Here in the Southwest we love or Hatch Chile season! We’re right in the middle of the harvesting these flavorful versatile chiles that are known for their perfect balance of sweet and heat. Besides elevating the taste of enchiladas and rellenos, we also love hatch chiles in stews, soups, sauces and even smothered on burgers. In my opinion, there is no better hatch chile then when roasted or charred. It’s easy to do on an outdoor grill, in the oven, or with a grate over your gas cooktop! Just keep turning the chiles until they blister, place them in a Ziploc back while still warm and let them sweat. he charred skin will come right off and then you can scrape the seeds out and dice! While you can used canned chiles for this Chicken Enchilada Soup, the hatch chiles takes the freshness and flavor to a whole new level! Oh! And those cornmeal dumplings? The perfect topper to a this hearty Southwestern favorite!
Simply put, Carne Asada means “grilled steak.” But because we use cuts like skirt, flank or sirloin steaks, let them bathe in aromatic marinades and top the meat with spicy seasonings, Carne Asada has and will always be a southwestern favorite! It can be served as a stand-alone entrée often served with a chimichurri sauce, or made into tacos, tostados or perhaps as a hearty salad served with avocado, tomatoes and queso. Carne Asada can be purchased already prepared in a marinade or you can make the marinade at home. This recipe combines a homemade marinade with a spice rub for maximum flavor. Cooking the asada is easy. It simply requires a hot grill or grill pan and, for best results, a meat thermometer. The key to a great carne asada is too cook the meat to about a 125-130 degree internal temperature and then let it rest for at least 10 minutes, during which time the meat will continue to cook a few more degrees. If making tacos with the carne asada, here’s tip for great tortillas. For flavorful, authentic tasting tacos, heat tortillas in a dry skillet or griddle for about 45 seconds on each side or until tortilla bubbles up and develops charred spots. Stack on top of each other to keep warm and pliable. If you’re looking for a shareable family-style Sunday supper, Carne Asada brings the flavors of the Southwest to life!
Watch my how to video for Carne Asada here!
We’re heading into a nice long Fourth of July holiday week and I hope there will be plenty of chances for you to get your grill on and cook up some good eats! Have you thought about firing up a big batch of meaty and flavorful Country Style pork ribs? Those are the ones that are loaded with meat and virtually no bone. So wait a minute. Why do they call them ribs then? Well, country style pork ribs are actually not ribs at all. They are from the shoulder or the blade end near the shoulder. These cuts of pork are meaty and marbled—which equals flavor! They often get passed over in the meat department in lieu of actual ribs, and that’s a shame because they are delicious grilled and slathered with BBQ sauce or cut up for kebabs. Speaking of BBQ sauce, with this recipe, the BBQ sauce is a bonus that is used as a finishing sauce because all of the flavor is in the rub! I’m using a variety of spices for this rub that combines sweet, heat, salty and spicy. What a flavor profile! It’s a great combination that you can make your own by adding more brown sugar or less chili powder, according to your taste. It’s so simple to mix the spices together and sprinkle over the country style ribs, and the magic happens when you refrigerate them! The spices draw out the moisture and when you put them in a hot pan or grill, that juicy outside caramelizes and seals in the moisture. When the ribs are cooked, you can then slather on the BBQ sauce and serve them up with your favorite fixings like baked beans, roasted corn on the cob or macaroni salad. If you’re lucky enough to have any leftover ribs, you can slice them up for sandwiches or chopped up for a salad. So if you haven’t had country style pork ribs lately, this may be a great week to give them a try. I can almost guarantee you’ll be licking your chops!