Monday, September 12, 2011

Skirt Steak with Chimmichurri

My apartment in Boston has a very nice deck.  We don’t get to use this deck for 10 months out of the year…but during that short period of time where it is actually enjoyable to be outside in Boston, we take full advantage.  We even violated the terms of our lease to buy a miniature grill at the beginning of the summer!  We thought our tiny barbeque would bring us happiness and provide endless cooking opportunities.  Sadly, our relationship with the little grill has not been the fairytale we imagined.  Things started out so simply when we grilled for our Marathon Monday party.  The charcoal lit immediately and cooked our food to perfection.  Everyone rejoiced at the wonder of our new purchase.  But then the trouble started. 

At first we thought the charcoal had gone bad because we accidentally left it outside and exposed to air.  We could think of no other explanation for why it would not ignite to cook our next meal.  We bought a new bag and thought our problems would be solved.  But we were so naïve.  Each time we tried to use our grill, we had to battle with the charcoal, and it refused to cooperate.

This all came to a head about a week ago.  Summer is ending and my roommate Noelle wanted to enjoy the carefree experience of grilling one last time.  She bought hot dogs, corn and brand new charcoal with the hope that the grill gods would take pity on us.  Four hours and a half bottle of Captain Morgan’s later (we had no lighter fluid), all we had managed to do was flambé the coals.  We got some alarmingly giant flames, but once the alcohol burned off, the coals returned to their non-heated state.  Feeling defeated, we started to cook the hot dogs on the stove when two coals miraculously ignited.  We crowded our four hot dogs over the two warm coals and only had to wait about 30 minutes for them to warm all the way through.

Needless to say, I did not have very high grilling expectations when I decided to make this meal.  The original plan was to cook the corn and the steak on the grill so we bought lighter fluid in preparation.  Unfortunately, after several valiant attempts, my roommates and I surrendered and preheated the broiler instead.  Perhaps next summer we will figure out a way to use our tiny BBQ, but I think we are permanently relegated to our kitchen for now.  Luckily, delicious food can be made even without use of a grill!  I am providing directions for indoor cooking below but feel free to adapt if you are actually capable of coaxing heat from coals.  The corn recipe is inspired from the AMAZING corn at Toro in Boston.  Not nearly as good as the original but still a very yummy and unhealthy way to enjoy my new favorite food.  This was my first time making chimichurri and it is incredibly easy- I now plan to use it on everything from fish to roasted vegetables.

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
serves 4
1 cup parsley
½ cup basil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs skirt steak
To make the sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until smooth. 
Preheat the broiler.  Season the steak generously with salt and pepper.  Place the steak on a baking sheet covered with foil and place 5 inches from broiler for 4 minutes.  Flip steak and cook until the other side is nicely browned, about 5 minutes.  You can adjust cooking times according to your preferred doneness.  Remove the steak from heat and let rest on a cutting board for about 10 minutes.  Slice across the grain and top with the chimichurri sauce. 

The corn all ready to be rolled in deliciousness (photo credit to Noelle)

Corn à la Toro
serves 4
4 ears of corn
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sriracha
Juice from 1 lime
Cotija queso, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place corn in the oven and roast for approximately 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine mayo with pepper, sriracha, and lime juice.  Remove corn from oven, let cool and pull off the husks.  Spread spicy mayonnaise on the corn then roll it in the cheese.  Sprinkle with extra cayenne and enjoy!

Roasted Tomatoes
6 roma tomatoes, quartered
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Preheat oven to 375.  In a large roasting pan, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, olive oil, and sea salt.  Roast for about 45 minutes, then remove from oven. 

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