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So, since my post entitled “A nontraditional Thanksgiving” mysteriously disappeared and WordPress failed to help me retrieve it, I figured I’d recycle the title for my Easter post.  We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday!  Since it was just the two of us this year, we decided to do something a little different for our dinner.  Ever since seeing the movie Chef, I’ve wanted to make carne asada.  Jon Favreau just made it look so dang exciting and delicious (highly recommend that movie, BTW).  I browsed around for some recipes and found this one, which I modified slightly after reading this article on how to grill it.

Carne asada calls for cheap, thin cuts of steak and I used 1.14lbs of top round steak (thin).  Marinating overnight helps to tenderize, but the recipe states that you can also use kiwi to break down the protein in the meat if you do not have that much time.  I did not try the kiwi method this time but might next time, just to see.

Carne Asada

Ingredients

1 skirt steak or 2 hanger steaks

Marinade
juice of 1 lime (I used equal parts lime and olive oil – 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1-2 Serrano chilies, minced (to taste) (I used 2)
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (I just used regular oregano)
1/4 teaspoons ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons kosher salt (less if using table salt)
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoons pureed kiwi (optional)

*I did not get a pic of all the ingredients together like I usually do, but wanted to show you what I used for Serrano chilies, since they were not marked as such at the grocery and I always get confused when it comes to anything but bell peppers and jalapenos:

Directions

Lay the beef in the marinade and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the preparation for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight. Turn the meat over once halfway through.

Remove the meat from the marinade about 1 hour before cooking time. Let it dry and come to room temperature on a plate to promote even cooking. Throw the marinade away, as it’s been contaminated by raw beef. Clean the grill and grease it with nonstick spray, then preheat to high heat in the last 20 minutes or so of this resting period.

Lay the steak on the grill. Cook skirt steak for about 3 to 4 minutes per side or flank steak for about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. The outside should be nicely browned while the inside should remain pink and juicy. (I think Dr. Matthews did closer to 3 minutes per side, as our meat was quite thin).

Rest the beef for around 5 minutes. Cut it into strips of the desired size. Hold the knife at a 45 degree angle to the top of the steak and cut across the grain.

Grilled carne asada

We served ours with avocado and pico de gallo on grilled corn tortillas:

Grilled carne asada

To accompany this dish, we had my favorite Spanish rice, Rice a Roni:

Just make sure you have a can of diced tomatoes on hand to make this!

Just make sure you have a can of diced tomatoes on hand to make this!

And a spicy corn and black bean salad from The America’s Test Kitchen The Complete Cooking for Two cookbook that our friends Grace and Doug sent us for Christmas.  Thanks, Grace and Doug!

Spicy corn and black bean salad

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ear corn (in hindsight I would have used at least 2)
  • 3/4 cup black beans, rinsed (I threw in the whole thing cause honestly, who throws away 1/4 can of black beans?)
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
  • 1/2 jalapeno chili, stemmed, seeded, and minced (again, I used the whole thing.  I hate to waste a good jalapeno!)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper

Directions

Heat oil in 10-in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add corn and cook, without stirring, until well browned and toasted, 5-7 minutes.  (My corn started popping out of the pan like crazy well before 5 minutes.  I turned down the heat some but am not sure how to prevent this in the future.)  Transfer corn to medium bowl and let cool slightly.

Stir black beans, bell pepper, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, and garlic into toasted corn and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until flavors meld, about 15 minutes.

Spicy corn and black bean salad

This was very flavorful and added a lot to the meal.

Our spread

Our spread

We served everything up with some ice water with lime juice and Tostitos cantina chips, which are the best:

This was a great meal but I definitely recommend eating the meat the same day, if possible.  It loses some of its tenderness when reheated, although the flavor is still delicious.  Oh, and don’t worry – we kept it super traditional when it came to dessert and ate a boatload of Reese’s peanut butter eggs and Starburst jelly beans 🙂

Have any of you made carne asada before?  What recipe did you use?

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