By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3
“I dare say, this is the best cup of coffee that I have ever had.”
Her father raised one eyebrow inquisitively while his daughter (my then-girlfriend) burst out in laughter, and the rest of the guests were stupefied that a 25-year-old would say something so seemingly archaic and, well, elderly.
“I dare say? I dare say? Who talks like that?” was the retort from the young lady who would not be my girlfriend for much longer, truth be told.
I was dead serious. It was the best cup of coffee that I had ever had, and yes, I guess it did come across as a little disingenuous coming from a smartass like myself.
But, is it my fault that I was raised by an English tyrant? My mother’s command of the language was legendary, and she guided all eight of us little beasts to a more eloquent tongue.
OK, perhaps this last part is not entirely true, but I still laugh when I think about people confounded by a young man, and a former Marine at that, who spoke like their great-grandfather.
As I shared this story the other night, my girlfriend agreed that it was fantastic, and we talked and laughed for an hour about the way some people perceive others when it comes to language.
Even funnier is the compounding factor that we are not exactly spring chickens anymore (another old person saying (‘OPS’)). But are we old?
Driving home just yesterday morning, I was listening to a “classic rock” station, and what did they play back-to-back? None other than Billy Idol and Blink182. Wait a minute! They’re not classic rock, because then that would make me “classic.”
Back in my day (OPS), we only considered Lynyrd Skynyrd and Steely Dan to be classic rock. Oh, how the times have changed. Yet, I can’t lose a moment’s sleep over it, because I am well aware of the luck that I have to even reach the ripe old age of 51. We are truly the lucky ones, and I never take that for granted.
So in my old age, I drove the machine (OPS for car) to the Walmart (ever notice how some people put ‘the’ before a great many words? “I took the machine down the 113 to the 50 to go to the Walmart”) and picked up some flank steak.
The weather is breaking, much to the chagrin of the little gremlin inside me who loves a good snowstorm, and the grill is ready to rock and roll.
With flank steak on sale and chicken wings just a few yards away, yakitori instantly comes to mind. If you like the flavor profile of things like bulgogi, Hawaiian BBQ and sweet teriyaki, then you are already in the flavor profile ballpark.
This is an awesome sauce, super easy to make (as long as you don’t scorch it) and stores well indefinitely.
And suffice it to say, you too will dare say that this is an incredible recipe.
Yakitori Flank Steak
makes one flank
1 ea. 2# flank steak, cleaned
2 c. Yakitori sauce (recipe follows)
1 c. Sliced scallions
3 Tbsp. Sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
1. Clean all the silverskin and fat from the flank steak.
2. Place it in a plastic bag or container large enough to hold the steak, yet small enough to ensure that all the meat is soaking in the marinade.
3. Add the sauce, scallions, sesame seeds and oil and combine well.
4. Either vacuum pack or seal the bag, removing as much air as possible and again making sure that the meat is completely submerged in the marinade.
5. Marinate for three hours in the icebox and remove from bag.
6. Place the marinade in a pan and bring to a boil and reduce, checking the salinity on occasion.
7. Set aside to cool
8. Grill the steak to 132F or a perfect medium rare (it will rise a couple degrees to get to 135).
9. Let the steak rest for 15 minutes
10. Slice and serve with the yakitori sauce, some rice or wild rice blend, tons of vegetables and of course, sake.
makes about one quart
2# chicken wings
oil for coating a pan
1 c. Soy
1 c. Mirin
1 c. Sake
1/2 c. Brown sugar
1/2 c. Apple juice
water, as needed
1. In a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil (or pan spray if that is what you prefer).
2. Add the chicken wings and cook until they are quite dark, but not burnt. This is a very important step in developing a richly flavored Yakitori sauce.
3. Turn over and cook until all sides are dark brown, but again, not burnt or charred.
4. When you are confident that the appropriate level of browning is at hand, add the remaining ingredients except for the water
5. Bring the ingredients to a light boil then turn down to a simmer
6. Cook for about one hour, tasting periodically to check saltiness (from the soy).
7. Add water (only if needed) to combat any over-salting and otherwise adjust the strength
8. Strain and discard the chicken. It will be very, very salty so you may certainly eat it if you want to. That is completely up to you.
9. Set the sauce aside until you are ready to grill those beautiful flanks