Porterhouse Steaks with Board Sauce

Imagine how easy dinner could be if you mixed—right on a cutting board—a handful of raw ingredients that play well together, and then dragged your steaks through that spontaneous “sauce.” Feel free to substitute your favorite fresh herbs and types of oil and vinegar.

2 well-marbled, top-quality porterhouse steaks, each about 1 pound and 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

 

BOARD SAUCE

2 small shallots, about
2 1/2 ounces total, minced (generous 1/3 cup)

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons high-quality extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, preferably 10 years old

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

Serves 4–6

Prep: 10–15 min

Grill: 10–12 min

Rest: 3–5 min

1. Place the steaks in a single layer on a baking sheet and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the oil into both sides of the steaks and then season them evenly with the salt. Let stand while you prepare the board sauce and the grill.

2. Arrange all the board sauce ingredients, including 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, in a pile in the center of a large cutting board, putting the oil and vinegar in the center of the pile. Let the pile stand while you preheat the grill and grill the steak, or for up to 1 hour.

 

3. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 450°F). Brush the cooking grates clean.

 

4. Grill the steaks over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare (125° to 130°F), rotating and turning the steaks once or twice. To cook the steaks longer, slide them to the indirect heat side of the grill.

5. Meanwhile, use a wooden spoon to mix the sauce ingredients together gently on the board into a juicy, chunky mixture.

 

6. Spread the board sauce into a layer large enough to accommodate both steaks side by side.

 

7. Use tongs to transfer the steaks to the cutting board, laying them flat on the sauce. Season the tops with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

8. Use the tongs to move the steaks around so they pick up some of the sauce flavorings, then turn the steaks over. Let rest, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes.

 

9. Cut the meat away from the bone.

 

10. Next, cut the meat across the grain into 1/3-inch-thick slices. As you cut the meat, turn each slice back and forth in the board sauce until it is nicely coated with the flavorings. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve right away.

 

Bruschetta with Marinated Peppers

This recipe calls for grilling the bread on both sides so the cheese melts on a toasted top. For the variations on the following pages, you may prefer instead to toast just one side, which results in a chewier texture. The bread will also be less likely to shatter when you bite into it.

MARINATED PEPPERS

2 large bell peppers, red, yellow, and/or orange, each about 8 ounces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

6 to 8 large fresh basil leaves

6 center-cut slices from 1-pound loaf rustic Italian or French bread, each 1/2 inch thick

Extra-virgin olive oil

6 ounces Fontina cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

 

Serves 6

Prep: 20 Min

Marinate: 1–2 hours or up to 2 days

Grill: 20 min

1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F). Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the bell peppers over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until blackened and blistered all over, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

 

2. Place the peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

 

3. Cut away the stem and core from 1 pepper, then slit the pepper lengthwise, spread it open, and remove the seeds and white membranes. Peel away and discard the charred skin. Repeat with the remaining pepper.

4. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/3-inch-wide strips. In a bowl combine the pepper strips, oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days (let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving).

 

5. Just before grilling the bread, finely chop the basil and add it to the marinated peppers.

 

6. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F). Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with the oil.

7. Brush the cooking grates clean. Toast the slices on one side over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Transfer the slices, grilled side up, to a baking sheet.

 

8. Top the bread slices with the Fontina, dividing it evenly. Using a fork, remove the peppers from the marinade, letting the excess marinade drip back into the bowl, and arrange on the bread slices, dividing the peppers evenly.

 

9. Grill the bruschetta over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the cheese is just melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve right away.

 

Flavor Bomb Your Bruschetta

We still love the classic topping of diced fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil, but how nice that an Italian idea can wear so many other delicious international styles. The toppings can be sweet or savory, meaty or not, home cooked or straight from a jar.

PLOUGHMAN

Substitute walnut bread for the rustic Italian bread. Core and thinly slice 1 Granny Smith apple. Coarsely grate 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup). Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, toasting on one side only. Top the grilled side of each bread slice with 3 or 4 apple slices, then 2 tablespoons cheese. Grill as directed to melt the cheese. Transfer to a platter and top with 1 teaspoon each fruit chutney and crumbled cooked bacon.

 

SPANISH

Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Rub one side of each slice with a peeled garlic clove. Halve 3 large plum tomatoes lengthwise. Coarsely grate the cut side of each tomato half into a bowl and discard the skin. Top each bread slice with about 2 tablespoons of the grated tomato. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

ITALIAN

Cut 8 ounces (2 balls) fresh buffalo mozzarella into 12 slices total. Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, toasting on one side only. Spread the grilled side of each bread slice with 1 tablespoon basil pesto and top with 2 mozzarella slices. Grill as directed to melt the cheese. Transfer to a platter and top each with 1 prosciutto slice and some arugula leaves. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with ground black pepper.

CALIFORNIA

Peel and pit 2 large avocados. Add to a bowl with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mash with a fork until slightly chunky. Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Spread the avocado mixture on the toasts. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.

SUMMERTIME

Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on each piece and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Arrange a sliced, grilled peach half (see Steps 2 and 3, page 75; brush with olive oil in place of the dressing before grilling) over the ricotta on each toast. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme leaves.

RUSTIC

Grill the bread as directed in the recipe on page 66, but toast on both sides. Spread 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese and then 2 teaspoons fig jam on each piece. Finish with finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (or small sprigs) and ground black pepper.

