Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chipotle-Rubbed Flank Steak by Tom

Chipotle-Rubbed Flank Steak by Tom

This is a very easy rub for any kind of steak, and, I think, would work well on pork as well.  But for this recipe I used it on flank steak.

Chipotle powder is made of ground smoked red jalapenos.  The flavor is rich, smoky and hot, but not crazy hot.  It gives a deep smoky flavor to stews and salsas.  And it is good on marinated vegetables and grilled meats.

This was exactly how it worked on the flank steak.  A smoky and rich flavor that complimented the Salsa Verde sauce we served with it.


Chipotle-Rubbed Flank Steak
(adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Liebovitz)

Serves 6

1 1/2 # Flank steak
1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2 tablespoon ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon ground Chipotle powder

About 1 hour before grilling the meat:

Dry off the flank steak with paper towels.  Then sprinkle the flank steak generously with salt and pepper and the chipotle powder.

Rub it into the meat and let it sit at room temperature, on a plate, covered with plastic wrap.

How to grill it:  I have written this up before, but for clarity get your grill good and hot.  Make sure your grates are clean.

For rare, which I think is best for flank steak: grill on each side for 4 minutes a side.  Total cooking time - 8 minutes.

For medium rare: add a minute per side.  Total cooking time 10 minutes.

Don't overcook flank steak.  It gets to be tough and loses flavor if overcooked.

Let it sit for at least 15 minutes before carving to keep the juices (and, as a result, the flavor) from "leaking out" of the meat.  And remember that the meat continues to cook a bit while resting.  That is why you don't want to over-grill flank steak.  Think of it as like al dente pasta.  Best to stop the cooking before it gets to be too done!
Cut crosswise against the grain.  We like it rare.  If someone in your group doesn't, you can always microwave an individual portion for 10 seconds at a time until it gets to the desired doneness.  Or throw a piece or two back on the grill.

As I said at the beginning, a very easy way to prepare flank steak but with excellent taste results.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Avocado Boats (Aguacates Rellenos de Verdura)

Avocado Boats
filled with avocado, tomato, peas and panela

For Sunday dinner, our niece, Chelsea, and I tried out 4 recipes from the new Mexico cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte while Tom made a grilled flank steak, using a recipe from David Liebovitz.

This one was voted the best recipe and one that we would most likely make again.  The filling is excellent.

The boats aren't really necessary but they are very pretty and would be nice for a dinner party. Chelsea gets the credit for creating the boats and filling them so nicely.

The recipe calls for panela, which I found in the cheese section, but mild feta can be substituted.

Avocado Boats
Aguacates Rellenos de Verdura
(from the Mexico cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte)

Serves 4

4 ripe avocados
juice of 1 lemon (I used lime)
3.5 ounces panela or mild feta, diced
1/3 cup green peas, barely cooked (I used frozen petite peas)
1 tomato, peeled seeded and chopped (I used 8 small cherry tomatoes, chopped)
salt and pepper

optional:  cilantro as garnish

Note from B:  When you pick out your avocados, be sure to select ones that aren't overly ripe so they will stand up as a boat when you carve them out.

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit.  Scoop out most of the flesh from the avocado halves, leaving a 1/2 inch layer of the shell.  Carefully peel off the skins from the avocados, and sprinkle with the lemon (or lime as we did) juice and salt.

Combine the avocado flesh, cheese, peas, tomato in a bowl (and squeeze lime juice on it) and season with salt.  Fill the avocados with the mixture.

Place on platter and serve immediately.
We garnished ours with cilantro.  And served the extra filling at the table to add to our flank steak tacos.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May: Mexico


Many people will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo today. It is a tradition which goes back to 1862 in Puebla as a celebration of a battle victory over the French.   Over the years, it has become a worldwide way to honor Mexican heritage.

For us, it begins a month of exploring Mexican food.  And for this purpose, I ordered the new cookbook, Mexico, by Margarita Carrillo Arronte published by Phaidon.  It arrived yesterday.
The inside flap says that it is "the definitive bible of Mexican home cooking."

I first saw the book when I was traveling to Houston last January, but didn't carry it home because it big, and very heavy.  It has 704 pages!

Tonight I will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo by perusing her cookbook and marking recipes we will want to try this month.

And perhaps by making margaritas for us--- even though it is a Tuesday night.