T-Bones with Sweet and Savory Steak Sauce

Dressing up the steaks and summer salads means having fun exploring all the options in marinades, rubs and dressings. Choosing a marinade can take a basic steak and make it Thai to classic Americana to Asian or Mexican. Even a regular bottle of Italian dressing can be the basis for your own twist on a marinade.

Thai Beef & Cucumber Salad

Marinating time: 30 minutes to 2 hours

Total recipe time: 45 minutes

Makes 4 servings

1 pound beef top round steak or 1 pound beef shoulder center steaks (Ranch Steaks), cut 3/4 inch thick

1 English or hothouse cucumber, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into thin slices

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

Beef Marinade:

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Cucumber Marinade:

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

— Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/8-inch thick strips. Combine beef marinade ingredients in large bowl. Add beef; toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Whisk cucumber marinade ingredients in medium bowl until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cucumber. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes. Drain cucumber in colander; discard marinade. Set aside.

Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining beef.

Toss cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro and peanuts in large bowl. Divide evenly among 4 plates. Arrange steak slices over salad.

— Per serving, using beef top round: 281 calories; 12g fat (3g saturated fat; 6g monounsaturated fat); 61mg cholesterol; 484mg sodium; 10g carbohydrate; 2.3g fiber; 32g protein.

Per serving, using beef shoulder center: 270 calories; 13g fat (3g saturated fat; 7g monounsaturated fat); 57mg cholesterol; 511mg sodium; 10g carbohydrate; 2.3g fiber; 28g protein.

T-Bones with Sweet and Savory Steak Sauce

2 beef T-Bone steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 16 ounces each)

1/2 pound small carrots with tops, trimmed

2 tablespoons water

2 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut in 1/2-inch slices

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 teaspoons coarse grind black pepper

Sweet & Savory Steak Sauce:

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1/3 cup chopped pitted dates

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

—Combine Steak Sauce ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Place sauce in blender or food processor container. Cover; pulse on and off for slightly chunky texture. (For a thinner sauce, stir in additional 1 to 2 teaspoons water.) Return sauce to saucepan; keep warm until ready to serve.

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Place carrots and 2 tablespoons water in large nonstick skillet. Cover; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until water has evaporated; add squash. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat evenly. Continue to cook, uncovered, 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, as desired.

Meanwhile, press pepper evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill steaks, covered, 11 to 16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 15 to 19 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.

Remove bones; carve steaks crosswise into slices. Season steaks with salt, as desired. Serve with sauce and vegetables.

Per serving: 354 calories; 12g fat (4g saturated fat; 6g monounsaturated fat); 61mg cholesterol; 792mg sodium; 30g carbohydrate; 4.9g fiber; 32g protein.

Three-Way Marinated Flank Steak

Marinade time: 6 hours or overnight

Total recipe time: 35 minutes

Makes 4 servings

1 beef Flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Classic Marinade:

1/4 cup prepared olive oil and vinegar vinaigrette or prepared Italian-style vinaigrette

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

— Combine marinade ingredients of your choice in small bowl. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.

Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 16 to 21 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.

Carve steak across the grain into slices.

Asian Marinade Variation: Prepare recipe as directed by adding 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and 1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil to Classic Marinade mixture.

Mexican Marinade Variation: Prepare recipe as directed by adding 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to Classic Marinade mixture.

Per serving, using Classic Marinade: 250 calories; 10g fat (4g saturated fat; 4g monounsaturated fat); 62mg cholesterol; 178mg sodium; 1g carbohydrate; 0g fiber; 36g protein.

Using Asian Marinade: 274 calories; 12g fat (4g saturated fat; 4g monounsaturated fat); 62mg cholesterol; 312mg sodium; 4g carbohydrate; 0.3g fiber; 36g protein.

Using Mexican Marinade: 252 calories; 10g fat (4g saturated fat; 4g monounsaturated fat); 62mg cholesterol; 324 mg sodium; 1g carbohydrate; 0.1g fiber; 36g protein.

(The Beef Check-Off)

Reach Karen Herzog at 701-250-8267 or karen.herzog@bismarcktribune.com.

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