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Rule the Grill With Help From Morton's

A delicious recipe and steak grilling tips from the experts at Morton's:

The Honorable Theodore B. Olson's Favorite Morton's New York Strip Steak with Parsley Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Steak

Three 20-ounce aged New York strip steaks, each about 2 inches thick

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

Sauce

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped, large stems discarded

8 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup minced white onion

¼ cup white vinegar

1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method:

To cook the steaks: Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, mix together the parsley, garlic, onion, vinegar, ¼ cup water, the jalapeño, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pulse 2 to 3 times until mixed.

With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Mix only until the sauce is still slightly coarse in texture. You will have about 2½ cups of sauce. Set aside until serving.

To prepare a charcoal or gas grill, lightly spray the grill rack with cooking spray. Or preheat the broiler and position a rack 4 inches from the heating element. The coals should be medium-hot for the charcoal grill. The burners should be on high for the gas grill.

Season the steaks lightly on both sides with the seasoned salt. Grill or broil for 10 minutes. Turn using tongs and cook the other side for 9 to 11 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired degree of doneness.

To serve, spoon some of the sauce over the steaks and pass the rest on the side.

Tips to Grill the Perfect Steak

• You don't have to grill with the most expensive cut, you can use choice as well

• Season with salt and pepper and cook on a hot, hot grill

• Steak should be 1 to 1 and 1/2 inch thick cut, well marbled, and bright red

• To tell if steak is done rare: It has a spongy feel like at base of thumb

• To tell if the steak is medium: It has a firmer feel like in the palm of your hand

• It all begins -- and ends -- with the beef. Morton's specializes in USDA prime, grain-fed aged beef. There is none better. Unmatched for taste and tenderness, it features superior marbling—the fat speckled throughout the meat that gives the steak its great flavor. Marbling is a primary indicator of a steak's quality.

But since only 2 percent of all beef is good enough to be graded USDA prime, it's always in short supply. So if you can't find prime beef at your butcher or supermarket, which is often the case, the next best grade is choice. When you buy choice, be sure to look for cuts with abundant marbling.

• Size Does Matter! In grilling, all steaks are not equal. Thickness is very important. Steaks at least 1" to 1 1/2" thick are best for grilling. Their marbling and thickness make ribeye, New York strip, porterhouse and T-bone steaks ideal for grilling. They are all flavorful, but the steaks with a bone, such as porterhouse and T-bone, have even more flavor. The thicker cuts can sear on the outside and still not be overdone inside. While a thinner cut, anything under an inch, is likely to dry out on the grill.

• Bring 'em in from out of the cold. Steaks should be at room temperature before grilling

• Check the oil. Before you begin, lightly oil the grilling rack. It keeps the meat from sticking and tearing and losing its natural juices

• It's got to be hot! Pre-heat the grill to 600-800 degrees and keep it at that temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before putting the steaks on. It's during the first few minutes of grilling that the high temperature sears the meat, forming the coating that seals in those tasty juices In fact, Morton's chefs agree that high direct heat is almost as important as the meat itself

• Use a seasoned approach: Add a bit of seasoning before placing the steak on the grill. Some salt and pepper can do wonders

• Grilling's prime "mis-steak" is overcooking. Cooking steaks on the grill too long will cause moisture to evaporate, increasing the likelihood that the meat will be tougher and less juicy

• Stick a fork in it? Never! Always use tongs or a spatula to turn over a steak during grilling. And resist the temptation to use a fork to test the steak for doneness as it's being grilled. A fork will pierce the meat and allow the juices to seep out. Sticking a fork (or a meat thermometer) into a steak during grilling is almost like testing an egg by breaking it open while it's being boiled

• Medium or rare? A done deal. There's a much better doneness test recommended by the Morton's chefs, and you carry the necessary equipment with you at all times: It's all in the palm of your hand: For a rare steak: Squeeze the pad at the base of your thumb. It should feel spongy and offer very little resistance. For a medium steak: Press on the middle of the palm of your outstretched hand. It should feel firm and snap back quickly. For a well-done steak: Squeeze the base off your small finger. It should feel very firm, with almost no give.

However, Morton's chefs strongly advise against cooking beyond medium, noting that doing so is likely to dry out the meat and rob it of its flavor and tenderness.

• One good turn... is enough! After you put your steak on the grill, don't turn it over before at least five minutes of grilling have elapsed on one side. Turning too soon can prevent searing from taking place. The steak should be seared on one side, then turned, seared on the other side and allowed to cook to the preferred doneness.

• Won't let go? If the steak sticks to the surface when you're trying to turn it over, stop trying. It's a sure sign that it needs more searing on that side. Give it more time

• Keep your lid on! By keeping the lid closed during grilling, you increase the broiling temperature, while decreasing the cooking time

• It's good to have something on the side! Side dishes can complement or complete the meal. Grill away and be creative. Jumbo shrimp or large scallops, bell peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes, lobster tails, polenta, onions, zucchini, corn on the cob, eggplant, Swiss chard, baby carrots, bell peppers are just a few of your options!

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