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1 T (7 g) chili powder
1 1/4 T (10 g) smoked paprika
3 t (3 g) chili flakes
1/4 t (1 g) cayenne pepper
2 t (4 g) cumin
1/4 t (1 g) cinnamon
1 1/2 T (22 g) brown sugar
1 T (10 g) kosher salt
1 T (4 g) whole coriander seeds

1. Combine all ingredients in spice grinder and grind (I use a small coffee grinder). Sprinkle over meat and massage to evenly distribute. Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning halfway.
2. Lay the strips of beef in a dehydrator, being sure not to overlap the meat.
3. Adjust the dehydrator to the highest setting (mine was about 160 degrees F) and let it dehydrate for about 4-6 hours.

Man-O-Meter: 8

photo 2 (1)

Notes: I think it needs more salt, but I do enjoy the spice. Dried up much differently than the teriyaki version–wasn’t as smooth. Perhaps next time I’ll experiment with marinating time, and will rotate the dehydrator halfway through the process. Worth re-testing!

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(Part 1 of 2)

If you’ve read my post about meatless meat sauce, and if you’ve actually made this or something like it, chances are you are in need of redemption. In preparation for our vacation to Maine, I was been busy baking and freezing quick breads and cookies. Searching for something savory that would hold up during the drive up, I turned to jerky. Beef jerky. Beef. It’s what my S.S. deserves after eating meatless meat with a smile without murdering me.

I purchased 4 pounds of top round, and my S.S. requested that I make two versions to keep things interesting. Since this was made with him in mind, I did just that. Here we have version number one, my take on Teriyaki:

2 pounds (908 g) top round (bottom round, flank, or anything used to make London Broil will work just fine)
1/4 cup (75 g) soy sauce
2 T (25 g) fish sauce
1/4 cup (70 g) Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup (60 g) water
1/2 cup (125 g) brown sugar, packed
5 cloves (25 g) garlic, crushed
15 turns (1 g) freshly ground black pepper

1. Slice top round against the grain into 1/4-inch slices.
2. In a large dish, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Add meat to the marinade and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning halfway.
3. Lay the strips of beef in a dehydrator, being sure not to overlap the meat.
4. Adjust the dehydrator to the highest setting (mine was about 160 degrees F) and let it dehydrate for about 4-6 hours.

Man-O-Meter: 9

photo 1

Notes: absolutely fabulous flavor, which could use a little more garlic, if preferred (which I do). Otherwise, salt was spot-on, and the balance between sweet and savory was just what you’d expect from a teriyaki sauce. A definite keeper.

I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, and neither should you. Make this dish as a side, or, better yet, an entree to celebrate this last day of summer.

1 pound green beans, trimmed
4 peaches, cut into wedges
Canola oil
1 pint sungold tomatoes, halved
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup goat’s milk Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp sumac

1. Blanch green beans in salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Shock in an ice water bath.
2. Lightly coat peaches in canola or other neutral oil and grill to desired char.
3. Place green beans on plate or platter and top with peaches and tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
4. Stir together yogurt and sumac, along with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Top salad with a dollop of yogurt.

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Another dish that’s “just an idea” and follows no particular recipe. I should really work on that. But I promise: just throw this stuff together in any ratio you prefer and it will come out just as lovely as you are.

Tuscan kale, rough chop
Lemon juice
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pomegranate seeds
Almonds, toasted, chopped
Cauliflower, pickled

Massage the kale with lemon juice, oil, salt, and black pepper. Garnish with pomegranate, almonds, and cauliflower (I made my own, but feel free to purchase, or pick through jarred giardiniera). Great as a starter or side dish, but also enjoyed in copious amounts to qualify as an entree.

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I know, I know–I need to be focusing on recording ingredient quantities, but this one really doesn’t need much more than a list of ingredients. Crunchy raw vegetables are highlighted by a tart lemon vinaigrette, and the whole thing is soothed by creamy, gooey burrata. I love summer.

snap or snow peas, julienne
celery, thinly sliced on a bias
lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, minced garlic or shallots, evoo, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper)
burrata
freshly ground black pepper

Toss the snap or snow peas and celery with the vinaigrette and plate. Tear burrata and arrange on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and garnish with black pepper. Consume ferociously and with fervor, either as a starter, a side, or main dish.

snap peas and celery with burrata

This summery dish requires no recipe and demands very little from you. Simply use the freshest, ripest figs you can get your hands on, assemble, and enjoy as a first course or dessert.

Fresh figs, quartered
Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pecorino or parmesan cheese, shaved

Arrange figs on a plate or platter, drizzle with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with cheese shavings.

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Notes: a pop of green would do this dish some good. Think spicy, like arugula, dandelion greens, or watercress. Not too much–just a few leaves scattered on top.