Side Dishes

Four Legs Good: How to Prepare Your Pets for Natural Disasters


When you’re running a household, you need to look out for all of its members. If a natural disaster strikes, you want to be ready. The Federal Government has its suggestions, but what if you have pets? Purina, which is sponsoring this post, recently invited me to a Google hangout with the veterinarian Dr. Kurt Venator and a few other bloggers, including the cat-centric publication Mousebreath, which offers these tips; The Los Angeles-focused site MomsLA, whose insight is here; and the opera-singing Tenor Dad, who hits these notes.

Dr. Venator lives in upstate New York with his wife, Kristi (his high school sweetheart), and their three sons (Parker, Camden, and Knox) and three yellow Labrador Retrievers (Sailor, Chance, and Thatcher). “I’m actually a big fan of cooking,” he told me. “I find it immensely relaxing and a great way to bring the entire family together.” The Venators have a number of traditions, including gathering for a Sunday morning brunch. “Nothing fancy, but a nice full spread,” he said. “Pancakes, hash browns, made-to-order omelets, and locally made peameal bacon.”

The other go-to meal around their house is a traditional steak dinner, “Charlie Palmer steakhouse style,” Dr. Venator said. “We start with local fillet, prepped with freshly ground peppercorns and sea salt in a mortar and pestle, which the boys love helping with.” He then pulls out antique cast-iron pans, heats up grapeseed oil (which, he says, has a higher smoking temp and clean, light taste), sears them on each side for two-to-three minutes, and then puts them in the oven for seven minutes at 350, with a pat of butter on each one. “The boys can’t seem to get enough,” he revealed.

There’s another noteworthy custom of the Venator household: periodic, classic Thanksgiving meals. “Honestly, we do it about four times per year because the entire family loves it,” he said. “All the standard fixings, including homemade stuffing, homemade mashed potatoes, a delightful blended squash (butternut, acorn, and the somewhat rare Boston marrow." He also makes a cranberry-habanero chutney. “Given the time of year, I thought I would share the recipe,” he said. “It’s really easy to make but really tasty – nice balance of heat and sweet.”

Dr. Venator’s Habanero-Cranberry Chutney

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 habanero chile
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • Put first five ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to boil.

Lower heat and simmer till thickened.

Remove from heat and add orange juice.

Let cool about 15 minutes, then place in a food processor.

Pulse to desired consistency.

And in case catastrophe strikes, here are six tips for caring for you pet in the event of a natural disaster.  

  1. The first step to preparing your pet for a natural disaster is to make sure that he or she is wearing a securely fastened collar with up-to-date identification in case you become separated.
  2. To prep your home, talk to your local veterinarian who can provide waterproof, “Pets Inside” stickers that you can place on the front and back door of your house to alert rescuers that there are pets inside your home.
  3. Prepare a disaster kit, with basic pet essentials such as bottled water, cans of wet food, blankets, collapsible bowls, cat litter and pan, and a leash and collar. Be sure to include a basic pet first-aid kit. A one-to-two-week supply of food that your pet usually eats is an ideal amount to include, too, however make sure to replace the food according to the expiration dates.
  4. Have photos of your pet on-hand in case you need to distribute pictures if your pet gets lost and make sure to include any important paperwork pertaining to your pet (e.g. vaccine records/medical history, veterinary contact information, medications list and emergency contacts).
  5. Develop an evacuation plan: Save precious evacuation time by identifying possible locations where you can take your animals. These locations can include animal shelters, veterinary clinics or even pet-friendly hotels where you and your pet can find relief until the disaster passes. Keeping your dog’s medical records on hand is vital since some pet-friendly emergency relief centers require proof of vaccinations in order for your pet to stay there.
  6. Recruit friends and neighbors: Consider creating a buddy system with your neighbor, family or friend who can look out for your pet in case you are not home when a disaster strikes. Add this person to your veterinarian’s emergency contact list of people who have authority to approve necessary emergency treatments if you can’t be reached. Also, identify places where you can leave your pet while you are out of town to avoid leaving your pet alone. Always let your pet sitter and back-up person know where your pet’s disaster kit is stored in case of an emergency.

