Friday, October 29, 2010

Mexican Grilled Beef (Carne Asada)

A while back we celebrated my Father-in-law's Birthday party and I was given the request for Mexican Food. Now it was time for something different then the traditional taco bar that my wife would prefer, so I began to scour grilling cook books for a good recipe. This one I found in Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbecue! I was so happy to finally get the chance at making another of his recipe's that he has graciously scoured the globe to collect.

In the process of making this meal I learned the draw back of grilling with propane, the fire blows out with a strong enough wind and it's difficult to tell just how much cook time you have left in a bottle. I have also learned to keep a bag of charcoal on hand just in case the propane decides to run dry before your done grilling. But none the less I was able to finish cooking and we had a great time too.

For Grilling
2 poblano peppers, or 4 banana peppers, or other large, moderately hot chile's
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
1 sweet onion, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 1/2 pounds beef flap meat, skirt steak, hanger steak, or another thin cut of beef (I used flank steak)
Coarse Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
20-24 corn tortillas, preferably freshly made at a Mexican tortilla shop or market, or 12 small flour tortillas
Meat drippings or vegetable oil

For Serving
One or more of these accompaniments:
1 small head green cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and sliced paper-thin
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 bunch radishes, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, cut into wedges or diced, and sprinkled with fresh lime juice to keep it from discoloring
1 cup sour cream
1 cup coarsely grated queso blanco or cotija or jack cheese
3 limes, quartered

1. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high. Ideally, you'll grill over wood fire, but you can achieve a similar effect by using dry wood chips on a charcoal or gas grill.

2. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grate. If you are using a charcoal grill, toss the wood chips or chunks on the coals, if using. If you are using a gas grill, add 2 cups of wood chips, if using, or chunks to the smoker box or place them in a smoker pouch under the grate. If you are using poblano peppers or banana peppers, arrange them on the hot grate and grill them until the skins are darkly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side, 12 to 16 minutes in all (banana peppers will take a little less time than poblanos). Arrange the scallions and onion on the grate and grill them until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the scallions or onion on the grate for about 6 minutes after the peppers have grilled.

3. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a chopping block or cutting board. Leave the fire burning. Cut the poblanos into strips, discarding the seeds. Cut the scallions and onion into 2-inch pieces. Arrange the grilled vegetables on a serving platter.

4. Generously season the beef on both sides with salt and garlic powder and pepper, if using. Add the remaining wood chips, if using. Arrange the meat on the hot grate and grill until cooked to taste, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium. (Mexicans prefer their carne asada medium to medium-well done.) Transfer the grilled beef to a chopping block or cutting board, reserving any of the meat drippings, if desired. Leave the fire burning. (Meat drippings will come from the plate or tray that you place the cooked meat on after cooking.)

5. Lightly brush the tortillas with meat drippings or oil, if desired (this is not necessary but does make the tortillas a little richer and moister). Arrange the tortillas on the hot grate and grill them just long enough to warm them, about 15 seconds per side.

6. Chop or thinly slice the beef across the gran. To eat the carne asada, place a few slices of beef on a warm tortilla, then pile on the grilled vegetables, raw vegetables, sour cream, cheese and salsa(s) of your choice and add a squeeze of lime, if desired.

I found that slicing them across the grain and on the diagonal made it possible to make thin slices that are easier to chew. Also I prepared chicken and seasoned it the same as the steak, since not everyone in my family is big on steak.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato chicken

I recently started getting Kraft's magazine Food & Family, thank you to my Wife for that gift. I do have a little complaining to do, this magazine is so full of delicious recipes that I'm easily over whelmed when it comes time to make the grocer list, not a bad problem though.

When I made this recipe we served it with mac-n-cheese, but it would of been so much better served on a bed of spaghetti noodles. Also, I left out the bacon, per request, something I really didn't like doing as I LOVE bacon.

2 slices Oscar Mayer Bacon, chopped
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves(1 lb.)
1 cup Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings from skillet.
Add chicken to skillet; cook on medium-high heat 2 min. on each side or until browned on both sides. Pour dressing over chicken; sprinkle with basil. Cook on low heat 8 to 10 minutes. or until chicken is done (165 F), turning after 5 min.
Transfer chicken to serving platter, reserving dressing mixture in skillet; cover chicken to keep warm. Add tomatoes to skillet; stir. Cook on medium-high heat 3 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon; spoon over chicken. Top with cheese.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Black bean and Corn Salad

I'm a big fan of Guy Fieri! I think it's super cool that he's all about cooking and will fix just about anything. He really shows that what we choose to cook, eat and drink has no bearing on a person's masculinity (in this instance) or their identity; something I think happens a little to often in our society. Anyway back to the recipe, I found this recipe watching his show the other day and I just had to try it. As with Guy's style, it's full of flavor and is definitely a great summer side.

