Monday, July 22, 2013

Shredded Chicken and Tomatillo Tacos with Queso Fresco

6 tomatillos, husked, washed, and grilled until blackened
1 serrano, grilled until blackened
Olive oil
1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
8 blue corn tortillas
1 cup crumbled queso fresco

Preheat the grill to medium. Add the blackened tomatillos and serrano to a small saute pan and briefly saute in a little olive oil on the grates of the grill.

Place the tomatillos, serrano, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth. Place the tomatillo mixture in a large saute pan and place on the grates of the grill. Bring the mixture to a simmer, add the chicken, and heat through.

Place the tortillas on the grill, and grill for 20 seconds on each side. Spoon the chicken mixture into the tortillas and top with a few tablespoons of queso fresco. Fold the tortillas in half serve immediately.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Red Curry Marinated Skirt Steak Fajitas

1/4 cup red curry paste
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 pounds skirt steak, cut in half or thirds crosswise
1/4 cup clover honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sixteen 6-inch flour tortillas, wrapped in foil and warmed on the grill for 5 minutes

Whisk the curry paste, canola oil and 1/4 cup lime juice in a mixing bowl. Place the steaks in a large baking dish and coat both sides in half the curry mixture. Cover the steaks and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.

Whisk the honey and remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice in a bowl; set aside half the mixture for dressing the cooked steaks.

Heat a grill to high, or heat a cast-iron pan or griddle over high heat. Remove the steaks from the curry mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill the steaks until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides, brushing with the honey-lime mixture a few times. Cook the steaks to medium-rare, about 12 minutes. Remove the steaks from the grill and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing across the grain into thin slices.

Place the meat on a platter and immediately drizzle with the reserved honey-lime mixture. Lay the tortillas on a flat surface and place the steak slices in the center. Top with the Pickled Roasted Peppers, Barbecued Onions and a dollop of Avocado Cream. Roll and eat.

Pickled Roasted Peppers:
1 cup white wine or rice vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
2 roasted yellow bell peppers, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

For the peppers: Combine the white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Put the red and yellow bell peppers and oregano in a medium bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Stir to combine. Cover the peppers and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days before serving. Yield: about 3 cups.

Barbecued Onions:
2 Vidalia onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
BBQ rub, such as Bobby Flay BBQ Rub
BBQ sauce, such as Bobby Flay BBQ Sauce

Heat a grill to medium heat. Brush the onions with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Season one side of the onions with BBQ rub and place on the grill, rub-side down. Grill the onions until lightly golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the onions over and brush with BBQ sauce. Grill the onions until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Separate into rings.

Avocado Crema:
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the crema: Blend 1/4 cup water, the avocados, rice vinegar and lime juice in a blender until smooth. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper and blend for a few seconds until incorporated. Yield: about 1 1/2 cups.


Cornell Chicken with Grilled Steak Fries

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
8 whole cloves
8 black peppercorns
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 fresh sage leaves
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Two 3 1/2-pound chickens, halved, keel bones and wing tips removed
Canola oil, for brushing

Spice Mixture:
3 tablespoons dried sage
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons clover honey
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

For the brine: Whisk 8 cups cold water, the vinegar, salt, sugar, cloves, peppercorns, rosemary, sage and thyme until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Do not brine any longer than 2 hours or the chicken will start to break down.

For the spice mixture: Stir the sage, marjoram, pepper, rosemary, thyme, celery seeds and ground cloves in a small bowl.

For the sauce: Whisk the vinegar, mustard, honey, rosemary, thyme and sage in a bowl until smooth.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Brush the chicken with canola oil. Sprinkle the skin side of the chicken with half the spice mixture and some salt and pepper.

Prepare a charcoal grill for direct and indirect cooking. On the direct side, have the coals at medium-high heat. Arrange the chicken skin side down on the grill, over direct heat. Rub the bottom of the chicken with the remaining half the spice mixture. Grill the chicken until well browned, about 10 minutes. Flip the chicken skin side up and baste 1/3 cup of the sauce.

Move the chicken to indirect heat, cover, and cook until the thigh meat registers 165 degrees F, about 40 minutes longer. Baste with 1/3 cup of the sauce every few minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Brush with the remaining 1/3 cup of the sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Arrange on a platter with the Grilled Steak Fries.

Grilled Steak Fries:
5 large Yukon gold or russet potatoes, par cooked in salted water
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Finely chopped fresh chives

Heat the grill to medium heat. Cut each potato into eighths. Brush the potatoes with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the potatoes until lightly golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer to a platter and immediately drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with more salt and chives.