A Tricolor Salad for St. Patrick’s Day


I'm pretty low-key about St. Patrick’s Day, though I'm Irish-American. My observation of the holiday doesn’t involve bagpipes, crowds, or parades. I just stop and watch the revelers (I work in Manhattan, so it’s not hard to see them) and take note of all their green hats and scarves and sweaters, and think to myself what a poignantly joyful recognition of the great Irish diaspora the moment has become: these disparate masses of pale-faced people who sought a new home in a country that took them in (and should continue to take in all who need a new beginning) gathering for a few hours like a lost tribe, before returning to their jobs, and the rest of their lives. I stop for a beat, say a prayer of thanks, and then I go on with my day.

March straddles winter and spring, and (with help from the fine folks at Kraft, who are sponsoring this post), I’m honoring the expansive month with a raw salad that combines a wintery vegetable (daikon radish) with a perennial one (carrot) and a seasonal one (asparagus). I also tossed in a bit of raw sunflower, which adds a layer of texture and a note of earthy flavor, along with a promise of summer. 

The salad is a refreshing first course, with citrusy hints, courtesy of fresh lemon-thyme, and a sharp edge, provided by a touch of Grey Poupon mustard. It’s also a perfect dish for St. Patrick’s Day, as it has all the colors of the Irish flag: orange, green, and white. Enjoy it in good health! 

The full recipe for the St. Patrick’s Day tricolor salad can be found here

Thanksgiving Cranberry Cornbread


In recent years, Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays, and I’m looking forward to celebrating it. As a boy, the importance of the get together never really dawned on me, but just as I’ve outgrown canned cranberry sauce, I’ve come to appreciate the significance of the gathering. My siblings and I have aged, and in doing so have gone off into our own orbits; the chance to join in a meal together is rare. When we do meet, the table is now very large, and that creates challenges of its own. Last year, my youngest brother hosted the entire family, and he could only do that because his house is just a tad bigger than his heart. The year before, I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, and I could only feed about three-quarters of the family, and at a total of fifteen people, that was enough for me. 

Putting together a Thanksgiving dinner menu requires more than just planning. It takes courage. If you have never hosted before, it's not too late to pick up Sam Sifton’s book, “Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well.” Lord knows, it helped me that first time around. There are many classic Thanksgiving recipes, and he covers them all. The holiday also offers the chance to start your own traditions. Every since my first Thanksgiving at home, I’ve added cornbread to my offerings. My latest twist on it, inspired by the Kraft Tastemaker’s program, which is funding this post, is to add dried cranberries. They contribute a bit of sweetness and make the holiday all the more rich. One nice thing about this recipe, is that it adapts nicely whether you are the host or a guest. Make it for your home gathering, or take it with you when you go to the house of your uncle, nephew, sister or brother. It will be most welcome. The full recipe for Thanksgiving Cranberry Cornbread is here.

A Little Raita Changes Everything


About a month ago, we had a typically harried night. Actually, about a month ago, it was just the start of school, so what I might have thought of then as being “typically harried,” was, in retrospect, part of a significant transition during the year. Sometimes we can’t see what’s happening until we get a bit of perspective on things. Lately, I've been trying to give myself the space (mentally, emotionally) to find that perspective in a given moment. As soon as I figure out how, I’ll let you know. I might have a PhD in something or another before I reach that level of achievement (or be six feet in the ground), so for now, I’ll stick to what I know: making dinner

Making dinner can be a pain in the neck. But once dinner is made, it can be transformative. On that September night, I was tired, and not yet used to getting up at 5:45 A.M. during the week (which is the hour I need to rise to exercise, get myself ready for work, and get lunches for the kids—Santa Maria usually makes breakfast, and, yes, I like to allow myself time to eat that, too), so I did not feel like making dinner when I came home from work.

I knew that it was going to be tough in the evening, so I was prepared. That morning, I had pulled some wild Alaskan salmon from the freezer, and it was defrosting in my refrigerator. And earlier that morning, I had chiffonaded some kale, for a quick and easy, kid-pleasing salad. Not wanting to do any other work in the kitchen that night, I bought a bit of fresh bread from a Le Pain Quotidien near my office. I was feeling pretty good about things when I rolled through the door at 6 p.m.

