Today is National Spicy Guacamole Day. (Not to be confused with Guacamole Day in September). I suppose I could have shared a recipe for Guacamole to serve with freshly made tortilla chips and called it a day. But Guacamole is so much more than just a dip. It’s a condiment for all sorts of delicious dishes like Fajitas.Continue reading “Carnita Asada Fajitas”
I know we’ve talked about this before; but it’s worth mentioning again. For those of us stuck at home, we need to count our blessings. Not everyone has a home to be stuck in. And not everyone has the means to put food on the table, should they have a table. If you are among the fortunate ones, while life might seem hard or unfair, we are truly blessed.
How’s your mid-week going thus far? I swear, the world seems to be going nuts. It’s best to stay informed without joining the Chicken Little Brigade. You know, the people who think the sky is falling.
If you are like me, you really like the ease and convenience of a one-pan or one-pot meal. While this dish requires a little more, in the spirit of one pan cooking it rocks.
There is something so special about grilling together. The food just seems to taste better when we’ve prepared it together. Making Steak Fajitas means working together to prep, grill and serve a delicious meal. Maybe it’s the love of cooking together that makes everything taste so much better. The weekend is nearly upon us and I can hardly wait!
One of my blog followers is my dear, sweet Hubby. It’s nice to have his support. The day after my birthday, he said he was surprised that there was no mention of his gift to me. It wasn’t that he needed the public acknowledgement, but rather he was surprised that something I had enjoyed so very much received no mention. Let me tell you, it was an awesome gift! It’s also something I couldn’t share in photographs. No cameras allowed once the the show got started. Hubby took me to see the Beatles tribute group, Rain. What a show! It was more than two hours of some of the best Beatles cover music ever. And in that time, I relived my entire youth. Thank you, Hubby, for the best birthday ever!
A little while back, Hubby, Kiddo and I spent the better part of a day wandering around an old military facility that has been decommissioned and is used as a giant Antique Fair and Flea Market once a month. I’m not sure what they do with the miles and miles of asphalt runways the rest of the time. My guess would be not much, since the place is pretty run-down.
A few years back, I came across what seemed to be a quick, easy way to prepare a perfectly marinated flank steak. The recipe called for a combination of McCormick’s Grill Mate Baja Citrus Marinade to be mixed with a little oil, water, vinegar and Tequila. Let the steak marinate for 15 minutes, fire up the barbecue and grill. What could be easier? So off to the market we went. Flank Steak was on sale – great news! However, the Baja marinate mix was no where to be found. After stopping at three different markets, I gave up on the convenience of a mix. A little internet surfing, a little imagination and a little luck produced an awesome marinated Flank Steak.
When I was first diagnosed with Diabetes, I thought my life was over. I would be eating like a rabbit while preparing wonderful, flavorful meals for my guys. Cooking two meals and resenting every minute of it. Have you ever noticed that people seem to react to a diagnose one of two ways? The first reaction is complete denial or over reacting. For me it was denial, until I spent three days in the ICU. Then the pendulum swung the other way – insanity set in and all I ate was lettuce. Okay, lettuce with chicken that had been poached without any seasoning. Uck!
Before the dog days of summer have completely slipped away, let’s throw a little something on the grill, shall we? Okay, excuse me while I meander elsewhere – we’ll get to grilling in a minute. What the heck are dog days of summer anyway? To me, it’s a way of conveying the slow, unhurried days of summer. Like a lazy hound dog resting on the porch. Continue reading “Arrachera a la Parrilla (Grilled Flank Steak)”
New Mexico – such a beautiful state. So colorful, so wild, so western. Yet very cosmopolitan in its own right – Santa Fe’s art community and Albuquerque’s balloon-filled morning skies are not to be missed.
When we lived in Las Vegas (Nevada); we could travel anywhere in the world – if asked the question “Where are you from?” the answer “Las Vegas” needed no further explanation – like New York or Paris – you just knew what was meant by the answer. That is unless we were anywhere in or near New Mexico. There is a Las Vegas New Mexico, not to be confused with the Vegas strip. While traveling through New Mexico, you had to clarify which Las Vegas.
The food of New Mexico has a Mexican influence; while remaining distinctively “New Mexican” flavor. Go to a Mexican Restaurant; Sopaipilla are found on the dessert menu. Sopaipillas are fried puffs of billowy pastry served with honey and a dusting of powdered sugar. Dine out in New Mexico, and Sopaipilla comes with dinner much the same way rolls come with your steak. Why? Depending upon the dish, you need that honey to coat your tongue and help put out the fire raging in your mouth. It’s take a bite of food, then follow-up with some honey, fan yourself, then take another bite of food. New Mexican is an animal all its own – somewhere between Mexican and Tex-Mex with a lot more spice. New Mexican cuisine is a regional cuisine developed in uniquely isolated circumstances and is therefore not like any other Mexican food in the United States. In New Mexico, green chile is hotter than red chile. New Mexican Green Chile pepper is grown in the state’s very high altitude (4,000–8,000 ft) and dry, hot climate of the state. Much like grapes for wine, these growing conditions contribute, along with genetics, to giving New Mexico green chile its distinctive deep green color, texture, and flavor. The climate of New Mexico tends to increase the capsaicin levels in the chile pod compared to pods grown in other regions. This results in the possibility of hotter varieties. New Mexico green chiles can range from mild to extremely hot. And some form of chile pepper is in everything. And yeah, it’s good stuff!
