Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Madness Party with the Girls

I'm on a mama's weekend right now, and while mum's the word (get it?) on what happened to the lamp, and our no-facebook pact is in place (what happens on #mamasweekend, stays on #mamasweekend), I can tell you this: the food is both  fabulous and copious. The fridge is so packed that every time it is opened, a container of hummus comes flying out. There is a table dedicated to the chocolate stash. And the snack section, well, it ain't a bag of Doritos.

What we don't have are cheese sticks, juice boxes or Mac-n-Cheese.

It's fitting that my post on Char-broil is up in time for March Madness. The theme? Girl power appetizers to class up your sports-viewing. Not that there is anything wrong with pigs in a blanket or nacho cheese sauce. They have their place. But for your mama's weekend or Sweet Sixteen party this weekend, I encourage you to cook with the big girls. Read the whole post here, and enjoy!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Skirt Steak Sriracha

I live in a house of spice wimps. Every now and then I need some heat, something other than a one star rating. I need my tongue to tingle and mouth to be on fire for a moment or two before it dissipates.

The other day, while grocery shopping at Central Market, a place I rarely escape with under a $200 bill, yet still manage to leave happy, I came across two people sampling their Sriracha sauce made from red jalapenos grown in Washington. Washington jalapenos? I mean, apples, of course, and lentils, you bet, but Washington State is not the first place I think of for jalapenos. Do we really get enough sun to turn a pepper red?

The taste was lovely and the heat, while significant, did not overpower. I had to buy it. Not only are the peppers grown locally, it is made and bottled locally and it's gluten-free, so it hits a plethora of buttons. Sriracha, sometimes called "rooster sauce", hails from the coastal city of Si Racha in Thailand, and is often served with Vietnamese Pho, according to Wikipedia.

I bought a nice slab of a skirt steak to grill with it. I love skirt steak for it's price and flavor but it needs help getting tender. Crosshatch cuts on one side with some marination time in this Sriracha did the trick. Paired with a grilled corn salad and corn tortillas, to counter the spice. I realized too late that I'd used up my gas tank, and it was freezing out, so I didn't want to trouble with charcoal. What was a girl to do? I put my little Char-broil Grill2Go on my grill and fired it up. I use the Grill2Go for camping, and if I tailgated, I'd use it for that. This little guy kicks out a lot of heat.

Here is the recipe.

Grilled Skirt Steak Sriracha
with Grilled Corn Salad
1 skirt steak
1 bottle of Sriracha sauce
Salt & pepper

For the Corn Salad (enough for 3-4 people)
4 ears of corn
1/2 red pepper
1/2 red onion
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh cilantro
Salt & Pepper
1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup olive oil

1) Make shallow crosshatch cuts on one side of the steak. Pat with salt and pepper.
2) Pour four ounces of Sriracha sauce and coat the meat. Turn over to coat evenly. Let marinate for 1-2 hours.
3) While the steak marinates, make the corn salad. Grill corn, peppers, and red onion until nicely marked, but not wilted. Set aside to cool.
4) Once cool, cut off corn from ear, dice peppers and onions.
5) Make dressing with fresh lime, cumin, olive oil and salt and peeper. Dress salad and toss with halved cherry tomatoes right before grilling steak.
6) Preheat gas, charcoal or infrared grill on high.
7) Shake off extra marinade before grilling steak (and discard used marinade).
8) Grill over direct flames for 3-4 minutes on the side without crosshatch cuts. Rotate steak 45 degrees (to get those nice grill marks we all love) and grill for about 4 minutes. Turn over and grill another 3-4 minutes until medium rare or to desired doneness.
6) Let steak rest for five minutes before slicing against the grain and on the diagonal. Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas and corn salad.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Here's A Monty Python Video While You Wait. An Operator Will Be With You Shortly...

That was a little longer break on the blog than I'd expected. I had a lot of expectations of things being done in the last month, but things in reality move much more slowly than the pretty pictures in my head.

Even so, life is going swimmingly at our *New and Improved* Smokin' Pete's BBQ. We have been going one room at at a time scrubbing and painting and moving furniture here and there, in and out. Signs have been ordered and arrived so that in the near future we can take the butcher paper off the windows that makes people think we are closed. We have huge windows, for those of you that aren't near, which are great for letting in light, but make one feel like a fish. For a restaurant, "fishbowl is goot". For a catering kitchen during crunch time, not so much. But we'll have a lovely front space built for tastings, pick up orders and meetings soon, in two weeks, um, whenever the contractor gets it done.

The thing is, we keep having to stop to cater, which is awesome of course, but it means not a lot is getting done on super secret brand #2.

You'll simply have to be patient. Good things take time, especially food. And if you know me personally, you know that my silence is, well, a rare thing to be treasured. It means good things. It also means I won't bore you with cute stories about my kids or my issues with wheat (we'll get to that soon. Oh joy!).

Until then, I suggest we all relax and have a laugh. Monty Python is a favorite of mine.