Rush Hour

Isn't it funny how hot weather calls out for spicy food? It's not just a weird fascination -- there are studies out there that claim the draw of spicy food in hot climates (think curries in India, jerks in Jamaica, and salsas in Mexico) helps with preserving foods at temperatures that normally cause all kinds of bacterial chaos, keeps some of the same critters (and their friends) from causing trouble internally as well, and generally help maintain a healthy system. Of course, for many of us, it's elementary ... we simply love it!

So, since September is likely to bring us some of our last hot weather for the year, I wanted to celebrate by sharing my favorite Asian-inspired sauce. Of course, using it to make grilling a fast and flavorful experience also seems particularly appropriate.

Look for ingredients like the garlic-ginger paste and hoisin sauce at an Asian grocery store or in the ethnic section of larger grocery stores. If you don't have maple syrup, you can increase the brown sugar to 6 tablespoons and if you don't have toasted sesame oil, you can use plain sesame oil although the flavor will lack the depth that both of these ingredients can bring to the sauce.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Asian-Grilled Beef Tenderloin

  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 c. lime juice
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce
  • 2/3 c. ketchup
  • 6 T. garlic-ginger paste
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. hoisin sauce
  • 2 T. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. dried parsley
  • 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lb. whole beef tenderloin (approximately)

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegars, lime juice, soy sauce, ketchup, ginger-garlic paste, maple syrup and hoisin sauce. Using a wire whisk, stir it briskly to blend evenly. Add the toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, dried parsley and crushed red pepper flakes and whisk again until the sugar is dissolved and the dried parsley and crushed red pepper flakes are evenly distributed throughout the sauce. This recipe will make about 3 cups of sauce. Pour about 2 cups of the sauce into a resealable glass jar to refrigerate. This leftover sauce can be used on everything from ribs to chicken.

Place the beef tenderloin into a large resealable plastic bag and pour the remaining sauce (there will be about 1 cup) over the tenderloin. Seal the bag and turn to evenly coat the meat. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight, making sure that you turn the bag once.

Prepare a medium-high heated grill. Remove the tenderloin from the bag and grill it directly on the grill for about 20-25 minutes, turning once, or until the center of the meat registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. You can cook the meat to a higher end temperature, although I recommend avoiding anything higher than 155 degrees. Remove the meat from the grill and place it on a serving plate covered with aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

If desired, the marinade can be saved and poured into a saucepan and heated to at least 140 degrees and then used as a dipping sauce for the meat. Do not save the marinade unless you first cook it to destroy any harmful bacteria!

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time

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