Posts Tagged ‘marinade’

Pork Kebabs (Souvlaki Hirino) and Feta Tart (Alevropita)

August 28, 2010

As if I don’t read enough foodie magazines, I saw the magazine Saveur the other day in Fresh Market and was intrigued. The whole issue was featuring Greek food, and since I love ethnic food, I thought I would pay the $5 to see what it was all about. And, of course, as of last week I now have a 2 year subscription to this fantastic magazine!

I tried this recipe combo first as part something I thought I could easily do, and part something I was scared of. The kebabs looked easy enough as long as I remembered to marinate in advance. And I know how to grill pork. And kebabs are a breeze. But, the feta tart looked a bit scary. It was an egg batter that you pour into a hot pan and bake. Now don’t get me wrong, the recipe itself didn’t look too challenging, but the thought that I would make my own bread did scare me a bit.

I can honestly say this was the best meal we have had in weeks. The pork had a great flavor (and the oregano made it very Greek!) and the feta tart was amazing (and the perfect complement to the pork)! Definitely a wow dish, and it was surprisingly so easy! Don’t be alarmed that the batter spreads really thin, it ends up forming a great, crispy crust.

Thanks to Saveur for giving me a great, new Greek menu. If these recipes are any indication, I will be blogging many more from this magazine!

PORK KEBABS (SOUVLAKI HIRINO)
Serves 2-4

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup red wine
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. dried mint
1 tbsp. dried oregano
8 cloves garlic, smashed and minced into a paste
1 bay leaf, finely crumbled
1 lb. trimmed pork shoulder, cut into 1 1⁄4″ cubes
4  9″ wooden skewers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, wine, lemon juice, mint, oregano, garlic, and bay leaf; add pork and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile, soak skewers in water.

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, arrange an oven rack 4″ below the broiler element and set oven to broil.) Thread about 4 pieces of pork onto each skewer so that pork pieces just touch each other. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the grill (or, covering exposed ends of skewers with foil, put skewers on a rack set over a foil-lined baking sheet). Cook, turning often, until cooked through and slightly charred, about 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

FETA TART (ALEVROPITA)
Serves 4-8

6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. vodka
1 egg
1 1⁄4 cups flour, sifted
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄8 tsp. baking powder
10 oz. feta, crumbled
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

Heat oven to 500°. Put an 18″ x 13″ x 1″ rimmed baking sheet into oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together 2 tbsp. oil, vodka, egg, and 1 cup water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and whisk until smooth.

Brush remaining oil over bottom of hot pan and add batter, smoothing batter with a rubber spatula to coat the bottom evenly, if necessary. Distribute cheese evenly over batter, and dot with butter. Bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

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Bruschetta with Rosemary, Roasted Plum Tomatoes, Ricotta and Prosciutto

August 1, 2010

I have never met a bruschetta I didn’t like – and after traveling to Italy, I have a deeper love for the appetizer. What I love about bruschetta is you can improvise and make it as complex or simple as you want. You can add really whatever you want atop the crusty bread, and it always seems to taste fantastic.

This bruschetta recipe does take a little extra time because you roast the tomatoes, but I find it is worth it for the deep flavor. I love the crispy, light addition of the arugula (not to mention it adds the green in the Italian flag to make it a true red, white and green Italian dish!).

I made this for a dinner party and it went over well – I roasted the tomatoes and baked the bread in advance, then assembled when everyone arrived!

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this great antipasti!

BRUSCHETTA WITH ROSEMARY, ROASTED PLUM TOMATOES, RICOTTA AND PROSCIUTTO
Serves 6

6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 large plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), quartered lengthwise
12 1/2-inch-thick diagonally cut baguette slices (each 3 to 4 inches long)
12 tablespoons ricotta cheese, divided
6 thin prosciutto slices, cut in half crosswise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup microgreens or baby arugula

Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir 6 tablespoons oil, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in large bowl to blend. Add tomato quarters and stir to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lift tomatoes from marinade and arrange, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet (reserve marinade for toasts).

Roast tomatoes until skin is browned and blistered and tomatoes are very tender, about 35 minutes. Cool tomatoes on sheet. Maintain oven temperature.

Meanwhile, arrange bread slices on another rimmed baking sheet. Brush top of each with reserved marinade (including garlic and rosemary bits).

Roast bread until top is golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool toasts on sheet.

Spread 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese on each toast; sprinkle with pepper. Fold prosciutto halves over and place on ricotta. Arrange 2 tomato quarters atop prosciutto. Whisk lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon oil in medium bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Add microgreens and toss to coat. Top bruschetta with microgreens. Arrange on platter and serve.

Garlic-Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers

July 17, 2010

When I spent $20 on beef tenderloin meat that would not be rubbed and roasted, but chopped and grilled on a skewer – I did have the same reaction as my butcher. “Don’t you want a cheaper meet for a kabob?” Well, I was curious if it made a difference and, well, the recipe called for it so I wanted to do as told. Yes, it makes a difference.

The marinade also gives it an amazing flavor and color. The soy and paprika give the meat a “wow” color and the honey gives it a glistening glaze. The mustard isn’t overpowering, which surprised me, but gives it a great tang.

