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Steaks master makes skirt steak on a shoestring

You could call him the King of Steaks.

Todd Miller, executive chef at Gotham Steak at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, knows his way around that form of beef. Before his current position, Todd oversaw culinary operations as executive chef of the notable STK New York.

He accepted the "Early Show on Saturday Morning" "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge of making a fabulous three-course dinner for four on a budget of only $40.

Todd's featured dish? Skirt steak. He also prepared Butter Leaf Salad and, for dessert - a . Also, Oh - and for dessert - a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sundae!

"Shoestring" chefs are automatically entered in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition, in which the "Shoestringer" with the lowest ingredients cost gets invited back to whip up the feast for our year-end holiday extravaganza - and spend as much as he or she wants.

Enjoy all our "Early Show" recipes!


Butter Leaf Salad


  • 1 Head Butter Leaf Lettuce
  • 1 Head Red Endive (or White if red not available)
  • 1/2 Pound Red Seedless Grapes
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 bunch Radish
  • 1.5 ounce Blue Cheese

  • Sherry Dressing:
  • 2 ounces sherry vinegar
  • 1- 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 ounces grape seed oil or any neutral oil -
  • salt to taste


Place all ingredients into a air tight container and shake vigorously till fully mixed and incorporated, taste and season with salt to taste

Grilled Skirt Steak


  • skirt steak (4 each 5 ounce portions)
  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn
  • 1/2 bunch celery (please make sure to have the center and all the leaves intact)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 head fresh fennel (make sure to buy the fennel with the top intact)
  • 1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes on the vine (make sure that the tomatoes are the size of golf balls or slightly smaller)
  • 2 ounces fresh basil (pick all the smaller leaves and place into cold water, all the rest of the larger basil leaves cut into small dice cuts)
  • 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 each fresh limes (juice the limes and do not throw away the juiced lime, we will need to microplane for final garnish)


For the skirt steak season with salt, black pepper and smoked pimenton, place onto a pre-heated grill and cook to medium rare/medium or to desired temperature (always remember to let the steak rest before cutting and placing onto the plate to minimize the loss of juices).

Sweet corn relish:

(this should be done prior to grilling the meat and can be held in the fridge) Remove the husk from the corn and lightly rub with oil and season with salt, place onto the grill and roast the corn till lightly golden in color and cut the corn off the cob, reserve - clean, peel and small dice all celery ribs and pick all the leaves (reserve in cold water), thinly slice all the scallions (reserve and grill 4 of the scallions for garnish), small dice the fresh fennel (reserve the fennel tops and place in cold water). Once you have all the above ingredients (corn, diced celery, sliced scallions, diced basil and small diced fennel combine into a bowl and season with the olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt and black pepper to taste)

Semi Dried Tomato:

(these should be done prior, but the day of grilling the meat and can be kept at room temperature till needed) Cut all the tomatoes in half and lightly season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar, drizzle with olive oil and place onto a lined sheet into a 225° degree pre-heated oven for 30-45 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft, plump and the flesh is slightly dry to the touch (this may vary if you have a convection oven or conventional oven).

Once you have obtained your desired temperature for the skirt steak and it is rested cut in 1/2 on the bias and place one half onto a small mound of the corn relish and tomato repeat with corn and tomato and place the other half of the steak on top, garnish with the remaining corn, tomatoes and the grilled scallion. To finish micro plane the zest of the juiced lime half onto the steak and garnish with the picked herbs for the final touch, serve immediately and enjoy.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sundae


  • 1 quart Vanilla ice cream 1 quart
  • 4 Graham crackers (crushed)
  • 2 Bananas (optional for garnish)
  • 6 tablespoons Creamy peanut butter
  • Grape jelly 6 tablespoons (take the fresh lemon juice and the jelly and place into a bowl and mix till fully incorporated and the consistency or chocolate sauce; if you need add some warm to get to the consistency needed)
  • Fresh lemons 2 each (juiced)
  • Ready whipped cream 1 can
  • Marshmallows 8 each (torched)
  • Milk chocolate 2 ounces
  • Granulated sugar 16 tablespoons
  • Whole almonds 2 ounces (roasted and crushed)


Take 12of the 16 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 6 tablespoons peanut butter and warm in the microwave and mix till fully incorporated, reserve warm.

Evenly portion out the vanilla ice cream into four shallow bowls or plates and place into the freezer so the ice cream sets and will make picking this dessert up easy if you're entertaining. When ready to serve take out the ice cream from the freezer and drizzle the grape jelly over the ice cream, drizzle the warm peanut butter over the ice cream, garnish with the whip cream, crushed almonds, crushed graham crackers, bruleed banana, torched marshmallows and micro planed chocolate onto the sundae. Totally enjoy!!!!

So, how did Todd do in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition?

His grand total was $38.21

Our year-to-date Leaders Board:

1. Floyd Cardoz $33.54

North End Grill

2. Bobby Dean $36.11

Food Network Personality & Cook Book Author

3. Fabio Vivani $36.22

Cafe Firenze