Monday, February 27, 2012

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Lemon and Black Pepper and Arugula-Tomato Salad

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small shallot, chopped
1/4 cup pure olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, pounded thinly
1/2 pound arugula
2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
Lemon halves, for garnish

Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, olive oil and black pepper in a large baking dish. Add the chicken, turn to coat and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to high. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt on both sides and grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and just cooked through.

Combine arugula, tomatoes and onions in a large bowl, toss with the vinegar and oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place each paillard on a large plate, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and top with some of the arugula-tomato salad. Garnish with lemon halves.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Argentinean Skewers with Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce and Grilled Scallions

1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 heads garlic, unpeeled, halved horizontally
2 jalapeno peppers, tops trimmed
1/2 cup canola oil
18 ounces sirloin, cut into 1-inch dice
6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 green onions, trimmed
Canola oil
Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce, recipe follows

Combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, peppers and oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish, add the beef and toss to coat in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.

Heat the grill to high. Skewer 2 pieces of the beef onto 2 skewers so that the meat lays flat on the grill. Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper and grill until golden brown, slightly charred on both sides and cooked to medium-rare doneness, about 3 minutes per side.

Brush the green onions with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred and just cooked through.

Serve skewers with grilled scallions and Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce.

Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce:
4 piquillo peppers, drained and chopped or 2 roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup aged sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the peppers, vinegar, mustard, horseradish, honey, molasses, Worcestershire, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.


Throwdown Cuban Sandwich with Homemade Pickles

1 (4 to 5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Canola oil
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar
1 head garlic, cloves removed and peeled
2 medium Spanish onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
Handfull fresh oregano, stems with leaves
Clover Honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Season the pork with salt, pepper and cumin. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven until it begins to shimmer. Add the pork and cook until golden brown on all sides.

Add the stock, juices, vinegar, garlic, onions, bay leaves and oregano, bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until fork tender (between 180 and 190 degrees F), about 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours. Remove from the oven, transfer pork to a platter and let rest 15 minutes before slicing or shredding.

Strain the braising liquid into a medium pan, bring to a boil and let reduced slightly, adding honey and salt and pepper if needed. Toss some of the braising liquid with the shredded pork to moisten.

Homemade Pickles:
3 Kirby cucumbers, sliced into 1/8-inch thick slices
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh dill
2-3 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon dill seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
Put the sliced cucumber in a medium bowl (which has a fitted lid).

Combine 1 cup of water, the vinegar, dill, sugar, garlic, salt, dill, mustard and coriander seeds in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat and taste for tartness, add more sugar if too sour and let cool to room temperature.

Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours, stirring the mixture at least once.

Roasted Garlic-Dijon Aioli:
1 cup prepared mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 cloves roasted garlic, pureed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to meld.

For Sandwiches:
8 to 10 Cuban breads, sliced 3/4 of way through
Roasted Garlic-Dijon Aioli
Shredded pork
Homemade Pickles
1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
1 pound thinly sliced good-quality ham
Spread both cut sides of the bread with a tablespoon or so of aioli. Add the pork, a few slices ham, and a generous layer of pickles. Top with a few slices cheese.

Press the sandwiches in a hot panini grill until outside is toasty and cheese is melted.