Grilled Onion and Sour Cream Dip

Pass up that store-bought packet of onion dip mix. This classic party dip deserves an update. Our modern version begins by charring the onions on the grill and then chopping them to a chunky finish. The resulting coarse texture and naturally bold flavors will wean you off that packet for good.

GRILLED ONIONS

3 medium yellow onions, about 11/2 pounds total

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 

DIP

1 cup sour cream

4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a press

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco®

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided

 

Sturdy potato chips or pita chips

Serves 6–8

Prep: 15 min

Grill: 25–35 min

Special equipment: large perforated grill pan

1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F). Brush the cooking grates clean. Cut the onions in half lengthwise, then slice into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.

 

2. In a large bowl combine the onions, oil, thyme, and salt and toss to coat the onions evenly.

 

3. Spread the onion mixture in an even layer on a large perforated grill pan.

4. Set the grill pan over direct medium heat and cook the onions, with the lid closed, until soft and golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes.

 

5. Remove the grill pan from the grill and let the onions cool to room temperature. Discard any onion bits that have turned black (to avoid any unwanted bitter flavors).

 

6. In a food processor combine all of the dip ingredients except the chives. Process until blended. Add the onions and pulse to a dip consistency with some onion pieces remaining. Add all but ½ teaspoon chives and pulse once. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the reserved chives, and serve with the chips.

 

Chicken Breasts with Green Herb Salsa

Chicken breasts are easy to overcook. Two simple adjustments will keep them juicy and flavorful. First, remove the tenders and cook them separately. Then make a few shallow cuts into the smooth side of each breast. Now the meat will cook more quickly, meaning less time to dry out.

GREEN HERB SALSA

1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and tender stems

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs

1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves

2 large garlic cloves

1 small jalapeño or serrano chile pepper, stemmed and quartered

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, tenders removed, each 6 to 8 ounces

Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Serves 4

Prep: 15 min

Marinate: 30 min–24 hours

Grill: 8–12 min

Rest: 3 min

1. In a food processor combine all the salsa ingredients except the oil. Pulse to chop coarsely.

 

2. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream, processing until a pesto-like consistency forms (the herbs will be finely chopped).

 

3. Transfer 1/3 cup of the herb mixture to a shallow medium bowl and reserve the remaining salsa for serving. (The flavors of the salsa will develop as it stands while you marinate the chicken.)

 

4. Lightly score the chicken breasts on the diagonal, on the smooth (skin) side, making 3 or 4 evenly spaced slashes each about ¼ inch deep.

5. Put the chicken in the bowl with the herb mixture and turn the chicken to coat evenly with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.

 

6. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (about 400°F). Brush the cooking grates clean. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip back into the bowl to avoid flare-ups. Place the chicken, smooth (skin) side down, on an angle to the grate bars over direct medium heat. (Discard the marinade.)

 

7. Grill on the first side, with the lid closed, until the chicken breasts are well grill-marked and release easily from the grates, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and repeat on the other side, until firm to the touch and opaque all the way to the center, 4 to 6 minutes longer.

 

8. Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes. Serve with the reserved salsa and the lemon wedges, if using.

 

Portabello Mushrooms with Chard and Feta

Grilling sturdy greens is easy when you have a perforated pan to keep them from falling between the grate bars. Rinse them well and use the water clinging to the leaves to wilt them. If you can’t find large mushrooms, buy 6 smaller mushrooms and reduce the cooking time.

4 large portabello mushrooms, each 3 to 4 ounces

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing, plus 1 tablespoon

1 very large bunch Swiss chard, 12 to 14 ounces

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 21/2 ounces)

1/2 cup coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)

1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano® cheese, divided

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 small scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)

1 garlic clove, minced

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or several fresh grindings whole nutmeg

1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Ground black pepper

Serves 4

Prep: 30 min

Grill: 13–18 min

Special equipment: large perforated grill pan

1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F). Using a damp paper towel, wipe the outside of each mushroom cap to clean. Using a small knife, cut out the stems.

 

2. Holding 1 mushroom in your palm and using a small spoon, gently scrape out all the black gills, being careful not to tear the delicate cap. (It’s important to remove the gills, as they will discolor the filling during grilling.) Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.

 

3. Brush a large perforated grill pan with oil. Rinse the chard under cold running water. Stack the wet leaves in the prepared pan.

 

4. Grill the chard over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until the greens begin to wilt, 5 to 6 minutes, turning once or twice with tongs. Remove from the grill.

 

5. Cut off the stem at the base of each leaf and discard. Fold the leaves in half lengthwise and twist to wring out the excess moisture. Using a heavy, large knife, coarsely chop the greens. You should have a generous 1 cup.

6. In a medium bowl mix together the chopped greens, feta, mozzarella, ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano®, the mayonnaise, scallions, garlic, and nutmeg.

 

7. In a small bowl mix together the panko, the remaining ¹/³ cup Parmigiano Reggiano®, and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Stir 1 tablespoon of the panko mixture into the greens filling. Season the filling to taste with pepper (about ¼ teaspoon).

 

8. Divide the greens filling evenly among the mushrooms, then pat gently with your hand to fill to the edges.

 

9. Sprinkle the remaining panko mixture evenly over the filling.

 

10. Place the mushrooms on the same grill pan. Grill over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until the cheese melts and the topping is deep brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, transfer the mushrooms to plates and serve.