But things didn’t go exactly as planned. The salmon wasn’t fully defrosted, and the kids were cranky (having not yet adjusted themselves to being back in school), and they were protesting the notion of fresh bread. They wanted pasta. Luckily, when I gave them a piece of bread, they changed their mind. Kindness can have that effect on people.

While I waited for the salmon to finish cooking (it was taking a while, being half frozen), I couldn’t just stand there. I had to do something. So I make raita. I diced a cucumber, chopped some dill, and mixed it with a bit of yogurt and olive oil. 

When sat down to dinner, the raita turned the salmon into a proper dish, adding flavor and chunkiness. The kids adjusted, as their blood-sugar levels stabilized, and before we knew it, everyone was having a good time. I asked Nina about her day, and she didn’t respond. I said it was an earnest question, and she replied, “Earnest? Then she and her sister stared singing “Ernest and Rebecca; Ernest and Rebecca; Ernest and Rebecca,” over and over, and laughing. It didn’t make any sense to me, but it made my day. 

Dill and Cucumber Raita
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped.
  • 1 cup non fat yogurt
  • 1 fistful of dill, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon or more olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Combine the ingredients and enjoy. It can turn any salmon or chicken dish into something special.

Potato Gratin a la Spike Jonze


A little while ago, Santa Maria and I sat down and did something rare—watched a movie from start to finish. The film was “Her,” Spike Jonze’s 2013 drama about a guy who falls in love with his computer’s operating system. I have to say, it wasn’t my first choice of film to watch, but it’s really compelling. Joaquin Phoenix is an amazing actor, the story has a surprise twist, and when Santa Maria mentioned that the operating system’s was voiced by Scarlett Johansson, my interest in the film was piqued. I recommend it for anyone with even the slightest curiosity about relationships.

During the movie, the relationship between the lead, Theodore (played by Phoenix), and the operating system, Samantha (voiced by Johansson), evolves, and at one point she tells him that she needs to have thousands of conversational partners, at the same time. He’s a bit perplexed, obviously, and I was relieved: Santa Maria is a human, and the only demands that she puts on me are culinary.

Such as earlier that evening, when I was about to make her a special dinner. She had requested steak, and I planned on making a mushroom risotto to go with it. Just before I headed to the store that afternoon, a few hours before the meal, to buy the meat, though, she casually mentioned that she wanted a potato au gratin, or scalloped potatoes, or some such. Scratch that mushroom risotto, I thought, as I started paging through cookbooks and scrolling web pages to find a recipe. 

I couldn’t really find anything worthwhile, and after a while, I decided, enough was enough. If I could wing it successfully in my marriage, I could wing it successfully in the potato au gratin department. At the store, I bought some gruyere and a few potatoes and I came home and got to work. Besides, I knew that I had something going for me in the fridge: duck fat, which is reportedly as good for potatoes as a week’s vacation is for a marriage. It’s serious stuff.

I knew I needed the potatoes to be thin, so I sliced them lengthwise and laid them flat, before cutting them in slim half-moon shapes.

 I knew I needed onions, so I cut them in half-moon slices, just for silly consistency—it keeps a marriage strong.


I sautéed the onions.


I browned the potatoes.


I layered them in a small baking dish; first potatoes, then onions, then grated gruyere cheese, topped with a bit of dried thyme and some fresh parsley.


After about three layers, I was out of potatoes and onions, so I added a about a quarter cup of chicken stock and a quarter cup of white wine, before baking, covered with foil, in a pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes.


It was delicious, the intensity of the gruyere was completely balanced by the smoothness of the potatoes, just like a good relationship.

Potatoes au Gratin a la Spike Jonze

  • 2 potatoes, cut in half and then sliced thinly
  • 4 oz gruyere, grated
  • .25 cup chicken stock
  • .25 cup white wine
  • One large or two small onion, sliced into half moons
  • A bit of thyme
  • A bit of parsley
  • Duck fat for sauteing 

Saute the onions first, until completely soft and nearly brown.

Then do the same to the potatoes, working in batches as necessary, until they are also browned a bit.

Layer the potato, onion, cheese, a bit of thyme, and some parsley; repeat.

Pour the wine and stock over the layers of potato, cheese, and onion.

