Aug 2, 2018

Mex it Up

Summertime grilling lends itself to a variety of exciting flavors by just changing up the seasonings and spices used in your marinade. Bright Mexican chicken and beef dishes are easy to recreate on your barbecue with condiments you already have in your pantry. Nowadays you can even serve them parve “sour cream” just like authentic Mexican cuisine.

For the chicken:

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons dried oregano

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons light olive oil

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice

2 pounds chicken breasts

For the Pico de Gallo:

6 plum tomatoes, finely diced

1 jalapeno, seeded or not, diced fine

1/2 bunch cilantro or parsley leaves, checked and chopped

juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For assembly

Warm tortillas or wraps

Diced avocado

3 tablespoons cilantro or parsley checked and chopped

Hot sauce

Parve sour cream like Wayfare, optional

Combine salt and spices with the oil and juice in a Ziploc bag for the marinade.  Marinate chicken in mixture for at least 2 hours.

To make the pico de gallo, combine the other half of the onion with the tomato, jalapeno, cilantro or parsley, lime juice, and salt. Stir it together and set it aside.
Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Drain chicken well and grill for 5-6 minutes per side or until done. Remove from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes. Slice into strips. Place chicken strips, diced avocado and pico de gallo on a tortilla. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley. Drizzle with hot sauce and a dollop of parve sour cream. Fold up and serve.

For the marinade & meat:

1 orange, juiced

2 limes, juiced

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 sweet pickled peppers or hot peppers

3 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 pounds skirt steak, cut into 8-inch pieces

For assembly:

Salt and pepper

2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

Light olive oil

12 flour tortillas, warm

For the guacamole:

5 ripe Hass avocados

3 to 4 limes, juiced

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Good quality store bought salsa

Combine all the marinade ingredients. Using an immersion blender, puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak, seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate the beef for 2 to 4 hours to tenderize and flavor the beef

Drain the marinade from the beef. Lightly oil the grill grate. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest.

Toss the bell peppers and onions with a little olive oil. Grill onions and peppers for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are just barely limp.

Prepare guacamole: With a tablespoon, scoop out the avocado flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them still a bit chunky. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, and fold everything together.

Heat up the tortillas. Turn on one burner to a medium low flame. Place a tortilla on each flame and let it char about 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip the tortilla and repeat on the second side. Once heated and charred, wrap in a towel to keep warm. Repeat until you have warmed all of your tortillas.

To serve:

Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal.

Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of steak, peppers and onions, and salsa. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.

Happy grilling!

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