by guest blogger Kristina Vanni
Hello, Floored! readers! It is an honor for me to bring you the first installment of “Hot Chef Fridays.” Each Friday for the remainder of 2009 I will be writing about simple and delicious seasonal cuisine, festive holiday fare and, of course, hot trends in the culinary world.
For the past year I have been drawing upon the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” in 2009 chef survey results when developing and testing recipes. I can’t wait for the 2010 list! The Association’s survey of American Culinary Federation chefs is the industry’s ultimate culinary forecast. More than 1,600 ACF professional chefs nationwide ranked nearly 210 culinary items as a "hot trend," "yesterday's news" or "perennial favorite."
One of these “hot trends” for 2009 is “new” cuts of meat. What does this mean exactly? As far as I know, cows haven’t really changed, so how do we get “new” cuts of meat? With research and creative innovations, butchers have found ways to break down parts such as the chuck and round into new cuts. Flat iron steak, Denver steak, and the Petite Tender are just a few examples. For more information on these new cuts, check out the Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. There is also a wonderful article from The New York Times explaining how the Beef Board discovered these new cuts.
Orange-Chipotle Skirt Steaks
Total Recipe Time: 30 minutes
Marinade Time: 6 hours to overnight
1-1/2 pounds beef skirt steak, cut into 4 to 6-inch pieces
2 medium oranges, divided
2 cups chopped tomatillos (4 to 5 small to medium)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 to 3 teaspoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 medium orange
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from chipotle peppers)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Combine Marinade ingredients in food-safe plastic bag; add beef, closing bag securely. Marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.
2. Grate 1/2 teaspoon peel from 1 orange and cut orange and half of remaining orange into segments; chop segments into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine orange peel, segments, tomatillos, onion, chipotle peppers, cumin and salt in medium bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve; cut remaining 1/2 orange into wedges and reserve for garnish.
3. Remove steaks from marinade, discarding marinade; place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals and grill, uncovered, 10 to 13 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 8 to 12 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Carve steaks diagonally across the grain into thin slices, seasoning with salt, as desired; serve with tomatillo salsa and garnish with reserved orange wedges.
Makes 6 servings
For an inside’s view at the 2009 National Beef Cook-Off, you can watch the competition, awards ceremony and winner’s press conference on YouTube.
For more information about Kristina, visit her official Web site at KristinaVanni.com and for more great recipes visit her blog.
Blogger-in-Chief's Note: Stay tuned for Kristina’s upcoming installment on Floored! next Friday. Happy TFIG!