Thursday, July 28, 2005

Churrasco Estilo

Skirt steak, or Churrasco Estilo, is one of my favorite cuts of beef for grilling. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country it's difficult to find. Best bet is a Latino market. I get mine in Northern Virginia when returning from Washington. I like to buy steaks that are about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds each. Skirt is often used to make fajitas. But I put a mojo marinade on it, grill and serve with a chimichurri sauce.

skirt steaks

Churrasco Estilo recipe

Mojo Marinade reci
10 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour orange juice*
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mash the garlic and salt into a paste using mortar and pestle. Stir in the juice, onion and oregano. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil to near boiling and remove from heat. Whisk in the juice mixture until blended. This will be enough marinade for up to 6 pounds of meat.

*Sour orange juice is available in Latino markets, or as a substitute combine two parts orange juice to one part lemon and one part lime.

Marinate steaks in the refrigerator overnight and then grill on the barbecue. I recommend serving rare to medium rare. Since heat and steak thickness will vary, start by grilling 4 minutes on each side. Then take the temperature with an instant read meat thermometer. Monitor every couple of minutes, and remember the meat will continue to cook a bit once off the grill, so take it off when it's not quite done to where you want it. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest, covered with foil, for ten minutes. Slice against the grain 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Arrange on a platter and cover with Chimichurri, or put the sauce in a gravy boat or bowl and let diners apply to their own taste.


8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup white vinegar
juice of one lime
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed*
dash of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Put everything except the oil in a blender and "chop" until you have a thick mixture. Transfer to a bowl and whisk (do not use blender!) in the olive oil. Taste and add more salt, pepper, vinegar and lime juice as desired.

*Cubano style would call for cilantro, but I prefer the milder flavor of parsley, favored in Argentina.

This recipe adapted from Three Guys from Miami.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fiesta Rice Salad

I made up a Mexican-influenced rice salad this weekend to go with grilled St. Louis pork ribs with Two Trees sauce, savory chicken drumsticks and green salad.

Fiesta Rice Salad recipe

Cook 2 cups of white basmati rice (yields about 10 cups cooked) and spread out on a platter to cool. Put in a large bowl and mix in:

1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 15 oz. can corn, drained
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 teaspoons minced cilantro (optional)

Make a dressing with:

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
black pepper
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil while whisking to make an emulsion

Stir the dressing into the rice mixture, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

The flavor was pleasing but (intentionally) mild, so you may want to add more spice, or even some heat. I suggest you taste it and adjust as you are moved to do!

We had a lot left over, so the next night Bella added fresh tomato chunks and cheddar cheese to make it into a great one-dish meal.