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Spicy skewers will liven up a summer party

082218tastefood
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Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers With Green Chili Sauce.

LyndaBalslev
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BY LYNDA BALSLEV
TasteFood

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

When the weather is hot and shouty, then why not shout back with skewers of fiery meat? These steak skewers are not only cooked over a flame, they are also bathed in a heady lime and garlic marinade that tenderizes and infuses the meat with bold flavor and kicking spice.

But don't stop there: Raise the flavor-and-heat bar further by serving the skewers with a feisty sauce inspired by Zhoug, a condiment hailing from the Middle East. It's a heat-spiked herbaceous blend that's a cross between chimichurri and harissa — arguably, a match made in heaven. You can keep the steaks in large cuts, or, better yet, slice them into strips and thread the pieces on skewers for fun party food. Serve the sauce on the side, so the meat can be gingerly dabbed or generously swiped — leave it up to your guests' heat threshold to dictate the amount.

Skirt steak, flank steak or hanger steak may be used for this recipe. Each of these cuts of meat love a marinade, which helps to tenderize their natural toughness. When cutting the meat into strips, be sure to cut across the grain (the way that the muscle fibers are aligned). By doing this, you will cut up the muscle fibers, which would otherwise increase chewiness. Grill the meat quickly over direct high heat for best results.

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Main Dish

Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers With Green Chili Sauce

Active time: 25 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes, plus 4 to 6 hours marinating time

Yield: serves 4 to 6 as a main course

Marinade:

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds skirt steak, cut against the grain in 1-inch strips

Sauce:

1 large poblano pepper, stemmed, coarsely chopped

1 large jalapeno pepper, stemmed, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 cup (packed) cilantro sprigs

1 cup (packed) parsley sprigs

1/2 cup (packed) mint leaves

Juice of 1 lime

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk all of the marinade ingredients except the steak in a small bowl. Place the steak strips in a wide bowl. Pour the marinade over and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate the steak for 4 to 6 hours, stirring the marinade once or twice.

Make the sauce: Place the peppers and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the cilantro, parsley, mint, lime juice, cumin and salt and process to blend. With the machine running, add the oil and continue to process until the sauce has a thick salsa consistency. If it's too thick, add additional oil to achieve the desired consistency.

Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Thread the meat on pre-soaked bamboo skewers and discard the marinade.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. Grill the skewers over direct heat until charred and cooked to your desired doneness, 5 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, depending on the thickness of the meat. Serve with the sauce.

Lynda Balslev is the co-author of “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” (Gibbs Smith, 2014). Contact her at tastefood@tastefoodblog.com.

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