Baked covered for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serves 4

Note: It's fine if this sits for a while before eating. I left it for about twenty minutes after taking out of the oven. Also, if it's not exactly a potato gratin it is still extremely delicious. 

Not Just Another Kale Salad—A Kale Salad Kids Love


At the risk of turning into a parody of a Brooklyn parent, I have to tell you about my latest kale salad. Oy, that sounded bad, but I’ll fall on my chef’s knife for the sake of the kids. This kale salad, for some inexplicable reason, was a huge hit with the under-seven crowd at my niece’s first birthday, on Friday. 

Nephew after nephew of mine clamored for the greens. The salad was as popular as hot buttered corn. More popular, even, with my nine-year old, Nina. As the eldest of the group, I asked her why she liked it so much. “I don’t know, it’s just delicious,” she said. Okay, you can’t argue with that. And she’s right. It is delicious.

The other nice thing about this salad is that it is very easy to make—there’s no cooking involved. None. There is a bit of chopping, though, and that’s the trick. The kale must be cut in a chiffonade, which is a fancy term for thin, long strips. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Strip the kale from the thick center rib and wash the leaves well.
  2. Stack them lengthwise as best you can on a cutting board.
  3. Roll the stack as tightly as you can.
  4. Using a large chef’s knife, repeatedly slice the roll perpendicular, as finely as you can manage.
  5. When you’ve reached then end of your rolled stack of kale, you will have a chiffonade.

After that, simply toss the kale with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, and let it sit for a few minutes while you gather the rest of your dinner and get your friends, family, and other guests to the table. That’s all there is to it.

Kid Friendly Purple Kale Salad

  • 1 head purple kale
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced, or to taste
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Salt, to taste. 

Wash and then cut the kale in a chiffonade.

Toss well with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.

Let rest about ten or more minutes.


Note: As much as I enjoy making, eating, and blogging about this recipe, it is entirly Santa Maria's.

Heuristic Living, Cooking, and Corn Salsa


I recently came across the word “heuristic,” which, according to Merriam-Webster, can mean “an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods” or “relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques to improve performance.” 

Bingo! To me, that sounds a lot like the process of learning to cook, but more importantly I see see it as a way to approach parenting, and life. We did it as kids—learning to walk by tripping, learning to ride a bike by falling off it, learning to spell by making mistakes. Somewhere between then and now, however, I forgot that way. I became timid with knowledge. I had to know the right way right away. Or else I would give up.

But it’s easy to get that sense of discovery back. I was at a Chipolte Mexican Grill the other day for lunch with my brother, and I employed a heuristic approach. It was only my second time there, and I ordered with care. The first time I ate there—by myself a few week’s previously—I had asked for a burrito saddled with all the sides. I was so stuffed by the end of it that I could barely move. 

Being full is something new for me. Up until just recently, I could eat a burrito and still be hungry ten minutes later. Clearly, a change is upon me. So when I was with my brother, I ordered a taco, and instead of topping it with guacamole, I asked for corn salsa. Their corn salsa was delicious, and thought “I could make that at home.” 

It took some experimentation. I wanted a smoky, charred corn flavor, but I don’t have a grill. I considered using the gas broiler in my oven, but Santa Maria was concerned that I’d start a fire. So I did what any sensible man would do—I Googled it. Turns out, it’s plenty easy to broil corn in one’s kitchen. Not only do you get a sweet and smoky flavor, you get an added benefit—Even not-so-ideal supermarket corn can be redeemed. 

To test my idea, I did it with one ear, which wasn’t winning any awards. It started like this:


And after about doing it under the broiler for about four minutes a side and rotating it three or four times (about fifteen minutes total), it looked like this:



After it cooled a few minutes, I stripped the kernels off. I diced a bit of red pepper, onion, and cilantro and combined it with the corn. After I dressed it with lime juice, salt, and olive oil,  I served it with my fish tacos. An easy lesson in how to live.

Indoor Grilled Corn Salsa

  • 1 to 3 ears of corn, depending on size of your party
  • 1/2 to 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, or to taste
  • The juice of half a lime, or to taste
  • A bit of oilve oil

Shuck the corn and coat it with a bit of olive oil and salt. Just run it through your hands and spread a drop or two of oil around. Then salt it. Then arrange the ears on a hotel pan or other tray that can go in the oven.