New Mexican Grilled Flank Steak
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons New Mexican Chile
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
To make the spice rub: In a baking dish large enough to fit the steak, stir together all the ingredients.
Add the steak to the spice rub, turning to coat the meat thoroughly with the rub and pressing with your fingers to help the rub adhere to the meat. Cover the pan, place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour. The longer the better, up to 6 hours for the rub to really flavor the steak..
Flank Steak – Ready to Grill
1 flank steak (about 3 pounds)
Olive oil for the grill
When you’re ready to cook the steak, let it rest at room temperature while the grill is heating. Build a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high. Using a grill brush, scrape the heated grill rack clean. Lightly coat a paper towel with oil and, holding it with long tongs, carefully rub the oiled towel over the grill rack.
Place the flank steak directly over the flame or heating element grill and let it cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes. Rotate the steak 90° and let it cook, undisturbed, for another 3 minutes. Flip the steak and repeat on the other side so it cooks another 3 minutes undisturbed, is rotated 90°, and then cooks 3 more minutes. If you like your steak medium-rare, it should be done at this point
Although not recommended; if you like your steak medium or well done, transfer the steak to a cooler part of the grill for a few more minutes to cook to the desired doneness.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Carve flank steak against the grain into slices about 1/2 inch thick, pile the slices onto a platter, and serve immediately.
Great with warm tortillas, rice and beans.
This yummy steak dinner was cooked up for my loving family a year ago – long before I thought about blogs and pictures beyond a snap shot to go with a recipe card. I came across it today while searching for ideas for next week’s meal planner. Hubby and I picked up a nice Flat Iron Steak on sale this week, hence the search. While the original recipe was done with a flank steak, since discovering the yummy tender goodness of Flat Iron Steak a few months back, I’m always checking the meat counter for good deals and snapping them up whenever they go on sale. Hey, that’s what my huge freezer is for, right? Stocking up when the price is right.
Flat Iron Steak can be used in just about any recipe that calls for flank steak, although they are completely different cuts of beef – the Flat Iron is from the forequarter while the flank from the hindquarter. Both cuts have excellent flavor, and take to marinades well. The flank steak can get a bit tough and dried if cooked too long – you ‘ll want to keep it on the medium-rare side while the Flat Iron is a bit more forgiving if over-cooked.
Two things I love about this recipe – the use of red wine (some for the steak, some for me, some for the steak, more for me, some – oh forget the steak, just more for me!) and a variety of mushrooms.
Crimini and shiitake mushrooms are a must – morel if you can get them are also wonderful. If you cannot get a variety of fresh mushrooms, dried mushrooms will do. Re-hydrate your mushrooms before using by soaking them in hot (not boiling) water for about 20 minutes, changing water as needed. Re-hydrated mushrooms have a more intense, concentrated flavor than fresh, so select a blend that will not overpower the flavor of the sauce.
Grilled Flank Steak with Mushrooms
2 pounds flank steak (or Flat Iron)
Salt to taste
Olive oil as needed
Black pepper to taste
2 pounds mixed mushrooms (if possible include shiitake mushrooms, they’re especially flavorful), cleaned, rough chop
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 cup red wine (or beef broth)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Remove steak from the refrigerator. Salt the meat and allow it to come to room temperature.
Dry sauté the mushrooms. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan, as is (no butter or oil). Stir the mushrooms occasionally, and shake the pan a bit. You should hear the mushrooms squeak when they move in the pan. Continue to cook until the mushrooms release their moisture. Add a large pinch of salt and stir to combine.
Add the butter, rosemary and shallots. Stir to combine and sauté over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the red wine (you can substitute beef broth) and boil until the sauce has reduced by half. Turn off the heat.
While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the grill for high direct heat. The grill is hot enough when you put your hand about an inch over the grill and you can only hold it there for 1 second. When the grill is hot, clean the grill grates with a wire scraper and then moisten a paper towel with vegetable oil. Using tongs, wipe down the grill grates with the oil-soaked towel.
While the grill is heating up, massage olive oil into the steak. You want the steak well coated. When the grill is hot enough, place the steak on the grill. Sear for 4-6 minutes without moving.
Turn the steak over, touch it to test for doneness (see the finger technique for checking for doneness). You might only need a couple of minutes on this side, depending on how thick your steak is. Flank steak is best rare or medium rare; it becomes tough if it gets too well done. Flat Iron steak, being thinner, will require less time on the grill.
Remember to under-cook the steak just a little as it will continue to cook in its own residual internal heat while resting. When the steak is almost done, transfer to cutting board and tent to keep warm. Let rest about 10 minutes. If desired, grind black pepper over steak before tenting.
Finish the mushrooms. Turn the burner on high and boil down to reduce almost to the consistency of a glaze. Add any meat juices that have accumulated with the resting steak. Taste for salt and add any if needed.
For larger steaks, first cut it in half along the grain of the steak fibers. Then slice it thinly, on an angle, against the grain. Thinner steaks such as Flat Iron can be sliced thin just before serving. Pour mushroom sauce over steak and serve immediately.
Happy grilling everyone.
In celebration of Asian-American Pacific Islander month, I have been on an Asian cooking kick. This was inspired by a recipe for Asian Marinade Flank Steak that I picked up at justataste.com way back in June 2013. The recipes are very similar, with only a few minor adjustments.
Have you seen the price of flank steak lately? Oh my – through the roof! The only cut of meat more expensive is Filet Mignon. The price alone nearly stopped me in my tracks. Yet I had a wonderful meal planned, and it all centered around the Flank Steak.