These need to marinate for at least 4 hours so I would do this one on a Saturday or Sunday night. I made this with some couscous and it was amazing. This was also the first time I made skewers with my new metal skewers. I highly recommend them. Gone are the days of soaking wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using and still having them burn at bit on the grill. With the metal ones, just make sure to put some oil on them before threading the meat so it doesn’t stick.

Thanks to Bobby Flay for this one!

Bon appetit!

GARLIC-MUSTARD GRILLED BEEF SKEWERS
Serves 6

Garlic-mustard glaze
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Grilled beef skewers
2 pounds beef tenderloin
Twelve 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers

For garlic-mustard glaze:
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl,cover,and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before using.

For grilled beef skewers:
Heat your grill to high.

Cut the tenderloin lengthwise in half, then cut the halves lengthwise in half again. Slice crosswise to make 24 equal pieces. Skewer 2 pieces of beef onto each skewer, keeping them together at one end of the skewer. (This will make the grilled skewer easier to hold and eat.) Place the skewers in a baking dish or on a baking sheet, pour half of the glaze over the meat, and turn to coat.

Grill the meat, turning once and brushing with the remaining glaze, for 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown, slightly charred, and cooked to medium-rare. Transfer the skewers to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Place the skewers on a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

Peruvian Grilled Chicken (pollo a la brasa)

July 14, 2010

When I saw this recipe, I’ll be honest and admit I wasn’t sure exactly what Peruvian food entailed. Latin American, yes, but each country always has its own influence, its own specialty and its own regional cuisine. After my two weeks in Italy, I learned that even two regions in the same country are rarely alike.

So when I saw lime, cumin, paprika – I nodded my head. Sure, those all made sense. But then I saw soy sauce….huh? Apparently there are many large Japanese and Chinese communities in Peru, and hence they have influenced the cuisine. Seemed like an odd combination so I thought I would try it out.

I don’t know if it was the 24 hours in marinade, the slow cooking on the grill (you leave it on longer on the side without a burner on) or the flavorful combination of ingredients, but it is amazing! Very juicy, great taste, and a perfect, easy grilling meal. I served it with some Spanish beans and it made for an easy weeknight dinner (just don’t forget to throw it in the marinade the day before).

Thanks to Gourmet for this great keeper!

PERUVIAN GRILLED CHICKEN

Makes 2-4 servings

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), quartered (or a package of chicken thighs, like I used)
Accompaniment: lime wedges

Marinate chicken:
Blend soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and oil in a blender.

Put chicken in a large sealable bag and add marinade. Seal bag and marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours.

Grill chicken:
If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom and lid of grill. Light a large chimney starter full of charcoal (preferably hardwood). When coals are lit, dump them out along opposite sides of bottom rack, leaving a space free of coals (the size of the quartered chicken) in middle. When you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack directly over coals for 3 to 4 seconds, coals will be medium-hot.

If using a gas grill, preheat all burners on high, then reduce heat to medium-high.

Discard marinade, then pat chicken dry. Oil grill rack, then grill chicken over area with no coals (or over a turned-off burner), skin side down first, covered, turning over once, until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes (add charcoal to maintain heat).

Beer-Marinated Flank Steak with Aji

June 8, 2009

IMG_0943For those who know me, you know I am a seasonal cook – and summer is certainly time for grilling. There is nothing like smelling meat on the grill (sorry, vegetarians!) and relaxing outside with a cold cocktail. As summer continues, you will surely see more and more grilling recipes from me.

I made this one last Saturday and it couldn’t be easier. It originates from Columbia and takes a basic flank steak and gives it a South American twist.

You do need some marinade time, so do this one when you have some time 4-5 hours before like on a weekend (or even the day before). The time to the make marinade is mere minutes, then it is ready to go. The sauce can be made in advance as well.

I will warn you – the aji will sneak up on you! I cut the jalapeno portion in half (and I LOVE spice) because it seemed like a lot, and it was! Even with two jalapenos, the sauce had a kick. I suggest adding one then tasting it to see if it needs more heat.

Thanks to my favorite, Bon Appetit, for this one!IMG_0941

BEER MARINATED FLANK STEAK WITH AJI

(6 servings)

2 1.3-pound flank steaks
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced green onions
1 12-ounce bottle dark beer
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
Side of Aji Sauce (recipe below)

Using a sharp knife, lightly score flank steaks about 1/8 inch deep on both sides in a crosscross patter at 1/2-inch intervals. Place steaks in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle steaks on both sides with oregano and cumin and generous amount of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle olive oil over both sides of steaks, rubbing oil and spices into meat. Add green onions, beer and Worcestershire sauce, turning steaks several times to coat both sides. Cover and chill at least 3 hours, turning occasionally. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill rack lightly with oil. Grill steaks to desired doneness, 2-3 minutes total per side for medium rare, turning steaks 1/4 turn about 1.5 minutes to form crisscross grill marks, if desired. Transfer steaks to cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice steaks across the grain. Transfer to platter and serve with Aji Sauce.

AJI SAUCE (3/4 cup)
One coarsely chopped seeded jalapeno (recipe calls for 2, but I would start with one and see if the heat is enough for you)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green onions
1/3 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons (or more) red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine jalapenos, green onions, sweet onion and cilantro in processor, puree until paste forms, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula several times. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar/lime juice and process until mixture is blended but some texture still remains. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and more vinegar to taste. Can be made 1 day ahead.


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