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Middle Man

By Judith Hausman , Urban Farm Contributor

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Marc Alvarez' Grilled Skirt Steak and Summer Beet Salad

Photo by Marc Alvarez

Make Marc Alvarez' Grilled Skirt Steak and Summer Beet Salad recipe with organic, locally grown food and enjoy a perfect appetizer or summer dinner.

Marc Alvarez is a fixer. For his often high-power clients, he locates the best local food, delivers it and supplies recipes and menus as well. If you’ve never cooked celeriac or tatsoi, if you want a supply of local pork or sustainable seafood, grass-fed beef and milk in glass bottles, and if your life is just too busy to arrange all this, Alvarez’ Concierge Foods is for you. He’ll even cook it all for a party.

Sometimes the sourcing scene is confusing for the busy client who wants the best local food, so entrepreneur Alvarez fills a niche. He combs the Hudson Valley, using many of the area farmers I recognize, and also buys from the Lancaster County Farm Fresh Cooperative in Pennsylvania. After he makes the connection to the farmer, he educates his clients as well.

“I come at this from being a private chef with relationships with the farmers. Not only can I provide the product but I can also teach clients what to do with it,” explains Alvarez.

Roughly a year in preparation and just a few weeks up to full speed, Concierge Foods runs like a customized CSA, for which Alvarez has personally curated the choices.

His customers order by e-mail by Tuesday and he then delivers their order in time for the weekend in a refrigerated van. A recent product list included 100 percent grass-fed certified Angus beef and 100 percent grass-fed milk, as well as gorgeous Bronze Arrow lettuce (among several other lettuce varieties and salad mixes), fresh lemon balm and marjoram, Red Merlot beans, candy-striped Chioggia beets and delicate baby leeks, bok choy and puntarelle. These kinds of choices and Alvarez’ personal service are key ingredients in the Concierge Foods concept.

Here’s one of Alvarez’ easy, early summer recipes. Grill an extra steak so you have meat ready and available for a lunch as well.

Recipe: Grilled Skirt Steak and Summer Beet Salad

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce grass-fed skirt steak
  • 1 bunch mixed beets (Chioggia, Golden, Bulls Blood)
  • 4 ounces mixed salad greens (especially arugula)
  • 2 whole radish, sliced into thin rounds
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons fresh oregano, basil or mint, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Season the skirt steak with salt, pepper, one clove of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover with plastic and reserve in the fridge for 2 hours.

Wash and trim the beets and place in a small pot with cold water to cover. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until a small knife easily pierces the center (about 45 minutes). Let the beets cool; peel and slice into bite size pieces. Marinate the beets in 2 tablespoons of oil, the remaining garlic and more salt and pepper.

Prepare a hot grill and grill the skirt steak over medium-high heat for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Toss the salad in a bowl with the remaining oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and divide onto two plates. Arrange the beets and radish slices around the plate. Add the sliced skirt steak and serve.

Serves two as an appetizer or one person as a nice meal.

Read more of The Hungry Locavore »

Give us your opinion on Middle Man.
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I go for small farmers with great farming practices over federally-certified organic anyway...if we don't support them, how will they stay in business, no less improve?
Judy, South Salem, NY
Posted: 7/3/2011 6:45:51 AM
Judy, Marc has discovered a wonderful niche business that benefits the chefs and those that get to enjoy the natural meals prepared by Marc's finds. I really should search out more natural food sources. The roadside stands and farmer's markets are starting to gear up here in the midwest but I'm not so sure that they are all natural organic sources. They do, however, taste better than the store bought produce. My own garden is coming along but it will be awhile before it starts to produce anything on a daily basis.

Have a great 4th. Be cool and safe.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 7/3/2011 6:26:56 AM

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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