It’s toasting hot outside, the perfect weather for a barbecue. Unfortunately we don’t own a barbecue neither do we have the space for using one, I am sure many people have the same problem. Fear no more: a grill pan will do the trick just fine!
A recent trip to Ikea left us with a very nice recipe book full of ideas to use your grilling pan to the max: “I grill with you - 20 delicious recipes”. The recipes are varied and quite interesting, I must admit. They either have a picture or are illustrated with extremely cute drawings:
It also contains our signature dish, one we’ve been trying to recreate and perfectionize after eating it in a Japanese resaurant: Usuyaki, beef rolls filled with spring onion and garlic, fried and glazed with a teriyaki sauce. We make this dish often, and the recipe in the Ikea cookbook is quite good.
Usuyaki - fried beef rolls filled with spring onion
3 beef steaks
6 spring onions, sliced in 24 parts (slice each spring onion in 4 parts)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional, we always add it, Ikea doesn’t)
teriyaki sauce (see below)
1. We’ve tried to recreate it before, but slicing the beef that thin turned out to be really difficult. Now we bought already thin roastbeef steaks which we put in the freezer to firm up, then we sliced each steak in 8 thin slices.
2. Fill each slice of steak with a piece of spring onion drizzle some garlic over the spring onion and roll it firmly and put in a stick to keep it from falling apart.
3. Lightly brush the beef rolls with some olive oil before grilling.You only need to grill these for a good 20 seconds on each side. Serve with the Teriyaki sauce.
Tips / varieties:
1. In the lovely The Manga Cookbook (which - perhaps surprisingly - is a VERY good Japanese basic cookbook) you’ll find a recipe for Nikumaki which uses bacon of some other piece of thinly sliced pork as a wrapper and carrot and haricots verts as filling.
2. These are also great filled with small green asparagus.
Teriyaki sauce (also from The Manga Cookbook)
1 cup of soy sauce
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of mirin
1 cup of cooking sake
Mix it all together in a saucepan, bring to the boil and let simmer for 7 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.
Note on measurements: My sister in law Maire gave me a lovely set of cups for measurements in cups (logically), I used the 1/2 cup size for this recipe as we were only making it for the two of us. This proved to be more than enough for both the Usuyaki and another recipe we made (Teriyaki meatballs). We also used it to drizzle over our tuna sashimi which we had for our starter. Which brings me to a general note: the teriyaki sauce did not seem to thicken when I first made it, but it does thicken slightly more and tastes even better the day after, so make it beforehand!
This was not the recipe I wanted to share from the Ikea cookbook, but as it makes a wonderful light dish or starter I wanted to share it anyway.
Now, onwards to the real summery recipe from the Ikea grilling cookbook!
Chicken from Tuscany
4 chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs (basic recipe you can make and store in an airtight container uses 1 teaspoon of each: dried oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme and sage)
125 grams of small mozzarella balls
6-8 sun dried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
some mint leaves
8 black olive, stone removed and cut in half
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
freshly ground black pepper
1. Rub the chicken breasts with pepper, salt and the mixed italian herbs. Brush some olive oil on them.
2. Heat the grillpan until very hot. Put the chicken in and cook for 15 minutes until done, make sure they get nice grilling stripes.
3. Meanwhile: put the mozzarella in a bowl with the chopped sun dried tomatoes. Chop the mint leaves and add those as well together with the olives and spring onions. Sprinkle some olive oil on the salad and mix well. Season with some freshly ground black pepper.
4. Serve the salad with the grilled chicken breasts.
Nice, light and summery.