Fourth of July Marinated Steak and Creamy Cilantro Potato Salad with Addicting Avocado Dip

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Happy Fourth of July! Well, almost Fourth of July. How about Fourth of July weekend, since the holiday fell on the un-Godly day of Tuesday. Does anything good ever happen on a Tuesday? I guess it does this year. This is my favorite time of year because the weather is beautiful, my daughter is out of school, and I get to pull out my favorite family recipes and make them for my friends. We always did Fourth of July up right in the Nelson home with an insane amount of fireworks, decorations, and of course, food. Here are some favorites that I will be whipping up this year:

Nelson Family Marinated Rib Eye Steak


This marinade recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember. It originated as a flank steak marinade but can be used on almost any cut of meat. I found a couple of gorgeous rib eye steaks on sale in the market and thought, why the heck not?


24 hours before you plan on grilling your steaks, mix the following ingredients together in a large ziplock bag:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Add your steaks to the ziplock (we used two rib-eye steaks that totaled 3.5 lbs) and seal shut before mixing the ingredients around to ensure the steaks are properly coated. Place the bag into a bowl, to prevent dripping, and pop into your fridge overnight, flipping every few hours. You can do this the morning before you grill but the longer the steaks marinade, the better.


Pre-heat your grill to 500 degrees: you want the grill to be very hot to get those beautiful grill marks without overcooking the meat. Use a grill pan, if you have it, to prevent marinade drips from turning into big flames. If you want gravy for your meal, pour your remaining marinade into a small sauce pan and simmer over medium heat until it thickens to your desired consistency.


Grill for 4-5 minutes per side for medium, adding more or less time depending on how rare you like your steak. When done, place your steaks onto a plate and rest under a tinfoil tent for 10-20 minutes. This step is crucial and should not be skipped unless you want dry and rubbery meat! Resting allows the steaks to absorb back in all of the juices that displace during cooking.

Addicting Avocado Dip


Do you have a food that you will never get sick of? A food that you keep on shoveling into your mouth despite the fact that you were full fifteen bites ago? Yeah, this is it for me. My dad’s Addicting Avocado Dip is such a beautiful combination of salty, tangy, and creamy that makes it, literally, the most perfect food in the world.


Start by mashing up 2 large hass avocados in a shallow bowl and combine with 1/4 cup and a tablespoon of olive oil mayonnaise.


I’ve experimented with different ways to add onion flavor to this dip: chopped, powdered, dried. The winner is grated every time. Set up your grater over a plate to catch the juices and any stray pieces of onion. Grate your onion on the smallest side of you grater until you have about a tablespoon of pulp. Add the juices and pulp into your avocado mix and combine.


Finish the dip off with Worcestershire sauce, 1 very packed tablespoon of well minced garlic (more or less to your own personal taste, you can also use powdered garlic if you don’t like having chunks of raw garlic), 2 teaspoons lemon juice, a couple of shakes of tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste.


This dip will keep its color in a covered container in the fridge for a couple of hours. If you eat it as leftovers you can mix in another tablespoon of mayo and a couple more shakes of lemon juice to freshen it up.

Creamy Cilantro Potato Salad


This one isn’t an old family recipe, but a favorite summer side, regardless. Trader Joe’s Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing is a staple in my household. It goes on roast corn, get’s used as dip, and makes an awesome shrimp marinade. It can brighten up most any dish. I started putting it in my basic potato salad a few years back and I have never gone back!


Boil two pounds of whole, russet potatoes in a pot of very salted water; we’re talking ocean water salted. Most people peel their potatoes before boiling but, here’s a trick, the skin will slide right off with very little work once they are already cooked. You can even leave the skin on, if that’s the way you like it! Chop potatoes into 1″ size pieces and put into a bowl with 4 hard-boiled eggs cut lengthwise, then in quarters, and 1 cup Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing.


Add in two stocks celery, finely chopped, 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar for extra tang, and salt and pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon of each). Gently combine all of the ingredients as to not break up the potatoes or eggs.


Serve with a hearty sprinkling of Cotija cheese and extra pepper.


I could eat this entire table of food all by myself, but I guess I will share. Throw in a few beers or a glass of chilled white wine and you have the recipe for an absolutely amazing Fourth of July.





I’d like to dedicate this post to my eternal puppy, Cowboy, who loved grilling (and getting fed thick pieces of steak) the most. We miss you with all of our hearts, sweet puppy, and will be thinking about you every time a stray piece of food finds its way to the floor.

Have an absolutely incredible Fourth of July!


Nelson Family Flank Steak Marinade


  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large ziplock bag. Place whatever cut of meat you have into the bag and let marinade overnight.

For two rib eye steaks totaling 3.5 lbs: pre-heat grill to 500 degrees. Grill steaks on grill pan or place directly on the grill rack for 4-5 minutes a side for a medium steak. Let steaks rest under a tinfoil tent for about 20 minutes before cutting into the meat.

Dad’s Addicting Avocado Dip


  • 2 medium hass avocados
  • 1/4 cup and a tbsp olive oil mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp tabasco
  • 1 very packed tbsp of very minced garlic or powdered garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated white onion with juices
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and mash avocados in a shallow bowl until a creamy consistency. Finely grate onion on the smallest side of your grater over a plate until you have about a tablespoon of pulp. Add onion and rest of ingredients to your avocado and combine. Serve with corn chips and vegetables.

Creamy Cilantro Potato Salad


  • 2 lbs Idaho russet potatoes
  • 4 large hardboiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful crumbled Cotija cheese.

Boil potatoes in very salted water. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the potatoes and chop into 1″ pieces. Chop hardboiled eggs in half lengthwise then into 4 slices width wise. Add all ingredients, except cheese, into a serving bowl and combine gently, careful not to break apart your ingredients. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and a bit more pepper.


Leave a Reply