We had a chance to get away this weekend. Once we arrived at our destination and saw the opportunity to fire up a grill, I made a quick stop at a local market. Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook. It’s very social and everything tastes amazing with a little fire underneath it. Origins of “The Art of Asado” are as follows: man made fire, man dropped food in fire, food tasted better, man made grill and bought a cooler full of beer, the end.
Everybody should have at least one friend with a grill, and at least one person who knows how to use it. You rarely see a party with 5 people flipping burgers. The masses elect one above all, and Ceaser must reign over the fire. In South America, the “asado” (bbq) is the standard event for which friends and family gather to eat, drink, and be merry (or hammered drunk). I learned a lot about grilling from my time spent around “Maestro Parrilleros” (Grill Masters). Meats and vegetables were often cooked whole or in very large pieces (think entire sirloin roast on the grill). Seasoning tends to be minimal to allow natural flavors to be enhanced by the flames. With all of that out of the way, here’s what I threw together this weekend: Churrasco con cebolla, berenjena, y ají dulce a la parrilla (Skirt steak with grilled onion, eggplant, and sweet peppers). Why exactly these choices? Because that’s what looked good at the market. Buy local, fresh ingredients whenever possible. Here’s how to do it:
1 Pound Churrasco (Skirt Steak)
2 Small Eggplants
2 Medium Onions
1/2 Pound Ají Dulce (any small sweet peppers will do)
Adobo Seasoning or Salt & Pepper
Fire up the grill to a medium flame. Divide the eggplants in half lengthwise, slice the onions into large rings allowing it to stay intact, remove stems from peppers. Brush or rub a little olive oil on everything to be grilled and lightly season. I made a small little basket out of aluminum foil to insure the peppers wouldn’t fall through the grates of the grill. Start cooking the vegetables, turn when they start to caramelize or nice grill marks appear (6-8 min.). Once you’ve turned everything, put the churrasco on the grill with a high flame. Depending on the thickness of the steaks, cook anywhere from 2-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve with a nice bottle of red and an ocean breeze. Cheers.