Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Carne Asada and Grilled Veggies

This is from a little while ago, but I thought I would post.... I've actually cut out all meat (except for fish) since then so this is definitely an old post...

I made some grilled carne asada and veggies a few weekends ago to take advantage of hanging outside in the last of San Diego's warm weather. YES, I know I'm a wimp when it comes to weather... It's 62 degrees F outside right now and I'm dying... The last couple mornings have been THE WORST getting out of bed with my heated blanket or out of the nice hot shower... Mornings have been about mid-50s... Don't hate me... I've lived in coastal San Diego most of my life and don't handle anything outside of the range of 73-78 degrees very well... My house doesn't have central AC or heater (well we have a heater but it doesn't really work and we've never really cared) because we rarely ever need it... Until this year.. OH MAN this year sucked for weather in San Diego...
High is FIFTY EIGHT for Thursday and Friday??!? Oh man.... How am I going to handle this...

ANYWAYS.... getting off topic... I chose flank steak for my carne asada because it's a nice healthy cut of beef that handles marinades very well. Carne asada marinade has a lot of acid, so it needs a cut of meat that can hold up to it without getting too mushy. Also flank steak just has great flavor and can have a great texture also if it's marinated well. Flank steak and carne asada marinade are perfect for each other!

I like following Tyler Florence's carne asada recipe with my own adaptions: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/tacos-carne-asada-recipe/index.html

Here is his Mojo recipe (carne asada marinade) with my own twist:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • zest from 2 limes
  • zest from 1 orange
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • chili flakes
"In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Toss thoroughly. Let it sit for 15 minutes hour to allow the flavors to marry."
  • Add chili powder, cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper to suit your own taste preferences. Feel free to taste the marinade to adjust seasonings as long as it hasn't touched any raw meat yet! I usually add about a nice big tablespoon of chili powder, a few teaspoons of cumin, and a pinch of chili flakes just because I love cumin and spice.
Then marinate your flank steak with this!! Put the steak and marinade in a large ziploc bag to marinate in the fridge for 1-8 hours - turn bag over and massage in to meat once or twice during it's marinating time.

Marinating flank steak!

"Grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare." I like to baste mine with the marinade as I'm grilling. This way I can spoon some of that yummy garlic, zest, jalapeno, and cilantro chunks on to the steak and let it form a nice little flavorful crust. "Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal."

No matter how good this looks, don't touch it until you've given it time to rest so you don't lose all those delicious juices!

Now time for the veggies!! I pretty much took a bunch of veggies I happened to already have at home, seasoned them up, then grilled them.
Delicious healthy veggies

I had sliced white onions, green onions, broccoli, red bell pepper, and jicama. I squeezed some lime juice over all of them, sprinkled some cumin, chili powder, lemon peper, salt, and black pepper, then drizzled everything with a little olive oil.

Raw veggies seasoned up!

For grilling veggies (or other small things), it's nice to use a grill pan, so that your food is able to drain any liquids that come out in the cooking process and can get a nice char without losing your food to the barbeque by them falling through the wide grill grates... so sad when that happens!

I really like this grill pan because it has three different textures: one section with holes, so that liquid can drain through and everything can get a nice char from the direct heat by the flame; a crimped section if you still want to drain the juices, but don't want direct heat from the flame; and a completely flat section if you want to keep the moisture or for tiny things (like finely chopped garlic or onion).

I like to took advantage of the different grill sections to accommodate for different cooking times for each vegetable. First I cooked the broccoli over the section with the holes, then moved them over to the half with no holes to stay warm as I cooked the jicama. Then moved the jicama over with the broccoli and continued in the same pattern with white onions, bell pepper, and green onions.

Finished grilled veggies all mixed together

Final plated dish!

Plate the sliced carne asada and grilled veggies and finish with some fresh chopped cilantro and a final squeeze of lime juice. I had mine with Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere - one of my fav wines that is easy to find anywhere and isn't too expensive ($8 per bottle). This wine has a nice body and some spice that complements spicy steak very well! I also like that it has notes of chocolate and lot of berries in it, so when I don't finish the bottle with my dinner, it still goes well with some dark chocolate for dessert!

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