Last night I had a wonderful time at the kickoff meeting for the upcoming IACP conference being held this April in San Francisco. The event was held at Chef Martin Yan’s new restaurant, M.Y. China, a beautiful new addition to the San Francisco food scene.
The room was packed with people who are working to make the annual conference exciting and fun, and helping to show everyone who attends what an incredible city San Francisco is. As I worked my way through the crowd, greeting friends and meeting new people, I was wowed again at the incredible passion and talent there is in the world of food. I am incredibly fortunate to know these people and have the amazing experiences that come from being a member of IACP.
One of the people at the event was Cynthia Nims, the former president of IACP and the author of “Gourmet Game Night.” It reminded me that I had shared one of her recipes early on at The Heritage Cook. It seemed fitting to share it with you all again … It is too good to miss!
If you thought poker night with the guys meant chips and beer, you will be amazed at how elegant and deliciously you can eat without smearing the cards. Gourmet Game Night is full of ideas for parties and Cynthia shares recipes that are designed to be easily eaten without getting greasy fingers. I think her dedication says it perfectly; “I dedicate this book to the name of fun: to kicking back, to getting together with friends, to eating and drinking well, to laughing a lot, and to competing just a bit.” If you want to throw a party, check out this book!
Today’s recipe is close to Cynthia’s heart. She is the daughter of a career Navy man and spent a great deal of her childhood overseas. As a matter of fact, she was born in Japan! While the family was living there, her parents frequently had dinner at a little yakitori restaurant close to the base. It became a ritual they knew they would miss. As a result, her mother come up with this recipe to make once they returned to America.
Enjoy this recipe and when you have a second, pick up a copy of Cynthia’s book. You will certainly be glad you did!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
When cooking foods on skewers, leave room between each item so that the heat can get to all sides. This allows the food to cook more evenly and quickly.
Use gluten-free soy sauce or Tamari sauce. Check the chicken stock for gluten-containing ingredients or better yet, make it yourself!
Kitchen Skill: Working with Fresh Ginger
There is nothing like fresh ginger to add brightness and a touch of heat to your meals. Don’t try to substitute dried ginger in this recipe unless absolutely necessary. To make it easier to work with, I cut off the little knobs and then use a vegetable peeler to take off the peel.
Yield: 12 skewers
These flavorful skewers can be made with chicken in place of beef, if you wish. I recommend using boneless, skinless chicken thighs; they remain more tender and juicy on the grill than does chicken breast meat. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for parties.
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine) or dry sherry
1/2 cup soy sauce, preferably reduced-sodium
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp finely grated or minced fresh ginger
1 tsp pressed or minced garlic
3/4 lb sirloin or tri-tip steak
8 green onions, trimmed to 4 inches from root end
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
To make the marinade, combine the mirin, soy sauce, chicken broth, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Pour the marinade into a shallow dish large enough to hold the meat and set aside to cool.
Cut the beef into 24 (1-inch) squares about 1/2 inch thick. Add the beef to the cooled marinade, stir to evenly coat, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally, and up to 8 hours. Cut the trimmed onions into thirds. Soak 12 (4 to 6 inch) bamboo skewers in water for at least 1 hour.
Preheat an outdoor grill. Thread 2 pieces of beef with a green onion in between them, onto one end of each skewer.
Grill the skewers until the meat is nicely browned and just a bit pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the skewers to a plate or small platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Set the plate on a warming tray to keep warm, if you wish.
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