Put it under the broiler, about six or so inches away, and roast it, about four minutes a side, until the kernels start to char. Rotate the ears with tongs until chared on all sides, about fifteen to twenty minutes, total.

Let the ears cool while chopping the other ingredients, then strip the kernels off and combine everything. 

A Side is Just a Side is Just a Side: A Brief Ode to Fingerling Potatoes


With apologies to Gertrude Stein, I wanted to dash off a short note on the simple beauty of roasted fingerling potatoes. When I was a boy, we had baked potatoes every other day, and I was forever mesmerized by my mother’s occasional observation that one might have been “a good baked potato.” What was a “good baked potato?” I wondered. “Didn’t they all taste the same?” I took potatoes for granted and they’ve long been an unassuming staple. But sometimes, they surprise me, and fulfill me more than I might have imagined.

While I was doing the weekly food shop on Saturday, visions of mushroom risotto danced on my tongue, but something in my head told me that I’d be too tired, too busy, and otherwise too preoccupied with domestic and professional responsibilities to stand over the stove stirring risotto. Of course, I still picked up the mushrooms, for like love and fire ants, the hope for culinary bliss is not something easily dispensed with. But I also grabbed a handful of sprightly fingerling potatoes, just in case.

Sure enough, when I got home that evening, there were a hundred and thirty one things that had to be done that did not involve dinner, to say nothing of mushroom risotto. That would have to wait. Instead, I sliced the fingerling potatoes lengthwise, salted them a bit, dressed them with olive oil, and roasted them at 350 for about a half hour. I made sure the pan was not crowded, and they crisped up along the edges nicely, and became creamy and delicious inside. I finished them with a bit of freshly chopped parsley, and they were so good I forgot to photograph the finished dish. 

As for the mushrooms, I sautéed those quickly and served them as a side, too, to go with the sirloin steak and asparagus that I was serving. I grabbed a quick shot of a half-set table and the full meal, before it vanished. Something like this doesn’t sit around long. Note the bowl of roasted fingerling potatoes, third from the bottom, again taken for granted.


Santa Maria—the Raita Proselytizer


I don’t know how cooking for the family is for you, but, personally, I get tired of what I make all the time. I’m too tired from work and other duties to do much about being tired, but on occasion I dream about making new dishes, and that’s a bit of relief, at least for a moment. One of my cousins from Ireland recently sent me a book from abroad, “The Hairy Bikers' Great Curries,” by Si King and Dave Myers, and at least one recipe, for “All-in-One Lamb Dhansak," enticed me. But my arms got tired holding the hardcover well before my brain could wrap itself around finding all the ingredients, so that will have to wait.

I don’t say much about how I feel about my cooking because I’m afraid that if I bring it up, I’ll have a revolt on my hands. As it is, my kids are already sick of roast chicken once a week and feel much the same about salmon, and some of my other regular dishes. One of them is even rethinking her allegiance to hot dogs. I don't want to give them any ideas. Things could become dire.

So, I quietly keep cooking, knowing there’s always one seasoning that never lets me down—hunger. When we all come home from work and school, it’s a blessing to have those black beans ready to warm or that Bolognese ready to defrost.

In the meantime, I do what I can to vary my repertoire. Lately, I’ve been returning chicken tikka masala to the mix, and Santa Maria has been stepping in to spice things up. She loves Indian food, and on Saturday she mixed a raita to go with it.

Raitas, according to “The New Food Lover’s Companion,” are “yogurt salads popular in India” that are typically “used as condiments,” and commonly “seasoned with black mustard seeds, garam masala, and herbs such as chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, mint, parsley or tarragon.” There’s a wide latitude to how you can make them—consider Mark Bittman’s post on The Diner’s Journal, from a few years ago.

And, according to Santa Maria, raitas “are a condiment that deserve wider acceptance, like the way salsa has crossed over from Latin-American cuisine.” She made the raita for the chicken tikka masala, but it would work well on lamb chops or roast pork, for example.

