Cat Cora’s Grilled Chile-Lime Flank Steak Soft Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
1 tsp pure chile powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS freshly squeezed lime juice
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ lbs. flank steak, trimmed of fat
1 small pineapple, (3-3 ½ lbs)
1 small red onion, diced
3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
½ fresh jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded and minced
16 6-inch corn tortillas
For the marinade:
In a small bowl, mix the spices, salt, pepper, lime juice, and oil to make a paste. Place the steak in a shallow dish and rub the paste evenly over both sides. Cover and let marinate for 1-4 hours.
For the salsa:
Light a charcoal grill about 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Slice off the leafy top of the pineapple and just enough of the bottom so the fruit rests flat on a cutting board. Slice off the skin with a sharp knife, cutting from top to bottom and taking off as little of the flesh as possible, rotating the pineapple as you go. Discard the skin. Cut out any “eyes” with a paring knife and discard. Slice the fruit away from the core in 4 or 5 slabs.
Place the pineapple slabs on the hot grill and grill until the fruit is just beginning to show some browning, 1 to 2 minutes per side, 4 to 5 minutes per side if you want it charred.
Let the pineapple cool for a few minutes, then dice. In a medium bowl, mix the diced pineapple, onion, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and chile and blend well.
To cook the steak:
Grill the steak for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or slightly longer for well-done meat. Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, place the tortillas on the hot grill and grill for 10 seconds on each side, then wrap in a cloth napkin to keep them warm.
Slice the steak across the grain into ½-inc thick slices and arrange on a serving platter. Place the tortillas and the bowl of salsa on the table and serve family-style.
The steak and pineapple can be cooked in an oiled ridged grill pan on top of the stove and the tortillas can be wrapped in foil and heated in a 350F oven.
Cat Cora’s Baked Jalapeno Poppers
12 to 14 fresh jalapeño peppers
6 tablespoons (6 ounces) light cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups crumbled Greek feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup panko crumbs, or fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set it aside.
Cut each jalapeño pepper in half lengthwise, cut off the stem, and scrape out the seeds. Set aside the peppers and then rinse your knife and fingers.
In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, feta cheese, oregano, and garlic powder. Set the bowl aside.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and the buttermilk and set the bowl aside. Pour the panko crumbs into a wide, shallow dish or plate. In a third shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeño half. Dredge the jalapeno half in the seasoned flour, dip it into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing lightly so the crumbs coat the pepper all the way around. If the coating isn’t sticking the first time, just repeat all three steps – flour, egg, crumbs –until you have a nice thick coating in place. Gently set the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. When you’ve dipped and coated every pepper, bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden, about 40 minutes. (Start checking at about 30 minutes to make sure these don’t overcook.)
Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve while still warm.
Cat Cora’s Summer Fruit Parfait
½ cup Diced tropical fruit, kiwi and mango, or one of each
½ cup Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
¼ cup sliced banana
1 pint low-fat or non-fat plain, Greek or vanilla yogurt
1 cup Crushed graham crackers
4 Martini glasses
¼ cup Shredded coconut, toasted
¼ cup toasted cashews, roughly chopped
In a martini glass (or other festive vessel), spoon a dollop of the yogurt into the base of the glass and then top with a sprinkling of graham crackers, a layer of diced fruit, then a few berries, then a few slices of banana, and then start again with the yogurt, continuing the pattern until the glass is filled. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and cashews. Repeat with the remaining 3 glasses and serve immediately.