iron Chef series (original and American) and I’m always fascinated by the creative variations that the chefs come up with. On a recent episode, one of the Iron Chefs (I think it was Cat Cora) used maple syrup as part of a concoction that was brushed onto a flat-iron steak, and something like that would never have occurred to me otherwise. What other unusual ingredients would bring something surprisingly tasty to my dishes?
I did a marinade from Mario Batali’s “Simple Italian Food” the other night. It calls for goose breast, but would be equally good on duck breast or steak or pork IMO.
For 2-3 pounds of meat:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 T. sugar
1 T. salt
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. cayenne
Mix together in to a paste, spread over meat, let site for 2 hours at room temp or overnight in the fridge. Grill.
It was really good - not nearly as spicy as you’d think with the cayenne. He suggested serving it with an apricot vinaigrette:
1/2 cup dried apricots, reconstituted until soft in boiling water
6 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Put soft apricots in blender along with vinegar & mustard. Blend until smooth, add oil slowly and blend to emulsify.
I put some salt in it as well.
Not really that unusual, but our go-to chicken marinade is a jazzed-up concoction that is mostly bottled Italian salad dressing, with a few herbs added.
I had a thick and juicy pork steak (this was no chop lemme tell you) and the Nine Fine Irishman pub in Las Vegas and I’ve been trying to replicate the apricot topping ever since.
So far the closest I’ve come is:
1/2 c dried apricots
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 crushed mint leaves.
It’s not quite perfect but I’m going to have to go back to Vegas to refresh my memory before I make any more adjustments