Grilled Balsamic Pepper Steaks

Balsamic vinegar intensifies the meatiness of the steak and complements the fresh flavors of the vegetables. When you put the vegetables on a skewer, don't crowd them or they won't cook evenly.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 (4- to 6-oz.) beef flat-iron or shoulder top blade steaks (1 inch thick)
1 1/2 tablespoons cracked black pepper*
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large red, orange and/or yellow bell peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small sweet onion, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
12 baby portobello (crimini) mushroom caps

1. Combine vinegar, oil and garlic in large bowl. Brush steaks with 1 tablespoon of the balsamic mixture; sprinkle with pepper and salt. Cover and refrigerate.

2. Add bell peppers, onion and mushrooms to remaining balsamic mixture; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Heat grill. Drain vegetables, reserving marinade. Alternately thread vegetables onto 4 (10- to 12-inch) metal or bamboo skewers.**

4. Grill steaks and vegetables, covered, over medium heat or coals 8 to 12 minutes for medium-rare steak and crisp-tender vegetables, turning and brushing occasionally with reserved marinade.

5. Remove steaks and vegetables from grill. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Serve steaks with vegetables.

4 servings

PER SERVING: 355 calories, 22.5 g total fat (6 g saturated fat), 24 g protein, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 60 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

TIPS *Cracked black pepper can be purchased in the spice aisle of the grocery store. To crack your own, place whole peppercorns in heavy resealable plastic bag. Pound with flat side of meat mallet or side of knife until coarsely cracked.

**If using bamboo skewers, soak them in cold water for at least 20 minutes before using.

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