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Korea: Bulgogi—Barbecued Beef
It’s important to use very thin slices of steak, as thicker pieces take longer to cook and can be a bit tough with the quick cooking. If you don’t have a very sharp knife and a skill at thinly slicing meat, ask your butcher to do it for you. Or, if you want to do it yourself, put the meat in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm it up, then slice it.
1 1/2 pounds sirloin or rib-eye steak
6 tablespoons dark soy sauce, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
3 tablespoons light sesame oil
5 tablespoons minced green onions
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons sesame salt
15 to 20 butter lettuce leaves, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to 375 degrees F. Make sure the grill rack is clean and oil it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.
Slice the beef across the grain into 1/8-inch-thick strips. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, honey, rice wine, oil, green onions, garlic, black pepper and sesame salt. Pour the mixture into a re-sealable plastic bag, shaking to combine. Add the beef, seal the bag, shake again to coat the meat, and marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
Drain the meat, discarding the marinade. Transfer the meat, a few pieces at a time, to the prepared grill rack over direct heat, searing until cooked through and browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side at most. Continue grilling until all the meat is cooked, removing pieces as they are done. Keep the cooked meat warm on a warmed platter, and, when finished, sprinkle the meat with sesame seeds.
Serve the meat with the lettuce leaves, hot sauce, and soy sauce. To assemble, take a leaf in the palm of your hand, add a slice of meat and a sprinkle of hot pepper or soy sauce, then fold the leaf over the meat and enjoy.
Morocco: Date-Stuffed Chicken
Instead of dates you can use any dried fruit in this dish: apricots, apples, pineapple, mango, prunes, papaya, cherries, etc., or mix a bunch of them together for a very fruity stuffing.
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro leaves
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 small chicken
1 cup tawny port wine
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
2 oranges, thinly sliced
2 lemons, thinly sliced
40 pitted whole dates (approximately 1 pound, or 2 cups)
3 tablespoons minced green olives
Freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine 6 tablespoons of the cilantro, garlic, cumin, paprika, and marjoram. Rub the mixture generously on the chicken and place in a large re-sealable plastic bag.
In another small bowl, whisk together the port, oil, vinegar, and honey and pour over the chicken and into the cavity. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.
When ready to cook, drain the chicken, wipe away excess marinade, and pour the marinade into a saucepan to boil for 12 minutes.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking (it is not necessary to use a drip pan for this recipe). Preheat to 375 degrees F.
Arrange the orange and lemon slices in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Add the chicken, salt and pepper.
Transfer the pot, uncovered, to the grill rack over indirect heat. Lower the grill lid, and cook, basting occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, or when the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F., about 40 minutes.
Transfer the bird to a warmed platter and cover with aluminum foil until ready to serve. Pour the juices from the pan into a small saucepan, straining out and discarding the lemon and orange slices. Boil, whisking often, until the liquid has reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.
Garnish the chicken with the remaining cilantro and serve with the sauce on the side.