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A menu made for summer indulgence

Monday, May 18, 2020

Summer is around the corner and finding ways to enjoy activities at home is a high priority for many families. And no summer weekend is complete until you fire up the grill, but flame-kissed steaks are just the start to an unforgettable meal that celebrates all the best of the season. 

To create the perfect main dish, start with high-quality protein, like boneless New York Strips. Thick, juicy and full of flavorful marbling, these steaks have robust, beefy flavor brought out when cooked properly on the grill. 

If you're opting for burgers, elevate your menu with a flavorful accompaniment like crisp candied bacon for a menu you won't soon forget. 

Find more ideas for upgrading the grilling experience in your own backyard at


Dry-Brined New York Strips with Grilled Brown Butter Balsamic Onions

Prep time: 1-12 hours

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Servings: 4


Dry Brine:

4  tablespoons Kosher salt

1  tablespoon coarse ground pepper

4  (11-ounce)Boneless New York Strips, thawed


Butter and Balsamic:

4  tablespoons salted butter

2  tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2  teaspoons fresh thyme


Grilled Onions:

2  large sweet onions

4  wooden skewers, soaked

1  tablespoon olive oil salt, to taste
pepper, to taste


To make dry brine: Combine salt and pepper; season steaks generously on all sides. Place steaks on elevated rack on baking sheet and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

To make butter and balsamic: Heat small skillet to medium high heat. Add butter and cook until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar and thyme. Set aside.

To make grilled onions: Peel off outer layers of onions. Slice into 1/2-inch slices. Lay onions on flat surface. Push skewers through centers of onions; two onion slices per skewer. Brush onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To cook steaks and onions: Make two-zone fire on charcoal grill with coals on one side and no coals on the other.

Place onions on cool side of grill; flip and rotate every 10 minutes until golden brown, approximately 25-30 minutes. Total time will depend on how hot coals are and how close onions are to fire. When onions are golden and tender, brush with brown butter balsamic mixture.  

On hot side of grill, during last 15 minutes of cook time for onions, cook steaks to desired temperature. When steaks are 5 F from desired temperature, remove from grill and let rest 5-10 minutes.

Remove onions from grill. Carefully remove onions from skewers and place in serving dish.  Top with remaining brown butter balsamic mixture and serve with steaks. 


Candied Bacon

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 8

1 pound of bacon

1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

1 cup packed light brown sugar


Heat oven to 375 F.

Place wire rack on foil-lined baking sheet. Place strips of bacon on wire rack and sprinkle with black pepper. Lightly pat brown sugar on top of bacon in thin layer.

Place baking sheet on center rack in oven and bake 25 minutes, or until brown sugar melts and bacon is crisp.

Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to parchment-lined baking sheet and cool to room temperature.

Store in airtight container up to 3 days at room temperature.


Quick Pickles

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

1/2  cup white vinegar

2  teaspoons sugar

1  teaspoon mustard seed

1  teaspoon salt

1  clove garlic, crushed

1/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1  teaspoon dried dill, chopped, or 

2  tablespoons fresh dill leaves

1  bay leaf

4  cucumbers, cut into angled 1-inch slices


Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes, if desired; cook until mixture begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

In heat-proof bowl, toss dill, bay leaf and sliced cucumbers. Pour simmering liquid over cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

Note: Pickles may be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in covered non-reactive container.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666