The molasses gives the relish a slight, sweet surprise; cooking teacher Frank Linn says it's important to finely grate the onion, using a box grater, for the marinade, so that the onion's flavor can better penetrate the meat.
If you don't have a grill, use a grill pan on the stovetop for the steak and the crostini. That's what Linn used for the farmers market challenge.
- For the steak and marinade
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Finely grated zest of 2 medium limes (optional)
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard, such as Ingelhoffer brand
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (may substitute chili powder)
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds hanger, skirt or flank steak
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the relish
- 4 ears corn, husked and trimmed flat on both ends
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 to 3 small serrano or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced (1 to 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 3/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- For the crostini
- 1 12-ounce loaf whole-wheat bread
- 1 large clove garlic, cut in half
- Olive oil, for drizzling
For the steak and marinade: Combine the olive oil, garlic, the lime zest, if using, onion, mustard, cumin and chipotle chili powder in a resealable plastic food storage bag. Add the beef and seal; massage to coat and let sit for 1 hour or up to overnight.
Remove meat from the bag and pat dry; season generously on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the marinade.
Prepare the grill. If using a gas grill, heat it to medium. If using a charcoal grill, start the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, pile them on one side to create two zones, for direct and indirect heat. Oil the grate.
For the relish: Place the husked ears of corn over direct heat and grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning until all sides have grill marks. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly.
As soon as the ears are cool enough to handle, stand the corncobs on end (trimming them flat makes cutting easier) and cut the kernels from the cob. Transfer the kernels to a medium bowl. Add the bell peppers, onion, serrano or jalapeno pepper, red wine vinegar, olive oil, molasses and parsley and toss well. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Grill the meat for 1 minute, then give the meat a quarter-turn and grill 60 seconds to form crosshatch grill marks. Flip over and repeat. Move the meat to the indirect heat area of the grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired doneness. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into thin slices.
For the crostini: While the meat is resting, grill the slices of bread over direct heat for a few minutes, until both sides have grill marks. Transfer to a plate and rub the slices on both sides with the cut sides of the garlic clove halves, then drizzle the bread with olive oil.
To assemble, place the crostini on individual plates and top with some of the relish. Fan the slices of beef on top. Serve immediately, with extra crostini passed at the table.
From Frank Linn of Silver Spring.
Tested by Annie Groer.
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