Grill For Two: Skirt Steak Atop Sun-dried-tomato-and-garlic Bread

Posted: August 10, 1994

On a brilliant summer Sunday, when the menu just has to be meat on the grill, make it a skirt steak.

Thanks to the Southwestern and Texas culinary influences, skirt steak is now readily available, although its popularity has made it a bit more costly. Before the fajitas craze, the meat cut, which is the diaphragm from the rib cage, was cheap. Now it costs about $3 a pound but it's well worth it.

Not familiar with the term skirt steak? Well, it is a sweet-tasting meat and marinating not only brings out its full flavor, it tenderizes it and reduces its cooking time to minutes.

Because a skirt steak weighs less than a pound, it makes a meal for two with no leftovers.

When preparing it, the first thing to do is to remove as much fat as possible. Next, soak the steak in a mixture of flavorings and wine and/or an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. Then refrigerate it for up to eight hours - no longer. Any longer and the meat's texture becomes a little pulpy.

In the following recipe, skirt steak is marinated in soy sauce, honey and lemon juice before it's cooked on the grill. It can be served plain, with a salad. However, it's incredibly good when arranged over Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Bread.

SKIRT STEAK ON SUN-DRIED-TOMATO AND GARLIC BREAD

1 skirt steak (10 to 12 ounces)

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon oil

Sun-Dried-Tomato and Garlic Bread (recipe follows)

Trim off all the fat from the skirt steak. Then cut the steak in half for two servings. In a large glass bowl, stir together the mustard, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and oil. Add the steak to the mixture, turning once, and marinate it 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature, or four hours - but no longer than eight hours - in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, heat the grill and prepare Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Bread (recipe follows). When the skirt steak is marinated, place the two pieces over ash-covered coals and cook to desired doneness, three to four minutes per side for rare meat, five minutes per side for medium. To serve, place one piece garlic bread on each of two plates and top with skirt-steak pieces.

Serve immediately. Makes two servings.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND GARLIC BREAD

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil and well-drained, minced

2 large slices Italian bread (see note)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat butter in large skillet. Add garlic and saute over medium heat until aromatic, two to three minutes. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook one minute more.

Discard garlic. Spread tomato mixture over bread slices. Sprinkle bread lightly with salt and pepper.

Place garlic bread on grill with meat and grill until bottom sides are toasted, about two minutes. Makes two servings.

Note: Either use large sourdough Italian bread to get slices 6 to 7 inches long, or use a 6- to 7-inch chunk of thin Italian bread and slice in half for two servings.

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