Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Premiere That's Worth The Wait! (The rerun)

Think of last Friday's H50, and you can't help but think of it exploding on the scene with nonstop action, so it took me a while to think of what recipes I could come up with to match this show.  I actually was trying to plan ahead, but damn if I didn't think they were up to score with this magnificent and powerful episode.  So it was back to the drawing board for some BAMF recipes that could come close to our fearless heroes.  

I know what you were thinking I was going to come out of the gate with the gratuitous rib recipe to get the season off to a quick start.. Wrong needed something with more of a kick.

So I went back to the drawing board, and as I watched Super Seal not break a sweat taking down the bad guys, the recipes I choose have to keep pace and bring the heat.

So I thought I would bring on a couple of beef recipes, since I could not decide, and who could blame me.  First up is Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak with Fresh Salsa. The fresh salsa is a delicious and  accompaniment, while the chipotle powder adds a great smoky tone. Of course where there is smoke there is fire you will be burning down the place with this recipe, sorry Winifred.

Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak with 
Fresh Salsa.

2 cups chopped seeded tomato

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2lb flank steak, trimmed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat grill to high heat.
  2. Prepare salsa, combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Prepare steak, combine garlic powder and the next 6 ingredients through cinnamon. 
  4. Brush both sides of steak with olive oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture. Place the steak on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. 
  5. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut the steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with salsa

Need to kick it up another notch, well these kebabs have a pepper sauce that adds an incredible spice to the beef, and the vegetables even out the flavor.  But trust me you won't have to take anyone down for this recipe.

Sirloin Skewers with Grilled Vegetable Couscous 
and Fiery Pepper Sauce

Pepper Sauce
4 red bell peppers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 cup water
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 cups uncooked couscous
8 oz eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 oz squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 oz zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 green onions, trimmed
Cooking spray

1 1/2 pounds top sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Preheat broiler. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place bell pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. 
  2. Broil for 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag, and fold to close tightly. Let stand for 20 minutes. Peel. 
  3. Place peppers and the next 8 ingredients, through red pepper in a blender, and process until smooth.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Prepare couscous, combine 1 cup water, broth, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous; cover. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork; discard bay leaf.
  6. Arrange eggplant and the next 3 ingredients (though green onions) on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until vegetables are tender and well marked. 
  7. Remove from heat; coarsely chop vegetables. Combine 1/2 cup pepper sauce, couscous, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl; toss gently. Keep warm.
  8. To prepare skewers, thread beef onto 12 (7-inch) skewers. Lightly coat beef with cooking spray, and sprinkle with black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 
  9. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning once. Serve with couscous mixture and remaining sauce.

You bring the heat you better bring something to cool it down, ok maybe you just want the heat who knows... This salad is great because it is creamy, and cool, with avocado, yet still has a spicy kick of it's own and is a perfect match to any smoky grilled dish. 

Avocado Salad with Tomatoes, Lime, 
and Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette

4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks, or 20 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 ripe large Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette, recipe follows
2 cups arugula leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oils until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  2. Gently mix the tomatoes, avocados, onions, arugula, and half of the vinaigrette in a large bowl. 
  3. Check for seasoning and add more vinaigrette, if needed. Sprinkle the cumin and cilantro over the top and serve immediately.

Now that there is some food down how about some cocktails, this took some time to think about, the theme is hot and sexy, just have to bring the heat right.  I hope these choices live up to their bill.  

Fiery Mandarin 

AKA the McGarrett Inspired with a Touch of Grover, lets face it I think that this season the sparks will fly between these two so this fiery cocktail just my match their, heated personalities.

2 oz vodka
1 slice jalapeño, muddled

Zest of 1/3 orange
1 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup*
Jalapeño slice for garnish

  1. Place first 6 ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for 6 seconds. 
  2. Double strain. Serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with jalapeño slice.

**Simple syrup: combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring 
the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and allow to
 cool. Simple syrup can be stored for a month.**

Mango Spice Cocktail

Sweet has never tasted so hot as in this vodka cocktail it is intriguing and sexy.

1 1/2 parts  Mango Vodka

1 part mango nectar
2 slices jalapeno
1/2 part agave syrup
3/4 fresh lime
dash of orange bitters

  1. Muddle jalapeno, agave syrup and mango nectar. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Shake with ice.
  4. Fine strain into a cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a jalapeno slice.

 Some Like It Hot

This cocktail is is not for the weak of heart, or stamina, though this drink does taste of cinnamon hearts with a citrus finish.  Maybe it's something the team could try instead of a beer, I'll mix the drinks.

1 1/2 oz Rye
1/2 oz Aperol (an Italian aperitif )
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse (A sweet, pale yellow aromatic liqueur made from a mixture of over 100 herbs and a smooth honey base.)
2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 dashes bitters
1 dash hot sauce
Garnish: orange twist

  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add rye, Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse, orange juice, bitters, and hot sauce. 
  2. Shake for 15 seconds, then strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass.
  3. Garnish with orange twist.

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