On Saturday, Santa Maria had a hankering for black mustard seeds, so she toasted a handful and mixed them with plain, non-fat yogurt, a few leaves of fresh basil, some olive oil, and some lemon. The black mustard seeds popped in our mouths as we ate the chicken tikka. It was refreshing, and I almost felt renewed.

Black Mustard Seed Raita 

  • 3/4 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • Couple of shakes of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 7 washed and chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds, toasted

Mix the ingredients together, and serve as a cooling accompaniment to your favorite dish.

Note: This recipe could easily be enhanced by adding julienned cucumber (seeded and peeled), or grated carrot.

OptiGrill Review: No Push-Button Future for Me


Once, when I was a boy, I saw an episode of “The Jetsons” that showed George, the father, coming home from work and complaining that his “button-pushing” finger was aching. Apparently, the jobs of the future involved little more than lifting an index finger. That strange fantasy must have lodged in my brain because when I was offered an opportunity to try out the new T-Fal OptiGrill, I jumped at the chance.

The OptiGrill is a high-tech kitchen gadget with special sensors, designed to automatically measure the thickness what you want to grill, and, with the push of a few buttons, take care of all the work. “Essentially, you can put a burger patty on the grill, press the "medium rare" option, and the OptiGrill will alert you when it is perfectly at medium rare,” its publicist said.

They sent it to me in the summer, and it sat around my house until tonight. I had a fierce hankering for a steak, and I thought it would be the perfect time to try it. I’ve become moderately adept at cooking a steak on the stove, but every time I make one I fill the house with smoke. And it’s stressful. I carefully watch the meat and measure the temperature, and hope for the best. The idea of a machine that could make the process easy and reliable (and less smoky) was too hard to resist.

I had one reservation about using the OptiGrill, but I tried to set it aside. My reservation is that I like to cook. I love the sound of onions sautéing and the aroma of a sauce reducing—the very process of cooking is so enveloping and magical, that I couldn’t imagine a machine coming close to the experience.

I unpacked the grill and prepared it for use. After I went out and bought two twenty-one day, dry-aged sirloin steaks from Union Market, I looked around online for suggestions. I had dropped $26 on the meat, and I didn’t want to mess it up. The Internet wasn’t much help. Gizmodo hated it. The "Dad's Corner" of something called Moms Review 4 You loved it. A commentor on Patio Daddio BBQ described it as a “George Foreman with brains.”

When I plugged it in, and heated it up, it smelled a bit weird—kind of chemically and electrical, and not at all appetizing. I chalked that up to its first-time use, but I wasn’t encouraged. Its lights started flashing and it started beeping, and when it was ready, I threw the steaks on the grill. The kitchen was filled with a pleasant aroma and I felt better. I looked at the indicator light, which was supposed to turn yellow for rare, orange for medium, and red for well done. The light turned yellow very quickly—too quickly for my mind—and then it started to shade orange. The glow throbbed and I was flummoxed. Light orange became dark orange. I didn’t know what to do.  Was the meat close to being ready? Was it done? What was going on under that silver shell?

I lifted the lid and took a peak. There were some nice grill marks, but the meat seemed to be steaming rather than grilling. This wasn’t working out well, and with dinner on the line I grabbed a cast iron frying pan and put it on a high flame on the stove. I pulled the meat from the OptiGrill and set it aside on a plate. As soon as the cast-iron pan was smoking, I sprinkled it with salt and tossed in the steaks. I did them one at a time to keep the heat in the pan up—I wanted a decent char as fast as I could, before the interior could overcook.

A few minutes back and forth on the cast iron pan brought the meat up to 125 degrees internal and gave the steaks a nice char. Dinner was saved, but the OptiGrill is not something I'll use again. I have a friend who saw the box in my apartment over the summer. He used to have a George Foreman grill and he asked me about it. I’ll give my OptiGrill to him. Perhaps he has the brains for it, and if he can get it to work I'll report back. I served the steaks with Chimichurri Sauce, and here's the recipe. 

Chimichurri Sauce 

  • 1 bunch (about a cup) fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsps fresh oregano leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • ½  cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • A shake of red pepper flakes (about a ¼ teaspoon, or to taste)

Chop the parsley as fine as possible.

Dice the garlic.

Combine with the other ingredients, and let sit while you cook the steaks.