I must confess, the corn bread is Jiffy. I know it's from a box, but it's what I grew up with and it holds a special place in my heart.

4 ears corn, husks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 up cider vinegar
1 (15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup snow peas, julienned (I omitted these by request)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat the grill to medium.

Grill the corn until lightly charred, about 2 minutes, turning frequently. Transfer the corn to a cutting board and using a serrated knife remove the kernels. Set aside ( Due to the time of the season, I was unable to find corn on the cob and substituted with frozen corn kernels. I cooked them in a cast iron skillet on high heat until they were lightly browned and then set them aside.)

In a medium pan saute  over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then the red bell pepper and the red onion. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the vinegar, beans and corn and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the snow peas and saute for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat to a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

7-Layer Meatless Tortilla Pie

Here's a delicious meat free dish with a wonderful Tex-Mex flavor! Now, for me to say any dish that doesn't include meat, in some form, is really saying something.  This dish was filling enough that you could serve it on it's own, but would be great served with a small salad or some Spanish rice.  I do want to warn you that this is not a quick fix meal as it needs to bake for 40 minutes and will take at least 20 minutes of prep time, so just keep that in mind.

2 cans (about 15 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup pace Picante Sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small tomato
7 flour tortillas (8 inch)
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)

Mash the pinto beans in a medium bowl with a fork. Stir in 3/4 cup picante sauce and the garlic powder. (You could easily substitute pinto beans with re-fried beans for more flavor)

Stir the remaining picante sauce, cilantro, black beans and tomato in a medium bowl.

Place 1 tortilla onto a baking sheet. Spread 3/4 cup pinto bean mixture over the tortilla to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Top with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with 1 tortilla and 2.3 cup black bean mixture. Top with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat the layers twice more. Top with the remaining tortilla and spread with the remaining pinto bean mixture. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes or until the filling is hot. Uncover the pie. Top with the remaining cheese. Cut the pie into 6 wedges. Serve with additional picante sauce and sprinkle with additional cilantro, if desired.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

In my house oriental food of any kind is only really popular with me, my wife isn't so big on it. The only time I can get her to eat oriental is at the Japanese Steakhouse down the road from our house. But with having a little one going out to eat is a challenge. So when I found this recipe  at Kraft Foods for Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry, I jumped at it. It's got a touch of traditional stir-fry flavor but doesn't go over board, which is a huge plus with my wife and apparently with my 17 month old who ate a fair amount of it.

1lb. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp. Oil
3 cups cut-up fresh vegetables (red and green bell peppers, baby carrots, mushrooms, snow peas)
1 clove garlic, minces
1/4 cup Kraft Catalina dressing
2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce
1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper
2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice

Cook and stir chicken in hot oil in large skillet on high heat 3 min.
Add vegetables and garlic; cook ans stir 5 to 6 min. or until chicken is lightly browned.
Stir in all remaining ingredients except rice; cook 2 min. or until chicken is done and vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice

Monday, October 11, 2010

Healthy Game Day Chili Dogs

This is a recipe I like to call my own; and it stay's on the healthy side with ground turkey, fat free beans, turkey dogs, and wheat hot dog buns. Now when I make chili I usually just walk through the grocery store aisles and grab what ever sounds good in my chili, that's how my Grandma taught me to make it anyway. It has plenty of meat and beans so it'll be sure to feel you up and would go great with some cold beer.

1 can of pinto beans
1 can of dark red kidney beans
1 can of diced tomato
1 can of tomato sauce or paste if you like your chili on the thick side
1 pound of ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion
3 tbsp of chili powder or more to flavor
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of paprika

1. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet and pour off any grease.
2. Dump the pinto beans, dark red kidney beans, diced tomato, tomato sauce, cooked ground turkey, and seasonings into the crock pot and set on high.
3. Dice the onion and throw it in the pot.
4. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally and add water as needed.
5. Cook the hot dogs any way you like. I boiled mine in some water for about 5 minutes or you could easily grill them on the gas grill.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Slow Cooker chicken and Dumplings

It's now October and Fall is officially upon us. With the cooler days and nights all ready  here, I figured it was time for a slow cooker classic and a meal that will really fill you up. Now I can't think of a more traditional meal then chicken and dumplings, and in my book it easily qualifies as comfort food.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 table spoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

The wonderful thing about slow cookers is their ease of use, sadly I just do not use mine as much as I would like. So my goal for this fall and winter is to use it as much as possible.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...