A calendar listing in the May 26 Food section incorrectly described the price for a June 7 dinner with author Joanne Lamb Hayes at the Madison Hotel. The correct price, $45, includes wine. (Published 6/3/04)


Steak With Olive Relish

4 servings

Cooking a single large steak that can be carved into several servings can pose a problem.

Some people feel compelled to add some sort of flavor to the steak, whereas steak purists prefer not to muck it up with any distractions.

The compromise is to forgo a rub or marinade and opt instead for a simple relish, a salsa of sorts, which can be spooned on after grilling by those who care to partake.

From the May issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine:

One 1-inch-thick boneless sirloin steak (about 11/2 pounds)

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for the skillet

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

About 1/3 cup pitted, chopped green olives, such as picholine

1 small navel orange, peel and white pith cut off, segments cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat the grill or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. If using a skillet, add about 1 tablespoon of oil. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet or plate.

Pat the steak dry. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Grill or sear the steak, without turning, for 6 to 8 minutes. Turn and cook to the desired degree of doneness, another 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to the rack and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking until completely emulsified. Add the onion, garlic, olives, orange and, if desired, parsley and toss to combine. Set aside.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and cut against the grain into thin slices. Transfer to a platter and pass the relish on the side.

Per serving: 402 calories, 37 gm protein, 11 gm carbohydrates, 23 gm fat, 81 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 541 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

-- Renee Schettler

Slurp It Up . . .

It's easy to play bartender at your next party with this tangy cosmopolitan mixer from Nantucket Off-Shore Seasonings. Made with cranberry and citrus juices, all you add is vodka and ice. Shake, strain, you're a pro. It's also delicious for the virgin version: Add to apple juice and selzer for a spritzer; whip with fruit and ice cream for a smoothie. The company also makes other flavors such as Apple Martini and Margarita.

Nantucket Off-Shore Simple Cosmopolitan, $10 to $12 per 32-ounce bottle at Sutton Place Gourmet stores and Dean & DeLuca (3276 M St. NW; call 202-342-2500).

. . . With Panache

For that home-poured cosmo, martini or gin and tonic, what better garnish than vodka-soaked tipsy crantini or gin "fizzed" citrus-stuffed tipsy olives?

Other boozy cocktail garnishes available from Sable & Rosenfeld include the only slightly less spectacular vokda-kicked jalapeno tipsy olives and the vermouth spiked tipsy olives and onions ($3.50 to $5.95).

Sable & Rosenfeld garnishes are available locally at Crate & Barrel locations. For more information, see www.sableandrosenfeld.com.

For You, Such a Match

"A few years ago I was visiting Delfina, a small village near Florence, where a restaurant served me cherries and salami -- a perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors that I had never encountered before, and a fine example of how the simplest classic can seem new and exciting."

-- Adapted from "La Mia Cucina Toscana: A Tuscan Cooks

in America" by Pino Luongo, Andrew Friedman

and Marta Pulini (Broadway, 2003)

[Editor's note: We prefer this with a glass of Tuscan red, some country bread and, though untraditional, a smear of fresh goat cheese.]

In Half The Time

It appears grocery shoppers have become more decisive -- or perhaps just more pressed for time -- during the past decade. Despite the influx of more and more brands, flavors and varieties, consumer time spent in the store has plummeted from 25 minutes to 12 minutes per visit.

In their haste, shoppers now take an average of only 12 seconds to select a brand off the shelf.

Sources: American Culinary Institute; Technomic, Inc.; Price Waterhouse Coopers

So Zen

"Our answer to the paper plate." So say the makers of Bambu All Occasion Veneerware, a handsome, eco-friendly alternative fashioned from the eminently renewable bamboo stalk. Though intended as a single-use item, the plates are sturdy enough to withstand several hand-washings (not safe for the dishwasher or microwave). Available in seven- and nine-inch plates; $5.50 and $7.50, respectively, for a pack of eight.

Bambu All Occasion Veneerware is available locally at Dean & DeLuca (3276 M St. NW; call 202-342-2500). For more information and products, see bambuhome.com.

Today's Tip

After grilling or searing a steak, let it sit on a cooling rack set over a rimmed plate for four or five minutes to allow the steak to relax and reabsorb its precious fluids. (Some of the juices inevitably will escape, but the rack will prevent the steak from sitting in a pool of liquid, thus becoming soggy on the bottom.) Apply fork and knife. -- Adapted from the May issue of Men's Journal magazine

To Do

FRIDAY: Chilean wine dinner at Signatures Restaurant. $78 excludes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-628-5900.

SATURDAY: Cooking demonstration and lunch at Tosca Restaurant with chef Cesare Lanfranconi and sommelier Kathryn Morgan. $85 includes tax and tip 10:30-1 p.m. 1112 F St. NW. Call 202-367-1990 or see www.toscadc.com/cooking_ classes.html.

SATURDAY: Super Chefs Live! -- tastings and cooking demonstrations with PBS "Ciao Italia" host Mary Ann Esposito, Ristorante Tosca chef Cesare Lafranconi and Pierpont Restaurant chef Nancy Longo. Free. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Call 703-415-2400 or see www.simon.com.


JUNE 6: Campania: the Cradle of Italian-American Cuisine -- discussion and food tastings with Arthur Schwartz. Sponsored by Smithsonian Associates. $112 for nonmembers includes lunch. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Madison Hotel, 15th and M streets NW. Call 202-357- 3030 or see www.residentassociates.org.

JUNE 7: Chef's Best Dinner and Auction -- food tastings from more than 60 local chefs. Benefits Food & Friends. $200. 6 p.m. Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202- 863-1842 or see www.foodandfriends.org.

JUNE 7: Cooking From the Victory Garden -- dinner with "Grandma's Wartime Kitchen" author Joanne Lamb Hayes. $45 excludes tax, tip and wine. 6:30 p.m. Federalist Restaurant, Madison Hotel, 15th and M streets NW. Call 202-587-2656.

JUNE 8: First Ladies Luncheon honoring outstanding local female chefs and restaurateurs. Benefits the YMCA. $75 includes tax and tip. 11:30 a.m. Wyndham Hotel, 1400 M St. NW. Call 202-462-1054 or see www.ymcawashdc.org.

PLEASE NOTE: Space limitations sometimes prevent Food from publishing all submissions. For possible inclusion, send notices to: To Do, Food, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20071 or food@ washpost.com. Submissions must be received at least 14 days prior to publication date.