For birthdays at our house, we let the Birthday Boy or Girl choose the supper menu. Myself included. If it’s not in the budget to go out to eat, then I usually propose my favorite mode of cooking: grilling. That way I do a little prep in the kitchen, but my husband is responsible for getting things hot and ready. He willingly does that, so that, in itself, is a gift.
One of my favorite grilled foods is tri-tip. In Southern California, I can buy this on sale for less than $2/pound, which is my target price for meat. However, that cut is not quite as affordable in other regions of the country. That’s when a good London broil or flank steak comes in handy. Usually, I saw that for as low as $1.49/pound in Kansas City. (You’ll have to let me know meat prices in your neck of the woods in the comments.)
One of the beauties of a tri-tip or london broil is that you can buy a large, inexpensive piece of meat, grill it, and then slice it for serving. It’s not as if you have to have an individual steak for each person which can be very pricey. Grilling a “roast”-like piece of meat is the best of both worlds: have your steak and pay for it, too.
Usually these types of meat do really well in a marinade. This is a tangy-flavored sauce that permeates the meat. If you buy just a small piece of ginger and purchase the other items with coupons, you can keep this a relatively budget meal. Though the purists would say you can’t sub dried ginger for fresh, I’ve done it here, and it still tastes great.
Recipe: Soy-Ginger Marinade
Summary: works well on beef, pork, and chicken
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger (freshly grated or dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
- Combine all ingredients in a small glass bowl. Place meat in a glass dish or ziptop bag. Pour marinade over meat. Allow meat to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours. You can also place the bag in the freezer to use at a later date. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before cooking.
- Cook over a hot grill until done.
- To make ahead: You can store the prepared marinade in an airtight container for up to two months. Thaw before adding to meat.
For more birthday dinner inspiration, visit Life as MOM’s Ultimate Recipe Swap.