Asian Coleslaw

Asian ColeslawColeslaw is on of the common side dishes when I make a Friday night fish fry.  You have to love coleslaw, as it has a great crunch and texture that is unlike most salads. Packed with cabbages, onion, and carrots, with a great dressing… who could go wrong. I will admit however that it is hard to find a really good coleslaw. Often you find coleslaws that are too wet, under seasoned, or too soggy, or ones that are just loaded with mayonnaise.  I like to think that I have the coleslaw down, especially when it comes down to making the side for barbecue or fish fry dishes. This week however, I wanted to try something a bit different. I wanted to mix it up a bit, and go straight for Asian flavors. Give this one a shot if you are looking for something different, and something packed with a nuttiness that is hard to beat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 head of green cabbage (use Napa if you want), cleaned, and thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1/4 of medium red onion, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, cleaned, and grated
  • 1 rib of celery, cleaned, thinly sliced
  • Small handful of cilantro, rinsed clean and chopped
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of dark sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of red chili flakes (optional)

In a large bowl combine all of your vegetables and toss, mixing well. In a smaller bowl, whisk in all of your dressing ingredients. Add the dressing to the large bowl of slaw, and toss to coat everything. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors set in.

Recipe for Carne Asada

Carne Asada RecipeCarne who? Carne asada. Don’t let the name prevent you from making this really easy dish. Car-neh A-sah-dah. There, that easy.

First question to ask yourself, however is, tacos, burritos, or chimichangas? That should be what is for lunch or dinner with the carne asada.

Carne asada, in my opinion, is a delicious cut of meat, marinated in really simple seasonings and ingredients, grilled, and ready to serve. The texture, and flavor is one of those things that is just down right perfect for the grill. An excellent Summer time dish, and one suitable for a party, indoor or outdoors.

Ingredients:

  • One large, thinly sliced skirt steak
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp course Mexican oregano
  • 2 limes, squeezed

Here is how easy this one is. In a bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Lay your meat out on a working surface (you will work both sides). Sprinkle the mixed dry rub on both sides, working into the meat. Squeeze the juice of one lime on one side of the meat, flipping, and squeezing the juice on the other side. The salt and acid from the limes will tenderize the meat. Top the meat with the thinly sliced onions.

Place in a zip lock bag, or in a dish, covering, and let marinate for at least 6 hours. I always go overnight with my marinating process, but you do what you have to do, but shoot for at least 6 hours.

When you are ready to grill, heat the grill to a medium-high heat. Lube and clean your grill grates with some tongs, paper towel, and oil. Place the meat, and heck, if the onions come with it, more power to the meat, and the grill, plus you you get more smells, and so will your neighbors! Grill the skirt steak for a few minutes per side. You know how you want your meat cooked, so go with that. Just realize that this is a pretty thin cut of meat, so it does not take that long.

Remove from the grill, and let rest for a few minutes before slicing into it. Slice across the grain, and get to it. Add to your tacos, burritos, or chimi’s, and chop or slice accordingly. Of course you will add your favorite ingredients to make your own; avocado, tomato, cilantro, etc.

Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled lettuce? Seriously? Yes, I am serious, and I kid you not, this salad is to die for. This one is packed with amazing flavor, is so quick to make, and will get your guests talking.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • One head of romaine lettuce
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 4 pieces of bacon, cooked, patted dry, and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese

Begin by getting your grill heated to medium-high heat.

Cook your bacon.

In the meantime, rinse the inside of your head of lettuce. Trim a bit off the bottom, but leave the stump connected as this will keep the lettuce held together. Slice the head lengthwise, leaving you with two parts. Drizzle both insides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the halved romaine heads, inside facing down. The goal here is to get a nice sear on the lettuce. This will only take a few minutes.

Remove from the grill, and chop each one in half, so you will have four servings. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle the bacon, and blue cheese over the top.

This salad is really killer, and goes great with steak on the grill. Enjoy.

Avocado Sauce

I have had my share of Mexican sauces in the past, and there is always one that stumps me at El Rey, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee.  I do not see it there often, but it is a green salsa, almost creamy, but with a bite to it. I often am curious if avocados are involved, but immediately think that avocados turn brown after some time due to oxidation.

I shopped at El Rey this past weekend, and avocados were on sell, so I decided I would attempt to make some sort of sauce for my Saturday fiesta, including shrimp diablo and carne asada.

Creamy Avocado Sauce for tacos
This sauce is so easy to make, and is perfect, as it can be used on tacos, burritos, or heck, even chips. It is creamy with just the right about of heat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large avocados, pitted
  • 1/4 cup of skim or whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Sprig of cilantro for garnish (optional)

Begin by cleaning your avocado. With your knife cut into the middle of the avocado, running your knife around the entire avocado, back at your starting point. Turn with both hands, exposing the seed. With your knife, whack into the seed, and turn slightly to remove. Now with your knife, slice lengthwise, then crosswise, being careful not to cut through the skin of the avocado and into your hand! Now, with a spoon, scoop out and toss everything into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients, and puree down until you have a nice creamy sauce. That is it. So simple, so delicious. Enjoy.