Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sunday Dinner

taco dinner

I realized I haven't been posting new Sunday dinner entries for a really long time. With the weather being so hot, I thought we'd keep it fresh and light. A med school couple we know was giving away their grill and we were the lucky recipients! Bah-duh-bah-bah-bah-- I'm loving it.

Chile Rubbed Steak Tacos with Grilled Tomato Salsa

adapted using recipes from Bobby Flay and Martha Stewart

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
1/2 head romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, halved and diced
Grilled Tomato Salsa, recipe follows
8 ounces sour cream

Heat grill to high.

Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and on the top rack of the grill while the steak is grilling.

Heat grill pan over high heat. On a work surface, crush garlic cloves using the flat side of a large knife; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place the flat side of the knife blade on top of the garlic and salt; press firmly, pulling knife toward you. Repeat until a paste forms; transfer to a small bowl. Add chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, pepper, espresso, and remaining tablespoon salt; stir to combine. Rub mixture all over skirt steak. Grill on one side until golden brown and slightly charred, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the steak over and cook to medium-rare doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes longer. Let rest 5 minutes then slice against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Fill each tortilla with some lettuce, 3 to 4 pieces of meat, onion, grilled tomato salsa, sour cream, and avocado.

Grilled Tomato Salsa:
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing tomatoes
2 serrano chiles
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
6 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat grill to high.

Heat oil in a small saute pan and saute the chiles, onion, and garlic until soft.

Brush tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until slightly charred and soft.

Transfer tomatoes and serrano mixture to a food processor; add the lime juice and salt and pepper and process until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse a few times (there should be flecks of cilantro in the salsa.) Transfer to a bowl.


Grilled Corn on the Cob with BBQ Butter
from Bobby Flay

2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Perfectly Grilled Corn, recipe follows

Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ancho powder, paprika, cumin and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the mixture becomes thickened and the water reduces. Let cool slightly.

Place the butter in a food processor, add the spice mixture and Worcestershire sauce and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, scrape the mixture into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Bring to room temperature before serving and spread the butter over the corn while hot.

Perfectly Grilled Corn:
4 ears corn
Kosher salt

Heat the grill to medium.

Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place and tie the ends together with kitchen string. Place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.

Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels.

How to remove corn kernels from cob: To remove kernels from cobs of either raw or cooked corn, stand cob upright on its stem end in a large pan, holding tip with fingers. Cut down the sides of cob with sharp paring knife, releasing kernels without cutting into cob. Run dull edge of knife down the cob to release any remaining corn and liquid.




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